What a wild weekend for college football. Even with very few fans in the stands and all the COVID-19 pandemic problems and protocols, we got to see some pretty good football games on conference championship day.
Buckeyes Bully The Big 10
In the Big 10 Championship Game, the FBS #4 Ohio State Buckeyes beat FBS #14 Northwestern Wildcats but did not cover the spread of -16.5. The final score was 22-10.
The FBS #5 Texas A&M versus Tennessee was a makeup game that the Aggies won, and covered the -13.5 spread, by a final score of 34-13. There was plenty of talk that Texas A&M should have made the FBS Final Four, but that was not to be.
In the Big 12 title game, the FBS #12 Oklahoma Sooners won their sixth Big 12 title in a row by defeating the FBS sixth-ranked Iowa State Cyclones by a final score of 27-21. The Sooners were 5.5-point favorites and they covered, but just barely.
Tigers And Irish Put On A Show
The long-awaited rematch between FBS #3 Clemson and FBS #2 Notre Dame ended up in the FBS Final Four to play for the NCAA Championship, even though Clemson (-11) beat the Fighting Irish quite handily the second time around, and covered the spread by a final score of 34-10 with Trevor Lawrence at the helm.
Not all of the games were conference championships. Ole Miss at LSU, which was a makeup game from earlier in the season, and what a slugfest it was. It turned out to be an aerial battle between the two quarterbacks of unranked teams – LSU’s Max Johnson, a true freshman, and Matt Coral for the Rebels, who completed 15 of 27 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns plus 158 yards rushing and yet another touchdown.
However, Johnson of LSU completed 27 of 51 for 435 yards in the air and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 45 yards scoring 2 additional touchdowns. LSU looks to have finally found themselves a quarterback. The final score of the game was a whopping 53-48 victory for the Tigers. LSU covered and the game went way over.
The SEC Title Game between the FBS #1 Alabama Crimson Tide and #7 Florida Gators played in the beautiful new dome stadium in Atlanta. The Tide were 16-point favorites at kickoff time, but they did not cover the spread against a determined Gator team that came to play football after losing a heartbreaker at home to LSU the week before.
Florida native Mac Jones was the quarterback for Alabama. Jones passed for 418 yards, completing 33 of 43 passes for five touchdowns throwing only one pick all night.
Texas native Kyle Trask played quarterback for the Gators there in Atlanta. He completed 26 of 40 passes for 408 yards and three touchdowns and zero interceptions. It is seldom that we are treated to two such performances by two future NFL quarterbacks.
Alabama running back Najee Harris rushed for 178 yards on 31 carries and scored two touchdowns, and provided the difference in the game for the Tide, which went into the game as 16-point favorites but did not cover the spread. Final score, Alabama 52 & Florida 46.
SEC Teams Take It To The House
In just two games, both between SEC teams Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss and LSU, there was a grand total of 199 points scored!
So the stage is set for the NCAA National Championship games. The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame will meet of January 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, an alternate location as it was moved from the Rose Bowl due to coronavirus considerations. The Tigers and the Buckeyes will also play later the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in the Super Dome in New Orleans if all goes well.
The national championship game will be played on January 11 in Miami.