I’m on a big-time roll after a huge week that improved me to 19-4 in college football over the past two weeks, and 13-2 in the NFL to improve my last two weeks to 20-7. No points spreads here, just real-world picks.
Here’s who I like this week:
Florida State, particularly with the Jameis Winston off-field monkey off their back, should roll over Duke at home in the ACC Championship Game and earn their way into the National title game. If the Seminoles lose focus, however, Duke is the kind of disciplined team that can find a way keep it close. In the end, FSU is just too good on defense and Winston has too many weapons.
In the Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State faces the nation’s best defense statistically. Quarterback Braxton Miller is a tough guard, however, and the Spartans have not faced the kind of speed the Buckeyes present.
The SEC title game pits the Auburn Tigers versus the Missouri Tigers. Both teams are so well coached and if it turns into any kind of shootout, Missouri is the better bet. I don’t expect that, however — the defenses will win out to an extent — so I like Auburn to put the pressure on Ohio State by beating Missouri.
The Pac-12 Championship Game pits Stanford, a power running team with a stout defense versus the strong, athletic front seven of Arizona State and the dual threat skill of QB Taylor Kelly. I like ASU here, mostly because Arizona State can be just as physical as the Cardinal. It’s also worth noting that Stanford is a bit one-dimensional offensively and the Sun Devils have the athletes to minimize the big plays of Ty Montgomery.
In the NFL, it’s another slate of good games, topped off by Carolina and New Orleans, both at 9-3, facing off in the Superdome. For the season, I sit 126-66-1 in the NFL. Man, I hate ties.
I like Carolina on the road as I think the Saints could experience a hangover from their 34-7 drubbing in Seattle on Monday night. Plus, defense travels and Carolina has one of the best defensive units in football.
I like Denver to handle the Titans easily to maintain their 1-game lead on the Patriots in the race for the top seed in the AFC. The Rams-Cardinals matchup is key in the NFC playoff race as Arizona, Philadelphia and Dallas start the week one game behind San Francisco for the final postseason berth. I like the Cards at home in a close game, which puts the pressure on the 49ers, who host Seattle at the same time.
The Seahawks would clinch the division with a victory, and I do see them squeaking one out by a field goal or so.
– Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan
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