NT College Football Picks - Championship Saturday
SEC Championship: LSU 23, Georgia 13 - It might not count as an offensive explosion, but I think there will be at least a couple touchdowns scored in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. The same couldn’t be said for LSU’s showdown with Alabama, but the neutral site should help the offenses settle down a little. Georgia is playing well, but they haven’t beaten an elite team all year, and the Tigers present too many challenges offensively for Georgia. Even if LSU struggles to move the ball, cornerback and punt-returner Tyrann Mathieu is capable of tipping the field in the Tigers’ favor with a big return like he did in their comeback last week against Arkansas.
Oklahoma St. 45, Oklahoma 32 - OU comes into this game after a dominating 26-6 win over Iowa State. However, QB Landry Jones has 0 passing touchdowns and 3 interceptions over the last two games - a sign that he is missing WR Ryan Broyles, who is out for the season. Oklahoma State is coming off a poor performance against the Cyclones two-weeks ago, but they should be primed and ready to fire their way to their first Bedlam win since 2002. Oklahoma couldn’t stop Baylor’s offense, and they’ll have trouble stopping Weeden, Blackmon and co. on the road.
Baylor 38, Texas 24 - Baylor’s Robert Griffin III is one of the top three quarterbacks in the country, and he boasts a remarkable completion percentage of 72.6 percent. However, Texas’ defense is outstanding against both the pass and run, so RGIII will be tested on Saturday in Waco. The Longhorns’ best bet is to establish the running game early and often in order to keep Baylor’s offense off the field as much as possible. But the Texas offense just doesn’t have has enough weapons to keep up with Baylor.
Big-10 Championship: Wisconsin 21, Michigan St. 17 - The last matchup between the Badgers and Spartans was settled by a last-gasp hail-mary touchdown pass by Michigan St. QB Kirk Cousins. We may be in for another wild game as these teams are very evenly matched. Both have great run defenses, but Wisconsin boasts a better running back in Montee Ball, who has gained over 1,600 yards this season. This game will probably be won by who makes the fewest mistakes. Wisconsin is +14 in turnover margin this year, while Michigan St. is only +8, so I’ll pick the Badgers in a thriller.
ACC Championship: Virginia Tech 27, Clemson 24 - After the Hokies made me look incredibly stupid last week for picking Virginia, I couldn’t possibly pick Clemson in this one, especially considering the form of both teams. VA Tech has won seven straight while Clemson has lost three of four. Plus, the Hokies’ pass defense has held opposing quarterbacks to only a 48 percent complete percentage this year, and their offense, led by RB David Wilson, who is averaging 6.2 yards per carry, should perform much better than they did in their 23-3 loss to Clemson team on Oct. 1 - their only defeat of the season thus far.
- Omar Shamout