College Football Championship Weekend Preview

This weekend, 10 conference championship games will take place between Friday and Saturday in college football. The implications of these games affect the playoffs and bowl games. It’s going to be an awesome weekend!!

For anyone looking to put money down on the conference championships this weekend, SBD has put together a list of what are clearly the best options available for online sports betting.  It seems that these ones only make the list because they’re proven to be safe to use.

SEC – LSU vs Georgia

History of Series: LSU leads the all-time series 17-13-1 and beat Georgia 36-16 in 2018. That loss pretty much kept Georgia out of the Playoffs, since they had two losses. LSU blew out Georgia 42-10 in the 2011 SEC Championship. LSU also won in 2003. Georgia has 1 SEC title win against LSU, winning in 2005.

Championship Game history: First SEC Championship Game was played in 1992. LSU and Georgia have faced each other three times the Championship Game. LSU won in 2003 and 2011, Georgia won in 2005. LSU is making their 6th appearance and first since 2011. The Tigers are 4-1 all-time. Georgia is making their 8th appearance and third straight and are 3-4 all-time.

What’s at stake: The playoffs. Pretty simple and straight forward. LSU is likely in the Playoffs regardless, but a win guarantees a spot in the CFP as either the #1 or #2 seed. It would be their first Playoff appearance in the 6 year history of the system. A Georgia win would certainly guarantee their second playoff appearance in the last three years. A loss would send Georgia to the Sugar Bowl to face the Big 12 Champion (or top Big 12 team if the champion is in the playoffs).

Big 12 – Oklahoma vs Baylor

History of Series: In 29 all-time games, Baylor has beaten Oklahoma 3 times. They won their first game in 2011 and won back-to-back games in 2013-2014. Oklahoma has won the last 5 including this year in Waco, in primetime, when College Gameday was present. Baylor had a 28-3 lead early, but Oklahoma made a crazy comeback to win 34-31.

Championship Game history: This is only the third Big 12 Championship Game, which originated in 2017. Oklahoma has played in both previous championship games, beating TCU in 2017 and Texas in 2018. Baylor is making their first appearance, looking to snap Oklahoma’s win streak.

What’s at stake: At a minimum, the winner of this game is going to play in the Sugar Bowl, where the Big 12 champ is contracted to play. But there are multiple scenarios at play. If Georgia and Utah both loses, the winner of this game is likely to make the playoffs. If Utah or Georgia makes the playoffs, the winner of this game will go to the Sugar Bowl and the loser may end up in the Cotton Bowl. Either way, all of the options are pretty exciting for both schools.

PAC 12 – Oregon vs Utah

History of Series: Oregon is 22-10 all-time vs Utah and 4-2 in PAC-12 play. Utes won 32-25 last year in Salt Lake City, and prior to that, Oregon had won 2 straight and 5 of 6.

Championship Game history: PAC-12 Championship Game originated in 2011. Oregon is making their third appearance and is 2-0 (beat UCLA in the inaugural game in 2011 and Arizona State in 2014). Utah is making it’s 2nd appearance after losing to Washington last season. The Utes are one of only three PAC-12 schools to never appear in the Rose Bowl (Arizona and Colorado).

What’s at stake: There are no guarantees for Utah, unless Oklahoma and Georgia both loses, then Utah is certainly in the Playoffs. Right now, they are ranked ahead of Oklahoma but that could easily change next week. A win, keeps a playoff bid alive. Worst case, is a win guarantees the Rose Bowl, a game Utah has never played in. If Utah loses, it’s possible they remain in the top 12 and play in the Cotton Bowl. An Oregon win sends the Ducks to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 2014 season, when they made the Playoffs.

Big Ten – Ohio State vs Wisconsin

History of Series: Ohio State beat Wisconsin 38-7 earlier this season, Ohio State’s 7th straight win in this series, and have won 10 out of 11 overall. Two of those OSU wins came in the Big Ten Championship Game -27-21 in 2017 and 59-0 in 2014. Wisconsin’s last win against Ohio State came in 2010 and before that 2004.

Championship Game history: This will be the 9th Big Ten Championship Game of all-time. Ohio State is 2-0 against Wisconsin in championship games and 3-1 overall. Ohio State is making their third straight appearance (beat Wisconsin in 2017 and Northwestern in 2018) and their 5th appearance all-time. Wisconsin is making their 6th appearance (first since 2016). They won the first two championship games in 2011 and 2012, but lost their three appearances since.

What’s at stake: For Ohio State, the stakes are as high as they can be. A win guarantees their first CFP appearance since 2016 and likely locks up the #1 seed. A loss will make them sweat, though they likely would still make it with 1 loss. Playoffs are not an option for Wisconsin, but a shocking upset victory would guarantee the Badgers a Rose Bowl bid, for the first time since 2012. Even with a loss, a Rose Bowl bid is possible if they are ranked higher than Penn State on Sunday.

