Championship Weekend Is Prime For Upsets, With USC, Georgia, TCU And Michigan Looking To Finish The Job

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The college football regular season is history and now we prepare for conference championship weekend to decide the College Football Playoff. Even though some teams have solidified spots in the playoff, teams like USC and TCU are hoping to not fall short, while Michigan and Georgia hope to raise the first trophy of this postseason.

There is the chance we see chaos, which would make the ‘Selection Sunday’ a bit crazy. Could Alabama, Tennessee or someone else sneak into the playoff if a few teams fall? This is certainly something to keep in mind this weekend. Anything can happen this week.

SEC Championship: Georgia vs. LSU

If LSU had any shot of making the playoff, those dreams were shattered by Texas A&M. For Georgia, the focus is on winning an SEC title, something that alluded them last season. The matchup could be one-sided if the Tigers show up in Atlanta and play the same way they did in College Station. Two weeks ago this game had all the allure of potentially causing chaos in the rankings, but that has long passed.


Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs scrambles. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

The only thing LSU can do now is upset the Bulldogs and prevent them from raising the trophy. Obviously it would be a big deal if Brian Kelly won an SEC Championship in his first year on the Bayou. But the Tigers wouldn’t be playing for a national championship, which isn’t the end of the world. Kirby Smart will have his team ready to go, behind quarterback Stetson Bennett, who continues to shine. It might not have the shine it once did, but this game could change the future of LSU football.

Big 12 Championship: Kansas State vs. TCU

The Horned Frogs have staved off near disasters this season, and put their foot on Iowa State’s throat to end the regular season. As for Kansas State, this is a football team capable of knocking off TCU and potentially ending the magical run. Behind quarterback Max Duggan, who should get an invite to the Heisman ceremony, Sonny Dykes is one win from the playoff. Can Adrian Martinez and the Wildcats pull the upset? Sure, with a steady does of Deuce Vaughn running the football.


TCU football underdog at Texas.
TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The arguments will be raging if the Horned Frogs drop a close game, but championship Saturday has given us numerous upsets in the past. This will be a key game to watch.

PAC-12 Championship: USC vs. Utah

Alright, this is the opportunity USC has been working toward all season. If Caleb Williams and Lincoln Riley can deliver on offense, the Trojans will secure a spot in the College Football Playoff. The game presents a lot of pressure for USC, considering all that’s on the line. But standing in their way is quarterback Cameron Rising, who has thrown for 2,629 yards this season and will present numerous problems for USC.

Utah won the previous matchup this season between the two, in a 43-42 thriller. If Utah can pull the upset again, it’d destroy any chance of USC making the playoff. This game will be played in Las Vegas on Friday night, with a large contingent of fans from both teams. Who cares if Utah got into this game because of an Oregon loss, the Utes are the only team to beat USC this season, so they have the recipe for an upset. This game could create chaos in the rankings.

Big Ten Championship: Purdue vs. Michigan

The Wolverines made a statement this past weekend, beating up Ohio State in the second half. It’s not what Michigan did on defense, it’s how they were able to run the football against the Buckeyes front seven that won them the game. By the way, Blake Corum was a non-factor and Michigan still beat the brakes off the Buckeyes. Now comes Purdue, behind quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who has thrown for 3,124 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Michael Barrett #23 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

The only way Purdue pulls an upset in Indianapolis is by torching the Michigan secondary. After watching the Wolverines defense against Ohio State, Purdue will certainly take a a bunch of shots down the field. Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are out to prove a point, with a Big Ten title being the first step in the redemption tour of 2022.

ACC Championship: Clemson vs. North Carolina

The Clemson Tigers lost two of their final four games of the regular season to ruin any chance at a playoff spot. Losing 31-30 to South Carolina, while North Carolina lost to NC State has really put a damper on this game in Charlotte. But, we will get to see Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye sling the football around, which should be enough for some to tune in. If Clemson can somehow salvage the season by winning, maybe it will take the sting out of the loss to Shane Beamer’s Gamecocks.

Though this game doesn’t mean much for the College Football Playoff, it should be entertaining to watch. Can Mack Brown win an ACC Championship with a really good quarterback?

Other Game Of Note

Keep an eye on the AAC championship game, with UCF and Tulane battling for the second time in three weeks. This should turn into an offensive shootout, with the Green Wave looking to avenge the regular-season loss.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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