We finally have conference championship week and it kicks off tonight with two matchups that are going to be very interesting. Most may not care about C-USA but UTSA has been a little bit of a Cinderella this year until they suffered their first loss last week. Western Kentucky is on a 7-game win streak and their last loss was to UTSA at home in October. This team may have 4 losses on the season but they played Indiana, Michigan St, Army, and UTSA close the entire time. Next, we have Oregon in a revenge game against Utah. Oregon saw their playoff hopes fade away as they were just obliterated a few weeks back to this Utah team that is maybe the most underrated team in the country. Both teams match up very well against each other despite what the scoreboard said and what a way to kick off a weekend with two conference championship games with two teams looking for revenge.
I have followed along with this UTSA team all year and they are extremely fun to watch. A lot of these guys are from the San Antonio area and played for the same high school or similar areas. This team can score in a blink and they have gone way under the radar. If they would have won last week and then win this week, they could’ve been the first undefeated team to not be in the top 15 going into bowl season. Western Kentucky is a solid program that is always amongst the top of their conference and schedules teams at the beginning of the season they are not afraid of. One of the most consistent mid-major programs in the country and something tells me this will not be the first time these two programs face each other in the conference championship in the coming years. The one area that jumps out to me is that both teams are explosive offenses that are middle-of-the-pack defense but UTSA gets to the QB much better. Western Kentucky has had issues protecting the QB this year and in a championship game when it comes down to it at the end of the game that’s the area that will be the difference between a game-winning drive or a backbreaking turnover.
The Picks: WKU vs UTSA over 72.5 and UTSA ML +135
With a spot for the Rose Bowl most likely on the line Oregon and Utah meetup after just facing off a couple of weeks back. Utah wound up putting a beatdown on this Oregon team but to me, that wasn’t entirely the case. Oregon missed a few field goals and didn’t convert in the RedZone a couple of times due to having to go for it on 4th or forcing mistakes. On the other hand, this UTAH team returned a punt and ran for what felt to be close to 10,000 yards. Oregon is way too good of a football team and is way too well-coached for those things to happen again. I think this one is going to be a slugfest back and forth and Utah will look to stick to the ground game just like the last matchup until Oregon proves they can stop it. This is one of my favorite matchups of the weekend and it’s a real shame Oregon lost their shot at the playoff because that added drama would’ve made this game one of the most-watched games of the season.
The Picks Oregon vs Utah under 57.5 and Oregon ML +115