Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bilo's College Football: Saturday Championship Games Preview

Here are my previews for Saturday's Championship Games...

SEC Title Game: Alabama vs. Florida
Alabama is the most dominant program in college football. When the season started, I said that the Tide was the presumptive national title favorite until someone said they were not. That still holds true as ever. Nobody will stop Alabama until Alabama agrees t be stopped. That will not happen in Atlanta, with Florida being likely to lose by at least 17-21 points in my opinion. This will be less of a conference title tilt than a warm up for the national semifinals for the Tide.
Projection: Alabama to national Semifinal, Florida to NY6 bowl

ACC Title Game: Virginia Tech vs. Clemson
The Hokies were not always as stable as they could have been, but there has definitely been new life breathed into this program by the hiring of Justin Fuente. This smells like a game where Clemson should be heavily favored, but somehow I still believe that the Hokies can hang around. If they do, Virginia Tech has a shot in this one.
Projection: Virginia Tech has more than a weak chance to pull an upset here

Big 10 Title Game: Penn State vs. Wisconsin
Well, this is not exactly the game we thought we would get a month ago. Penn State is one of the strangest divisional champs in recent memory. They have the nation's best offense over the last 6 weeks, but they are getting one of the best defensive teams in the nation in Wisconsin. If Wisconsin can find some offense, their defense ought to be tough enough to slow down the Nittany Lion attack, especially if Saquon Barkley is banged up as is being reported.
Projection: Wisconsin to Rose Bowl, Penn State to NY6 game

Big 12 Title Game (Sort Of): Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
The Big 12 does not have a title game until 2017, but they got their best imitation of one in this game. Bedlam will mean something big this season, and will mean more if there is some chaos in some other conference title games, such as in the Big 10 and ACC title games. Oklahoma State has been pushing all season since a strange home loss to Central Michigan, and nobody has been better than Oklahoma since they started 1-2. Someone can catch a break with a big win here, but that someone should be the Sooners.
Projection: Oklahoma to NY6, Oklahoma State to Alamo Bowl

American Athletic Conference Title Game: Temple vs. Navy
Tickets are not exactly jumping off the shelf for this game of traditional non powers. Navy has been a machine all season long despite Will Worth not even being the primary QB when the season began. He basically became a scoring machine. Temple was not an early the favorite in the east, but a shocker of a win over a resurgent USF team got them here, Matt Ruhle has done another stellar job of coaching a team without the resources of bigger programs in his own league to a divisional title and a big post season.
Projection: Navy power run game will be too much to handle for Owls

Conference USA Title Game: Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky
Neither team started out gang busters this season, but both the Bulldogs and Hilltoppers picked up steam in time for conference  play, and both found a way to dominate in their respective divisions once again. Look for a high scoring shootout here, as that is what both teams like to do most...score points.
Projection: Home field edge goes to WKU

Mountain West Title Game: San Diego State at Wyoming
Wyoming won game one of this 2016 season series as it is turning out to be. THe Cowboys would love to get the clean sweep, and they very much can achieve this with a win over the Aztecs, who are slumping in a major way, as they head into this game with consecutive losses to the Cowboys and to Colorado State. Wyoming lost to New Mexico, and so managed to back their way into this one.
Projection: Wyoming to Las Vegas Bowl, SDSU to Poinsettia. 

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