ACC – Clemson vs Virginia

History of series: Being in opposite divisions in the ACC, these teams have not met since 2013.

Championship Game history: Clemson is making their 5th straight appearance as Atlantic Division champ and their 7th appearance overall. They are 5-1 all-time, with four consecutive championship victories. Virginia is making their first appearance and are the 7th consecutive different team from the Coastal division over the last 7 years.

  • Clemson or Florida State (from the Atlantic Division) have won the last 8 ACC titles. Virginia Tech in 2010 was the last Coastal Division champion.
  • 2008 is the last time neither Clemson or Florida State was in the ACC title game (Boston College represented the Atlantic).
  • Only 5 (out of 14 teams) have ever won an ACC Championship game, a game that originated in 2005 – Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest.

What’s at stake: A win guarantees Clemson’s spot in the Playoffs for the 5th straight season, though a loss may not completely eliminate them from the equation. Win or lose, Virginia is likely headed to the Orange Bowl. A win would guarantee it, but a loss ensures the ACC Champion (Clemson) will be in the playoffs, and that would mean the Orange Bowl committee gets to choose the ACC representative, since likely no other teams will be ranked. 9-4 UVA would certainly get the nod over 8-4 Virginia Tech and 8-4 Wake Forest.

American – Cincinnati vs Memphis

History of series: Memphis is the only AAC team that Luke Fickell has yet to beat at Cincinnati and the only AAC team with an active winning streak against the Bearcats. Fickell only coached his first game against the Tigers last week, but Cincinnati has lost 4 in a row vs Memphis.

Championship Game history: This is the 5th year of the AAC Championship Game. Memphis is making their 3rd straight (and overall) appearance. They lost to UCF each of the last two years. Cincinnati is making their first championship game appearance.

What’s at stake: Based on the latest CFP rankings, this is very possibly a play-in game for the Cotton Bowl, which will host the highest ranked Group of Five team. If Memphis wins, they are a lock for the biggest bowl game in school history. If Cincinnati wins, things are a bit more murky. Bearcats are ranked 20th, one spot behind Boise State. Would beating #17 Memphis be enough to propel them ahead? We would have to wait until Sunday to find out.

Mountain West – Boise State vs Hawaii

History of series: Boise State is 13-3 all-time vs Hawaii , including 7 straight wins. Hawaii’s last win was 2007, which was the year they went 12-0 and played Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Broncos have averaged 48 points per game vs Hawaii during the 7 game win streak, but if you take out the 27 points scored in 2008, the number jumps to 52 ppg. Boise State has outscored them 338-90, an averaging of 48-13.

Championship Game history: Boise State is making their 4th appearance and third in a row. They won in 2014 and 2017 and lost last year’s game. Hawaii is making their first appearance. In fact, since the origin of this game and the divisional realignment in 2013, this will be the first time neither Fresno State or San Diego State have represented the West division.

What’s at stake: There is a decent chance Boise State can finish as the highest ranked Group of Five team and make the Cotton Bowl, if Cincinnati wins. But based on how the rankings shook out this week, it seems more likely that the winner of this game will play 6-6 Washington State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Sun Belt – Appalachian State vs Louisiana

History of series: Louisiana has never beat Appalachian State. The Mountaineers are 7-0 against the Cajuns since their first meeting in 2014. Louisiana has scored 80 points total in the 7 games.

Championship Game history: This is the second ever Sun Belt Championship Game and it’s a rematch of the first one in 2018. Appalachian State won last year’s game against Louisiana 30-19.

What’s at stake: The Sun Belt champion typically plays in the New Orleans Bowl against a Conference USA team.

Conference USA – Florida Atlantic vs UAB

History of series: This will be the 7th game between these two schools, with FAU holding a 4-2 edge. They haven’t played since the re-birth of UAB football, with the last meeting coming in 2014 (a UAB victory).

Championship Game history: Game originated in 2005. Both teams have made one appearance in the recent past. FAU won the championship in 2017, which was coach Lane Kiffin’s first season in Boca. UAB beat Middle Tennessee to win the championship in 2018.

What’s at stake: Winner will get to choose which bowl they play in, among the C-USA tie-ins. Options include Gasparalli Bowl (vs AAC), New Mexico (vs MWC), First Responders (vs Big 12)

MAC – Miami Ohio vs Central Michigan

History of series: Miami leads the all-time series 14-13-1. These two teams did not meet the last two seasons, and Miami has won two in a row, winning 31-14 in 2017 and 37-17 in 2016.

Championship Game history: Central Michigan beat Miami 35-10 in the 2007 MAC Championship Game. Miami is making it’s 5th appearance (first since 2010) and is 2-2 all-time. Central Michigan is making it’s 4th appearance (first since 2009) and is 3-0 all-time

What’s at stake: MAC champion will likely play in the LendingTree Bowl (previously Dollar General Bowl) against a team from the Sun Belt.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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