Championship week is upon us as the teams still in the running for the College Football Playoff compete for the four spots that will be announced on Selection Sunday. A big step toward completing the process was taken Friday night as No. 3 Washington defeated No. 5 Oregon for the second time this season in the Pac-12 championship game. With the win, the Huskies clinched not only the final Pac-12 championship, but also one of those coveted College Football Playoff berths while remaining undefeated. The Pac-12 – in its final year of existence – is now guaranteed a chance at the national championship for the first time since 2016, when Washington represented the conference.
No. 7 Texas will have a chance to make its case with additional rankings when it takes on No. 18 Oklahoma State. All eyes will be on the final SEC Championship Game on CBS as No. 1 Georgia takes on No. 8 Alabama. The Bulldogs will lock up the top seed with a win, while the Crimson Tide will undoubtedly create chaos if they manage to upset their rivals. Some think there’s a chance the SEC could be left out if Bama eliminates UGA, but that seems highly unlikely given the importance of the conference and the fact that the Tide would eliminate the best team in the country in the last week of the season.
No. 2 Michigan, which appears as a 23-point favorite against No. 16 Iowa, is simply looking to solidify its playoff bid on the night. The real star of the show Saturday night will be the ACC championship game with No. 4 Florida State – potentially due to its third-string quarterback – taking on No. 14 Louisville. The Seminoles need to win to have a chance in the playoffs, but even if they emerge victorious, will the CFP selection committee put them in the field permanently as undefeated conference champions?
All this remains to be seen. Just like the results of Championship Week. Carefree. Our CBS Sports experts break down every matchup here with spread predictions and their best bets on the game. Take a look below.
Odds via SportsLine consensus | All times Eastern
Big 12: Oklahoma State No. 18 against Texas No. 7
Noon | ABC, fubo (Try for free) — Oklahoma State rose to the big games, but Texas won’t waste its moment. The Longhorns have been dominant when it counts and are reaching another level over time. Texas should be able to contain Ollie Gordon II and make OSU’s passing game the centerpiece of the game. The Cowboys just aren’t dynamic enough to win this way. The Longhorns are rolling. Pick: Texas -14.5 -Shehan Jeyarajah
SEC: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 8 Alabama
4:00 p.m. | CBS, Paramount+ with Showtime, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app — The Bulldogs will wear down Alabama’s defense thanks to a phenomenal performance from the duo of Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. After all, if Auburn can do it, Georgia certainly can. Quarterback Carson Beck will do enough through the air to keep the Alabama defense honest, which will go a long way in securing the Bulldogs’ second straight SEC title. Alabama will stay close until the fourth quarter, but a strong Dawgs defense will force quarterback Jalen Milroe into a late mistake or two as Georgia covers to advance to the CFP. Choice: Georgia -6 -Barrett Sallee
ACC: No. 14 Louisville vs. No. 4 Florida State
8 p.m. | ABC, fubo (Try for free) — Mike Norvell and Jeff Brohm are two excellent game planners and play callers. Even though we have two of the best defenses in the ACC on the field, I think a good offense trumps a good defense when coaching is first rate. There’s so much skill on the field that there’s bound to be some perfectly planned explosive plays, so I’m expecting a lot more points than this total suggests. Choice: Over 47.5 –Chip Patterson
Big Ten: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 16 Iowa
8 p.m. | Fox, fubo (Try for free) — I’m not going to mess with the spread. First of all, even if anything is possible, I don’t see Iowa shocking the world here. I just don’t know how the Hawkeyes are going to score points. Even though they had success against the Big Ten West, it was still the same team that lost to Penn State 31-0 this year. And the Hawkeyes were much healthier then. Michigan is Penn State on steroids. The question is, how motivated will the Wolverines be to run up the score? They don’t need it. Win and they’ll go to the playoffs. Outside of a few touchdowns to Blake Corum, I don’t see why Michigan would risk anything in the second half if they have a lead they feel comfortable protecting. Choice: under 35 years old –Tom Fornelli
What college football picks can you make with confidence in conference championship games? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profits over the past seven seasons – and find out.