It’s exciting and sad at the same time. After this weekend we’ll still have the bowl games and the playoffs, but as much as I love this time of year, there’s nothing quite like a college football Saturday. It’s the last of the season, and it’s a much smaller version than we’re used to, so we better make it count. All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Games of the week
No.1 Georgia vs. No.3 Alabama: Teams are like people. They will tell you who they are if you listen to them and see what they are doing. Alabama has told you what it is all season long, but a lot of people don’t want to hear it. Alabama are a great team. They are one of the best teams in the country, capable of beating anyone. But they’re not a dominant team in Alabama. It’s not at the same level as many teams in Alabama that we’ve seen winning national titles. That’s why Nick Saban was so frustrated with fans before the Iron Bowl, and that’s why he was so happy and relieved when the tide rolled in with a win.
I can’t remember a Crimson Tide team around that time in the dynasty that was less physically dominant on the offensive line. He showed up early in the season in a narrow victory over Florida and was exposed in the loss to Texas A&M. He made more appearances in close calls against LSU, Arkansas and Auburn. Now that offensive line goes against the best defense and front seven in the country, and I don’t like its chances of holding on. I also don’t think Alabama’s poor defense is able to slow down Georgia’s offense enough to stay as close as needed.
Like Alabama, Georgia has been telling us who it is all season. They are the best team in the country. He’s a dominant force and we’ll all finally see the difference on Saturday in Atlanta. Georgia 28, Alabama 17 | Georgia -6.5
No. 5 Oklahoma State contre No. 9 Baylor: When these two met in the regular season, it wasn’t pretty. Oklahoma State won the game 24-10 and Baylor was limited to just 280 yards of offense. Without Oklahoma State’s three turnovers, it would have been a blast. Sadly, it’s not as easy as saying, “Oklahoma State should have won more, so let’s put the points with the Cowboys. They’re both different now, they’re both better. Oklahoma State’s offense has improved throughout the season, as has Baylor on both sides of the ball.
Now they meet at a neutral site, with the state of Oklahoma winning a huge victory over Oklahoma at Bedlam. I can’t help but wonder if there could be something of an emotional disappointment for the Cowboys that forces them to slowly exit the doors. There is also the factor Dave Aranda. He’s one of the best defensive minds in the sport, and when he attacks you a second time and knows what you want to do, hopefully he can come up with a game plan to slow down the Cowboys. This match will be light and physical, but the total is a little too low for me to take the bottom. Instead, I’ll take the Bears and the Points. Neither of these defenses will let the other get away. State of Oklahoma 24, Baylor 20 | Baylor +5.5
Lock of the week
Western Kentucky at UTSA (Friday): I hate that I make this choice. I really do. Before the start of the season, I made a forward contract on UTSA to win the USA Conference at +425, so I have a vested interest in the Roadrunners winning this match. Problem is, I don’t think they will! Although I enjoyed watching UTSA, it was a team that limped to the finish line. In the first eight games of the season, the UTSA defense recorded a 64.3% success rate and allowed 1.42 points per possession. In the last four games, his success rate has dropped to 61.7% and points per possession have jumped to 2.37. It’s not a good sign before a game against one of the country’s most explosive offenses.
Western Kentucky ranks 17th nationally for offensive success rate and seventh for points per practice at 3.23. He has won seven in a row and his last loss was against UTSA. But what emerges from this 52-46 win at UTSA is that Western Kentucky had 670 attacking yards and a chance to win in the dying seconds when quarterback Bailey Zappe threw an interception into the zone. Red. There’s a solid argument to be made that the Hilltoppers were the better team that day, they just didn’t take the win. I think they will be the best team again on Friday night, but they will have the voiceover this time around. Western Kentucky 38, UTSA 34 | Western Kentucky -3
Big Ten Championship of the Week
Featured Game | Iowa Hawkeyes contre Michigan Wolverines
No.2 Michigan vs. No.13 Iowa: OK, Michigan. I am convinced. I mean, how could I not be? I’ve spent the whole season looking at you and believing you were a great football team, but I wasn’t going to commit to it until I saw how you played against Ohio State. I would say you did pretty well! So I don’t even worry about an emotional disappointment a week later. This Wolverines squad are too solid across the board with too much left to play to think they won’t show up for this game ready to roll.
In the meantime, I’m not going to hit Iowa for coming this far because it deserves to be here. His defense is phenomenal and his special teams are exceptional. Both of those areas have helped him get over an anemic offense, but it’s a terrible game for the Hawkeyes. Everything Iowa is good at, Michigan is too, except the Wolverines are better and have more talent. Oh, and the Wolverines offense can score points. Iowa can’t. It’s extremely difficult to hang out with elite teams when you have no offense, and make no mistake, Michigan is the elite. Michigan 27, Iowa 14 | Michigan -11
Under of the week
Featured Game | San Diego State Aztecs contre Utah State Aggies
State of Utah at No. 19 State of San Diego: Sometimes you want to stick with something reliable. The state of San Diego is like your first car, the one that got you into school and into your early adulthood. Even though it wasn’t the coolest car, and the air conditioning stopped working four years before the engine, it got you where you needed to be. That’s what I feel like taking the penny in a San Diego State game. The Aztecs will bring you to your destination.
This elite defense ranks third nationally in success rate, sixth in defensive EPA and sixth in points allowed per practice. The state of Utah offensive is ineffective, struggles to complete training in the red zone, and relies heavily on explosive games – explosive games that the state of San Diego has not allowed anyway. the season. Look for the Aztecs to control the ball on offense and smother the Aggies on defense. State of San Diego 24, State of Utah 17 | Less than 50
Up-Tempo team of the week
Kent State vs. Northern Illinois: While I’m happy that Northern Illinois has exceeded expectations, the underlying metrics suggest the Huskies are not as good as their 8-4 record suggests. In fact, while the Huskies were 6-2 in conference, they allowed more runs than they scored. They were just great in one-scoring games, but it’s hard to make a living playing that way, and now they’ll face an explosive attack from Kent State inside and on the turf.
The Golden Flashes started the season slow, but started in conference. They also beat Northern Illinois 52-47 earlier this season and I see the rematch going the same way. The Flashs had 682 attacking yards in the game and averaged 8.0 yards per rushing. NIU’s rushing offense – which it relies heavily on – was capped at just 3.4 yards per carry, and the Huskies fared with an unusual performance in the air. I don’t trust the Huskies to start over if Kent State can limit them on the field. Kent State 38, Northern Illinois 31 | Kent State -3.5
SportsLine choice of the week
Houston # 21 vs. Cincinnati # 4: Whoops ! I’m out of The Six Pack this weekend, but there’s yet another room that I love. Cincinnati are looking to become the first team in the Group of Five to reach the college football playoffs, but the bigger question isn’t whether the Bearcats will win. Will they cover? Visit my SportsLine page to find out.
|Games of the week||0-2||14-12|
|Lock of the week||1-0||8-5|
What college football choices can you confidently make during Championship week and which two underdogs will outright win? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has grossed nearly $ 3,700 in profits over the past five+ seasons – and find out.