The NCAA football season is nearing a close, but this upcoming weekend is one of the biggest of the season. It's conference championship weekend across the country, and there are a number of terrific matchups on tap.
For teams that are not playing in a conference championship game, there are still plenty of other terrific games on the schedule. Plenty of bowl game matchups will be decided this weekend, and the final College Football Playoff rankings are set to be unveiled on Dec. 20.
Here is a look at 12 of the biggest and best college football matchups around the country this weekend, with a quick betting preview for each game.
The Pac-12 Championship Game will feature the 5-0 USC Trojans taking on the 3-1 Washington Huskies. The Pac-12 Conference was the last major league to get things going in 2020, but there has still been plenty of excitement from that conference.
Washington suffered a 31-26 loss to the Stanford Cardinal in its most recent game, and it will be looking to turn things around in a hurry. The Huskies are averaging 30.8 points per game while allowing 25.0 points per contest.
USC quarterback Kedon Slovis has thrown 15 touchdown passes through five games, and he leads this Trojans offense. USC is looking for more balance on offense after rushing for just 109 yards per game.
This will be an interesting matchup, but USC has a much better overall team. Take the USC Trojans -7.0 over the Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
It will be the 5-1 Ball State Cardinals taking on the 5-0 Buffalo Bulls in the MAC Championship Game on Friday night. The MAC is one of the most unpredictable and exciting conferences in the country, and this title game could be fun to watch.
Ball State has won five straight games since suffering a season-opening loss to Miami (Ohio). The Cardinals are led by quarterback Drew Pitt, who has thrown for 1,674 yards and 13 touchdown passes this season.
Buffalo is an offensive juggernaut that is averaging 50.6 points per game, the most in FBS. The Bulls also lead the country with 344.2 rushing yards per game, and that rushing attack is relentless.
Ball State has had a strong season, but it is simply no match for the offense from Buffalo. Bet on the Buffalo Bulls -12.0 to win the MAC Championship Game.
The Big Ten Conference has been plagued by COVID-19 all season long, but there is a title game set for this weekend. The 5-0 Ohio State Buckeyes are massive favorites over the 6-1 Northwestern Wildcats in a game that will be played in Indianapolis.
Northwestern is holding opponents to just 14.6 points per game, but this will be its toughest test of the season. The Wildcats will also need to find more offense after scoring just 25 points per game.
Ohio State can put up points in a hurry, and quarterback Justin Fields is one of the best in the country. Fields has thrown 15 touchdown passes, and the Buckeyes are scoring nearly 47 points per game.
This is just a complete mismatch, and Ohio State will make quick work of the Wildcats. Bet on Ohio State -20.5 as it makes its final case for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Texas A&M will not be playing in the SEC Championship Game this weekend, but it has a tough task ahead of it when it visits Tennessee to take on the Volunteers. The Aggies come into this game with a 7-1 record, while the Volunteers are just 3-6 on the season.
The Aggies are running for more than 200 yards per game, but they also have a terrific quarterback. Kellen Mond has thrown for nearly 1,800 yards, and he will play a key role in this matchup.
Tennessee snapped a six-game losing skid in its last game against Vanderbilt, but the Volunteers still have some flaws. Tennessee is scoring just 22.4 points per game, and it's hard to win games in the SEC without an offense.
Texas A&M needs to make a statement in this game, and that is exactly what it will do. Bet on the Aggies -13.5 to take care of business against the Volunteers.
The annual game featuring Air Force and Army was postponed earlier this year, but it is set to take place this weekend. The 3-2 Air Force Falcons are slight favorites against the 8-2 Army Black Knights in a game that will be played at West Point, NY.
Air Force is averaging 336.0 rushing yards per game, and this is a team that hardly ever throws the football. The Falcons have had a number of games canceled this season, but they have won two straight games entering this matchup.
Army throws the ball even less than Air Force, averaging just 48.0 passing yards per game. The Black Knights have a terrific defense that is holding opponents to just 14.7 points per game.
Don't expect a ton of points in this game as both teams will chew up some clock. Playing on its home turf will give Army a slight edge in this game, and the Black Knights will win this game outright.
The 5-1 Boise State Broncos will meet the 6-0 San Jose Spartans for the Mountain West Conference championship this weekend. These two teams were supposed to meet during the regular season, but that game was scratched due to COVID-19.
Boise State is scoring more than 35 points per game while allowing just 26.0 points per game. The Broncos want to play an uptempo style, but they will be facing a stout defense in this matchup.
