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Week 14 (Championship Week)










Mark Triffon

2017 Predictions
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* Buckeye 50 Picks Champion
Here are the Buckeye50 Week 14 Picks, Good Luck and Enjoy - Gregg
Last Week:  Not sure when I have been so happy and sad at the same time for a while. It was great for Ohio State to once again defeat that team up north. But when JT Barrett went out of the game, you can only hope it is not too serious. Then Alabama was rolled by Auburn and all of the sudden the Buckeyes are on the outside of the playoff picture and will need more help to climb that mountain. If you want to believe 538.com, Ohio State does still have a chance to get in but it will be a very tight margin over Alabama.  It may come down to the 'eye test' of the committee.  So Urban better give them plenty to see against the Badgers. In the final week of our Staff predictions, Coach Rick continues to have a one game lead over 2nd place, but as it has been for several weeks, there is a cluster near the top so it is still anyone's title to take.
Guest Buckeye: Our web site continues to show that former players are still in touch with the college game, and Vaughn Broadnax proves that each week with his great analysis.  Returning again for us this week is Roy Hall, who has participated the last three years.

Roy Hall along with Antonio Smith, founded the non profit organization Driven in 2008.  Driven’s infrastructure is built on four core principles; perseverance (never give up), resilience (get back up), assistance (help others up) and endurance (keep them up). Through specialized events, outreach projects, and programs they combat community and individual shortcomings, while simultaneously fulfilling the company mission. They use this platform for the purpose of assisting to solve various community challenges. For more information or to give yourself, check out their website at www.staydriven.org.



This Week: For the first time in three years, the Buckeyes are back in the Big Ten title game. The last time they were also playing the Badgers. All fans of the scarlet and gray remember the 59-0 victory with a back-up quarterback. Chances are Wisconsin remembers the game though too.  This time a playoff spot is on the line. Both teams have the motivation, which has the better game?  ....  Championship week starts out on Friday night with the rematch between USC and Stanford. Will the Cardinal star Bryce Love be healthy enough to pull off the upset?  ....  The next rematch will be Oklahoma and TCU.  The Horned Frogs fell short in the regular season and Baker Mayfield is trying to make a final push for his Heisman season. Can he beat a quality team two times in the same season?  ....  The final championship rematch will pit SEC rivals Auburn and Georgia.  The Bulldogs took a huge loss a couple weeks ago, did they learn enough to switch the outcome in the game?  ....  The final game we review this week is the ACC championship between Miami and the defending champs Clemson Tigers. Can the Canes win a big road game where they have stuggled most of the year away from Hard Rock Stadium?

(8)Ohio State  vs.  (4)Wisconsin
(Favorite: Ohio State  - 5 1/2)


Roy Hall (2002-06) Ohio State


Bbaver:  The Pick: Ohio State- I realize Wisconsin hasn’t played anybody, but all they can do is beat up on the teams they have on their schedule, and that they’ve done. The Badgers lead the nation in multiple defensive stats, and they pound the ball with Jonathan Taylor, behind an O-line where only the center is shorter than 6’6”, with no linemen weighing less than 315 lbs. If it’s JT behind center, he needs to have some success through the air. If it’s Haskins, he’s going to have to avoid INTs. With Haskins’ big arm, he has no fear of throwing into coverage, and that’s a double-edged sword. Regardless of who the Bucks go with, the OSU coaches have to trust their tailbacks. It’s a crime that they have kept a leash on Dobbins. Wisconsin is not going to make many mistakes and they are going to test the Buckeye linebackers in the short passing game. I think the Buckeyes are the safer bet, but I think it’s a toss up. I’ve got it Ohio State 31 Wisconsin 27, but little would surprise me in this one.  


