NCAA Football Power Five Conference Championships: Outlooks and Predictions

Photo Credit: Zona Zealots (featured image), CBS Sports (team logos)

wash #4 Washington Huskies (11-1) vs. colo #8 Colorado Buffaloes (10-2)

Conference Championship Game: Pacific 12 Conference

Game Setting: Friday, December 2nd, 2016, 9:00 PM EST at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California

Outlook: The Pac-12 Conference championship game is the best of the Power Five conference championship games on paper due to the fact that the ranks of the two teams in it add up to 12, which is lower than two teams that will play in any other Power Five conference championship games, and the fact that the combined record of the two teams in it is 21-3, the best mark of any two teams that will play in a Power Five conference championship game. Washington’s offense may be a challenge to stop, but the Southern California Trojans did it, and they did it in style on Washington’s home field, holding the Huskies to 13 points. Colorado nearly won on the road against Southern California without their starting quarterback Sefo Liufau. With Liufau healthy and a better-than-ever Buffaloes team, they are primed to pull off the upset.

Prediction: colo #8 Colorado Buffaloes, 30, wash #4 Washington Huskies, 28

 

okst #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-2) @ okla #9 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2)

(Unofficial) Conference Championship Game: Big XII Conference

Game Setting: Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 12:30 PM EST at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma

Outlook: This should be a game with a lot of offense and not much defense. Despite Oklahoma State theoretically a having a better record since we all know they didn’t REALLY lose to the Central Michigan Chippewas, the fact remains that although both teams are hot, Oklahoma is the better team and has better players such as quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Westbrook, and playing at home will more than likely give them the energy they need to end this regular season with a statement win in the unofficial Big XII Conference championship game.

Prediction:  okla #9 Oklahoma Sooners, 48,  okst #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 31

 

bama #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0) vs. fla #15 Florida Gators (8-3) 

Conference Championship Game: Southeastern Conference

Game Setting: Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 4:00 PM EST at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia

Outlook: This game does not really need a huge description to go with it. It is clear that Alabama is loaded with far more talent both offensively and defensively compared to Florida. The fact that this conference championship game has a 24-point spread tells you all you need to know. Look for the Heisman Trophy award hopeful quarterback Jalen Hurts-led Crimson Tide and to slam their foot on the gas early and not let up en route to their third consecutive SEC championship and third consecutive CFP appearance.

Prediction: bama #1 Alabama Crimson Tide, 38, fla#15 Florida Gators, 10

 

clem #3 Clemson Tigers (11-1) vs. vatech #23 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3)

Conference Championship Game: Atlantic Coast Conference

Game Setting: Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 8:00 PM EST at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida

Outlook: If Clemson wins this ACC championship game, they will be ACC champions for the second consecutive season and they will be in the CFP for the second consecutive season. Virginia Tech definitely has the talent and the power needed to pull off the upset, but they lack the consistency to have a sizeable chance of doing so. Also, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson should be on his “A” game as he was in Clemson’s regular season finale against the South Carolina Gamecocks as he looks to improve his Heisman Trophy award resume. This game is Clemson’s to lose.

Prediction: clem #3 Clemson Tigers, 45, vatech #23 Virginia Tech Hokies, 21

 

wisc #6 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) vs. psu #7 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions (10-2) 

Conference Championship Game: Big Ten Conference

Game Setting: Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 8:00 PM EST at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana

Outlook: This game looks like it has the most CFP implications on it. It is hard to imagine the Big Ten Conference champion not getting into the CFP since the conference is clearly the best in football this season, and that should be even harder once this game is done. Running backs Corey Clement of Wisconsin and Saquon Barkley of Pennsylvania State will look to give these offenses a spark and be difference-makers in a Big Ten Conference championship game that should be a hard-fought battle with not much scoring that comes down to the wire. I give Wisconsin the upper hand since they have a superior defense, but I do not seem them winning by much.

Prediction: wisc #6 Wisconsin Badgers, 23, psu #7 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions, 20

 

-Asher Fair

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