Championship Weekend is among us, the final tickets will be punched for the College Football Playoff. This weekend is what makes college football so great. Here’s my preview for the games:
SEC Championship: Florida vs Alabama
Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are in a familiar place, one win away from their ultimate goal. The Florida Gators have overachieved this year, but ever since the Will Grier suspension their offense has been stagnant. No one is giving the Gators a chance in this game,eventhough their defense has been incredible. I believe Derrick Henry will have trouble throughout the first half, but break free in the second. I have a feeling Florida will keep it close, but the Tide will roll in the second half and pull away.
Prediction: Alabama 27 Florida 13
Pac 12 Championship: USC vs Stanford
It seemed like the Pac 12 was down and out when Vernon Adams and the Ducks shocked Stanford in the Farm. If chaos breaks out the Cardinal will be in the best shape to sneak up the polls and jump into the playoff spot. USC has quietly put a nice season together and their high powered offense will give David Shaw’s defense some troubles. This will be a shootout, but Stanford will once again show that they are the best team in the Golden State.
Prediction: Stanford 38 USC 34
Big Ten Championship: Iowa vs Michigan State
The Big Ten Championship by far has the most stakes, and is a match up of two old school, smash mouth, classic Big 10 football teams. Iowa and Michigan State are both so well coached and they make very little mistakes. The Hawkeyes have had a dream season, the have been the Cinderella of College Football. If Sparty controls the line and gets their run game going, it will be a long day for the Hawkeyes. If Michigan State’s experienced offensive line fails to show up, and gets themselves in third and long, the Spartans are in trouble. I believe Desmond King will have a day, and the Hawkeyes will be on their way to a playoff game. I will be at the game and hope for an incredible matchup.
ACC Championship: North Carolina vs Clemson
This is the best game of the day, and probably the best quarterback matchup this year. Both Marquise Williams and Deshaun Watson have had the best seasons of their careers. UNC is the hottest team in the country, and Clemson has been persistently great this year. This will be a track meet, and I believe will come down to who has the ball last. UNC has put together a great year, but Clemson has too much talent and will somehow find a way to win this game.
Prediction: Clemson 58 North Carolina 55
There were some big shake ups in week 11 that will affect the BCS standings. When the official standings come out, there will be a lot of controversy, but for now I am going to tell you what I think should be the BCS standings.
The Tide made a huge statement last Saturday night by rocking the Bayou Bengals. LSU tied the game in the third quarter, but after a surprising fake punt, Bama scored 21 unanswered points. The Tigers failed to score a single point after that, and Alabama rolled 39-17. This was the kind of game that voters needed to see from the Tide. They have not had a statement win yet, until the LSU game. The key to Alabama’s success is star QB AJ McCarron. McCarron isn’t the flashiest player. He doesn’t run around and make huge plays, all AJ does is win championships. McCarron has been amazing every game, but running back TJ Yeldon was the true reason the Tide rolled the Tigers. The Alabama run game has been the weak part of this team, but if last Saturday was the first time you tuned in, you would never guess that. Yeldon carried the ball for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the second half Saban changed the game plan and ran the ball down the Tigers throat. I have been doubting this Bama team all year, but now that they have a solid run game and I have finally jumped on the Tuscaloosa bandwagon. This team is legit.
2.) Florida State:
In my opinion, Florida State is the most complete team in college football. First off, they have arguably the best player in the nation, Jameis Winston. Winston is remarkable, he plays like he is a five year senior but he is only a freshman. Scary right? They have one of the best receiving cores, which makes Winston look even better then he really is. Junior WR, Rashad Greene, has been sensational, leading the team in receiving yards with 820 YDS on the season and he also leads the team with 8 receiving TDs. Last week, what impressed me the most was the Noles defense. Against Wake Forest, they forced 6 interceptions and 7 total turnovers. Wake Forest also only threw 7 complete passes. Yes they had only one more completed pass then they had interceptions. This defense is stifling and they also take the weight off the Winston’s shoulders. Jimbo Fisher has done a great job making this team believe they can win. WATCH OUT BAMA!
