College Football: Championship Week Predictions
Championship time is upon us...
With five Championship games to decide the ACC, Big 12, C-USA, MAC, and the SEC along with two games that determine the Big East champ and the Pac-10 champ.
Each game is important this week.
The ACC determines who will go to the Orange Bowl. The BIG 12 will determine if Texas ends up in the BCS National Championship.
The Big East matchup between Pitt and Cincinnati will decide who plays in a BCS Bowl Game, in addition to one being crowned champion in the Big East.
The Game of the Week between Florida and Alabama is the most anticipated game of the season and the winner is guaranteed a spot in the BCS National Championship.
And finally the PAC-10 will decide who plays in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State.
The C-USA and MAC Championships may not carry as much weight as the others but they are still of equal importance so the teams can show case their talent and determine who gets the better Bowl bid.
Don't pass up on watching both of those Championships they have some pretty high powered offenses in both games (Houston and Central Michigan).
ACC Championship Game
December 5th, 8:00 p.m Eastern on ESPN/ESPN360.com
The Clemson Tigers 8-4 (6-2) head to Raymond James Stadium looking for revenge against #10 Georgia Tech 10-2 (7-1) in the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship game.
After Clemson lost to rival South Carolina and Georgia Tech lost to rival Georgia both teams are looking to rebound and play their best game of the season.
Both teams meet back on September 10 with Georgia Tech coming out on top by 3. Each team has gone off and won their respected Divisions with some bumps along the way.
Clemson's Heisman hopeful C.J. Spiller was bottled up running but was still a force in this past Saturdays lost seeing he returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Expect him to be a key factor in this game. (Watch that tape of Georgia vs. Georgia Tech tape Clemson and do what the Dawgs did)
Prediction: Georgia Tech in another close one but don't be surprised if Clemson wins.
Big 12 Championship Game
December 5th, 8:00 p.m Eastern on ABC
The #3 Texas Longhorns, 12-0 (8-0 ) and the #22 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 9-3 (6-2) head to Dallas, Texas for the Dr. Pepper Big XII Championship game.
Texas and Colt McCoy, coming off his best performance of the year, look to secure their spot in the BCS National Title game. Texas's defense, who gave up the most points they have all year against Texas A&M, look to regroup.
Prediction: If the Cornhuskers are without their QB or isn't a 100% they may have a tough time offensively. The Huskers defense is the key in this game and must stop McCoy.
I still think Texas takes it and is headed for Pasadena.
C-USA Championship Game
December 5th, 12:00 p.m Eastern, ESPN or ESPN2
The East Carolina Pirates 8-4 (7-1) take on the #21 Houston Cougars 10-2 (6-2) high powered offense at home in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Take into consideration Houston's to loses were away games (UTEP & UCF). Three of East Carolinas loses came to North Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
Prediction: Have you seen Houston's and Kevin Sumlins offense style? I think the Cougars take it but it won't be easy.
SEC Championship Game
December 5th, 4:00 p.m Eastern, CBS
The #1 Florida Gators, 12-0 (8-0) are looking to head to the Citi National Championship game for the second time in a row but the Gators have to get though the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, 12-0 (8-0) for that happen.
Prediction: Well of all Championships I have to say this may be the hardest one to pick a clear winner.
From what I have seen of 'Bama I have not been impressed. From what I have seen of Florida they have been better but nowhere near how good they were last year. Both teams records are identical as they were last year and they are playing once again for the National Championship (This just shows you the SEC is the best conference this decade and I am not an SEC fan).
'Bama came up empty handed and ended up losing in the Sugar Bowl so I'm sure they will be looking at revenge.
So to the actual prediction: Same out come as last year but a lot closer. Plus this is clearly the game of the week, #1 vs. #2 in a Championship game? It just doesn't get any better.
Marathon MAC Championship Game
December 4th, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, ESPN2/ESPN360.com
The Ohio Bobcats 9-3 (7-1) take on the Central Michigan Chippewas 10-2 (8-0) at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan for the Marathon MAC Championship.
Personally being able to watch Central Michigan play earlier this season when they played Boston College I was not impressed what-so-ever by their performance. Since and before that showing Central Michigan has been a very dominate team lead by Dan LeFevour who has been impressive this year.
Prediction: Central Michigan takes it.
Games to Decide the Big East and Pac-10 Part I
December 5th, 12:00 p.m. Eastern, ABC
The #5 Cincinnati Bearcats 11-0 (6-0) head to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the #15 Pittsburgh Panthers 9-2 (5-1).
Pittsburgh, coming off a 3 point loss in the 'Backyard Brawl' to West Virginia, will be looking to up end the Bearcats perfect season and their hopes of a BCS birth. But with the Tony Pike/Zach Collaros combination Pittsburgh will be in for a tough game.
Prediction: I watched both teams play this past week and both were impressive especially Cincinnati and there passing attack. Pittsburgh was pretty good as well, over all, but let West Virginia slip by them.
If Cincinnati finds it's running game, something they couldn't do last week, they pull out the win.
If Pittsburgh finds away to stop Tony Pike from having a solid performance they have a shot seeing that their offense is pretty well rounded.
I still think Cincinnati wins it but it will be close.
Games to Decide the Big East and Pac-10 Part II
December 3rd, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, ESPN/ESPN360.com (This games starts all the fun)
The #16 Oregon State Beavers 8-3 (6-2) head to Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon to take on the #7 Oregon Ducks 9-2 (7-1) in 'The Civil War' to decide who takes the Pac-10 title and gets a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Read my preview of the game here:
Prediction: Oregon wins this shoot out. I think this game is the rivalry game of the week seeing that there is so much on the line. Also Jeremiah Masoli and LaMichael James are keys to the game for Oregon as usual.
Let the Fun Begin
With this being the last week of the regular season and the last game before a bowl for some teams expect it to be another crazy weekend.
Many teams that were ranked didn't live up to the ranking last week (Clemson, Pitt, Georgia Tech) so expect them all to be looking to finish the season on a good note.
Also some teams are in the hunt for the National Championship and have that one last team to get by.
So I made my predictions so make yours.
Records courtesy of ESPN.com
Rankings courtesy of BCSfootball.org