Cory:  You are going to look below and see that I picked Wisconsin to win this gameI am not bad person, I promise. Let me justify this pick. The game with Wisconsin will be the toughest one for the Buckeyes thus far. Imagine the best parts of Iowa, Michigan, and Penn State all rolled into one football team. That team is what Ohio State will face this weekend in the Big Ten Championship game. It's easy to look at Wisconsin's schedule and say the Badgers have played nobody, but three of their final four games, including this week's game, came against ranked teams. Wisconsin also had no trouble with Iowa, and controlled the game all the way through against Michigan. Offensively it's no secret - the Badgers love to run the ball. They've amassed almost 3,000 rushing yards as a team, with 1,806 of those coming from Jonathan Taylor. Alex Hornibrook is not a great passer but he's been good enough, and his average yards per attempt of 8.84 shows the Badgers can hit on some deep plays when needed. Wisconsin has an offensive line which most teams could only dream of having. Defensively the Badgers are stout, as usual. Only one team, Northwestern, has scored more than 20 points against Northwestern this season, and that game was in September. Since then the Badgers have given up just 11.25 points per game.  

I​ think Wisconsin is good enough to get it done against Ohio State because the Badgers embody the best parts of Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan, all three of which gave Ohio State trouble. Wisconsin will use play-action, and misdirection, and the Badgers will throw to their tight ends. This style of offense has given Ohio State fits all season. On the other side of the ball, the health of Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett is a concern. While it was nice to see Dwayne Haskins play well against Michigan in relief of Barrett, we cannot expect that to happen again if Barrett has to leave the game. I worry that the reliance on Barrett in the running game will ultimately lead to some bland play calling, and Wisconsin will be ready for it.   Wisconsin 24, Ohio State 17


Dave:  Ohio State 32  Wisconsin 28


Gregg:  Twice before a team has made it to the Big Ten championship game unbeaten, both times that team lost.  Will Wisconsin be the third or can they remain the only unbeaten team in the playoffs this year. I do believe they are a better team than most of the national media is giving them credit for but at the same time I think the Buckeyes will beat them if they play at their best level. The Badgers have an outstanding running back in Johnathan Taylor but they had Melvin Gordon back in 2014 and the Buckeyes found a way to shut him down. The only question mark for the Buckeyes may be the health of JT Barrett. He as removed from the Michigan game in the 3rd quarter yet the Buckeyes managed the victory in Ann Arbor.  Haskins has played quite a bit this year in a back-up roll and he has done well playing with the 2nd team. I have to think he would do just fine with the first team. I believe OSU wins this game and gets into the playoffs by the thinnest margin. I don't think a 59 point victory is needed but it would help if Ohio State has the largest margin of victory in all the championship games.  The national media will have a field day with it, and there will be chaos in Alabama but face it Saban. If you want to play in the big games at the end of the year, you have to play in them during the regular season, I am hoping this is a lesson to them to not schedule FCS schools moving forward. As Steely Dan sings, "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues". It will be 'Bama singing the blues Sunday afternoon.   Ohio State 31  Wisconsin 17  


Jason:  It comes down to this for the Big Ten conference. For Wisconsin, it’s a win and you’re in scenario. For the Buckeyes, it’s win and you’re probably in. Everyone remembers 2014 when Ohio State stomped Wisconsin in Indianapolis 59-0, locking up their spot and eventually going on to win the national championship. They don’t need to do that this time but a convincing win would help. Ohio State brings an offense the likes that Wisconsin has not seen. They will bring speed and tempo and enough power to keep them honest up front. If J.T. Barrett is healthy, they bring a 3 man attack on the ground with Barrett, J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, all have the ability to get downfield and make explosive plays. 

Wisconsin is a ball control offense, win the battles at the point of attack and control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. They will need to win the time of possession and keep the explosive Ohio State offense off the field. The Badgers boast the best pass catching tight end in the Big Ten in Troy Fumagalli so they will give Ohio State some of the same looks as Iowa did, throwing underneath and try to exploit the linebackers. If they try to go downfield, QB Alex Hornibrook has a little trouble avoiding the turnover and RB Jonathan Taylor, although explosive has a penchant of putting the ball on the turf. If Ohio State can force a couple turnovers, it could be a long day for the Badgers. If they can go on long drives and control the line of scrimmage defensively and slow down the Ohio State run, then it’s a four quarter game. Wisconsin will be tested, but are they up for the challenge. Both teams will be motivated but Ohio State is too talented and the front four of the Buckeyes is just too good. They will come after Hornibrook and come after him hard. No one has run successfully on Ohio State all year, and it won’t change on Saturday. The Buckeyes jump out early and control the game start to finish.   Ohio State 41 Wisconsin 17  


