Michigan vs Iowa
Seeing some different faces in the Big Ten Championship game is somewhat refreshing this year. Both Michigan and Iowa have stellar defenses so it will be fun to see which team really steps up to the challenge. If I had to guess, it would be Iowa’s defense that really has to put on a show in this game. Michigan has an offense that can heat up very quickly led by star running backs Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins. Iowa’s offense just never really seemed to get things going this year or find a rhythm and I don’t see it magically starting up tomorrow against a sound Michigan defense. I’ll take Michigan in this one.
Georgia vs Albama
Everyone has been high on Georgia all year and has every reason to be. The Bulldogs lead the country in total defense only giving up 230 yards per game, and scoring defense only giving up 6.9 points per game. The defensive side of the ball is so talented that sometimes we forget that they offense can do some things, too. Stetson Bennett isn’t a household name or a flashy guy that puts up big numbers but he arguably might be the most efficient quarterback in college football. Looking at Alabama, their offense can score at will averaging 42.7 points per game which is the best in the SEC and fifth in the country. As much as I would have loved to see Ohio State’s offense against Georgia’s defense, Alabama will do and won’t disappoint. I think i’m going to go with Alabama in this game and I don’t think it is much of an “upset” like people think. The Bulldogs are 0-6 in their last 6 meetings with the Crimson Tide and the last win was in 2007. I like Nick Saban and his team to keep it “rolling”.
Cincinnati vs Houston
Cincinnati has proven time and time again this year they are one of the top programs in the country with some good wins over Indiana and Notre Dame early in the season. The offense looks unstoppable scoring over 40 points in six of their games this season. But don’t be so in awe of Cincy that you forget Houston’s offense can put some points on the board as well, they have had seven games scoring 40 or more points this season and finished 11-1. Both teams have defenses that you can’t take lightly or blow off either. Houston ranks 6th in total defense, while Cincinnati ranks 8th. This game is going to be a lot closer than people think.
Oklahoma State vs Baylor
Much like the Big Ten, you have to love seeing the Big 12 get a little bit mixed up here. Depending on how other games shake out, Oklahoma State has a real chance to play for a championship this year. Everyone always jokes about how the Big 12 is a conference that doesn’t play much defense but it seems like the Cowboys are putting that narrative to rest. Oklahoma State ranks top three total defense in the country. They are a sneaky team in the big picture, but Baylor is a sneaky team in this game. The Bears have really ramped up their defense the second half of the season and have been a different team since their loss to Oklahoma State earlier in the season. Beating a team twice in the same season is difficult but I think the Oklahoma State is more than capable of doing it and making a push for a top four spot in the end.