College Football’s Conference Championship Games Off-and-Rollin’
IT’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND AND WE PREVIEW FRIDAY’S TWO TITLE TILTS … PLUS OUR LATEST HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST …
AND NFL WEEK 13 NEWS/NOTES TOO – THE OVERTIME FACTOR
Hey, no matter how you slice it, the College Football Playoff committee folks are gonna have a real-live mess on their hands come Sunday when the four playoff spots are announced … you know the deal:
There’s the distinct possibility that a Big 10 team that wins its conference championship game this weekend might not get in (see either Penn State or Wisconsin) and, geez, what if both #2 Ohio State and #5 Michigan get in even after not playing in the Big 10 title game – what a travesty that would be, eh?
Folks in the business like to say that “things tend to work themselves out” in these cases but – we must admit – it doesn’t look to be clear sailing here because save for #1 Alabama and let’s say more-than-likely conference championship game wins by both #3 Clemson and #4 Washington there’s gonna be major controversy and you can better believe all the know-it-alls that want an eight-team playoff format will be coming out of the proverbial woodwork. You’ll see!
In any event, we’re here at Jim Sez to provide quick-hitter previews on a bunch of these conference championship games and so today we’ll begin by checking out the Mid-American and Pac-12 Conference Championship Games set for Friday night and tomorrow we get you the three “biggies” set for Saturday – that’s the SEC, ACC and Big 10 -- with more in store in the next column space.
But, first, this important reminder …
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for this week’s exciting NFL Week 13 and College Football games … and you can get all the game-day winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com.
It’s a monster week/weekend on tap for the college kids with all the Conference Championship Games and a batch of regular-season finales too (see #10 Oklahoma State at #9 Oklahoma) plus it’s a busy week for the NBA and NCAA hoopsters too!
Make sure you’re all aboard for all the winning action featuring Thursday’s NFL Week 13 showdown between the Dallas Cowboys at the Minnesota Vikings and all the hoops too!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WEEKEND
On Friday, it’s …
MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
At Ford Field – Detroit, MI
OHIO (8-4, 6-2 MAC) vs. #17 WESTERN MICHIGAN (12-0, 8-0 MAC) – 7 p.m. ET, espn2
The “Row the Boat” mantra has worked out just fine for the unbeaten WMU Broncos who are a pricey 18.5-point betting favorite for this clash in Motown where all eyes will be on the pass-catch duo of QB Zach Terrell (3,086 yards passing with 30 TDs)-to-WR Corey Davis (83 catches for 1,283 yards receiving with 17 TDs).
A win here and Western Michigan most likely will be Cotton Bowl-bound (against the Big 12 champs either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State).
Spread Notes – Western Michigan has slammed out a tidy 9-3 ATS (against the spread) mark in this stellar season and did you know the Broncos are a healthy 16-8 spreadwise in MAC play the past three seasons? Meanwhile, Ohio has covered three of its last four games when placed in the role of double-digit dog.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
At Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA
#8 COLORADO (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) vs. #4 WASHINGTON (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) – 9 p.m. ET, Fox
Two great storylines here as the UW Huskies could be the first Pac-12 team to make it into the playoffs since the 2014 Oregon team while Colorado’s famed worst-to-first season has been mucho special with Mike MacIntyre’s team capable of beating you in any number of ways and, apparently, with any number of offensive stars. If Colorado QB Sefo Liufau can be more efficient in the red zone than was the case in last weekend’s 27-22 non-cover win against 10.5-point pup Utah, than the TD-underdog Buffaloes could steal this one but did you happen to see how razor-sharp Washington QB Jake Browning was last week in that raucous 45-17 beat-down of archrival Washington State? Egads, he finished with three scoring strikes but that opening quarter was the best 15 minutes we’ve seen from a slinger this year!
Spread Notes – Washington is just 6-5-1 ATS this season and a modestly successful 20-16-1 vig-wise under third-year boss Chris Petersen. Colorado is a sizzling 10-2 spreadwise this season and that includes a 4-0 ATS mark as underdog sides.
THE JIM SEZ HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST
We’re back with the latest Installment of the 2016 Heisman Trophy Watch List where we offer up our top five weekly contenders for college football’s most coveted individual award … now here’s how we see things shaping up as we get set to head into another big-time gridiron week/weekend.
LAMAR JACKSON, QB, Louisville – No question that this super soph’s momentum in heading in the wrong direction these days but there’s simply not enough time in the season for anyone else to catch ‘em. Jackson’s numbers include 3,390 yards passing with 30 TDs plus 1,538 rushing yards with 21 scores. He’s gonna be your 2016 Heisman winner!
DESHAUN WATSON, QB, Clemson – Hats off to this do-it-all star who’s firmly grabbed the runner-up spot with his 3,626 passing yards and 34 TD flings with another 444 yards rushing and 4 ground scores.
JALEN HURTS, QB, Alabama – No question it’s the Crimson Tide’s strangulating defense that’s the real star of the show but this kid (right now) figures to get a NYC invite based on his dual-threat nature that features 2,454 yards passing with 21 aerial scores.
BAKER MAYFIELD, QB, Oklahoma – No doubt there’s scrambling still going on for the #3-#4-#5 slots here in our Jim Sez Watch List but we’ll keep “Boomer Sooner” right where he was a week ago with his 3,381 yards passing and 35 TDs.
JAKE BROWNING, QB, WASHINGTON – After a two-week absence, we’ve popped this Husky hero back into our top five following his monstrous 292-yard, 3-TD game in the Apple Cup win/cover against Washington State. For the year, Browning’s thrown for 3,162 yards and 40 TDs.
NFL WEEK 13 NEWS/NOTES
It will be interesting to see how the Denver Broncos (they’re at Jacksonville) and the Kansas City Chiefs (at Atlanta) fare this Sunday following their epic overtime game last Sunday night – one that took five full quarters to play.
So, we decided to see how other teams fared spreadwise coming off overtime games this year and here’s what the research told us:
TEAM THAT PLAYED OT GAME NEXT WEEK ATS
Arizona Cardinals Lost
Atlanta Falcons Lost
Cincinnati Bengals Bye
Cleveland Browns Lost
Dallas Cowboys Won
Detroit Lions Bye
Houston Texans Lost
Indianapolis Colts Won
Kansas City Chiefs Lost
Miami Dolphins Lost
Minnesota Vikings Lost
Oakland Raiders Won
Philadelphia Eagles Lost
San Diego Chargers Won/Lost
Seattle Seahawks Lost
Tampa Bay Bucs Lost
Washington Redskins Bye
Surprise, surprise …
NFL teams this year coming off an overtime game are 4-11 against the odds the very next week with three teams having gotten their “bye week” following an OT affair. Just sayin’!
Note: More College Football Previews plus NFL Week 13 Previews too in the next Jim Sez.