By Chris Carlson
Week 13 was yet another reason it’s a 100% fact the College Football regular season is by far the best in team sports and it’s not remotely close. The top two teams in the country were unbeaten and both went down swinging on the road. The Playoff Rankings Committee sure will have their hands full faced with some difficult decisions. Week 14 is all about the Conference Championships and who will advance to the Top-4 National Semifinals.
#1 Clemson vs. #7 Miami: The Hurricanes took their eye off the prize last week dropping a winnable game to Pittsburgh. While the Canes are trending downward, Clemson is operating on all cylinders since falling to Syracuse in what seems like forever ago. This ACC title game punches a ticket to the National Semifinals regardless of the winner. The key to victory will be the battle between Miami’s offensive line and Clemson’s defensive front, which points to Clemson stuffing the run forcing the Canes to be one-dimensional. Miami lost their best wide receiver and tight end in the last few days. Did I mention Clemson has won 42 of last 46 games?
The Pick: Clemson 31 Miami 23
#4 Wisconsin vs. #8 Ohio State: The Badgers are playing at a high-level having improved offensively to become a more balanced team. Which Ohio State will show up this week? Your guess is as good as any expert in the country. Adding insult to injury Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett got hurt when someone ran into him on the sidelines of all places. Turnovers and who runs the ball better will be the ultimate decider. This 50-50 type matchup is very tough to pick so I’ll side with the more consistent squad in the Badgers.
The Pick: Wisconsin 26 Ohio State 23
Under The Radar
#3 Oklahoma vs. #11 TCU: Just about a month ago everyone was giddy to witness this top-level Big-12 matchup. We can’t throw out their first meeting when dealing with 18-22 year olds but anything can and will happen. Yes, the Sooners handled the Horned Frogs putting up 38 points in the first half. TCU’s defense is capable of containing Oklahoma better and their offense has proven to be able to put up points. The Sooners scratch out a close victory deep in the fourth quarter and advancing to the Top 4 Semifinals.
The Pick: Oklahoma 40 TCU 34
#10 USC vs. #12 Stanford: Back in September, USC throttled Stanford on the ground to a tune of 307 rushing yards. The Cardinals brushed off a shaky early season to finishing strong with victories in 8 of their last 9 contests. Stanford is peaking at the perfect time which lends itself to an upset of USC. A bittersweet outcome for the Trojans and QB Sam Darnold, a Trojan team that started the season with national title hopes. This game is under the radar but still very meaningful inside the Pac-12 and for bragging rights of this budding-rivalry.
The Pick: Stanford 31 USC 30
Saturday Upset Special
#20 Memphis outscores undefeated #14 Central Florida in a crazy back and forth AAC title game. The added bonus to the winner is a potential trip to a New Year’s Day Bowl. The style matchup could create fireworks with UCF on a roll and Memphis filling up the scoreboard.
Hardcore Barn Burner
Boise State vs. Fresno State: Just as this tuned-in scribe (hack) predicted last week Fresno State would upset the Broncos only to lose to that same Boise State program a week later for the Mountain West Conference crown. But it won’t be easy thus me telling you to keep an eye out for this hardcore barn burner.
(Honorable Mention: #2 Auburn vs. #6 Georgia: Although the Tigers ransacked Georgia a few weeks ago don’t be shocked to see the rematch play out more competitively.)
Against The Spread
Florida State will definitely beat Louisiana-Monroe but the Warhawks will keep in under the 27-point spread.
Quick Hits & My Top 4
-My Top 4: Clemson, Oklahoma, Auburn, Wisconsin. (Plus, 2 More Alabama & Miami)
-San Diego State became the first FBS team to have two different 2,000-yard rushers in consecutive seasons. (D.J. Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny)
-Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett is the 2nd player in FBS history to tally both 100 passing TD’s & 40 rushing touchdowns over a career. Barrett also beat the Buckeyes #1 rival Michigan all 4 years as a starter.
-The Wisconsin Badgers defense has held the last 8 opponents to 20 points or less, something to think about as they prepare for an explosive Ohio State offense.
-Central Florida became the first ever FBS team to complete a turnaround going winless in 2015 to an undefeated regular season in 2017.
-South Florida QB Quinton Flowers reached 40 career rushing TD’s in a heartbreaking 49-42 loss to Central Florida. Overall Flowers has 60 passing touchdowns and 40 rushing TD’s becoming the sixth player in FBS history to accumulate those impressive numbers.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The College Ball Show Podcast Available on Apple Podcast (ITunes), Player.FM, Stitcher, Tunein, www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Net Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio