GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. YOU HAVE WAITED PATIENTLY THROUGH A LONG AND DIFFICULT FOOTBALL SEASON. AT LAST, YOU SHALL BEGIN TO SEE YOUR REWARDS. OUR MEN ARE AT EVERY CONFERENCE HEADQUARTERS, AND EVERY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, WAITING TO CROWN NEW CHAMPIONS. YOU HAVE ONE FINAL TEST BEFORE YOU, ONE LAST CHANCE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE CORRECTLY PREDICTED OUR PLAN. GO FORTH, AND PREPARE FOR THE DAWNING OF A NEW AGE OF MANKIND.
AS ALWAYS, YOU MAY REVIEW THE RESULTS OF YOUR PREDICTIONS UP TO NOW HERE.
#22 Temple Owls @ #19 Houston Cougars (-7)
The championship slate kicks off at high noon with the AAC championship, hosted by Houston. Well, technically it kicks off at 7pm on Friday with the MAC championship, but the AAC's champion is getting that group of 5 New Years Six bowl bid, not the MAC's, so.... screw 'em. Houston is favored by rule of having one fewer loss, even though Temple's losses were to USF and Notre Dame and Houston's is to a UConn team that's only bowl eligible because Houston lost to them. So the Owls are very much in this, even if there will be basically zero Temple fans in attendance.
Illuminati pick: Temple wins
#18 Florida Gators vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-18)
The SEC championship pits the unstoppable Alabama crimson killing machine against a team who scored exactly two points last weekend. Hey, did you know this game shares parts of its time slot with Kansas State - West Virginia, a bunch of Sun Belt games, and nothing else? It's totally not a conspiracy to give the SEC championship the biggest ratings of the weekend or anything.
(Don't watch this game.)
(Seriously, Alabama's gonna win this. You don't need to worry about this one.)
Illuminati pick: Alabama wins but does not cover
#20 USC Trojans vs. #7 Stanford Cardinal (-5)
We've seen the Pac-12 championship already: Stanford upset then #6 USC 41-31 back in week 3, and that game was in Los Angeles. Sure, USC has a new coach now, and he's 5-2, and Stanford is still the same Stanford, but.... Stanford is still the same Stanford. The one that already beat the Trojans. In Los Angeles. Still, nothing is guaranteed in college football. The chaos potential from the result of this game is low, as the Pac-12 has pretty much played itself out of the playoff picture already - the potential is actually higher if everything goes according to plan in this game, but Stanford would still be depending on the outcome of at least two other games to have any hope of breaking in to the playoff. You know what? Just watch the game and enjoy it. Don't let silly things like "playoffs" mar your interest.
Illuminati pick: Stanford covers
#10 UNC Tar Heels vs. #1 Clemson Tigers (-5)
Finally, UNC has made its way to the ACC championship, and it only took them two years after Duke and nine years after Wake Forest did it! (You'll get there eventually, NC State. Maybe.) Clemson is 12-0 and looking to grab the top seed in the College Football Playoff. Does UNC even stand a chance? If you go by the extremely advanced metric known as "record vs. South Carolina", then no. If you look at most other factors, well.... Clemson got to 12-0 by defeating Notre Dame and FSU, two teams who are still in the top ten. UNC beat.... Pitt? So, that's pointing to Clemson as well. But hey: maybe, juuuuuuuust maybe, Clemson brings "Clemsoning" back for this game. It hasn't happened the past twenty or so times people thought they'd do it, but maybe this is the game it does!
Illuminati pick: Clemson covers
#5 Michigan State Spartans (-4) vs. #4 Iowa Hawkeyes
Pitting #4 vs #5, the Big Ten championship is as close to a true play-in game for the College Football Playoff as we might ever see. An Iowa win keeps the Hawkeyes at 4; a Michigan State win means the Spartans will take their place. People without a dog in this fight can determine their personal preference by answering this simple question: do you want to see a team that plays no offense and lots of defense in a playoff game versus Clemson, or do you want to see a team that really plays no offense and lots of defense in a playoff game versus Clemson?
Illuminati pick: Michigan State covers