CFB Roundtable: Top 6 Games of Week 14
It’s Championship Weekend! That means there aren’t nearly as many games as we’re used to seeing, but most ought to be legit barn-burners. At least three contests could impact the Black Knights’ bowl prospects as well.
Let’s take a look…
6. Big 10 Championship: #21 Northwestern (8-4) at #6 Ohio State (11-1)
Can the Buckeyes motorboat the Wildcats hard enough to earn a spot in the CFB Playoffs? That’s really the only question in this one. It helps Army if they can because that would put the Wildcats out of the Top 25, making room for Army to move into the CFP rankings.
The line is Ohio State (-14), and given what they just did to Michigan and what they need to do in order to advance, I’ll take them to cover. Fox has the game at 8 pm Saturday night.
Got to Indy.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) November 29, 2018
5. MW Championship: #25 Fresno State (10-2) at #22 Boise State (10-2)
You probably don’t care about the Mountain West Championship, and really, neither do I. What matters is that neither of these teams somehow jumps past UCF and makes it into a New Year’s Six Bowl. That would give the Mountain West another bowl tie-in and make Army’s path to the postseason a bit more complicated. It probably won’t matter, but who needs the hassle?
The line is Boise State (-2.5). I’ll take them to cover based solely on how hard it is to look at their ugly-ass smurf turf. That stuff makes my eyes bleed.
The game is Saturday at 7:45 on ESPN.
Bronco Nation brought it in November as we fought to the Mountain West Championship Game…
And we need you at Albertsons Stadium one more time this Saturday, as we go for the title against Fresno State!
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) November 28, 2018
4. SEC Championship: #1 Alabama (12-0) at #4 Georgia (11-1)
Can anybody stand up to ‘Bama?
Eh. Probably not. Gimme the Tide (-13) to make a statement.
Kickoff is set for the 4:00 pm money-spot on CBS.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 28, 2018
3. Big 12 Championship: #14 Texas (9-3) at #5 Oklahoma (11-1)
I get why folks are on Oklahoma in this one. The Sooners have the better offense, and neither of these teams has been particularly good on defense. That’s fine as far as it goes. However, the line has Oklahoma (-8), and that’s a lot considering that Texas already beat the Sooners once—and in an imminently repeatable fashion.
The Longhorns can win this game by running at the Sooners relentlessly and thereby controlling the clock. Sure, QB Kyler Murray is still gonna get his, but Army showed how to slow him down, and then Texas actually did it. Gimme Texas (+8). This one’s gonna be close.
ABC has the game slated for Saturday at noon.
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) November 29, 2018
2. Marshall (8-3) at Virginia Tech (5-6)
Of all the contests this weekend, this one has the most impact on the Black Knights. I’m torn as to how I should root. On the one hand, if Marshall wins then Tech is out of the bowl picture, and that gives Army some additional postseason flexibility. If you listened to the podcast this week, you already know how important that is. But if the Aggies win, it’s entirely possible that they wind up in the Independence Bowl opposite Army, and that would be a great matchup.
Vegas says Tech (-4.5). I don’t think Marshall goes quietly. Really, this game could go either way.
Kickoff is at noon on the ACC Network.
LET'S DO IT AGAIN ❗@RickGoGetEmWalk 🔔🐄 and our seniors get one more game in Lane Stadium on Saturday. Come support them!
— Virginia Tech Football (@VT_Football) November 29, 2018
1. American Conference Championship: Memphis (8-4) at #8 UCF (11-0)
Like the Mountain West Championship, this game impacts Army’s bowl options. If UCF wins, it will give the AAC another tie-in—at the expense of the Mountain West. That tie-in will likely go unused, thereby becoming an at-large bid that will almost certainly be offered to the Black Knights. That’s good. UCF might also punch its ticket to the College Football Playoff, but that would require them to win super-big while Ohio State and Oklahoma both lose. That’s probably not what’s going to happen, but it is by no means impossible.
The line on the game has UCF (-3). UCF starting QB MacKenzie Milton is out, obviously, but his replacement Darriel Mack Jr. is actually supposed to be a better runner. That’s amazing. As a result, this game will be won or lost in the trenches. I don’t know if that favors UCF because their D-Line hasn’t been particularly stout. However, it doesn’t favor Memphis much, either. The Tigers are giving up 154.5 yards/game rushing and 5.36 yards/play. UCF’s offense will hit that at Mach 2.
This one might be close, but I’m expecting the Knights to roll. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm Saturday on ABC.
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 29, 2018
MAC Championship: Northern Illinois (7-5) at Buffalo (10-2). We’ve been watching the MAC all season, so you ought to be familiar with the teams. Vegas has the Bulls (-3.5). Army needs them to kick ass. The game is Friday at 7:00 pm on ESPN2.
Conference USA Championship: Alabama-Birmingham (9-3) at Middle Tennessee State (8-4). This one is actually a rematch. MTSU beat UAB handily last week, which I find hard to believe. I’d have bet big on UAB had I not just read about the game.
I’ve no rooting interest, but Army has a bunch of C-USA teams on the schedule next year. CBS Sports starts coverage at 1:30 pm on Saturday. The line is MTSU (-1).