Not only is it a big weekend in terms of championships in the Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12, but also in Group of 5 conferences as well.
Spots in the College Football Playoffs will be on the line along with bids to New Year’s Six bowl games, which could generate a ton of revenue for universities and conferences alike.
Let’s take a look at some of the conference championship matchups this upcoming weekend:
Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks (Fri., Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. ET)
The Utes completed their best regular season since going 13-0 in 2008. But in Friday’s game against Oregon, the stakes are even bigger than they were back in 2008.
A win could potentially push Utah into the College Football Playoff. The key for the Utes will be their star running back Zack Moss, who led the Pac-12 with 1,246 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. Moss’ performance on the ground will directly correlate with the play of quarterback Tyler Huntley.
Oregon is just trying to play spoiler, as they lost their playoff opportunity with their loss against Arizona State a couple of weeks ago. The Ducks were able to bounce back in their Civil War win over rival Oregon State last week.
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners (Sat., Dec. 7 at 12 p.m. ET)
This is a rematch of the game November 16th in which Baylor was up 28-3 before Oklahoma came back and won by three points. The Bears defense, which was solid in the first half of the aforementioned game, will need to be great for all four quarters this go around. Baylor’s defense wore down during the latter stages of the game, especially when their offense couldn’t generate any points.
Everything in the Sooner offense runs through Jalen Hurts. If Baylor is able to contain Hurts’ running ability, they could come out on top in this one. But if it is more like the second half of their first matchup, Oklahoma could run away with it early.
Louisiana Raging Cajuns vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (Sat., Dec 7 at 12 p.m. ET)
Like the Baylor/Oklahoma matchup, this is also a rematch from the regular season when Appalachian State defeated Louisiana 17-7. Since the loss, the Raging Cajuns have won six consecutive games.
As for the Mountaineers, they still have an outside chance of earning a Cotton Bowl at-large bid, and so will be looking to build on their 43-13 win over Troy last weekend.
Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas has been one of the better quarterbacks in college football this season, throwing for 2,427 yards, 24 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Memphis Tigers (Sat. Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET)
Not to be outdone by the last two rematches, Cincinnati and Memphis played last week. The Tigers defeated the Bearcats 34-24. Penalties were a key reason Cincinnati lost the previous matchup as they had seven for 50 yards against Memphis.
Potentially getting Desmond Ridder back from injury will be a huge boost for the Bearcats. Ridder missed last week’s game because of a shoulder injury as Ben Bryant made his first career start. Bryant was OK as he completed 20 of 32 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions while also losing a fumble.
If you want more information about the AAC Championship, our friends from FQ ECU penned a great preview of this game.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. LSU Tigers (Sat. Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. ET)
The biggest matchup of the day will come in Atlanta as the No. 2 Tigers face the No. 4 Bulldogs. LSU has been a juggernaut all year long, and enters the game 12-0. Georgia has had their ups and downs, but sit at 11-1.
Georgia’s defense has been solid all year, but they haven’t seen an offense as potent as LSU’s. As the old saying goes, the unstoppable force meets the immovable object this weekend. We’ll find out which one of the two will give first on Saturday’s SEC Championship.