(Editor’s note: This was written in a real Jersey accent — contrary to the fake southern drawl that Massachusetts native Brian Kelly tried to pull off at LSU this week. )
It’s been a rough final few weeks of the season for the Locksmith, who is staggering to the finish line. The good news: It will be another season over .500 here — the third straight.
Championship weekend offers a chance at some redemption for recent failures, so it’s onto the games:
Alabama over Georgia, taking 6 1/2 (in Atlanta)
Alabama AND points? Yes, please.
Michigan over Iowa, giving 11 (in Indianapolis)
Credit to the Hawkeyes for making this far without a quarterback. Wolverines’ defense should dominate the one-dimensional Iowa offense.
Wake Forest over Pittsburgh, taking 3 (in Charlotte)
The least significant but perhaps most entertaining Power 5 championship game. The ACC’s two best QBs—yes, Virginia, I said that—are showcased here. Pitt’s iffy defense is a concern.
CINCINNATI over Houston, giving 10 1/2 (in Cincinnati)
Bearcats don’t lose at home—and they’ve come too far to squander a playoff berth now. Desmond Ridder will show up the way a big-time senior QB should in this one and Cincy’s defense will do the rest.
Baylor over Oklahoma State, taking 5 1/2 (in Arlington)
Cowboys won the regular season meeting by a 24-14 score—in Stillwater. Didn’t they just expend a lot of energy beating Oklahoma? Counting on Baylor QB Gerry Bohanan being back after missing last week with a hamstring injury.
Utah State over San Diego State, taking 6 (in Carson, Cal.)
Anyone remember when Brady Hoke’s Ball State defense gave up 8,000 rushing yards to Ray Rice in the International Bowl? Aggies were 6-0 on the road this year. Aztecs win with defense and special teams, meaning this could be lower scoring—and close.
Last week vs. spread: 1-4-1
Season to date vs. Spread: 43-34-1