By Chris Carlson
Rivalry week produced tons of fireworks with a few unexpected performances and upsets inside the Top-25. The biggest story was Ohio State obliterating Michigan and finally reaching their full potential. Championship Week features 2 Marquee Matchups in the SEC and Big-12 along with a variety of meaningful games flying under the radar.
#1 Alabama vs. #4 Georgia: The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs go head to head in a rematch from last year’s National Title. Once again, Alabama looks every bit the part of the big bully on the block of College Football. Georgia started the regular season relatively slow, but managed to kick it in high-gear down the stretch. The Bulldogs have a legit chance to win this game behind a strong rushing attack in running backs D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield. If Georgia is able to establish the run, it’s crucial for QB Jake Fromm to make a few plays thru the air. A close, grind-it-out style game will begin to open up in the fourth quarter as Bama pulls away.
The Pick: Alabama 34 Georgia 23
#5 Oklahoma vs. #14 Texas: Saturday’s Big-12 Championship will mark the first time Oklahoma and Texas will meet in rematch during the regular season, kind of crazy considering these two programs have been dueling for a total of 115 games. The Longhorns beat the Sooners back in early October 48-45 on the strength of QB Sam Ehlinger and freshman kicker Cameron Dicker. Sooners QB Kyler Murray played great stats-wise but committed 2 costly turnovers. We know Murray will be looking to redeem himself. The defense that is able to make a few plays via turnovers or simple holding the opposing offense to a couple of field goals instead of touchdowns will walk away victorious.
The Pick: Oklahoma 41 Texas 37
Under The Radar
#6 Ohio State vs. #21 Northwestern: The Northwestern Wildcats found a way to finish with 8 wins after starting their season 1-3. The Wildcats are no easy out based off being well coached with experienced players across the board. It took 11 games for the Buckeyes to finally play a complete team game versus their bitter-rival Michigan last week. If Ohio State enters this game still hung over and emotionally high from the great display last week, the Buckeyes could lose. Beyond that, Northwestern just doesn’t have the fire power on offense to stay with a juggernaut like Ohio State’s offense.
The Pick: Ohio State 37 Northwestern 27
Saturday Upset Special
#25 Fresno State will make up for a tough-loss two weeks ago by defeating #22 Boise State in the rematch as a slight underdog.
#11 Washington vs. #17 Utah: So what if neither team has a chance to make noise on the national scene, a true hardcore will be tuned into what should look more like an SEC or Big Ten matchup rather the two teams only capable of playing one-side of the ball. Yep, that’s a direct shot at the Big-12.
#22 Boise State vs. #25 Fresno State: The Mountain West Championship game is a rematch from only two weeks ago. The Broncos came from behind to pull ahead and never looked back. Fresno State scored on their first possession of the 3rd quarter putting them up 17-3 only to see the lead crumble.
Against The Spread
The Georgia Bulldogs finally become the team to cover as a 13-point underdog to Alabama.
Take it to the window the Big-12 Title Game between Oklahoma and Texas will go over the 77.5 over/under.
Quick Hits Recap & My Top-4 Plus 2 More
-My Top-4: #1 Alabama #2 Clemson #3 Notre Dame #4 Georgia #5 Oklahoma #6 Ohio State.
-The absolutely insane Texas A&M/LSU game took 7 overtime’s to decide a winner, becoming the highest scoring contest in FBS history.
-Aggies QB Keller Mond threw for 6 TD’s and ran for another in a 74-72 thriller.
-The opposing QB Joe Burrow for LSU put up big numbers as well throwing for 3 TD’s, with 29 carries for 100 yards adding 3 rushing touchdowns.
-Oklahoma stud signal caller Kyler Murray leads the entire country in total QBR and yards per attempt. Murray accounted for 4 touchdowns and 480 total yards in a 59-56 win over late charging West Virginia.
-Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins & his Buckeyes offense went nuts in the Big Ten finale against what was one of the best defenses in the nation. Haskins threw 5 TD’s destroying Michigan 62-39, along the way set Big Ten records for All-Time passing touchdowns and yards.
-The 62 points Ohio State scored were the most every in well over a century’s worth of OSU/UM meetings
-#3 Notre Dame’s offense has improved drastically throughout the regular season and the Irish defense has held opponents under 17 point, 8 times this year.
-The Minnesota Golden Gophers got their first victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in 15-years. It had been all the way back to 1994 for the last time the Gophers won in Camp Randall. The rivalry is longest series in College Football dating back to 1890, the series in now tied 60-60-8.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio