It’s Championship Saturday in College Football as the postseason nears with the College Football Playoff Selection Show on ESPN tomorrow. No, Mizzou isn’t playing in the SEC title game, but there’s a lot of football to be played to determine the Tigers’ New Year’s Six fate — where they could potentially land in the Cotton, Peach or Fiesta Bowl.
Last night, the Washington Huskies beat the Oregon Ducks 34-31 to win the Pac-12 Championship and clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff. Today, The Big 12, Mountain West, SEC, ACC, and Big Ten Championships are featured on the Rock M Pick Em slate. Enjoy the games today.
Let’s make some picks for Championship Saturday. Standings recap through Week 13:
Parker: 41-14 overall (31-24 ATS)
Sammy: 40-15 (34-21)
Kortay: 29-11 (20-20)
(Odds Per Draftkings Sportsbook)
Big 12 Championship Game: No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs No. 7 Texas Longhorns (-15) in Arlington: 11:00 a.m. CST on ABC
Parker Gillam: Texas needs a Florida State loss to qualify for the College Football Playoff (unless some really crazy stuff happens). That being said, they still have to go through an Oklahoma State team that has looked like world-beaters some weeks and in others makes you wonder how its won nine games.
In the end, this isn’t a good matchup for the Pokes. UT’s rush defense is incredibly strong, and I doubt Ollie Gordon has a great day as a result. And, that OSU defense is above average at best, so I can see the Longhorn offense creating just enough explosive plays to win this one. Texas 34-17.
Sammy Stava, Staff Writer: Ollie Gordon is awesome as he’s up for the Doak Walker Award just like Cody Schrader, but Oklahoma State just doesn’t have enough firepower to hang with the Longhorns. Texas is still in the hunt for the College Football Playoff and they will play like it. 35-17, UT.
Kortay Vincent, Staff Writer: Ollie Gordon isn’t just awesome as Sammy described him above — he’s one of the three best players in college football. Oklahoma State isn’t very good, but they have one of the few players in America that can genuinely take over a game himself. I like the Cowboys to cover the spread, but Texas to win 37-24.
Mountain West Championship Game: Boise State Broncos (-2.5) vs UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in Las Vegas: 2:00 p.m. CST on FOX
Parker Gillam: This is a matchup of two teams that rallied down the stretch to qualify for this game, and we have to shout out both Barry Odom and Spencer Danielson for phenomenal coaching jobs. The Rebels have been an up-tempo, offensive-minded team throughout the season, while Boise has won thanks to its ground game led by a pair of star running backs. Ashton Jeanty is the lightning and George Holani is the thunder, and QB Taylan Green has played some of his best ball as of late after being benched on a couple of occasions.
The Broncos have the championship pedigree, have fought hard to get here and are coming off a huge win over Air Force. They’ll secure yet another MW title and reclaim their throne atop the conference with a 31-27 victory.
Sammy Stava: Barry Odom deservedly won Mountain West Coach of the Year and Boise State is in this game with an interim head coach. I think UNLV just has more certainty around their team right now, and it’s basically a home game for them. Rebels win a close one, 21-20.
Kortay Vincent: I can’t say that I’ve watched much of either of these teams. With that being said, Barry Odom is a Tulsa guy who went to Mizzou and coached the Tigers, so I’ll ride with his Rebels. UNLV wins outright 27-23.
SEC Championship Game: No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (-5.5) vs No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide in Atlanta: 3:00 p.m. CST on CBS
Parker Gillam: These two again.
Will Georgia be able to contain Jalen Milroe when he gets outside of the pocket? Can Carson Beck be as efficient as he has been all season long? Which team will be able to manufacture enough rushing yards to keep the opposing defense honest?
I think UGA wins at least two out of those three battles and thus the game. 27-23 Dawgs.
Sammy Stava: It’s difficult to pick against Nick Saban on the SEC Championship Game stage, but Georgia will continue to be Georgia until proven otherwise.
If Alabama wins, both the Tide and Dawgs deserve to be in the playoff — but Kirby Smart’s club will win a close one. 28-24 UGA.
Kortay Vincent: I have said all year that Georgia is in a league of its own. That’s not changing this week. Dawgs cover and roll the Tide 34-24 because they’re just better.
ACC Championship Game: No. 14 Louisville Cardinals vs No 4 Florida State Seminoles (-1.5) in Charlotte: 7:00 p.m. CST on ABC
Parker Gillam: All of the pressure is on the Noles. Win and you’re in. Lose and the waiting line for the CFP party rejoices.
Tate Rodemaker was solid albeit not spectacular against Florida last week, and I don’t think he has what it takes to lead FSU to a win in this one. And, while the Seminoles have a great roster top-to-bottom, there’s no one position group that I believe could take over a game (WRs could, but they need an effective QB). UL’s defense is strong, and a big play or two from either Jawhar Jordan or Jamari Thrash should be all it takes. Cards win 24-20.
Sammy Stava: The loss of Jordan Travis didn’t hurt the Noles in their win over Florida, but it will in this one. Despite their home loss last week to Kentucky, Louisville is still a well-rounded team and the Cardinals will bounce back with plenty to play for to win the ACC. 21-17, UL.
Kortay Vincent: I wanted to pick Louisville, but seeing Sammy and Parker take the Cards makes me want to back the Noles just for the plot. It’s going to be a Tate Rodemaker legacy game, and the committee is going to have to figure out what the hell to do with an undefeated FSU. ’Noles cover and win 27-21.
Big Ten Championship Game: No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (-21.5) vs No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes in Indianapolis: 7:00 p.m. CST on FOX
Parker Gillam: If Iowa scores more than 10 I’ll be stunned. Michigan 41-6.
That being said, I do applaud Kirk Ferentz for getting his team to this point. Somehow, some way they did it...oh wait it’s because they played in the Big Ten West.
Sammy Stava: Iowa’s defense is legit, and they will cause Michigan some problems — but it won’t matter if the Hawkeyes can’t score. Remember, this is an Iowa team that lost 31-0 to a not exactly elite Penn State team. 27-3, Wolverines.
Kortay Vincent: I can’t believe I’m actually going to watch this game because it’s the “BIG 10 Championship”. Michigan humiliates the Hawkeyes 48-3.