The Ducks suffered their first loss of the season Thursday night in Palo Alto against Stanford. You might think I am crazy for keeping the Ducks in the top three just after a loss, but Oregon didn’t play Oregon football. I give Stanford a lot of credit, but Oregon just had a bad game until 3 minuets left in the 4th quarter. The Ducks played horrid and still only lost 20-26 to a very good Stanford team. The Ducks have the best player in all of the land and the greatest offense. Mariota and his Ducks need a whole lot to happen to make the National Championship but there is still a chance. This team is way better then how they played against the Cardinals. Trust me, this Oregon team is still very talented.
A couple years ago if you said the Baylor Bears are one of the best teams in the country, someone would check you into a mental institution to see if you were insane. The Bears are what many people are calling the Oregon of the South. The fancy uniforms, the offense, and the that they just flat out win ball games. The Bears had a statement win, last thursday vs Oklahoma. The Baylor Bears are for real.
8.) Ohio State
11.) Texas A&M
12.) South Carolina
13.) Northern Illinois
14.) Oklahoma State
16.) Michigan State
18.) Fresno State
22.) Arizona State
23.) Miami (FL)
For the past couple years Alabama has been the king of college football. Nick Saban is the best coach and every year they get new superstars. Some people think Bama is unstoppable. This is false. The last two years that they have won the National Championship they have lost a game each year. The key to shredding the suffocating Tide defense is if you have a mobile quarterback. In 2011 they lost to LSU who had Jordan Jefferson at QB. In 2012 they lost to the Texas A&M Aggies who of course have Johnny Hotshot. Even Michigan with Denard Robinson scored a lot of points on them.
The truth is Saban and his trees are not perfect, in fact, they are far from it. I think that the reigning champs will make it to the National Title, but they will have one loss. Last year one of the only teams they struggled with was the Ole Miss Rebels. This year they had the best recruiting class in the country, and they have a dime at half back. I predict the Tide will slip up against the young guns of Mississippi. This is a bold statement but Ole Miss has had some impressive wins against Vanderbilt and Texas. Although anyone could smash their way through the disgrace of a Texas defense, they are still the Longhorns.
It is highly unlikely that this upset would take place but I have my reasons. I predicted that even with a loss Bama will make the BCS National Championship. I also believe they will loose that game. Yes the SEC reign of terror will end. The team that will ruin the Tide’s dream of a three peat is the Oregon Ducks. Right now I think they are hands down the best team in the nation. You need a running QB to beat Bama and the Ducks have Marcus Mariota. Mariota can fly but he has a cannon of an arm to expose Saban’s weak secondary. The tempo of the Ducks would effect Alabama also. They are the fastest offense in the nation and Bama’s big boys up front will be gassed after the first quarter.
Key For Notre Dame: The Key to a Fighting Irish victory is the play of redshirt freshmen quarterback Everett Golson. He has had his ups and downs throughout the season but has proven at the end that he is the starter. Golson has an arm but also has some wheels and in the past it shows that Bama has a hard time with duel threat quarterbacks… LSU Jordan Jefferson, Texas A&M Johnny Manziel, and Auburn’s Cam Newton. He also has to throw the ball. The only found weakness in that stingy Crimson Tide defense is their defensive backs. So if Everett doesn’t step up to the plate the Luck of the Irish might just run out.
Key For Alabama: Bama key to victory is their offensive line and defensive backs. During the season it seemed like Alabama was an unstoppable force. Well that of course was before LSU and Texas A&M scorched their defense with the passing game and revealed their true weakness defending the pass. Even with all the Allstars on the Tide’s offensive line, their star center Barrett Jones, who had a leg injury, says he is going to play but they all have to step up to stop the outstanding Manti Te’o and the Irish D. If they play well, the Tide will look to ROLL the Irish.
Prediction: Alabama 21 Notre Dame 17