Welcome to Championship Weekend.
The weekend where the nation’s best teams play for conference championships and Michigan stays home to watch it just like you.
There aren’t a lot of games this weekend, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in only having two ACC teams playing.
You might think that as long as Ohio State wins this weekend that they’ll be No. 1 on Sunday. That may be true, it may not, but the one thing we never do here is take anything for granted.
We are going to analyze every angle and every possibility, making sure you know what you are doing when the important games start later tonight.
Friday December 6
Pac 12 Championship Game (Santa Clara, CA)
Teams: #5 Utah (11-1, 8-1) vs. #13 Oregon (10-2, 8-1)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Utah
At this stage in the game, I think it’s best to root for Utah here, but if you would rather have Oklahoma at No. 4, then I can’t fault that. And that may happen regardless of this game. Utah probably has a more manageable offense, but their defense has allowed just one opponent to rush for 100 yards this season. They are a very solid team with a great defense and a quarterback who is hot at the right time. Oregon, meanwhile, is the mystery of the Pacific Northwest. Top NFL quarterback Justin Herbert is a lot like Bigfoot — plenty of eyewitnesses, but no actual physical proof that he should be taken in the first round.
Utah 35 – Oregon 20
Saturday December 7
Big XII Championship Game (Arlington, TX)
Teams: #7 Baylor (11-1, 8-1) vs. #6 Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Baylor
How about this — if you really want the easiest road for Ohio State, root for Baylor. With a win over Oklahoma, that might be enough to move them to No. 4. Especially if Oregon wins. In fact, if Baylor, LSU, and Oregon win, there is nobody else you can take but Baylor. So maybe you should go ahead and root for Oregon if you would like to play Baylor. Playing Baylor would be fun. Have you ever wanted to steal a fifth-grader’s bike and push him into the mud as you ride by telling him that if he tells your wife, you’ll be back to beat him up? This would be like that, but Ohio State would have no fear of their spouse finding out. Of course, the last time these two teams played, Baylor collapsed and gave away and huge lead. They have learned their lesson, but will it matter when the two teams tangle in Jerry World?
Oklahoma 37 – Baylor 30
MAC Championship Game (Detroit, MI)
Teams: Miami, OH (7-5, 6-2) vs. Central Michigan (8-4, 6-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Cheer For: Miami OH
You are rooting for Miami because that would give Ohio State a better win than they already have. The RedHawks have won five of six, but that one loss happened last week. Given that Miami already had the division wrapped up, the game (41-27 L at Ball State) didn’t really mean anything. Plus, who wants to go to Muncie this time of year?
Miami OH 27 – Central Michigan 26
CUSA Championship Game
Teams: UAB (9-3, 6-2) at Florida Atlantic (9-3, 7-1)
Time (TV): 1:30 pm (CBSSN)
Cheer For: Florida Atlantic
Lane Kiffin has probably been busy looking for other jobs, so I am expecting UAB to get the upset here. Florida Atlantic has pretty much run through the entire conference, winning by multiple scores. UAB has won their last two games by 11 points total. Everything is pointing to an Owls’ win, but I just can’t shake the feeling that Kiffin has been distracted this week.
UAB 30 – Florida Atlantic 28
AAC Championship Game
Teams: #20 Cincinnati (10-2, 7-1) at #17 Memphis (11-1, 7-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Cincinnati
You are cheering for Cincinnati because a win will keep them ranked and it will give Ohio State a fifth win over a ranked opponent (assuming the Buckeyes win this weekend), which is something that LSU can’t match. They could possibly stay ranked with a loss, but a win would give Ohio State some insurance. These two teams played last week and Memphis got out to a 17-3 lead. Cincinnati eventually came back to tie it up before Tigers finally gained some more distance and won 34-24. The Bearcats have learned some lessons from that game, but they still won’t have enough offense to get the one.
Memphis 37 – Cincinnati 24
SEC Championship Game (Atlanta, GA)
Teams: #4 Georgia (11-7, 7-1) vs. #2 LSU (12-0, 8-0)
Time (TV): 4:00 pm (CBS)
Cheer For: LSU
You are cheering for LSU because if LSU loses, then both Georgia and LSU will be making the playoffs and nobody needs that. The Tigers have played four teams that were ranked at the time they played them. They have won those games by 7.3 points per game. Georgia is also ranked, which means this one is probably gonna be tight as well. (Ohio State has also played four teams that were ranked when they played. OSU has won those games by an average of 23.8 points per game.) LSU is favored by seven points over a Georgia team whose lone loss was at home to a terrible South Carolina team. The Dawgs weren’t playing Dawg ball, so that loss doesn’t really even count anymore. This loss will count, however, because Joe Burrow weauxn’t be denied.
LSU 38 – Georgia 27
ACC Championship Game (Charlotte, NC)
Teams: #23 Virginia (9-3, 6-2) vs. #3 Clemson (12-0, 8-0)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Virginia
You are cheering for Virginia because the world needs Clemsoning to return, and you do too. Your life has been a mess since Clemsoning stopped being a thing. You used to throw the best parties and people would always show up. Now your parties are lame. No, nobody wants flights of pickle juice, you idiot. Clemson is favored by 28.5, but Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins is a dangerous player who can make some things happen. The closest game the Tigers have played since they escaped from Chapel Hill has been 31 points. They are locked in right now, not that you would need to be to walk through the ACC like they’ve done.
Clemson 56 – Virginia 21
Big Ten Championship Game (Indianapolis, IN)
Teams: #1 Ohio State (12-0, 9-0) vs. #8 Wisconsin (10-2, 7-2)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (FOX)
Cheer For: Ohio State
Ever since I made my 45-21 pick on the podcast and then in the Staff Picks, I’ve been thinking this Wisconsin defense is going to give the Buckeye offense more trouble than anybody else this season. Ryan Day says the playbook is as open as ever despite Justin Fields’ sore knee. I’m not sure if I agree and I expect the Badgers to get to him quite a bit in the backfield. They sacked him five times the last time they played, and I think four of them happened in the first half. If the OSU offensive line can’t protect Fields, this game will be closer than it should. If they do protect him, then this game will be worse than the last one.
Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 21