College Football Conference Championship Saturday Picks
Memphis at Connecticut
Now here is a laughable game. Memphis is 3-8 and Connecticut is 2-9. Look for the Huskies to even up the records after this one as they win at home.
South Florida at Rutgers
Rutgers (5-6) becomes bowl eligible as it knocks off South Florida (2-9) at home.
Louisiana-Lafayette at South Alabama
South Alabama (5-6) is one win away from being bowl eligible, while Louisiana-Lafayette (8-3) is fresh off a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. The Ragin' Cajuns are the better team, so I think they find a way to win this one on the road. It could be closer than many expect.
Marshall at Rice
In a matchup between two 9-1 teams this one was hard to pick. I give the edge to Marshall because of the big play ability of receiver Tommy Shuler. The junior has 89 catches for 1019 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. Look for him to have a big game as Marshall goes on the road to knock off the Owls in a close one.
Utah State at No. 23 Fresno State
Despite a six-touchdown performance from quarterback Derek Carr last week, Fresno State (11-1) saw its perfect season slip away last week against San Jose State. Utah State (8-4) has held opponents to 17 points per game this season, but Carr and the Bulldogs defense are a stiffer test. Look for Fresno State to win in a shootout.
No. 16 UCF at Southern Methodist
UCF wins in a blowout.
No. 25 Texas at No. 9 Baylor
Baylor (10-1) is putting up 55 points a game. That is simply too much for Texas (8-3) to match. Baylor wins at home behind the arm of Bryce Petty.
No. 7 Stanford at No. 11 Arizona State
Arizona State (11-2) has been more of a surprise this season than Stanford (11-2). Prior to the season, the Cardinal were touted as one of best teams in the country. Stanford beat Arizona State 42-28 earlier this season. Granted the Sun Devils are playing much better now, I don't think they have enough to knock off Stanford even at home. Look for Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney to be the difference as Stanford goes on the road to capture the Pac-12 title.
No. 17 Oklahoma at No. 6 Oklahoma State
Oklahoma (9-2) is more than capable of going into Stillwater and pulling out a win. However, the Sooners lost to both Texas and Baylor this year, while the Cowboys beat them both. I think Oklahoma State (10-1) at home is too tough for the Sooners to overcome this season.
No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 3 Auburn
Fresh off the big win last, Auburn is all everybody is talking about right now. However, Missouri is no slouch. Both teams are 11-1 and have simply dominated SEC competition after terrible seasons a year ago. Both teams average 39 points a game and give up around 20. It's hard for me to believe that after last week, Auburn has enough left in them to knock off another top 5 team. Led by senior quarterback James Franklin, Missouri takes this one to win the SEC.
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Michigan State
The Urban Meyer led Ohio State (12-0) has not lost a game in two seasons. The Buckeyes have two quarterbacks in Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton that are very capable of leading this high-powered offense. Senior running back Carlos Hyde has rushed for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year as he has proved to be a load for defenses to handle. Michigan State's offense relies on the workhorse Jeremy Langford, who has 1,210 yards and 16 touchdowns on 245 carries this season. The strength of the Spartans is its defense. Michigan State has limited opponents to 12 points per game this year. Ohio State has a high powered offense that is averaging close to 50 points per game this year, but it hasn't faced a defense like this. I think Michigan State has what it takes to beat Ohio State and dash their hope for a National Championship.
No. 20 Duke vs. No. 1 Florida State
Duke (10-2) has had an amazing season. What coach David Cutcliffe has done with this program is simply amazing. Florida State (12-0) has been great all year. With an offense that is scoring 54 points per game and a defense that is holding opponents to 11 points a contest, there is no question that they are one of the best teams in the country. Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston is having a fantastic year as he has thrown for 3,490 yards and 35 touchdowns. Currently he is the leader in the Heisman watch and a win against the Blue Devils may seal the deal. Duke may put a scare into Florida State, but expect the talented Seminoles to roll in this one and earn a spot in the BCS National Championship game.