The stage has finally been set for an exciting finish to the 2018 college football season. This is the week where we found out who’s in and out of the playoff, as conference championship games will be played.
One team we know won’t be there is the Michigan Wolverines, who have failed to complete their revenge tour and lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes 62-39. That Michigan loss has put the Georgia Bulldogs in the playoff at the moment. However, there are still many questions to be answered as to which team will be in. So let’s take a look and what we have in store this week. I will tell you what each game means for the playoff picture, as well as what it will take for teams to make it.
In Playoff Contention
1 Alabama versus 4 Georgia
This should be one of the best conference championship games, as it is a rematch of last year’s National Championship. Last year was the first time in the short history of the playoff we saw two SEC teams.
We know Georgia is looking to avenge that loss to Alabama in overtime of the National Championship. They also need this win in order to remain in the playoff picture. If they lose this game, they may not be part of the playoff at all. With Georgia’s only loss coming from LSU, Georgia can’t afford to lose any game. Other one-loss teams are looking to take over their spot should they lose.
For Alabama, it’s all about wanting to be back-to-back National Champions. This game doesn’t matter to Alabama as much as it does for the Bulldogs. Alabama can lose this game and still be in the playoff. Will Alabama remain undefeated, or can Georgia revenge their loss from last season?
2 Clemson versus Pittsburgh
The ACC title game will once again be Clemson defending their title. It will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh can actually beat Clemson and eliminate them!
For Pittsburgh, it’s about proving they can run with the best of them. These two teams didn’t have a game this season, but Pittsburgh has been able to upset Clemson in the past.
For Clemson, it’s about crushing Pittsburgh and trying to get the No. 1 spot, but that’s only going to happen if Alabama losses. Plus I think it’s better for Clemson to stay at No. 2 and have a game against Notre Dame, who they would probably also crush.
I’m not really a believer in Notre Dame, especially when they haven’t played the big opponents yet. If you read last week’s article, I gave you a bit about Notre Dame’s recent National Championship try. How can they fair against the likes of Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma or Ohio State?
5 Oklahoma versus 14 Texas
Speaking of Oklahoma, they have overcome their one loss to Texas earlier in the season to make it back to the Big XII title game. You have to love conference championship games where a team is seeking revenge. They’re also looking to make it back to the CFB Playoff, but they’ll need the help of Alabama to do so.
For Oklahoma to get into the playoff, Georgia would need to lose to Alabama, while Oklahoma would need to win big against Texas. It’s ironic how Georgia and Oklahoma had one of the best playoff games we’ve ever seen, and now, only one can make it.
Or maybe neither, if Texas can overcome their recent struggles and find a way to beat Oklahoma again! It’s all about the Big XII title for Texas, as their chances of making the playoff are over. What a wonderful feeling it would be to keep the Sooners out the playoff.
6 Ohio State versus 21 Northwestern
This is one of the more interesting conference championship games. With the final spot still open in the playoff picture, Ohio State will be bucking for it. They have been through a lot this season with the allegations, an upset loss to Purdue (49-20), several close games and even the health of their head coach. With all that, they have still managed to finish the season atop the Big Ten conference, crushing rival Michigan in the process.
Now Ohio State has to face Northwestern to make the playoff, and will still need more help. It’s a must-win for the Buckeyes, which we expect them to win. They also need Georgia to lose. An Oklahoma loss would be also be ideal. If Ohio State destroys Northwestern, like they have their past three opponents, they might get the nod for the last spot.
For Northwestern, it’s all about wanting to prove they can handle the big teams in their conference. They found a way to beat Iowa and Wisconsin to gain them their opportunity in the title game, but they lost to Michigan and Notre Dame in close games that could’ve changed the outcome for everyone fighting for a playoff spot right now. Can they knock down a top opponent?
Not in Playoff Consideration
11 Washington versus 17 Utah
Washington was a heavy favorite to win the PAC-12 this year. They were even a favorite to make the playoff, despite losing the season opener to SEC’s Auburn Tigers. Washington’s chances of the playoff were over when they lost to Oregon earlier this year, but they slowly climbed their way back into the PAC-12 title game after beating Washington State.
The Huskies showed they are ready for anything. Their next opponent will be Utah, who they have already beaten (21-7) earlier this year.
For Utah, it’s about claiming the PAC-12 and revenging their earlier loss to Washington. Utah hasn’t played great football, but they did enough to get themselves a chance at the conference title. Can they make the most of their opportunity?
8 Central Florida versus Memphis
The AAC isn’t one of the power five conferences, but they have one of four undefeated teams remaining in their conference. That team is the self-proclaimed 2017-18 National Champions. No, not talking about Alabama, but the University of Central Florida, who are currently 25-0 over the past two seasons.
They have the longest FBS winning streak currently and are looking to continue that streak against Memphis in the conference championship game. They’re hopeful they can make the playoff. UCF needs a lot to happen in front of them in order for the committee to consider them as a playoff team, despite the undefeated record. Maybe a huge blow out win against Memphis could open the eyes of the committee.
Memphis is out for revenge on UCF after losing a close game to them earlier this season. Memphis wants to be the one in 25-1 for UCF’s record. Can Memphis knock down Central Florida? That question makes this one of the best conference championship games to watch.
22 Boise State versus 25 Fresno State
Boise State took care of Utah State last week to clinch their way back into the conference championship game. When you see their ranking, you should automatically know that neither team is playoff bound, but each should be in a bowl game. When conference championship games are played between two teams closely ranked, we expect them to be good. Can Fresno State win over Boise State, or will the Broncos have more tricks under their horse shoes?
I hope you all will enjoy the madness about to happen this weekend as conference championship games are played. Also, I hope you enjoyed the weekly ride around the world of college football and stay tuned for more exciting predictions on all the playoff and bowl games. I will not be leaving you just yet.
Feel free to give your opinion about who you think will be in the playoff!. Thank you all again for the support!