It’s Final Four and National Championship weekend! The SGPN College Football Tournament simulation games on NCAA Football 14 is moving full steam ahead. The two winners from Saturday’s games will square off in the first ever SGPN College Football National Championship on Sunday evening. Also, just for the hell of it, and because we support the troops, we have Army vs Navy as the appetizer to the championship game entrée.
It was a dog day afternoon last Saturday that saw the underdogs (Utah and Georgia) not only cover, but both win outright. This was followed by a chalky Sunday where the favorites (Clemson and Ohio State) both obliterated Notre Dame and Baylor, respectively.
The dogs and favorites are both an even 6-6 ATS while the dogs are a respectable 4-8 straight up. It’s also been all about the Unders which are 7-4-1 thus far. It should be noted that all games moving forward will be played at neutral sites. Let’s get to the previews!
Get your bets in exclusively at MyBookie!
Utah Utes vs Georgia Bulldogs
Line: Utah -3
Saturday 5pm PST
Last week, yours truly pointed out that this Utah team was legit. I expected them to easily cover the 7.5 points LSU was laying, but apparently they weren’t satisfied with just a cover, and won straight up, 22-19. As I mentioned in last week’s preview, this Utah team somehow has a 97 rating which is the second highest between remaining teams and four points higher than Georgia’s 93.
QB Tyler Huntley leads the Ute offense but keep your eye on current Buffalo Bill RB Zack Moss who is a dynamic ball carrier and dangerous contributor in the passing game. While the Utah offense is reputable, this defense can lock opponents down. Last week, they waltzed into Baton Rouge and held the LSU offense, sporting a 99 rating and loaded with players currently on NFL rosters, to a measly 19 points in a game that went to overtime.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s offense had a nice outing against Oklahoma but looked a bit sluggish in the opening round against Cincinnati. Jake Fromm is rock-solid QB and has athletes on the outside that can make plays. However, similar to Utah, the most dangerous weapon on the Bulldog offense is at running back. Current Detroit Lion, De’Andre Swift, is a special talent that can take it to the house on every carry. Georgia will need to find a balanced offensive attack to keep this Utah defense on their heels.
Speaking of defense, UGA has limited Cincinnati to 9 points in the opening round and Oklahoma to 13 points last weekend. With only a 92 rating on defense, this gritty bunch of over-achievers has straight-up shut down explosive offenses and will look to do the same vs Utah.
This game could be a slug fest. With both defenses playing excellent football, big plays will be limited. I don’t expect a high scoring affair and therefore my favorite play is the Under.
There’s something special about this Utah team. Going into Baton Rouge and knocking off LSU gives this team enough confidence to take down another SEC opponent. Give me the Utes! Utah will score a late TD and win 24-20 on their way to a berth in the National Championship.
Clemson Tigers vs Ohio State Buckeyes
Line: Clemson – 6.5
Saturday 7pm PST
Both Clemson and Ohio State had blowout wins in the second round and now square off against each other in a rematch of this past year’s playoff semifinal. If you recall, Clemson pulled out the W with the help of a couple questionable calls. The Buckeyes will surely be looking for revenge.
In the first round, Ohio State barely squeaked by Florida Atlantic which made the 62-10 beating of Baylor last Sunday, that much more impressive. The Buckeyes are loaded with NFL caliber talent across the board. Justin Fields is a dangerous dual-threat QB and has a trio of dangerous wide-outs in Chris Olave, Austin Mack, and KJ Hill. Additionally, JK Dobbins is one of the best running backs in the nation and currently on the Baltimore Ravens. Expect the offensive output to fall somewhere between the opening round and the recent blowout.
Defensively, we should all know who defensive end Chase Young and linebacker Malik Harrison are at this point. After a somewhat lackluster performance against the Owls of Florida Atlantic, they held Baylor to only 10 points. Look, these kids are in their early 20’s and sometimes its difficult to keep focus when playing lesser opponents. The near defeat in the first round was a wake up call so I’d expect this Buckeye D to be flying around the field and making plays Saturday night.
Clemson’s 51-23 blowout of Notre Dame last week was equally impressive. It also came off of a dominating first round game vs Louisiana Lafayette, where the Tigers cruised to a 39-3 victory. Plain and simple, the Clemson Tigers have looked like the best team in this tournament so far and really haven’t been challenged to date.
QB Trevor Lawrence is one of the best in the nation and is projected to be the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. RB Travis Etienne is an exceptional talent in the backfield and the dynamic WR duo of Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross will challenge the best of secondaries. Fat chance of limiting this offense to anything less than 30 points.
Of course, Clemson isn’t only strong on one side of the field. It’s defense led by current NFL players LB Isiah Simmons, CB AJ Terrell, and S Tanner Muse will look to contain the Buckeye skill players. The over-matched Ragin Cajuns we held to just 3 points in the opening round and while the Fighting Irish put up 23, some of that scoring came late with the game already decided.
There’s not a whole lot of difference between these two teams. Both offenses have playmakers all over the field and both defenses are respectable. The advantage has to go to the Tigers who have a defense with a 97 rating compared to the Buckeyes with a 90 (both offenses have a 99). While this gives Clemson an edge, it doesn’t equate to 6.5 points. I like the Buckeyes to cover and the Over. We got a live dog here so maybe sprinkle some on the ML too. If I had to pick a final score, lets go Clemson 35-31.