Saturday Nov. 2 NOON/ET ABC AAC Championship
MEMPHIS (11-1) by 5 @ CENTRAL FLORIDA/UCF (11-0)
Don’t pooh-pooh this game because it’s the AAC, not the ACC. These are two good teams who both played a solid slate of regular season games to get here. Last week the UCF/USF season finale was as exciting as college football can be. The biggest question surrounding this contest is the future of wunderkind HC SCOTT FROST. His alma mater, and home state, of Nebraska wants him to move there and take over their seemingly floundering football program, at 3 to 4 times his current salary. Sings this week seem to indicate he may take that job after this contest. How distracted will his players be? Not sure, but let’s just say this ain’t helping them concentrate on football. Both teams can move the ball with ease on offense, but their defenses have been known to make their own big plays. Back stories abound, like UCF LB SHAQUEM GRIFFIN, who only has one hand, but led his team in tackles. His brother, Shaquill, is a Rookie CB with the Sea Hawks. I urge you to watch WR/ANTHONY MILLER OF Memphis. A few years back I was profuse in my praise of a MAC receiver who I thought was going to be an impact player in he NFL, by the name of Antonio Bryant. MILLER is the same player with a combination of speed, quickness and catching ability that few have. He and QB/RILEY FERGUSON will push the UCF Defense to the breaking point. There will be defense in this game, but fireworks should be the main attraction. And yes they deserve national recognition. This week I listed UCF No. 10 and Memphis No. 14 on my rankings list.
Memphis prospects: #4 RILEY FERGUSON/QB; #28 DOROLAND DORCEUS/RB; #89 PHIL MAYHUE/WR; #3 ANTHONY MILLER/WR; #6 GENARD AVERY/LB; #14 JONATHAN COOK/S.
UCF prospects: #88 JORDAN AKINS/TE; #66 AARON EVANS/OT; #5 JAMIYUS PITTMAN/DL; #18 SHAQUEM GRIFFIN.
SATURDAY DEC 2 8PM/ET ABC in Atlanta ACC Championship
CLEMSON (11-1) by 10 VS. MIAMI (F) (10-1)
I could be wrong, but this game strikes me as two teams on opposite sides of the momentum pendulum. CLEMSON is rolling along in the midst of 5 straight Wins and looking pretty healthy for this time of year. Miami is coming off a shocking loss to PITT on Black Friday. But worst of all is the reality that the Hurricanes are pretty banged up. RB MARK WALTON is still out, CHRIS HERNDON/TE is lost after an injury @ Pitt and QB/MALIK ROSIER is banged up a bit, but likely to play. I like the Tigers a lot in this contest with their stifling, super-athletic Defense likely to lead the way. From a scouting match-up keep your eyes on the Clemson DL, which runs 2 deep. I expect FERRELL, BRYANT and WILKINS to all declare for the 2018 NFL Draft and all 3 may be first rounders. FERRELL/#99 reminds me a whole lot of that fellow named CLOWNEY now starring in the NFL. Clemson locks up a Final Four berth with a convincing win in this game.
Clemson prospects: #8 DEAN CAIN/WR/Jr; #55 TYRONE CROWDER/OG; #75 MITCH HYATT/OT/Jr; #99 CLELIN FERRELL/DE RsSo; #42 CHRISTIAN WILKINS/DR\T/Jr; #91 AUSTIN BRYANT/DE/Jr; #6 DORIAN O’DANIEL/OB/SS.
Miami prospects: #23 CHRIS HERNDON/TE Inj; #52 KC McDERMOTT/OT; #73 TREVOR DARLING/OG; #15 MICHAEL BADGLEY/K; #9 CHAD THOMAS/DE; #80 RJ McINTOSH/DT/Jr; #22 SHELDRICK REDWINE/SS/Jr.
SATURDAY DEC 2 8PM/ET FOX @ Indianapolis BIG TEN Championship Game
OHIO STATE (10-2) by 8 vs. WISCONSIN (12-0)
The nations biggest name undefeated team, and accordingly, my top ranked FBS team goes into this game as a decided underdog to a two-loss Buckeye team that has been somewhat inconsistent this season. But talent is not an issue for the Buckeyes. The big question is how healthy QB/J.T. BARRETT is. After losing a pregame encounter with a photographer last weekend BARRETT is coming off a scope clean-up of his knee just last Sunday. I see no reason at all that this game should not be the antithesis of the AAC game. Defense should abound, with a low score unless the defense turn the ball over. A deep Badgers DL group will need to match the productivity of the Buckeyes 2-deep DL rotation. Keep your eyes peeled for #97 at DE for Ohio State. He’s named NICK BOSA, and though only a Soph he may be better than his older brother JOEY of the NFL Chargers. By the way their dad, JOHN BOSA was a First Round Draft Pick out of BC, back in the day. My heart says Wisconsin (after 40 years living in WI) but I worry that QB/ALEX HORNIBROOK, is way overmatched in this one and his shortcomings will be exposed.
Ohio State prospects: #85 MARCUS BAUGH/TE; #54 BILLY PRICE/OC; #74 JAMARCO JONES/OT; #16 JT BARRETT/QB Inj; #6 SAM HUBBARD/DE/ER/Jr; #59 TYQUAN LEWIS/DE; #33 DANTE BOOKER/OB Inj; #12 DENZEL WARD/CB Jr; #7 DAMON WEBB/S; #93 TRACY SPRINKLE/DT.
Wisconsin prospects: #20 AUTIN REMISH/FB; #81 TROY FUMAGALLI/TE; #63 MICHAEL DEITER/OT Jr; #66 JAKE BENZSCHAWEL/OG Jr; #57 ALEC JAMES/DE; #94 CONOR SHEEHY/DL; #32 LEON JACOBS/OB; #5 GARRET DOOLEY/OB; #53 TJ EDWARDS/IB Jr; #14 D’COTA DIXON/SS.
Enjoy and remember to head over to Editor Colin’s game previews elsewhere on the site this week.