Conference Championship Analysis- Week 12 Edition

For the eighth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing the conference championship races.  Like my bowl bubble watch, there is not really a column like this on any other mainstream college football site.  Bold teams have already clinched their division or conference.  Italicized teams are my predicted champions of their respective conferences/divisions at this point in time.  This list is updated through all games played on November 19. 2016.

ACC Atlantic Clemson

ACC CoastalVirginia Tech (The Hokies are tied with the Heels for the division lead but they possess the always important head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams.  As a result, Virginia Tech just needs to beat Virginia or have UNC lose to NC State to win the Coastal.)

Big Ten EastPenn State (It’s so strange for me to pick the Nittany Lions to win this division over their vastly superior counterparts of Michigan and Ohio State.  However, as a result of of Michigan’s shocking loss to Iowa, Penn State now just needs to beat Michigan State and have Ohio State knock off Michigan in their finale in order to win the Big Ten East.)

Big Ten WestWisconsin (The Badgers clinch the division with a win on Saturday over Minnesota.  If the Badgers falter, then the division crown goes to the Cornhuskers as long as they can knock off Iowa on Friday.  If both teams falter, then we’ll have a crazy four-way tie between Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota which would still send the Badgers to the title game per Big Ten Tiebreaker procedures.)

Big 12Oklahoma (Who said the Big 12 Conference doesn’t have a title game?  By virtue of the Sooners win over West Virginia last night, the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State bedlam game will be a de facto conference championship game played on conference championship weekend.)

Pac-12 NorthWashington (This year’s Apple Cup will officially be a de facto Pac-12 North Title game.  Should be a good one.)

Pac-12 SouthColorado (Southern Cal is  sitting in the clubhouse with a 7-2 conference record, but the Buffaloes are still a game in front with one final home game standing between them and a shocking conference championship.  If Utah does upset the Buffs, then the Men of Troy will head to the Pac-12 title game.)

SEC EastFlorida

SEC WestAlabama

AAC EastTemple (The Owls will clinch a surprise AAC East Championship with a home win over East Carolina next Saturday.  If they falter, then USF can clinch the division with a win over UCF.  If both teams lose, then the crown will still belong to Temple.)

AAC WestNavy

C-USA EastWestern Kentucky (The Hilltoppers clinch the C-USA East with a win over Marshall in season finale or an Old Dominion loss to Florida International.  If Hiltoppers do get upset and the Monarchs win, then ODU will be the shocking C-USA East champs.)

C-USA WestLouisiana Tech

MAC EastOhio (Even though the Bobcats lost a tough one to Central Michigan on Tuesday, they still control their own destiny heading into the final weekend of the regular season.  They just need to either beat Akron or have Miami-OH lose to Ball State and they will clinch the division crown.)

MAC WestWestern Michigan (There will be two de facto division championships played on the day after Thanksgiving as the Western Michigan-Toledo matchup joins the Apple Cup as a winner-take-all division title game.)

MWC MountainBoise State (Wyoming clinches the division championship with a road win over New Mexico next Saturday or a Boise loss to Air Force.  However, I’m going to predict neither of those things to happen, and the Broncos to reclaim the division once more.)

MWC WestSan Diego State

Sun BeltArkansas State (The Red Wolves had one of their biggest nights in school history on Thursday at the basketball team knocked off Georgetown on the road and the football team upset Troy.  Now Arkansas State just needs to beat lowly UL-Lafayette and Texas State to claim the outright conference crown.)

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