Blame AAU basketball, blame the one-and-done generation, blame whatever you want, but what cannot be argued is that there is an international wave taking over the NBA. Increasingly it seems like the best and most influential players in the NBA are from countries and regions outside of the U.S.
CFB Conference Championship Weekend Preview
CFB Conference Championship Weekend Preview and Predictions
Championship week is upon us and with it comes a bunch of games that will have a monumental effect on the College Football Playoffs. If Georgia somehow takes down Alabama then we'll probably get two SEC teams in the playoffs again. Notre Dame are a lock but Ohio State and Oklahoma would both have a claim for the fourth spot if Georgia drops the game.
This is the most important weekend of the college football season and we have some predictions on how it will end:
SEC Championship Game
(12-0) Alabama vs. (11-1) Georgia
Going into this game Georgia knows they need to win to make the CFB playoffs while Alabama will probably make it regardless of the results. It seems the CFB Playoffs is betting on Alabama to win to avoid a repeat of last year that saw two SEC teams in the Playoffs. Alabama will come through with the victory, Georgia's decision to play Georgia Tech and UMass for their last two games will ultimately cost them. I understand the idea is to stay fresh with two guaranteed wins but it's hard to go from playing a 4-8 UMass team to playing the best team in the country two weeks later.
Alabama 34 - 20 Georgia
Big 12 Championship
(9-3) Texas vs. (11-1) Oklahoma
As we mentioned in our weekly report, Texas has given up an average of 13.5 points a game over the last two weeks while Oklahoma has not kept an opponent under 40 in four weeks. Kyler Murray is the best player on either team but he will not be enough to overcome Oklahoma's defensive deficiencies. Texas will have a field day and do just enough to overcome Kyler Murray.
Texas 48 - 35 Oklahoma
Big Ten Championship Game
(8-4) Northwestern vs. (11-1) Ohio State
For some reason, we think Northwestern takes this game over Ohio State. While Ohio State is clearly the better team, Northwestern has a knack for keeping games close. Three of their four losses have been by 10 points or less and they are one of the few teams in college football to actually play better away than they do at home. Northwestern will keep this one close and anything can happen.
Northwestern 24 - 21 Ohio State
Pac-12 Championship Game
(9-3) Utah vs. (9-3) Washington
Going into a matchup like this where both teams are evenly matched the key is the team in better form. In this situation both teams are on a three game win streak but Washington just knocked off Washington State away from home. Utah is a solid program but Washington takes this one.
Utah 24 - 27 Washington
ACC Championship Game
(12-0) Clemson vs. (7-5) Pittsburgh
This is the easiest game of the bunch to predict. Clemson could probably win this game fielding backups and Pitt is coming off a game where they were held to 3 in a 24 point loss to Miami.
Clemson 54 - 10 Pittsburgh
American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game
(8-4) Memphis vs. (11-0) UCF
UCF lost a team leader in starting quarterback McKenzie Milton. His backup is talented freshman Darriel Mack Jr., and while he has a bright future ahead he is only completing 49% of his passes on the season. When UCF barely crept past Memphis in a 1 point victory early in the season, Milton threw for 296 yards. Mack won't be able to have that type of game and Memphis completes the upset this time around.
Memphis 24 -16 UCF
Mountain West Football Championship Game
(10-2) Fresno State vs. (10-2) Boise State
This one is tight but the edge goes to Boise State. Three weeks ago, the two teams met and Boise State came out on top and followed it up with two more impressive victories. This time around will be no different and Boise State extends their win streak to eight games.
Fresno State 20 - 30 Boise State
Mac Football Championship Game
(7-5) Northern Illinois vs. (10-2) Buffalo
This game is harder than you think, conventional wisdom says to go with Buffalo because of Northern Illinois's inferior record and two game losing streak. However, Buffalo dropped a game to Ohio two weeks ago in a shocking 35 point loss, the same Ohio team Northern Illinois defeated earlier in the season. Northern Illinois will turn this into an ugly old fashioned football game and come out with the victory.
Northern Illinois 13 - 10 Buffalo
Sun Belt Conference Football Championship
(7-5) Louisiana vs. (9-2) Appalachian State
Appalachian State are the favorites for the matchup and they should be. The two teams met earlier in the season and Appalachian State came out with the victory. Appalachian State have been the best team in the Sun Belt for some years now and it should continue.
Louisiana 20 - 45 Appalachian State
Conference USA Football Championship
(9-3) UAB vs. (8-4) Middle Tennessee
Weird matchup that actually saw the two teams meet last week in a 27-3 Middle Tennessee win. They say it is hard to beat the same team twice in one season let alone twice in two weeks. However, it will be UAB's third away game in a row and that ultimately becomes the deciding factor.
UAB 17 - 34 Middle Tennessee
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