Illuminati Picks, Week 14: The end is near

GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. THE TIME HAS ARRIVED. THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF COMMITTEE HAS RECEIVED THEIR FINAL INSTRUCTIONS. ALL THE PIECES ARE IN PLACE. SOON THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS SHALL EMERGE, AND SOON THEY SHALL KNOW THE ROLE THEY WILL HAVE IN SHAPING THE FUTURE. IT IS OUR SINCERE WISH YOU ARE PREPARED, FOR THERE IS NO AFFECTING THE COURSE OF THE HISTORY WE HAVE SHAPED. GOOD LUCK TO YOU, AND WE SHALL SEE YOU – OR SOME OF YOU – ON THE OTHER SIDE.

VIEW LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

VIEW SEASON STANDINGS

Pac-12 Championship: #12 Stanford Cardinal vs. #10 USC Trojans (-3.5)

The Pac-12 championship is once again Friday Night’s Main Event, and at some point we all have to question what the conference is getting out of having their conference championship game on a Friday night. It’s bad enough they’ve had to do it five out of seven years so far, but this year the conference is on the outside of the playoff looking in; and we’re deep into high school playoff football. And it ruins the whole concept of #Pac12afterdark! People still have to get up and watch more college football on Saturday! You put it at the very end of the day Saturday so people can spend their Sundays sleeping in and not watching the NFL. Get it together, Pac-12.

Illuminati pick: Stanford

AAC Championship: #20 Memphis Tigers @ #14 Central Florida Knights (-7)

We all keep hearing about how the playoff committee done did UCF wrong, and how no one wants to risk scheduling them out of conference, and how they have no access, and…. look, they do have a bit of a point with the rankings, but even if they hadn’t ducked out of that game against Georgia Tech, it still wouldn’t have put them in playoff position. It’s all come down to this for the Knights: beat Memphis – again – in the championship, and that New Year’s Six bowl berth is all yours. Or, lose, and the Tigers will probably get it, and no one will feel sorry for your ass.

Illuminati pick: UCF

MAC Championship: Akron Zips vs. Toledo Rockets (-21.5)

Last year, Western Michigan rowed the boat through their entire schedule on the way to a Cotton Bowl berth, stopping in Detroit and making that year’s MAC championship the best attended ever. This year….. there’s none of that, and one of the teams (Akron) is a rather pedestrian 7-5. But the Zips haven’t won a MAC championship since their last appearance in 2005, and the Rockets haven’t won one since their last appearance in 2004. The thirst is real for these teams. MACthirst.

Illuminati pick: Akron

Conference USA Championship: North Texas Mean Green @ FAU Owls (-10.5)

The Lane Train is in full gear, still chugging and running full steam ahead to the CUSA championship game! It really has been amazing to see Lane Kiffin’s turnaround from college football’s biggest failson a couple years ago to one of the best things about college football this year: between coaching FAU to one of their best years ever in their short football lives and needling Nick Saban, yeah, it’s been a lot of fun to watch. And now he’s got the Owls on the cusp of their first championship since Howard Schnellenberger (yeah, that one) was at the helm. On the other side, hey, let’s not forget North Texas. They’re actually pretty good! They’re looking for their first double-digit win season since 1977 (and that one included a forfeit win). This is the US Championship match of the weekend: it won’t affect the major championship, but it opens the show and it’s probably going to be pretty fun.

Illuminati pick: FAU

Big 12 Championship: #11 TCU Horned Frogs vs. #3 Oklahoma Sooners (-7)

The humiliation conga never seems to end for the Big 12: after refusing to name a single champion in 2014 the league was left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff entirely. “Fine,” commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, “we’ll make our own championship game!” And so now, a year after the conference playoff was left out once again, we have the second first Big 12 championship game. And you know what? An upset would keep the Big 12 out again, when Oklahoma would otherwise be sitting in the clubhouse, its spot in the playoff already secured. Instead, the Sooners have to play a team they already Foiled again, Bob Bowlsby.

Illuminati pick: OU

SEC Championship: #6 Georgia Bulldogs vs. #2 Auburn Tigers (-2.5)

Many people will tell you the SEC championship is the most important game of the year, and sure, this year’s is certainly the most important game featuring a rematch of another game that was decided by three scores. I’m sure most people (self included) just penciled in Bama for this thing, so don’t be surprised if the score bugs and signage are wrong. In the mean time, Auburn is the only team this year (and the first in…. a long time? Ever?) to make two number one teams look silly. The one that wasn’t Bama will be on the opposite sideline. We’ll see how much Jake Fromm has grown up in three weeks.

Illuminati pick: Auburn

Troy Trojans @ Arkansas State Red Wolves (-1)

So, thanks to certain circumstances within the Sun Belt – namely, they’ll be back town to ten members next year, and they’re not as dumb as the Big 12 – the conference doesn’t have a formal championship game. But as luck would have it, Troy-Arkansas State serves as a nice defacto championship…. uh, sort of. See, both teams are 6-1 in conference play, but so is Appalachian State! Who – and this is really awkward – neither Troy nor Arkansas State played. So the winner here has to hope the Mountaineers lose to Louisiana, lest the have the dreaded “co-” subtitle appended to their championship. At least they don’t have to worry about this affecting their playoff chances?

Illuminati pick: Troy

Mountain West Championship: #25 Fresno State Bulldogs @ Boise State Broncos (-8.5)

If this matchup is giving you a sense of deja vu, there’s a reason for that: it just happened last week, in Fresno. The Bulldogs won, putting them even with Boise at 7-1 in the standings and giving them the edge on the head-to-head tiebreaker. But instead of a rematch in Fresno, the championship is in Boise. Why is that? Uh, well, the answer is kind of complicated, but the short version is because the Broncos made it that way. I learned a lot of things about their contract with the Mountain West from that article, and uh, jeez, Mountain West, you really want to keep the Broncs around, huh?

Illuminati pick: Fresno State

ACC Championship: #7 Miami Hurricanes vs. #1 Clemson Tigers (-9.5)

Man, this was going to be the best ACC championship game of all time. It was all ready for the taking: #1 Miami vs. #2 Clemson. It would have held more intrigue than any other championship game this weekend, by far.

And then. And then. The Hurricanes had to ruin it all by losing to Pitt the day after Thanksgiving. Now, look, I realize the Panthers are familiar with crushing the championship dreams of #2 ranked schools, but…. it was right there! You’d finally silenced the doubters by flattening Notre Dame and making us all think you were actually good, and you ruined it, damn it!

You’re the worst, Miami. Just the worst.

Illuminati pick: Clemson

Big Ten Championship: #8 Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5) vs. #4 Wisconsin Badgers

This is a huge game for two teams: the Badgers, and Alabama, whom the playoff committee have transparently positioned to take the Badgers’ place in the Playoff should they fall. (Seriously, Bama is #5. You can hear the committee practically begging for any reason to put the Tide back in.) While everyone knows who the Buckeyes are (Urban Meyer’s latest superteam) and what they’ve done (lost to Iowa, by a ton), Wisconsin has kind of just ended up here at 12-0, without a whole lot of people talking about them. Except for the committee, whom are all collectively screaming “please, god, no, not Wisconsin” into their pillows at night. But their dreams are haunted by the ghost of Barry Alvarez. And he’s not even dead.

Illuminati pick: Wisconsin

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https://www.fromtherumbleseat.com/2017/11/30/16716956/illuminati-picks-week-14-the-end-is-near

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