The college football regular season is over, but the fallout from those games is still being felt across the nation.
The giant killers from Auburn knocked off another No. 1 team and, with it, likely spoiled Alabama’s chances at the national playoffs. Miami suffered its first loss of the season at the wrong time as well. No one is guaranteed a spot in the final four now.
Bring on the conference championships.
There are five major matchups this weekend. The four playoff teams will probably be picked from these games. Let’s take a look at all five and try to pick a winning two-team parlay (odds provided by bovada.lv).
**VGB’s parlay picks — Take Auburn (-3) over Georgia and Wisconsin (+6) over Ohio State for $25. If both teams beat the spread, the payoff is $77.50. If either team loses against the spread, the ticket is void.
Top-Ranked Team Huge Favorites Over Miami
No. 7 Miami vs. No. 1 Clemson at Charlotte — The odds in this game would have been listed at less than a field goal until the Hurricanes self-destructed at Pittsburgh last weekend. Now Miami will have to deal with a defense that is among the best in the nation.
The Tigers have one blemish on their record this season — a loss to Syracuse in which starting QB Kelly Bryant was injured. This championship will feel like a home game for the defending national champions.
No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 2 Auburn at Atlanta — The Tigers have played two No. 1s and a No. 2 this season for what has to be the toughest schedule in all of college football. They won the two games against the No. 1s — both at home. They lost against the No. 2 on the road.
The health of star running back Kerryon Johnson is the big question mark heading into Saturday’s SEC final. The last time these two teams met at Auburn, the Tigers destroyed the Bulldogs 40-17. This one will be much closer.
No. 11 TCU vs. No. 3 Oklahoma at Arlington, Texas — There’s no doubt Oklahoma’s high-powered offense will score a ton of points. The problem for the Sooners is, can their defense slow down TCU? Oklahoma won by 18 points when these two teams tangled three weeks ago as the Sooners led 38-14 at the half.
Heisman favorite Baker Mayfield threw for three touchdowns, while his counterpart Kenny Hill struggled all day. The Sooners and Frogs are both 7-5 against the spread this season.
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Wisconsin at Indianapolis — Wisconsin fans have been screaming for their undefeated Badgers to be ranked in the top four for a long time. Now that they have their wish, their team must win the Big Ten final or they will take a mighty tumble in the rankings.
The Buckeyes have two losses this season. They will have to win convincingly here to get into the national playoffs. They have won their last three games by a combined score of 131-37, but they are 5-7 ATS this season.
No. 12 Stanford vs. No. 10 USC at Santa Clara, Calif. — After an embarrassing 35-point loss at Notre Dame in October, the Trojans have won four straight games convincingly and earned a spot in the Pac-12 final. The Cardinals have also played well of late, winning eight of their last nine games.
Neither team has a winning record against the spread — USC is 3-8-1, while Stanford is 5-6-1. Even though this game means a lot out West, it will not have an affect on the national playoffs.
(Current odds, provided by bovada.lv, to win the national championship listed after team record.)
• Oklahoma (11-1) +375 — Win in Big 12 final would guarantee playoff spot. • Clemson (11-1) +375 — Win in ACC final would guarantee playoff spot. • Auburn (10-2) +450 — Earned spot in SEC final, beat Bulldogs in Week 10. • Wisconsin (12-0) +1000 — Only major unbeaten team, must win Big Ten final. • Alabama (11-1) +375 — Loss to Auburn damaged national playoff hopes. • Georgia (11-1) +750 — Chance for revenge against Tigers as underdogs. • Miami (10-1) +1800 — Plummeted in polls after loss, huge underdogs now. • Ohio State (10-2) +800 — Big favorites over undefeated team in Big Ten final. • USC (10-2) +10000 — Crushed Cardinal in Week 2, rematch in Pac-12 final. • UCF (11-0) +20000 — Nation’s top two scoring teams meet in AAC final.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.