I’m sad that we only have one more Saturday left in the 2017 season. But I will say this: Your humble scribe needs to be put out of his misery when it comes to picking games against the spread.
We went a smooth 1-5 last week. It’s a good thing Georgia beat Georgia Tech handily or we would have been shut out.
In any event, that puts us a 35-43.
Here are our Championship Week picks:
[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
SEC Championship: Georgia (11-1) vs. Auburn (10-2) in Atlanta: On paper Auburn gets the edge because the Tigers have beaten two No. 1 teams in the past three weeks. Auburn beat Georgia 40-17 in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 11. Last Saturday Auburn beat Alabama, making the No. 1 team look pretty average. The X-factor is the health of running back Kerryon Johnson, who came out of the Alabama game with a bad shoulder. If Johnson can’t go or is limited, it will make a big difference and that is why I am picking Georgia in an upset.
The line: Georgia plus 2 ½.
The winner: Georgia.
The score: Georgia 20, Auburn 17.
ACC Championship: Clemson (11-1) vs. Miami (10-1) in Charlotte: Miami is trying to bounce back from a difficult loss to Pittsburgh on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Clemson, which lost to Syracuse (27-24) on Oct. 13, has been very efficient ever since. Clemson will have the home field advantage because Bank of America Stadium is just two hours from campus. The winner is a lock to make the playoffs.
The line: Miami plus 9 ½.
The winner: Clemson.
The score: Clemson 30, Miami 17.
Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma (11-1) vs. TCU (10-2) in Arlington, Tex.: The Oklahoma beat TCU 38-20 in Norman on Nov. 11. The Sooners have won seven straight since losing to Iowa State 38-31 back on Oct. 7. TCU has the best defense in the Big 12 (317.5 ypg) by a bunch but the Horned Frogs would have to hold Oklahoma under 30 to have a chance. They can’t do that. Oklahoma gets a bid edge at quarterback Baker Mayfield vs. Kenny Hill.
The line: TCU plus 7 1/2.
The score: Oklahoma 38, TCU 28.
Big Ten championship: Ohio State (10-2) vs. Wisconsin (12-0) in Indianapolis: Wisconsin is a quietly efficient team and just does what is necessary to win the game. The Badgers also have one of the nation’s best running backs in Jonathan Taylor, who needs 194 yards to hit the magic 2,000 mark. Ohio State is favored but the Buckeyes quarterback, J.T. Barrett, may be hobbled. I gotta go with the upset.
The line: Wisconsin plus 6 1/2.
The winner: Wisconsin.
The score: Wisconsin 20, Ohio State 17
Pac-12 championship: Stanford (9-3) vs. USC (10-2), Friday at Santa Clara, Calif: These two teams met in the second week of the season with USC winning 42-24 at the Coliseum. USC had last Saturday off while Stanford was putting a 38-20 beating on Notre Dame. Stanford running back Bryce Love needs just 122 yards to hit the 2,000 yard mark. USC quarterback Sam Darnold is third in the Pac-12 in passing with 3,462 yards. Looks like a shootout to me.
The line: Stanford plus 3.
The winner: Stanford.
The score: Stanford 35, USC 30.
American Athletic championship: Memphis (10-1) at UCF (11-0): UCF has a chance to cap off a perfect season and to earn a spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl, probably the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The question is whether or not both coaches are going to stick around after the game. UCF’s Scott Frost has had his name linked at Nebraska, his alma mater. Memphis coach Mike Norvell is reportedly a candidate to take the job at Arkansas. The two teams met back on Sept. 30 in Orlando with UCF winning 40-13.
The line: Memphis plus 7.
The winner: UCF
The score: UCF 42, Memphis 17.