Record after week 13: 145-63 (105-98-5 ATS)
12 pm ET
Conference USA Championship Game
Southern Methodist (7-5) at Central Florida (9-3) (-9)
I guess Central Florida is good this year? Okay, I admit it, and you may find this shocking, but I didn’t follow Conference USA very closely this year. I know. Unforgivable.
Pick: UCF wins but doesn’t cover
3 pm ET
Utah State (4-7) at (11) Boise State (10-1) (-39)
Sorry, Utah State. You get to have Boise State take out last week’s loss on you. All they have left is destroying you and whatever opponent they have in front of them at their bowl. This might be the most depressing game of the day, though I’m sure Boise fans will give their guys a nice welcome back to the field after gagging away a BCS bowl berth.
Pick: Boise State
(17) Nevada (11-1) at Louisiana Tech (5-6) (+8.5)
Nearly an unprecedented level of letdown game for a non-AQ team. Nevada took Boise down in one of the better games of the year while still nearly choking the game away. Sure, their offense is great and, in any other week, they would roll over Louisiana Tech, but instead they’re on the road against a mediocre team that is playing for its season. It doesn’t get more dangerous for the somewhat vulnerable Wolfpack. Hence why Boise is giving 39 points and Nevada only 9 or so.
3:30 pm ET
(2) Oregon (11-0) at Oregon State (5-6) (+16.5)
This Oregon State team just isn’t the same as the one that almost made the Rose Bowl the last two years. They’re just got good enough. I can’t figure out exactly why because they’re not less talented. They’re just not as good. Oregon is going to roll. I’m sure it’ll be tight maybe even for the whole first half, but in the end, there is no way Oregon State’s offense will be able to keep up. I’d love to see a Mike Riley Game, but I’m just not confident.
4 pm ET
Southeastern Conference Championship Game
(1) Auburn (12-0) at (19) South Carolina (9-3) (+5.5)
So Cam Newton will play in this game, but I would bet $5 that he is declared ineligible either a few days after the national title game, should Auburn win, or before their bowl, should Auburn lose. There’s just no way to come out of this unscathed, so then we can pretend the NCAA didn’t idiotically rule that a parent can ask for money from universities as long as the kids don’t know about it.
I actually like the matchup for South Carolina here. It’s also exceedingly difficult for teams to beat the same opponent twice in one season. The first game between these two was actually very tight until Auburn closed with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. I have a feeling it will be exceedingly hard for the Tigers to pull that off again.
Pick: Auburn wins but doesn’t cover
7:45 pm ET
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game
(21) Florida State (9-3) at (15) Virginia Tech (10-2) (-4)
Virginia Tech is probably the hottest team in the country that isn’t named Auburn or Oregon. And while they didn’t beat a murderer’s row of teams to win ten straight, Florida State isn’t exactly a vast improvement over those teams either. This is also a wildly successful season for Florida State, so I wouldn’t be at all shocked if they came out flat and Tech won a patented close Frank Beamer game.
Pick: Virginia Tech
8 pm ET
Connecticut (7-4) at South Florida (7-4) (-2)
This game has something to do with the Big East title race, right? I hope these two teams enjoy competing for that title this year and maybe next because the minute TCU shows up, it’s a race for second place. I also hear Randy Edsall is a name out there for the Indiana job, and my immediate reaction was: he already took a 1-AA program up to the 1-A level. Why would he want to do it again?
10:30 pm ET
Southern California (7-5) at UC,LA (4-7) (+6.5)
It’s a season of forgiveness for Lane Kiffin. The Trojans can be disappointing and everyone will understand because of the disastrous offseason they had combined with all the injuries they’ve dealt with. We all get that. But he still can’t lose this game. UC,LA is terrible this year, and Rick Neuheisel is going to get one more season to get it right in Westwood, but that’s probably it. USC may be down, but their fans and administration definitely aren’t ready to deal with being 7-6 and losing to UC,LA.