We’ve made it to the final Saturday with multiple games to choose from with your college football picks and predictions. As the Conference Championships pit the best each conference had to offer this season, the final Saturday of the year features eight different games with 16 completely different teams.
Week 14 College Football Picks and Predictions
Big 12 Championship: Kansas State vs. TCU
Does TCU have more magic up their sleeves? Can the Horned Frogs continue to hypnotize the world? More importantly, can they score enough points on the Kansas State defense to cover?
Kansas State has allowed just 28 touchdowns this year, the fewest allowed in the Big 12. Sure, points have been scored, but no Big 12 defense has been better at limiting those points than the Wildcats.
Flip the script, though, because no offense has scored more than the TCU offense. Max Duggan has grown his confidence in every game, and the Horned Frogs are among the top three teams in the conference in every passing metric.
TCU’s dream season continues with a commanding victory as Duggan rides off to New York following this one.
Prediction: TCU 30, Kansas State 23
MAC Championship: Toledo vs. Ohio
Despite Ohio losing QB Kurtis Rourke for the season, the MAC Championship doesn’t lack any luster. Ohio will be playing with backup quarterback CJ Harris, who ran for three scores in his first start a week ago.
Harris, however, completed fewer than 50% of his passes against Bowling Green. The Bobcats got a victory in the end, but this is a completely changed landscape for the MAC Championship Game without Rourke.
Toledo QB Dequan Finn should have a field day against Ohio’s last-place defense that allows over 440 yards per game. The Bobcats give up over 6.3 yards per play and have been inconsistent in stopping opponents from gashing them this year.
If Harris makes any ill-advised throws, expect Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell to be there to make a play on the ball. It was Mitchell, after all, who had a four-interception game earlier this season.
Prediction: Toledo 28, Ohio 24
SEC Championship: LSU vs. Georgia
The big one lacks some luster this year. LSU is fresh off a loss to Texas A&M, and Georgia is likely in the College Football Playoff with a win or a loss. So, quite literally, this game is just for bragging rights (and some bonuses in each coach’s pocket).
Georgia is, by far, the more complete team and possesses the largest spread to cover in this outing. Can they score enough on LSU’s defense to do so?
Given the fact that LSU gives up over four yards per rush this year and over 5.3 yards per play, the Georgia offense should carve this Tigers defense up. While on defense, the Bulldogs have the power to limit LSU’s top target (Kayshon Boutte) with Kelee Ringo.
This one feels like a safe bet to capitalize on today with DraftKings Sportsbook. You can win $200 as a new user by simply betting $5 on the Georgia moneyline.
Prediction: Georgia 30, LSU 13
Sun Belt Championship: Coastal Carolina vs. Troy
Troy’s defense deserves more credit than it’s being given nationally. The Trojans hold the all-time tackles leader in Carlton Martial, and their edge rushers present challenges for even the best offensive line.
Coastal Carolina looked lost on offense with Jarrett Guest running point against JMU last week. They’ll have to figure things out, but the Troy defense is nearly as good as the Dukes’ unit that limited Coastal to just over 200 yards as a team.
Martial is the ultimate difference-maker at linebacker and that should be the case for one final ride as a Trojan.
Prediction: Troy 27, Coastal Carolina 17
AAC Championship: UCF vs. Tulane
Though the national landscape has talked about Tulane’s defensive prowess against the pass this year, few have talked about just how good UCF’s defense has been in 2022. The Green Wave rank first in the conference by allowing just 28 offensive touchdowns, while the Knights rank second in the AAC by allowing just 30.
And surprisingly, it’s UCF’s defense that has allowed the fewest touchdowns through the air in the American. UCF is anchored by a stout pass defense that few knew could play this well this season.
They’re getting great performances on defense, but the biggest influence in this game will be a healthy John Rhys Plumlee to provide problems for Tulane’s defense once again.
Plumlee ran for over 150 yards and two scores the last time these two met — UCF knocked Tulane from the Top 25 at the time. If Plumlee’s hamstring isn’t bothering him, the Knights win. Word is that Plumlee will be a full go, and that changes our early-week pick to a bit of a more comfortable victory for the Knights.
Prediction: UCF 38, Tulane 31
Mountain West Championship: Fresno State vs. Boise State
In just seven full games Jake Haener has started, he’s thrown for 16 touchdowns and limited himself to just three interceptions (only two since he’s returned). Haener is playing lights out and some of the best football we’ve seen from him.
Boise State’s pass defense, however, leads the Mountain West by allowing just 6.51 yards per pass attempt and ranks second by allowing just 51.9% of passes to be completed.
Haener will have the stiffest test of his season when he goes against this talented and big secondary. If he continues his current form, however, Haener will test Boise State’s top defensive ceiling.
Prediction: Fresno State 28, Boise State 27
Big Ten Championship: Purdue vs. Michigan
Michigan wins and they’re in the College Football Playoff. If they lose, there’s no chance for them, unfortunately. Acting as a de facto Playoff Quarterfinal, this Michigan team can lean upon what made them so good against Ohio State last week — their rushing attack.
On offense, the Wolverines have the ability to lean on one of the top players at any position across the country. That player is Olusegun Oluwatimi, the Wolverines center, who should be in consideration for the Heisman.
Michigan can also rely on their top-ranked defense that gives up a measly 262.2 yards per game, including just seven passing touchdowns. Against Purdue’s wide-open concepts, expect the Michigan pass rushers to pin their ears back and come after Aidan O’Connell.
Prediction: Michigan 35, Purdue 13
ACC Championship: Clemson vs. North Carolina
This game lacks luster, there’s no denying that. What do we expect when we see Clemson take on North Carolina, as both are coming off losses to their in-state rivals? You can expect to see the talent gap shine for Clemson if DJ Uiagalelei plays up to snuff.
The Tigers are the better team, but that’s mainly because their defense is full of next-level stars. Can the pressure-getters get enough pressure on Maye to force him off his spot while the defensive backs hold on in coverage? They’ll have to put their performance against South Carolina behind them if they want to do so.
The Tiger trio of Trenton Simpson, Myles Murphy, and Bryan Bresee are likely playing their last game as members of Clemson. Expect them to go out the right way.
Prediction: Clemson 38, North Carolina 28