Conference Championship Analysis- Week 12 Edition

For the tenth-straight season, I will be publishing weekly columns late in the season which analyze all of  the FBS conference championship races. Like my bowl bubble watch, there is not really a column like this on any other mainstream college football site.  Bolded 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 17, 2018.

ACC AtlanticClemson (Not surprisingly, the Tigers have clinched the ACC Atlantic for a fourth consecutive season.)

ACC Coastal Pittsburgh (The Panthers pull off one of the greatest in-season turnarounds you’ll ever see to somehow win the ACC Coastal.  They started conference play by losing to the worst team in their division and then proceeded to go undefeated in ACC play.)

Big Ten EastOhio State (As a result of their thrilling win over Maryland, the Bucks will play arch rival Michigan next Saturday for the Big Ten East Championship.)

Big Ten WestNorthwestern (The Cinderella Cats are in the Big Ten Title Game!  Now, they have a chance to spoil either Ohio State or MIchigan’s college football playoff hopes.)

Big 12West Virginia/Texas (As long as the Horns beat Kansas on Friday, they will get to play in the Big 12 title game against the winner of West Virginia and Oklahoma.  I’m predicting WVU wins that game at home thereby setting up an epic rematch of West Virginia and Texas.)

Pac-12 NorthWashington (The Apple Cup will decide the Pac-12 North next Friday night, and because the Huskies have owned Wazzu in recent years, I am picking them to win that game to clinch a third straight Pac-12 North crown.)

Pac-12 SouthUtah (The Utes are headed to the Pac-12 title game meaning that this division becomes the first in college football to have all of its members play in a conference championship game.)

SEC EastGeorgia     

SEC WestAlabama (The SEC Championship Game will be exactly what everyone expected and what everyone wanted to see after last year’s national title classic.  Alabama and Georgia will play each other in postseason play again in Atlanta. This one should end up being a CFP play-in game.)

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AAC EastUCF (Please tell me how this team isn’t in consideration for the CFP playoff?  They are by far the best team in the country.)

AAC WestHouston (The Cougars tried to give up this division by losing consecutive games to SMU and Temple earlier this month.  However, after dismantling Tulane on Thursday, they got a huge break when Memphis beat SMU on Friday night. Now, Houston once again controls its own destiny and will clinch the AAC West if they beat Memphis on Friday.  A loss in that game could setup a wild four-way tie at the top between Houston, Memphis, SMU, and Tulane in which Memphis would win.)

C-USA EastFlorida International (As long as FIU beats Marshall at home next Saturday, they will win the division crown.  If they falter, then Middle Tennessee will cinch the crown regardless of their result against UAB. )  

C-USA WestUAB

MAC EastBuffalo (The Bulls made this division title race a lot more interesting by getting blown out in Athens, Ohio on Wednesday night.  Nevertheless, they still just need to beat the lowly Falcons of Bowling Green on the Friday after Thanksgiving to clinch the MAC East crown.  If they somehow stumble, Miami of Ohio and Ohio are still in contention. Miami would win the division if all three teams finished tied at the top.)

MAC WestNorthern Illinois (The Huskies’ clinched the division as a result of Ball State’s shocking upset win over Western Michigan.  The only thing more shocking than the result of that Ball State game was the crowd size. I counted 37 people on the television side of the field when they panned out for a wide view of Sheumann Stadium in the third quarter.)

MWC MountainBoise State (The Broncos battle with Utah State next Saturday will be a de facto division title game.)

MWC West Fresno State (The Bulldogs knocked off the Aztecs on Saturday to clinch the division title for the second consecutive season.)

Sun Belt EastAppalachian State (The Mountaineers beat Georgia State this weekend to setup the Sun Belt game of the century between league powers Troy and Appalachian State.  The winner becomes the division champ and I’m predicting App to win that one at home.)

Sun Belt WestArkansas State (The Red Wolves need to beat Texas State next Saturday and then simultaneously have UL-Monroe beat arch rival UL-Lafayette in order to clinch the division.  I am going to predict both of those things to happen to send Arkansas State to the first-ever Sun Belt Championship game.)

 

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