Joe-S-U:  Ohio State  


John:  J.T. Barret is the key to this one. If his scoped knee holds up, and Ohio State can use it’s full playbook against the Badgers, I think the Bucks win. Given the Badgers D I’m not sure Haskins can keep them off balance enough with his legs, although He does throw a better ball than JT. Regardless, I don’t see a repeat of 59-0. I think this one will be close into the fourth quarter, but J.T. and the OSU offense does just enough.  Ohio State 24 Wisconsin 21


jOShUa We are finally here, and I am glad I get to watch Ohio State play in Indy after not making it the previous two years. The downside is that I am not sure which Ohio State team is going to show up because Wisconsin, although their schedule is questionable, they are still undefeated. Also, with the uncertainty of JT Barrett, I think this adds to the drama a little bit as well going into this game. The key to stopping Wisconsin is slowing down Taylor, and forcing Hornibrook to make mistakes. Wisconsin’s defense creates the bigger challenge, but I think since we are a speed offense, that helps us out playing indoors. I don’t expect another 59-0 game, but I think the Buckeyes will be focused and ready, and will start off slow, make the adjustments, and take care of business. Playoffs? I hope so.   Ohio State 42 - Wisconsin 24  


Dr. Mark:  OSU 24-21  could go to OT – Bucks have to be faster than Wisconsin - have to open up playbook   


PJSBuck:  Well, for those who like in-the-trenches, hard-nosed football don't miss THIS game. Also, the Badgers will be the most fundamentally sound team we have faced all year. This Wiscy QB (Hornibrook) HATES pressure and is bad when forced out of his comfort zone - something we must exploit. The other problem is Wiscy is very balanced on offense - we will have to be very disciplined on defense. Regarding our offense, I kind of hope JT plays and kind of don't. The reason is I am not hating on JT, but when JT is in Urban will run the QB keeper ALL DAY. Gee, do you think possibly, just MAYBE, Wiscy will be looking for that if JT starts/plays???? Also, we will never know if JT would have won this game for us if he stayed in but clearly that 3rd and 13 pass by Haskins to Austin Mack was a/THE critical play up to that point in the game. I think this Big Ten Championship game will be MUCH tougher than the last time we played them.  I am going with Ohio State 24 Badgers 21 in an old fashioned defensive struggle.


Pia Pete:  Wisconsin beats OSU to get into the playoffs.  


Coach Rick:  I think this game comes down to the tale of two schedules. When you look at the two, I think OSU and the east top to bottom was the better half. The positive for Wisconsin is that they have a lot of confidence coming into this game because of the weaker schedule. I do not think it matters in this game who the quarterback is for OSU because of the growth in the O-Line.  I see it as an OSU win 35 to 21.


Steven:  This one should be entertaining, win or lose. If by chance Ohio State loses, fans can solace themselves with the fact that the loss will more than likely shut Alabama out of the playoff. Anything less than a pounding of Wisconsin and the Bucks watch the playoff games on TV. Still in my heart I know the Bucks can win... but was all know they can yak up a loss just as easily. The dome will help them as it favors the speedier team. It will come down to the Buckeye defense containing Jonathan Taylor and Troy Fumagalli. Badger QB Hornibrook can be contained if you take away his weapons. If you get enough pressure on him, he'll throw up some real head scratching passes and interceptions can be Wisconsin's undoing. Taylor is much like Saquon Barkley but without as much publicity. They guy is special and containing him will be a chore. The guy can run inside or out, and reminds you of JK Dobbins a bit, but a little more North-South and not as much lateral quickness. The guy has breakaway speed, though. On offense, all we need to do is dominate the line of scrimmage and let Weber and Dobbins wear down the Badger defense. Let's not force another comeback from a third double-digit deficit. Let the first series just be run plays and we'll be just fine.  Bucks 31-28.  Will it be enough to make the playoff? I'm not sure, but an Auburn, Oklahoma, Miami (or Clemson) and OSU playoff certainly would keep my eyes glued. 


