Week 14 Recap

Championship weekend has come and gone. Before we find out who is playing for what this postseason, let’s revisit the massive results from coast to coast.

Conference USA Championship (Boca Raton, FL) – Florida Atlantic 50 – North Texas 13

-Scott: Florida Atlantic 28, North Texas 20

-Gavin: Florida Atlantic 35, North Texas 17

Just like 2017, FAU defends home turf and throttles the Mean Green to win their third C-USA title in five seasons. Willie Taggart appears to have revitalized his stock as a head coach. However, many of these Owl players were recruited by Lane Kiffin. Regardless, these were very successful seasons for both programs and we’ll see where the postseason destinations are for both.

Pac-12 Championship (Las Vegas, NV) – #6 Washington 41- #23 USC 21

-Scott: Washington 34, USC 27

-Gavin: Washington 42, USC 21

Washington needed to make a statement to the CFP committee and it certainly did, earning a 20 point win over a hot USC team to earn the Huskies’ eleventh straight victory. This might be the last straw for Clay Helton. Despite a division title, 9-4 is unacceptable for this storied program, and they’ve really plateaued under Helton. After winning on Friday, the Dawgs sat and waited, hoping for a little chaos and a little chalk around the country. Keep reading to find out what they got.

Big XII Championship (Arlington, TX) – #7 Oklahoma 24 – #4 Oklahoma State 13

-Scott: Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 24

-Gavin: Oklahoma State 38, Oklahoma 35

After the Pokes upset the Sooners last week, OU returned the favor when it mattered most. OK State was most likely in the Playoff had it won, and Lincoln Riley’s Sooners ripped their heart out by playing some excellent defense for 60 minutes. Now, it’s seven straight Big XII titles for Oklahoma. Now, will OU have a shot to reach the CFP yet again? Two losses are on their record, but they avenged one of them, and the schedule was quite challenging. Time will tell.

MAC Championship (Detroit, MI) – Ball State 45 – Buffalo 39

-Scott: Buffalo 36, Ball State 23

-Gavin: Buffalo 24, Ball State 14

Here, in our other rematch from Week 13, the loser enacted some revenge. Ball State takes home the MAC Championship for the second straight year, the first program to go back-to-back in the MAC since NIU in 2011-12. While the Bulls looked to be the clear favorite, Mike Neu’s team was more used to the week-to-week gauntlet the Cards saw in the MAC West division. Ball State will have their pick of the litter for their desired bowl destination.

Mountain West Championship (Air Force Academy, CO) – Fresno State 34 – #22 Air Force 23

-Scott: Air Force 39, Fresno State 36

-Gavin: Air Force 28, Fresno State 21

Fresno defies the odds, and escapes the altitude with another Mountain West Championship. The Bulldogs beat the Falcons at their own game, running the ball with east for the majority of this one. The Falcons had a great season, but are still looking for that first conference championship. Fresno will head to the newly-minted LA Bowl to get another crack at a Pac-12 foe.

Sun Belt Championship (Troy, AL) – Troy 31 – Arkansas State 16

-Scott: Troy 37, Arkansas State 20

-Gavin: Troy 31, Arkansas State 21

This one went just about as expected, as Troy notches an 11-2 season and their first Sun Belt title. Chip Lindsay needed a successful 2021 to keep his job, and boy, did he ever get one. The Trojans will most likely head to New Orleans for their bowl game, and try to continue their upward trajectory as a program. Despite winning the division at 5-7, the Red Wolves will not be bowling in Butch Jones’ first season at ASU. At 5-8, the NCAA can’t justify putting them in the postseason, meaning three 5-7 teams will receive calls to come play this December.

American Championship (Cincinnati, OH) – #14 Cincinnati 26 – Tulane 22

-Scott: Cincinnati 36, Tulane 30

-Gavin: Cincinnati 41, Tulane 31

Well, just like the Green Wave gave Cincy a game the first go-around, they repeated that performance in the Queen City. Regardless of the margin, the Bearcats got the job done, winning their second straight conference title, and all but sealing a return trip to the New Year’s Six. As successful as that is, 2021 will be thought of as “what could’ve been,” if not for a one-point loss to USF. An 8-5 season for Tulane is quite successful for Willie Fritz as well, as they very easily could have reached double-digit wins. Tulane has lots of momentum going forward.

SEC Championship (Atlanta, GA) – #8 Georgia 32 – #1 Texas A&M 12

-Scott: Texas A&M 24, Georgia 21

-Gavin: Texas A&M 28, Georgia 24

While teams like Pac-12 champ Washington and idle Ohio State were hoping for some chaos, this was not where they wanted to see it. A&M had pretty much been in control this entire season. Naturally, the Dawgs walked into Atlanta and pounded the Aggies. Georgia’s defense flashed its sky-high potential, by tormenting Haynes King all afternoon. The Dawgs win their first SEC title since 2017, while the Aggies still are searching for that elusive conference championship. With the result, UGA soars into playoff contention, right along with the Aggies, as they are right on the bubble as well. This is nuts.

ACC Championship (Charlotte, NC) – #2 Clemson 33 – #11 North Carolina 28

-Scott: Clemson 47, North Carolina 34

-Gavin: Clemson 45, North Carolina 28

We knew these were the two best teams in the ACC heading into this one, so UNC would probably have the best shot of upsetting the kings of the conference. We were right, as the Heels put quite a scare into Clemson. But ultimately, Dabo Swinney’s team escapes Charlotte with a 13-0 record, and their seventh consecutive ACC title. Clemson and the College Football Playoff are a match made in heaven. Now, will Mack Brown’s team be able to hold firm in the rankings and reach a New Year’s Six bowl?

Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis, IN) – #3 Penn State 25 – #21 Wisconsin 16

-Scott: Penn State 21, Wisconsin 17

-Gavin: Penn State 31, Wisconsin 28

Indeed, it does appear this version of Penn State is better equipped to handle Wisconsin than Week 1 Penn State. The Lions’ defense continues to impress, sacking Graham Mertz five times, and holding the opponent to under 20 points for the fifth straight game. While PSU isn’t a 100% lock for the playoff, they sure seem pretty close to it. Penn State almost certainly will play for a national title this year, which is something the last Penn State team to win the B1G could not say. Wisconsin falls to a disappointing 2-5 in Big Ten title games, after winning their first two they played in.

Well the committee has some tough decisions to make. As we look at the College Football Playoff, here’s where we stand.

Clemson is in. Penn State is almost certainly in. That’s all we know.

We have a 12-1 Pac-12 champ in Washington, a 12-2 Big XII champ in Oklahoma, a 12-2 SEC champ in Georgia, a 12-1 Texas A&M, and a 11- Ohio State. 11-2 Oklahoma State is probably out. This is complete chaos, as probably only two of these teams are getting in. Decisions will be made, but not after looking at game control, strength of schedule, common opponents, and overall quality of football being played. There will be some furious fanbases, but also some elated ones. Tune back in soon to see who will be playing for a national championship!

-Scott

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