Fade Material: College Football Championship Week Predictions

Louisiana State University head coach Les Miles looks on ahead of his team’s NCAA football game against Western Kentucky in Baton Rouge, Louisiana November 12, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

By God, I had a winning week last Saturday.

After what seemed like a good 62 months of solid .500 efforts, I won three of four last Saturday as Oregon, Wisconsin and South Carolina all covered. (Georgia Tech was my main loss as they struggled to keep up with Georgia.) That puts my season record at 29-21-2 against the spread this year and with this being the final week, it looks like I’ll finish above .500 on the season. FANTASTIC.

Georgia @ LSU, 4:00PM ET
Like most morons with an opinion, I think the Tigers will handle the Bulldogs rather easily in the SEC title game today. Aaron Murray has had a fantastic season for Georgia but LSU’s defense makes quarterbacks of all talent levels look silly. And while the Dawgs’ defense has been solid, I think the Tigers will eventually wear down Georgia in the second half. Usually LSU is a bad bet as a double-digit favorite but the Tigers are on a mission this year. They’ve easily been the best team in the nation.

Virginia Tech @ Clemson, 8:00PM ET
For weeks I waited for Clemson to have one of its Clemson-like games and choke on applesauce. But following their back-to-back wins against Maryland and North Carolina in mid-October I said you know what? The Tigers are for real. Stop waiting for them to crash and burn because it’s not going to happen. The very next week they crapped themselves in a lousy 31-17 effort versus Georgia Tech as I ate massive amounts of dirty, dirty crow. The Tigers haven’t been the same since that loss to the Yellow Jackets and the Hokies haven’t been the same since they lost to Clemson 23-3 earlier in the year. VA Tech hasn’t lost since that October 1 game against the Tigers and I don’t expect Frank Beamer’s squad to lose tonight either.

No. 10 Oklahoma @ No. 3 Oklahoma State, 8:00PM ET
I really, really like Oklahoma State. I think the Cowboys are extremely fun to watch and Brandon Weeden gives me hope that at 29, I can still quarterback a BCS team to a major bowl as soon as I get around to it. Do you feel a “but” coming on? Because it is. BUT, the Cowboys haven’t beaten the Sooners in nine years. For whatever reason, OK State has a complex when it comes to Oklahoma and I like getting the hook. It makes me feel secure, like health insurance. (Although my health insurance company loves to bend me over so hopefully the Sooners won’t do the same.)

Michigan State @ Wisconsin, 8:17PM ET
Talk about a lack of respect for the Spartans: Wisconsin is a 9.5-point favorite in this game? Michigan State might not have the same talent offensively but the Spartan defense should keep this game close throughout. I was one of the people who said the Badgers would roll against the Spartans back in October but MSU showed something that night. Whether you thought the Spartans’ Hail Mary should have counted or not, Sparty proved that it could hang with the Badgers. Granted, that game was in East Lansing but MSU has a habit of playing well when nobody expects them to win.

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College Football Championship Weekend Predictions

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 30: Coach Bo Pelini leads his Nebraska Cornhusker football team on the field against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Missouri 31-17. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

I love doing predictions at this time of year because college football fans are usually extra testy. (Uh, even more testy than they normally are.)

God forbid you pick against their teams at this time of year, because you’re an undeniable idiot if you do. (Uh, more an idiot than you normally are.)

Just remember College Football Superfan, these predictions are just for fun. If I really knew what the hell I was talking about, I would be in Vegas right now sitting poolside with a bucket of beer laying next to me. Instead, I’m sitting at my desk…which is miles and miles away from anything resembling Vegas.

On to the picks!

SEC Championship: No. 1 Auburn (12-0) vs. No. 19 South Carolina, 4:00PM ET
Only a fool would pick against Auburn right now and I sir, am no fool. Actually, I’ve been picking against them all year and I’m sick of being burned. I picked South Carolina in late September to cover against the Tigers. Boom, roasted. I picked Arkansas in mid-October to cover against the Tigers. Boom, roasted. The following week I picked LSU to win outright. Boom, roasted. I picked Georgia to cover. Boom, roasted. I picked Alabama to win outright and cover. BOOM, ROASTED. The only time I took one of Auburn’s opponents to cover and actually got it right was a month ago when they played Ole Miss. But whatever. I picked against them damn near every week, so I was bound to be right one of those times. But not this week – I’m going with Auburn. I don’t care what the matchup looks like and I’m not going to dive into the X’s and O’s. I’m just going to sit back, watch them fall behind by two scores in the first half and then enjoy as Cam Newton rattles off four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win by 10.
THE PICK: AUBURN –5.5. Boom, roasted.

ACC Championship: No. 21 Florida State (9-3) vs. No. 15 Virginia Tech (10-2), 7:45PM ET
After losing to Boise State and James Madison to open up the season, the Hokies have rattled off 10-straight wins and will now meet a Seminoles team that has won three in a row following their own two-game skid. Tyrod Taylor and Christian Ponder will get most of the attention (and rightfully so), but defense wins this one in the end. VA Tech has only given up six touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season and has been outstanding in crunch time. This is about as even a matchup as one could make, but I think the Hokie defense prevails in the end and VA Tech holds on.

Big 12 Championship: No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 13 Nebraska, 8:00PM ET
After the way they lit up the scoreboard against Oklahoma State last Saturday, I get the feeling that people expect the Sooners to roll this weekend. Everyone gravitates to offensive teams and that doesn’t fit Nebraska despite their 45-17 dismantling of a crap Colorado team last weekend. That said, OU running back DeMarco Murray injured his knee in the win over the Cowboys and while Bob Stoops is optimistic about the senior’s chances of playing this Saturday, it’s not a given. Either way, Murray may be limited, which isn’t a good sign seeing as how Nebraska ranks fifth in the nation in total defense. This game kind of reminds me of last year’s Big 12 title game, when many people outside of Lincoln thought that Texas would roll. But Bo Pelini’s squad held firm and nearly won the game in the end. I think we see a repeat of last year and Nebraska gives Oklahoma hell for four quarters.

Other picks, minus the foreplay:

Northern Illinois –17. (Friday)
Washington –5.5
Pittsburgh +2
Oregon State +17
Boise State –37.5
Troy -5

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