It’s Championship Week in college football!! Four playoff berths are at stake this weekend.
The WAR on I-4: #20 Memphis vs. #14 UCF - 12 ET on ABC
This game will be interesting because the winner of this AAC Championship match will represent the conference in the New Year’s Six Bowl. Memphis is a one loss team while Central Florida is still unbeaten.
Games simply don’t get much better than Saturday’s War on I-4. The Knights were in a dog fight, but found a way to come out with a win. Will that emotional win take a toll on the team? And will the Scott Frost rumors add to the distractions? We will find out soon enough. For now, the Knights are playing great football, and they’re going to be tough to beat.
Bowl Streak at Stake: Louisiana Monroe vs. Florida State - 12 ET on ACC Network
Simply put, if the Seminoles don’t beat Louisiana Monroe, they will break a 35-year tradition of Bowl games. If you haven’t seen many Florida State games this season, it’s not exactly a given that they’ll beat anyone. To make matters worse, Jimbo Fisher will not coach as he is leaving the program for Texas A&M.
Fisher won't coach in the Seminoles' game against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. The team will be coached by associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins.
Fisher, 52, had hoped to wait to announce his decision until after Saturday's regular-season finale, which the Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) need to win to extend their streak of 35 consecutive bowl games. The game was postponed from Sept. 9 and rescheduled to Saturday because of Hurricane Irma.
BIG 12 Championship: #11 TCU vs. #3 Oklahoma- 12:30 ET on FOX
This game is going to be tight as the Sooners defense leaks like a sieve. They were able to hold TCU to 20 points the first time around but that looks unlikely. Thankfully, the Sooners have the Heisman hopeful quarterback, Baker Mayfield, on their side. Still, if the Sooners don’t win, they’re likely out of the playoffs. TCU fans are not backing down and they seem rather hopeful in this game.
“Definitely more hopeful than confident. The fanbase knows a lot has to go right for TCU to pull of the victory, and a few things probably have to go wrong for the Sooners (i.e. a weird fumble, a tipped pass, INT, etc). I think most people are confident that the defense will play considerably better and expect Kenny Hill to do so as well. I would say most are anticipating a close game and to compete, but I don't think anyone feels that the Frogs aren't an underdog this weekend. That being said, everyone is excited to be playing in this game, to have a chance to win a title, position ourselves for a quality bowl game against a big name opponent, and continue to exceed expectations - something that this team has really already done.”
SEC Championship: #6 Georgia vs. #2 Auburn - 4 ET on CBS
Auburn is the hottest team in college football and everyone is well aware after they stopped the Rolling Tide. Auburn’s best player, Kerryon Johnson, is banged up but he’s likely to suit up for this one. This game is huge on many levels but the Bulldogs should be worried about their chances in this one.
“1) Last time I said I was worried about our lack of pass rush. I still am. We somehow ended up with 2 sacks and 6 additional tackles for loss against Auburn last time. I didn’t realize I was on meth at the time, because I sure don’t remember most of those. Even with those TFL’s (industry term), Auburn still passed 17 for 24 for 255 yards, and most of those incompletions were before intermission when it was still a ballgame. We hurried the QB a lot, and they eventually used that Georgia aggression against us with counters, weak side plays, and a few broken tackles in the backfield. We have the athletes, and those athletes have the attitude… now they just need to play their position and stick to their responsibility. It might not win the game, but it will limit the big plays, create more mayhem, and could lead to mistakes by the confident Chip Lindsey offense (noticeably absent the first time around).”
ACC Championship Game: #7 Miami vs. #1 Clemson - 8 ET on ABC
This one will be interesting because the Hurricanes defense will be tasked with stopping the power running game of the Clemson Tigers. For Miami’s offense, they feast on the big play and when it isn’t there, things get a little hairy. This game will have to be won by the opportunistic Hurricanes’ defense.
“Both you and I would love to see more ‘Turnover Chain’ if at all possible. To make that dream become a reality, the ’Canes are going to need to neutralize the run game of the Tigers. Clemson has a three-headed monster in the backfield, spearheaded by QB Kelly Bryant who has the most rushing attempts on the team with 164 for 639 yards and 10 touchdowns. Add the dynamic duo of RB Travis Etienne and RB Tavien Feaster, who also have surpassed 600 yards rushing apiece in a lightning-and-more-lightning rushing attack. With an offense that produces 72 runs of 10 yards or more during the regular season, the Tigers’ rushing attack will look to take advantage of a Miami run defense that is susceptible to giving up big gains on the ground.”
BIG 10 Championship: #8 Ohio State vs. #4 Wisconsin - 8 ET on FOX
The Badgers defense is excellence personified, allowing only 2.9 yards per snap. The problem is that their quarterback is prone to throwing interceptions in nine of his 12 games. He’s going to need a mistake-free game to get past the Buckeyes. If Ohio State wins this one, they’re still not guaranteed a berth into the playoffs.
“Sitting at No. 8, Ohio State’s chief rival for the fourth spot appears to be a one-loss No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide — a team that will be idle this weekend after failing to make the SEC title game. Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said that the committee saw little difference between teams ranked 5-8, insinuating that should Ohio State do something this weekend to separate itself (a la winning a conference title), they should have an advantage over the Tide.
According to FiveThirtyEight, if the Buckeyes knock off the Wisconsin Badgers, they will be a 58% favorite to claim the final spot, regardless of the other outcomes of Championship Saturday.”
You can find the entire slate of games right here, it’s going to be a fun Championship weekend in college football.