For some college football teams, the 2021 season is over. For others, there's still a lot at stake. And that will be evident this weekend.
It's conference championship weekend, with two titles on the line Friday night and eight more on Saturday. After battling to secure berths in these games throughout the regular season, these teams will now have an opportunity to try to capture a conference title.
While there are plenty of exciting games this weekend, the most entertaining could be the SEC Championship Game, which will feature No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Bulldogs have rolled to a 12-0 start, but the 11-1 Crimson Tide will be their biggest challenge yet.
ESPN's College GameDay will be airing live from Atlanta on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET, and it's sure to be an electric atmosphere. Georgia and Alabama fans will likely travel well to support their schools for this SEC title clash.
Here's a look at the full schedule for conference championship weekend, along with predictions for each matchup.
Week 14 Schedule, Predictions
Friday, Dec. 3
Conference USA Championship: Western Kentucky at UTSA, 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Pac-12 Championship: No. 10 Oregon vs. No. 17 Utah, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Saturday, Dec. 4
Big 12 Championship: No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Baylor, noon ET, ABC
MAC Championship: Northern Illinois vs. Kent State, noon ET, ESPN
Mountain West Championship: Utah State at No. 19 San Diego State, 3 p.m. ET, Fox
Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State at No. 24 Louisiana, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
SEC Championship: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama, 4 p.m. ET, CBS
AAC Championship: No. 21 Houston at No. 4 Cincinnati, 4 p.m. ET, ABC
Big Ten Championship: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 13 Iowa, 8 p.m. ET, Fox
ACC Championship: No. 15 Pittsburgh vs. No. 16 Wake Forest, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Picks in bold
Week 14 Preview
While every team wants to win a conference championship, the top prize in college football is the national title. To win that, a school must get into the College Football Playoff and win two games against top-tier competition. However, this year's CFP field isn't yet decided. And this weekend's games will have a big impact on which four teams will make it.
The SEC Championship Game features a pair of playoff hopefuls in Georgia and Alabama. It's pretty much guaranteed that at least one of these two teams will reach the CFP, if not both of them.
The Bulldogs likely have already done enough to secure a playoff berth. However, if they want the No. 1 seed, they're going to have to beat the Crimson Tide for the SEC title. Georgia hasn't beaten Alabama since 2007, having lost the past six meetings between the two programs.
"This year is this year," Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart said, per Paul Newberry of the Associated Press. "I don't think there's any overlap between the two. I know people want to make it that, make it some kind of overlap, but every year is independent of the previous."
The stakes are likely a bit higher for Alabama in terms of the CFP picture. The Crimson Tide have already lost one game this season, and there's never been a two-loss team reach the playoff since the format was implemented in 2014.
Alabama could still get in with a loss? However, it would have to still play a competitive game against Georgia, and it may require help with some other top teams losing. But the Crimson Tide will surely reach the CFP if they knock off the Bulldogs and win their seventh SEC title in 10 years.
However, Alabama knows it has a tall task in trying to become the first team to beat Georgia in 2021.
"Georgia has been the No. 1 team in the country for good reason," Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said, per Newberry. "They're probably the most consistent, most dominant team week in and week out."
The Big Ten, Big 12 and AAC Championship Games also all have CFP implications on Saturday.
Michigan is ranked No. 2 and will be facing Iowa for the Big Ten title. It's the first time the Wolverines are playing in the conference championship game (which began in 2011), and if they win, they'll secure the first CFP berth in program history.
Cincinnati should also be in control of its own destiny, as it's ranked No. 4. The Bearcats are facing Houston for the AAC title, and they should win handily. As long as that's the case, expect Cincinnati to become the first Group of Five school to reach the College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma State and Baylor are playing in the Big 12 Championship Game, and the Cowboys are just outside a playoff spot at No. 5. But they're capable of jumping up into the Top Four, especially if Georgia beats Alabama in convincing fashion.
If Michigan and Cincinnati win and Alabama loses by a sizable margin, Oklahoma State could capture a playoff berth with the Crimson Tide potentially missing out.
With conference titles on the line and the top teams getting a final opportunity to impress the College Football Playoff selection committee, it should be an exciting weekend of football. And for four teams, there will be even bigger games to come.