Meg’s conference championship predictions

Meg Gross, Editor-In-Chief

Conference championship week for the Power 5 in college football is finally here. Winning your conference title game puts your team at advantage to be selected for the college football playoffs. 

SEC Championship – (1) Alabama vs (7) Florida

Alabama is favored by 17 points. 

Consider how Florida played last week (a 37-34 heart wrenching loss to LSU) and now having to play the top team in the nation, Florida should throw in the towel, or should I say shoe? To stand any chance at a playoff opportunity, the Gators need a historic upset. Though they have the potential in passing with a top 5 tight end in Kyle Pitts, Alabama has yet to lose, covering the spread over their last seven games. 

Meg’s Pick: Alabama 48, Florida 34. 

ACC Championship – (3) Clemson vs (2) Notre Dame

Clemson is favored by 10.5 points.

This game should have the most impact on the College Football Playoffs. Trevor Lawrence is back for the second match-up between these two teams, which definitely helps Clemson’s offense, but the 47-40 overtime loss was more to blame on the Tiger defense. This time around, Clemson needs to contain Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book, which will be key to victory for the Fighting Irish. Book has thrown for 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions this season. Notre Dame will keep it close, but I don’t see Clemson losing twice to Notre Dame in one season. 

Meg’s Pick: Clemson 34, Notre Dame 26

BIG 10 Championship – (4) Ohio State vs (14) Northwestern

Ohio State is favored by 20.5 points. 

Shocker! Ohio State is a huge favorite to beat Northwestern. We can appreciate their effort but Northwestern has relatively no chance here. The Buckeyes would have to play their absolute worst just to for Northwestern to make this a one score game. A Buckeye win will allow the Big 10 to put their best foot forward in the playoffs. Don’t expect any surprises here. 

Meg’s Pick: Ohio State 45, Northwestern 21

BIG 12 Championship – (6) Iowa State vs (10) Oklahoma

Oklahoma is favored by 5.5 points.  

In a historic season for the Cyclones, Iowa State has punched their ticket to a Big 12 title game, the first in school history. Iowa State won the first matchup of these teams 37-30. To win a second time, Iowa State has to maintain a strong offense while reducing their penalties up front. I may be biased as a lifelong Cyclone fan, but Iowa State is a fourth quarter team. Expect the Sooners to lead the first half, with Iowa State returning after half with a historic scoring drive to pull off a last minute upset over Oklahoma. 

Meg’s Pick: Iowa State 34, Oklahoma 31

PAC 12 Championship – (13) USC vs Oregon

USC is favored by 3 points.

After facing COVID problems, Washington withdrew from the PAC 12 title game, being replaced by the Oregon Ducks. Despite having the talent they need, the area the Ducks lack is in consistency. If this Oregon team can play a strong full game of football, they definitely have the potential to shut down the 5-0 Trojans. USC has seen a similar inconsistency with quarter droughts throughout multiple games. This matchup between the best teams in the conference will be close, but I see Oregon winning the upset. 

Meg’s Pick:  Oregon 31, USC 27