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It’s time for conference title games. Games appear in the order of kickoff times, except the SEC is the last one (headliner always goes last). Here we go…

Conference USA

Western Kentucky at UT-San Antonio – UTSA got into the top 20 and was poised to crash the NY6 bowl party… and then got blown out by a rotten North Texas team. WKU can score in big bunches. If you’re looking for a football game with a basketball score, this is your best bet of the weekend. Roadrunners 47, Hilltoppers 42

Pac 12

Oregon vs Utah (Las Vegas) – Oregon was all set to lock up a playoff bid before getting trucked in Mormon country a couple weeks back. Utah is fairly decent, but they can’t do that twice in a row. Ducks 33, Utes 28

Mid American Conference

Kent St at N Illinois – All I really have to go on here are the records – NIU is 8-4, KSU is 7-5. Based on that only, I’ll go with the home squad. NIU 24, KSU 17

Big XII

Oklahoma St vs Baylor (Arlington, TX) – The national talking heads throw massive amounts of skepticism at both of these squads. I think they’re both feel-good stories. Baylor has the fabulous back-from-the-dead story started by Matt Rhule and continued by Dave Veranda. OK State has the story of perseverance, the long-awaited chance for a playoff birth after what seems like 200 years since being this nationally relevant. I’ll be happy for whoever wins. That being said, the resilience of OK State is probably the difference-maker. Expecting a deciding score in the final two minutes. Cowboys 27, Bears 24

Mountain West

Utah St at San Diego St (Carson, CA) – Pretty amazing that SDSU is doing this well having not played a home game in 2 years while their new stadium is built where the Chargers used to play. They get to open that space next year. And who knew that Brady Hoke can actually coach? Utah St has also had a big bounce-back year, coming in at 9-3. I think SDSU keeps rolling to a 12th win. Aztecs 33, Aggies 24

Sun Belt

App St at Louisiana – Billy Napier is coaching UL before moving on to coaching the Florida Lizards. They have won their division every year he’s been there. They won 1 conference title, lost 2, then saw last year’s title game wiped out by the plague. Once upon a time, this conference was App St and everybody else. Others have caught up. Ragin’ Cajuns 34, Mountaineers 21

American Athletic

Houston at Cincinnati – A matchup of teams that will be rivals in the Big 12 in 2 years. Cincy becomes the first G5 team in the CFP if they win. Houston relishes being the team nobody is thinking about. With my sister being a Xavier grad, I never wish good things on Cincinnati in any sport. I am also a realist. UC has destroyed every opponent, including #6 Notre Dame on the road. There is little reason to believe they won’t take care of business, even if they have to play hard all the way to the end of the 4th quarter to make it happen. Bearcats 27, Cougars 21

ACC

Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest (Charlotte) – It’s the ACC title game and there’s not a Clempson Tiger, Seminole, or Tar Heel in sight. Both of these teams have had fabulous seasons and are reaching new heights. Wake has been exposed a little recently, and Pitt is really on a roll. Money says they keep it going one more week. Panthers 37, Demon Deacons 28

B1G

Iowa vs Michigan (Indianapolis) – The game of the day if you aren’t an SEC fan – or maybe even if you are. After finally beating Ohio State, it would be the most Michigan thing ever for them to lose to a lesser Iowa team. What gives Michigan the edge is those 2 all-universe defensive ends and that bulldozer running back. Score will be low due to fewer possessions. Wolverines 24, Hawkeyes 14

SEC 

‘Bama vs Georgia (Atlanta) – UGA has given up less than 100 points for the ENTIRE SEASON. Last week, a vastly inferior Auburn team held ‘Bama to zero touchdowns for the first 59 minutes. This is certainly the best offense UGA has played this season, but this is a defense that is in a whole other universe. ‘Bama hasn’t lost to UGA in forever, but this is a totally different setup. I hope this is my head picking the nasty UGA defense, and not my heart wishing misery on Coach Clinched Butt-Cheeks and his dynasty. Oh, well, let’s ROLL with it! Big Ol’ Hairy Dawgs 23, The Evil Empire 9

Last week’s record: 7-3

Season: 93-31

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