San Jose State is allowing just 17.5 points per game, and that defense has been dominant against the run. The Spartans are led on offense by quarterback Nick Starkel, who has thrown for 1,453 yards and 13 touchdowns through six games.
Boise State has the better roster, but it's hard to count out San Jose State. The best bet in this game is taking the +6.5 points as the Spartans will keep this one tight throughout.
The Big 12 Championship Game will feature the Oklahoma Sooners against the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State defeated Oklahoma by a score of 37-30 earlier in the year, and revenge will be on the minds of the Sooners.
Oklahoma has now won six straight games, and that offense is scoring nearly 44 points per game. Quarterback Spencer Rattler leads the way with 2,512 passing yards and 24 touchdowns for the Sooners.
Iowa State is holding opponents to just 21.3 points per contest, and they want to win this game with defense. Running back Breece Hall could also play a huge role as he has run for 17 rushing touchdowns for the Cyclones.
Iowa State might have beaten Oklahoma earlier this season, but things are different this time around. Take the Sooners -6.0 over the Cyclones in the Big 12 Championship Game.
The Sun Belt Conference Championship Game will feature the 9-1 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns taking on the 11-0 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina pulled off a 30-27 victory over Louisiana in the first meeting of the year.
Louisiana has won six straight games since that loss, and it is solid on both sides of the football. Quarterback Levi Lewis has thrown for more than 2,100 yards, and he will be a player to watch in this matchup.
Coastal Carolina has a dominant defense that is allowing just 18 points per game, and it can also run the football. The Chanticleers have been one of the best stories in the country, and this team has a ton of confidence.
Both teams have improved since that first meeting of the season, but Coastal Carolina is the better team. Take the Chanticleers -3.5 over the Ragin' Cajuns in the Sun Belt title game.
Another rematch will take place in the ACC, and it will be a battle of the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in the national rankings. Clemson (9-1) will be looking to avenge a regular-season loss when it takes on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the ACC Championship Game.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Larence missed the first matchup, and he leads an offense averaging 46.0 points per game. Running back Travis Etienne will also play a large role as he has 12 rushing touchdowns this season.
Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams has run for 1,011 yards this season, and the Fighting Irish want to run the football. The defense is holding opponents to just 17 points per game, but that unit will be tested in this one.
Clemson will get revenge on Notre Dame on Saturday, but this game will be tight. Taking the Fighting Irish at +10.5 is the right bet to make in this game.
The undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the 8-2 Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama is the top-ranked team in the country, while Florida is trying to recover from an upset loss to LSU on Saturday.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones has thrown for 3,321 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith has 15 touchdown receptions, and that duo will put pressure on the Florida secondary.
Florida allowed 37 points to LSU in the upset loss, and they are giving up more than 26 points per game. Quarterback Kyle Trask has thrown for more than 3,700 yards, but he won't be able to win this game in a shootout.
Alabama has dominated every opponent this season, and that won't change this week. Take the Crimson Tide -17.0 over the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game.
The American Athletic Conference title game will feature the 6-1 Tulsa Golden Hurricane against the 8-0 Cincinnati Bearcats. Rust could play a role in this game as both teams have been off for at least two weeks.
Tulsa is holding opponents to less than 20 points per game, and that defense will need to dominate this game. The Golden Hurricane are led by quarterback Zach Smith on offense, but Tulsa can't afford to turn this into a shootout.
Cincinnati is scoring more than 40 points per game, and quarterback Desmond Ridder has a ton of confidence. The defense has also been special, holding opponents to less than 16 points per contest.
It will take some time for Cincinnati to get things rolling in this game, and that will allow Tulsa to keep it close. Take the Golden Hurricane +15.0, but the Bearcats will win the conference title.
The Oregon Ducks and Colorado Buffaloes are not in the Pac-12 Championship Game, but this will be an interesting matchup on Saturday night. Oregon is just 3-2 on the season, while Colorado is a surprising 4-1.
The Ducks have now lost two straight games, and defense has been a major issue. Oregon is averaging nearly 200 rushing yards per game, but its defense is giving up 28.0 points per contest.
Colorado was a perfect 4-0 until suffering a 38-21 loss to Utah on Saturday night. Running back Jarek Broussard has run for 813 yards through five games, and he will be featured in this one.
Look for Oregon to end the regular season on a positive note by coming away with a convincing win over Colorado. Take the Oregon Ducks -8.0 over the Colorado Buffaloes.
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