College football’s conference championships kick off tomorrow night, ahead of a stacked Saturday slate. We may have more teams still alive for a College Football Playoff berth with one game left than ever before.
There are real questions about how much this weekend’s games mean for Ohio State and LSU, the current top two seeds. Both teams obviously want to win their conferences, but could potentially get in without them.
That isn’t the case for the rest of these games, though. Georgia absolutely needs a win over LSU to make the field. Clemson probably needs to beat Virginia to be safe…and Dabo Swinney can’t really continue to bang his “no one respects us” gong if the team lays an egg in the ACC title game.
In the Pac-12, Utah is playing for a potential first bid to the College Football Playoff, and the league’s first since Washington made it in 2016. Both Big 12 finalists have a shot on paper, with Oklahoma and Baylor facing off for the second time this season, each with just one loss (with Baylor’s coming in the first game against OU in a big Sooners comeback).
This weekend’s games, plus next weekend’s Army-Navy Game, will decide our weekly staff picks contest for the year. It is coming down to the wire, with one game between first and second place.
1. Dan Lyons: 391-115
2. Andrew McCarty: 390-116
T-3. Matt Hladik: 383-123
T-3. Alek Arend: 383-123
5. Andrew Holleran: 382-124
6. Tzvi Machlin: 381-125
7. Steve Driscoll: 380-126
8. Chris Rosvoglou: 378-128
9. Matt Lombardi: 371-135
The biggest divide this weekend comes in Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship game. Six are riding with the favorite, Utah, while three have Oregon. We have at least one dissenting pick in every other game this weekend, except for the ACC Championship. No one is picking against Clemson. Don’t tell Dabo, though.
Every week, we pick each game involving Power Five and other Top 25 programs. Check back to see how the contest, which often comes down to the final slate of games, shakes out.