Conference Championship week in college football is upon us, and that means we have a lot of big-time matchups. For this week, I want to cover all five Power 5 games and the biggest Group of 5 matchup of the weekend to capture every big game.
Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks (+6.5)
This is one of the biggest question marks of the week for me, but I will ride with the 6.5-point underdogs in a game that is relatively close from a personnel perspective. Oregon has a great offensive line and a great QB, and it has been able to be competitive against good teams.
While Utah has blown out most of its opponents, I think Oregon is on a different level athletically, and I think this game will likely be close throughout, so I’ll take the significant dog here.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Baylor Bears (+9)
When these teams met up last time, they were at Baylor, and the Sooners were without star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. This game was quite a roller-coaster, with Baylor coasting to a large lead only to blow it in the second half.
The most interesting part of this game was Baylor’s offensive struggles in the second half, and I think that this team will be able to move the ball more consistently in this game after being able to adjust for this mishap after getting a large lead. Oklahoma should also be able to score more than it did in the last game, but I don’t think it will be enough to cover the nine-point spread.
Cincinnati Bearcats (+9) at Memphis Tigers
Coming into their game last week, I was generally concerned with Cincinnati’s ability to stop Memphis enough and to move the ball enough at the same time. After last week, I am more than convinced that Cincinnati can hang with the Tigers here.
While Memphis had fewer plays in last week’s game, both teams had between 400 and 450 yards of total offense, and I think that the score was a bit misleading. This line was clearly set based on the previous result, and I’ll take my chances with the Bearcats +9 here.
LSU Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs (+7.5)
This line is really interesting, and I am going to side with chaos in this game. While the LSU offense has been prolific this season, I expect it to struggle running the ball more than it has in the second half of the year, and that should cause a little chaos in this game.
Not only that, but this LSU offense has been playing in an uptempo and front-running atmosphere all season. Joe Burrow has been great, but he makes mistakes with the football, and when the Tigers play the best team they have all season on the defensive end, I think we could see this offense hit a snag or two.
This snag would allow Georgia to rely on the run game, take the lead, and shorten the game. While this strategy pains me, I do think it is viable in a game like this, and I think it will allow the Bulldogs to cover the line just over a touchdown.
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Clemson Tigers (-29)
Clemson is way better than Virginia, and I think that it should have no issues on either side of the ball here. In a matchup like this, you look to see if Virginia will be able to throw any wrinkles at Clemson in an attempt to throw it off its game.
Bryce Perkins is exciting, but the Cavaliers don’t have enough on either side of the ball to compete. I’ll take the Tigers in another blowout here.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (-16)
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields said this after the first meeting with the Badgers, “I think, in all honesty, we could have put up 50. I think if the weather was different, I think we could have (thrown) the ball more and put up way more points than we did.”
I agree based on the Ohio State offense in that game, and I think that we see that come to fruition here. Ohio State averaged over seven yards per play in the second half against Wisconsin after the rain was gone, and it scored on all but one drive in the second half besides the final drive where the game ended.
Do you think that Wisconsin can put up 34 on the Buckeyes? No way. This will be a blowout in Indy.