01 December 2013

2013 College Football Predictions: Championship Week

After a wild Week 14, quite likely the best week of the college football campaign, we have arrived at the week of conference championship games with seven of those this weekend. And of course we have plenty of storylines. Can Northern Illinois get back to the BCS? Will Florida State and Ohio State continue their undefeated seasons and meet in Pasadena? Will an unlikely showdown in the SEC Championship result in Missouri or Auburn getting to the title game? Here are my picks.

Thursday, December 5th
#19 Louisville vs. Cincinnati - ESPN, 7:30
Both are still alive to win the American and get to the BCS but I think the school widely thought to be the favorite in the conference will finish strong.
Pick: Louisville

Friday, December 6th
Bowling Green vs. #16 Northern Illinois - ESPN2, 8:00 (Detroit)
The Falcons are a quality club and have had a really good season thus far, but they have no answer for Jordan Lynch. The Huskies will advance to their second straight BCS game.
Pick: Northern Illinois

Saturday, December 7th
Marshall vs. Rice - ESPN2, 12:00
The C-USA title game is usually a fun one but I don't think this one will be like that. I think that Marshall, who just rolled on a strong East Carolina club, will face a fine Rice club and win by a margin of two scores if not more.
Pick: Marshall

#18 Oklahoma vs. #6 Oklahoma State - ABC, 12:00
Can the Sooners execute their offense consistently in Stillwater? I'm not sold, so give me the Cowpokes.
Pick: Oklahoma State

#15 UCF vs. SMU - ESPN, 12:00
Central Florida will head towards the BCS, tell me you saw that one coming.
Pick: UCF

Memphis vs. UConn - ESPN3, 1:00
Pick: UConn

#23 Texas vs. #9 Baylor - Fox, 3:30
The Longhorns got a big win in what was all but guaranteed to be Mack Brown's final home victory, but it will be a tough time against the high-powered Baylor machine
Pick: Baylor

#5 Missouri vs. #3 Auburn - CBS, 4:00 (Atlanta)
If you are the guy that predicted this to be the SEC title game before the season, you need to be in Las Vegas, right now. Is Auburn a team of destiny? After the incredible ending in the Iron Bowl, I'm inclined to think so. And while Mizzou is a very talented club on both sides, with how well Nick Marshall is performing for coach Gus Malzahn's scheme, I think Auburn will power on to New Orleans, if not more.
Pick: Auburn

USF vs. Rutgers - ESPN2, 7:30
Rutgers needs a win to get to bowl eligibility but with how poorly they have looked of late, especially at an awful Connecticut club last Saturday, I have no confidence in them getting there.
Pick: USF

#7 Stanford vs. #11 Arizona State - ESPN, 7:45
The conference championship game surprises continue as I certainly was not expecting this game to be played at Tempe before the season. However, ASU is at a disadvantage because they are at a mismatch with how physical Stanford plays. I see a big road win for the title for the Cardinal.
Pick: Stanford

#20 Duke vs. #1 Florida State - ABC, 8:00 (Charlotte)
The Blue Devils have been an awesome season this year, winning 10 games for the first time ever and going to back to back bowls for also the first time, and David Cutcliffe deserves all the accolades he can get. But they are going to get rolled by Florida State, and it is a bit of a shame.
Pick: Florida State

#10 Michigan State vs. #2 Ohio State - Fox, 8:00 (Indianapolis)
The Buckeyes are in the position they want to be in, a win and in scenario to get to the BCS Championship Game. And there are plenty of doubters that say the Big Ten is awful, and are somewhat vindicated by their near loss to Michigan on Saturday. Plus, while they have the top offense in the conference, Sparty has the top defense. I think it will be a fantastic game, but Urban Meyer and co. will get it done.
Pick: Ohio State

Louisiana-Lafayette vs. South Alabama - ESPN3, 8:00
Pick: Louisiana-Lafayette

Utah State vs. #24 Fresno State - CBS, 10:00
The way Utah State has managed to play well without Chuckie Keaton is impressive, but they lack the firepower to even hang with the Bulldogs.
Pick: Fresno State

H/T MattsarzSports

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