Movie quote of the day:
“Don’t ask me about my business!”
– Michael Corleone, “The Godfather” (1972)
Here are the intriguing matchups for week 14:
Week 13 record: 8-4 (66.7 percent)
2016 record: 109-47 (69.8 percent)
All-time record: 221-106 (67.6 percent)
No. 17 Western Michigan (12-0) vs. Ohio (8-4)
Line: WMU -16.5
I’ve been on the Western Michigan bandwagon all season. This team is no slouch. The Broncos have some playmakers that will play in the NFL. I love P. J. Fleck as a head coach too. He’s been linked to several head coach openings at bigger schools, and I worry that maybe he’s been too busy entertaining offers instead of coaching his team. Even if he has, I think Western Michigan has too much talent and I think Ohio is going to be overmatched.
Prediction: Western Michigan 34, Ohio 17
No. 8 Colorado (10-2) vs. No. 4 Washington (11-1)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Line: WASH -8.5
I remember making a bold prediction in the preseason that Colorado would make a bowl game this season, and now the Buffaloes find themselves in the Pac-12 Championship. Both of these teams have been great stories and I wish both could win this game. However, I’ve been watching Washington all season and this team is legit. Colorado has a very good defense, but I think Washington has the better coach and Jake Browning and the Huskies’ offense will find a way to score enough points to win.
Prediction: Washington 27, Colorado 24
Kansas State (7-4) at TCU (6-5)
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Fort Worth, Texas
Line: TCU -3.5
In order to beat Bill Snyder, teams must take care of the ball and not commit turnovers. TCU isn’t great in either category, ranking in the bottom half in turnovers lost and penalty yards in the country. Kansas State has the better defense and I think the Wildcats will force Kenny Hill to make mistakes – which is like putty in Snyder’s hands.
Prediction: Kansas State 31, TCU 28
Temple (9-3) at No. 19 Navy (9-2)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Line: Navy -2.5
It’s hard for me to pick against the military academy. Navy runs the ball very effectively and takes care of the ball – ranking in the top five in both categories. Temple does have a pretty good rush defense, but the last time the Owls played a team that runs the triple option as well as Navy was against Army in week one – a game that Temple lost by two touchdowns. I have to go with the Midshipmen.
Prediction: Navy 27, Temple 20
Baylor (6-5) at No. 16 West Virginia (9-2)
Milan Puskar Stadium
Line: WVU -18
There’s no way I’m picking Baylor to win this game. The Bears have lost five games in a row and have been outscored 238-136 during that stretch. Also, Baylor embarrassed West Virginia’s defense last year as the Bears went on to win 62-38 in Waco. I’m sure the Mountaineers haven’t forgot that game and are looking to return the favor, especially in front of the home crowd on Senior Day.
Prediction: West Virginia 44, Baylor 24
No. 1 Alabama (12-0) vs. No. 15 Florida (8-3)
Line: BAMA -24
I think the line is a little too much in Alabama’s favor for this matchup. I know that Alabama is really good and Florida is below average, but this is a conference championship and I expect the Gators to find a way and keep the game somewhat close. The only way I can see Florida winning is if its defense can force Jalen Hurts to make a lot of mistakes. However, I don’t see that happening because Hurts has taken care of the ball all year. I think Alabama’s defense will be too much for Florida’s offense and I think the Crimson Tide will roll to another another SEC title.
Prediction: Alabama 28, Florida 7
San Diego State (9-3) at Wyoming (8-4)
Mountain West Championship
War Memorial Stadium
Line: SDSU -6.5
Wyomning got the best of San Diego State a few weeks ago, but I think it’ll be a different story this time around. Donnel Pumphrey is a very good running back for the Aztecs who has rushed for 1,908 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. He had one of his worst games of the season against the Cowboys the first time these teams faced each other, and I expect him to bounce back with a conference championship on the line. San Diego State was my preseason Group of Five representative in a New Year’s Six bowl, I can’t give up on the Aztecs.
Prediction: San Diego State 31, Wyoming 26
No. 3 Clemson (11-1) vs. No. 23 Virginia Tech (9-3)
Camping World Stadium
Line: CLEM -10.5
I think this game has potential to be a massive upset. Clemson has not looked like the team we all expected in the preseason, and Virginia Tech is no slouch. The Hokies have a pretty good defense and are capable of scoring points. I’m feeling an upset because I don’t trust Clemson to show up in this game and perform well at all.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, Clemson 21
No. 6 Wisconsin (10-2) vs. No. 7 Penn State (10-2)
Big Ten Championship
Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: WIS -2.5
I’ve doubted Penn State all year, especially after the Nittany Lions were getting so much love from the playoff committee. However, Penn State has continued to prove me wrong and is one of the hottest teams in the country. Wisconsin has some good players, but is very one-dimensional offensively because of below-average quarterback play. I really like the Badgers, but it’s hard for me to pick against Penn State right now.
Prediction: Penn State 21, Wisconsin 19
Game of the week:
No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-2) at No. 9 Oklahoma (9-2)
Line: OKLA -11.5
I think this is going to be a tough game for Oklahoma State to win. The Cowboys have a dynamic offense, but they rely too much on turnovers defensively. Oklahoma is pretty good at taking care of the football and have been playing very well since entering conference play. If Oklahoma State can’t get turnovers, it could be a long day for the Cowboys because I don’t think they’ll be able to slow down the Sooners’ offense without forcing turnovers. I think Oklahoma’s offense too good though, and the Sooners keep their win streak going.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 31
Thanks for reading
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