CFB Playoff race coming down to the finish

Alabama and Clemson look to justify their position in the playoff race this weekend

Brady Olson
Staff Writer

As the weeks wind down in the college football season, the games have become more and more intense when looking at the top of the rankings. That will be at its most apparent this weekend, as all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences will have their conference championship games either Friday or Saturday. And some of these games will have high stakes for the College Football Playoff.

Conference championship week is fun to watch because you have every level of play. If you want to watch two teams you haven’t seen or heard of all year long, might I suggest the MAC Championship between Northern Illinois and Buffalo. For some reason, it’s on Friday instead of Saturday, so it doesn’t get in the way of other games that are better to watch.

Plus, Buffalo is 10-2 and is one of the more underrated squads in the country.

If you want to watch two ranked teams play for low stakes, might I recommend the Pac-12 Championship between No. 16 Washington and No. 17 Utah. They have both been out of the playoff discussion for over a month, and they had to win almost every game down the stretch just to get here.

Washington got to play spoiler to Washington State’s playoff dreams last week, and a win could get the Huskies into a good bowl game. While the Pac-12 has been in a down year this season, this game will be a good watch for a Friday vacant of other Power 5 games.

If you want to watch an absolute blowout, watch the ACC Championship game between No. 2 Clemson and Pittsburgh.

In Pitt’s defense, it’s not their fault that the ACC Coastal Division is a pile of hot garbage. Miami was the early favorite to win the division, and then we found out that they can’t throw the ball.

Then Virginia Tech stepped into the picture, until they collapsed and lost to Old Dominion, a 4-8 school that you may have never heard of outside of Virginia.

There are five 7-5 teams in this division, and Pitt just happened to emerge from the fire. Congrats on winning the division, but you have zero chance of winning against this Clemson team.

If you want a game that is underrated in its upset potential, look no further than the American Championship between No. 7 UCF and Memphis.

UCF has won 24 straight games, but they have lost QB McKenzie Milton for the season with a knee injury, leaving backup Darriel Mack in charge of the offense.

Memphis has won their last four games and have plenty of experience against UCF. They lost to UCF in the AAC Championship last year in overtime, and came up just short in their upset bid earlier in the season.

Memphis has had more than enough with UCF, and they have a great change to make a statement on Saturday.

And now, if you want good football that matters, you are in luck.

In the SEC Championship, No. 1 Alabama plays No. 4 Georgia in a rematch of last year’s national championship. In the Big 12 Championship, No.5 Oklahoma is playing No. 9 Texas. This is also the game to watch if you hate punts and defense, as Oklahoma just beat West Virginia 59-56 and lost to Texas earlier in the year by a score of 48-45.

In the Big Ten Championship, No. 6 Ohio State plays a red-hot Northwestern team that is 21st went 8-1 in Big Ten play.

This weekend of college football is when stakes are at their highest. Teams are jostling for position in bowl games, and some are fighting for the very top. But no matter who you watch, every team is fighting for the same thing: The right to be called champions.

Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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