Thursday, December 03, 2009

College Football Pick'em Conference Championship Week

The 2009 college football season is on it's final legs. Beginning on Thursday the BCS conferences kick off their conference championship games. Of course we have to talk about the big BCS games because there are going to be some good ones. That being said, let's not waste any time, and jump right into predicting some games. This is going to be a big payoff this week folks.

Oregon vs. Oregon State: The Civil War is one of the most underrated rivalries in all of college football. This is mainly because the majority of us writers live on the East Coast and if your name is not USC we don't care about what happens out on the left coast. Nonetheless this rivalry has delivered some great moments. This year, The Civil War is on Thursday night prime time, no excuse for missing this one.

Last year the Oregon State Beavers had the opportunity to backdoor their way into the Pac 10 Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. However, thanks to injuries the Beavers fell flat on their face and were drubbed by rival Oregon. This year the Beavers are out for redemption. The key for Oregon State will be keeping this a close game. If they can keep this game manageable going into the fourth quarter, then it becomes anybodies ballgame. One stat to look at is third down efficiency. The Beavers are ninth in the nation in third down conversations. This is a key stat in both keeping drives alive and coming from behind, and keeping drives alive and chewing up clock. Oregon State's best defense will be their offense, and they need to keep drives alive and keep the Oregon Ducks high scoring offense off the field.

Who would have thought the Oregon Ducks would be in a position to win a trip to the Rose Bowl? This was a team left for dead, but they have resurrected themselves, and the Ducks offense is leading the way. Jeremiah Masoli is a stud quarterback who accounted for six touchdowns last week again Arizona. Basically this kid has been on a tear on season. He is big and he can move, and he has a reliable arm. The Ducks score points in heaps, and they like to keep the game moving with a very uptempo style. It will be key for them to establish their high flying offense early, and try to avoid getting into a shootout like they did last week against Arizona.

The spread on this game favors the Ducks by 10 points. This is not surprising considering the way Oregon has been playing as of late. Plus you have to throw in home field advantage, and you have the potential for a recipe for disaster. At the end of the day, the big question is how long can the Oregon State Beavers control Masoli, and the answer is not very long. The Oregon offense is just too much to handle.

Winner: Oregon wins the game and covers the spread.

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh +2: The Cincinnati Bearcats are on pace for a magical season. Brian Kelly's bunch can go undefeated and have the opportunity to play in their second consecutive BCS game. There's just one problem, the Pitt Panthers are standing in the way, and they are a good team, and after last week's upset lost in the Backyard Brawl you can bet they are hungry to win. The Big East doesn't have a conference championship game, but there is a BCS game bid at stake.

The Pitt Panthers are 9-2 and they are a good team. Dave Wannstedt is finally living up to the hype, and apparently for once he is not on the hot seat. Now that Wannstedt has brought his team to the mountain top it's time to take them to the promise land. Pitt has a dynamic offense that while not being high scoring it is very talented and they can put up points in a sneaky way. RB Dion Lewis has eight 100 yard rushing games this season. Combine that with wide out Jonathan Balwin who has caught a pass for 40 or more yards in seven games this season and you have a team that can put up points when need be.

The Cincinnati Bearcats have been a fun team to watch this season. They have not one, but two talented quarterbacks. Each guy gives them a different look, but both can knife a defense if given an opportunity. There was a time I thought the Bearcats where the best team in the country, but that is no longer the case. Primarily my issues with the Bearcats on the field is their defense. Cincinnati gives up far too many points to be considered an elite team. In the last month Cincinnati has played in way too many close games. They have come out victorious because they played against sub par teams. Pitt is not a team the Bearcats can spot 20 or 30 points. That young Cincinnati defense must step up and come up with some big stops and a few turnovers. Another distraction Cincinnati must deal with this weekend is the Notre Dame job and rumors of Brian Kelly switching jobs. There is no doubt this will be a distraction to deal with.

The spread on this game favors the Cincinnati Bearcats by 2 points. This is a fair enough spread. That is why I am taking the upset this week. The Cincinnati defense is just plain scary, and they cannot stop anyone. Pitt is solid and they can control the clock with their running game.

Winner:Pitt pulls the upset wins the game and covers the spread.

Florida vs. Alabama: This is the big game on the weekend. The Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide squaring off in the SEC Championship, at stake is a trip to the national title game. According to the rankings Bama and Florida are ranked first and second respectively, and with the new rules in the BCS the loser of this game has no chance of returning to play in the BCS Championship.

Alabama has waited a year for this game. Last season the Gators played an exceptional game and the Crimson Tide fell short. As a result they went to the Sugar Bowl where they were annihilated by Utah. In many ways a win in the 2009 SEC Championship would serve as redemption for a year of frustration. Receiver Julio Jones has really come into his own late this season, he has help to create a balanced attack on offense that the will hopefully control the clock and keep Tim Tebow off the field. On the defensive side of the ball, Alabama must get pressure from their defensive line. The Bama defense has to keep Tebow in check, especially during the fourth quarter.

The Florida Gators have been on a mission all season. The defending national champions, plenty of talent coming back. However, despite going wire-to-wire in first place, the Gators have looked, well human, all season. The Gators have played in plenty of close games all season. Lane Kiffen and Tennessee gave the country a blueprint on how to beat Florida. Go figure, rough up Tebow and you can slow down that offense. However, the Gators appear to be reaching their stride. Last week was a Tim Tebow love fest against Florida State, and the Chosen One put on a show. There is no doubt that he will be ready to perform on the big stage once again.

The spread on this game favors the Florida Gators by 6 points, that's after taking in account Dunlap being out for the game. This is going to be a great game just like last season. However, unlike last season, I believe Alabama can cover the 6 points.

Winner: Florida wins the game, Bama covers the spread.

Georgia Tech vs. Clemson +1: The ACC Championship took a major hit last week when both Georgia Tech and Clemson lost their regular season finales. Despite those lackluster showings, one team has to earn the right to make it to the 2010 Orange Bowl.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have the best rushing attack in the country. The triple option is tough to defend, because teams cannot duplicate the speed of the attack. A key to the Yellow Jackets attack will be the health of quarterback Josh Nesbitt. Last week he injured his leg against Georgia and the Rambling Wreck's offense was stifled. If he cannot go at 100% it could be a long day.

The Clemson Tigers have been quietly successful all season. C.J. Spiller is one of the best backs in the country, and frankly he was screwed for not being included in the Heisman conversation. Nonetheless, the Tigers march on and have a chance to show the nation exactly how good they really are. One major advantage Clemson holds going into this game, is they played Georgia Tech earlier this season. They have seen the option attack, and they are well aware of how it functions.

The spread on this game favors Georgia Tech by a point, which makes this is basically a pick'em game. When it's all said and done, Georgia Tech's offense is just too talented to be slowed down two weeks in a row.
Winner: Georgia Tech wins the game and covers the 1 point spread.


Bloomer Snatcher said...

I concur! GT will beat Clemson. I see Kyle Parker having a rough day.

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