My Predictions for the teams that will be playing in their Conference Championship Games in December 2013. In parenthesis are my #2 in each division).
B1G Nebraska vs Ohio State (Michigan State, Wisconsin) — Michigan tops Nebraska in Ann Arbor but falls to both Ohio State and Michigan State. Ohio State could run the table but are not invincible.
SEC Georgia vs Alabama (Florida, Texas A&M) Georgia has LSU and SC at home and FL on a neutral field and do not play AL or TX A&M. Bama will be ready for the week 2 road trip to College Station and hosts LSU.
ACC Florida State vs Virginia Tech (Clemson, Georgia Tech) I am a little worried about FSU’s road trip to Death Valley but I think they are the better team. Poor road trips to CLEM & GT would be devastating for VT. But I think they only need to win one of the two.
PAC Stanford vs UCLA (Oregon, Arizona State) Coaching continuity and home field advantage give the edge to STAN over OR. UCLA may be a stretch considering they travel to STAN, OR, AZ and USC. But they host AZ St and are better than AZ and USC.
MW Boise State vs Fresno State (Utah State, Nevada) Both BSU and FSU will be in the top 25 at the time of this game.
USA Louisiana Tech vs Marshall (Tulsa, ECU) LA Tech hosts Tulsa and do not play Marshall or ECU. If they can carry momentum in from last season despite loosing a Sonny Dykes the non-conference schedule sets them up well going into C-USA play. Tulsa has a more challenging non-conference schedule and play ECU, Marshall and LA Tech in straight weeks. I will be secretly rooting for Florida Atlantic in the East but Marshall hosts ECU at the end of the regular season and I expect the winner to get the nod. ECU has the edge going into this game because they host Tulsa while Marshall travels to Tulsa but I still see Marshall advancing.
MAC Ohio vs N. Illinois (Miami, OH, Toledo) These are the only two teams that are consistently near the top of their divisions. I also don’t think the loss of Hazell will affect Kent State more dramatically than loosing Doeren will affect N. IL. Solich is due.
XII Kansas State (Oklahoma State) I think most prognosticators are picking Oklahoma or Texas. The Big XII power shift started when Nebraska and Colorado bolted and continued last year when Missouri and Texas A& M departed and K-State won the crown. TX & OK may still control the $$$ in the Big XII, but my money’s on Schneider and Gundy.
American Louisville (Rutgers) Rutgers and Cincinnati will make a push, but Louisville is the cream of the Big East … I mean Conference USA …. I mean American Athletic Conference.
Sun U. Louisiana Lafayette (Arkansas State) The loss of both Malzhan and Appley is enough for the reining champs to get dethroned.