Trout:  It's going to be a tough game for the Bucks. Although the Buckeyes are clearly the better team on paper, the Badgers usually play them tough. Not to mention, they are fighting for a playoff spot as well. It will be a tough and sloppy game. I think a thing that will hurt the Buckeyes is Urban's tendency to shrink the playbook and relay too much on JT in big games.. Having said that, I still think the Buckeyes are going to win due to them having more talent on both sides of the ball. Although he has had many highs and lows in his career, JT is still one of the best quarterbacks in Ohio State history. Also, JK Dobbins and Mike Weber are two great backs that could be future Heisman contenders. Plus, the OSU defense line is the best front four in the country. It will be too close for comfort, but I think Ohio State gets the job done and keeps their small playoff hopes alive.   (Ohio State, 31-24)   
​ ​ 


​Final Score:  Ohio State 27   Wisconsin 21
                       (11-2)                (12-1)
53 - 17
51 - 19
50 - 20
49 - 21
48 - 22
47 - 17 47 - 23
47 - 23
47 - 23
46 - 24
45 - 25
44 - 26
40 - 15
40 - 25
39 - 21
6 - 1
4 - 0
4 - 1​
3 - 2
1)
2)​
3)​
4)​
5)​
6)​
7)​
  ​

10)​
11)​
12)​
13)​
14)​
15)
16)
17)
18)
19)
Rick DeSutter ****
Gregg Watson **
Brent Baver ***
Pat Steger
Jason Harris
John Siebert *
Cory Steger
Josh Watson
Steven Smith
Stefan Armintrout
Pete Quint *
Mark Triffon
Vaughn Broadnax
Joe Hylton *
Dave Culver *
Rod Gerald
Cornelius Green
Roy Hall
​Bam Childress
 (10)USC  vs.  (12)Stanford
(Favorite: USC  - 3 1/2)


Roy Hall (2002-06) USC

Bbaver:  The Pick: USC - USC got their first bye week of the season last week as Stanford had to play Notre Dame. Tough to beat good teams twice, but I'll take USC with rest over Stanford off a big game.  


Cory:  Stanford is a better team at this point of the season than they were when the Cardinal first met USC earlier this season. The Cardinal lost 42-24 in the second week of the season, and followed that up with a loss to San Diego State. Stanford is 8-1 since losing to the Aztecs, and are coming off a 38-20 win over Notre Dame. Both teams feature balanced offenses with star players. For USC it's quarterback Sam Darnold, and for Stanford it's running back Bryce Love. Though Stanford has improved since the first time these two teams met, I still give the edge to USC. The Cardinal have trouble closing out games, as evidenced by their narrow wins over mediocre teams in Cal and Oregon State. USC does have issues with turnovers, but the Trojans have been better about this in the second half of the season than the first.   USC 31, Stanford 21 


Dave:  Stanford 24  USC 21


Gregg:  This is clearly the game that has the least impact on the Ohio State playoff future. However the loser of this game should move below Michigan State in the playoff rankings which improves the placement of one of the Buckeye victories. USC should win this game, they had two weeks to prepare, they have the better quarterback and the best player for Stanford is injured. Not to mention the Cardinal had a hard fought victory last week and they will have to come back on a short week. Yet I think Coach Shaw will find a way to neutralize Darnold and if they can get one or two long plays out of Bryce Love, Stanford just might pull this off.   Stanford 24  USC 21  


Jason: The Pac 12 is out of any playoff discussion but there is still a lot on the line in this game. The winner will likely play in the Fiesta Bowl against the loser in Indianapolis which would be a nice consolation prize to season. Stanford is coming off a destruction of the same Notre Dame team that smacked USC and has won 8 of 9 led by Bryce Love, who gets my vote for the Heisman trophy but will likely finish second. The Trojans struggled to stop Love in their first matchup and will have to do much better to compete in this game. Sam Darnold was fantastic in that game, hitting on 21 of his 26 pass attempts for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, despite the hype coming into the year being on Darnold in the Pac 12, it’s Love that has stolen the headlines, rushing for 1850 and 16 touchdowns, while missing a significant amount of time with an ankle injury. He ran for 160 the first matchup but will likely need to be better to get the Cardinal the win. Look for Stanford to feed Love early and often. The Trojans have their own super back in Ronald Jones III who has exploded on the scene in recent weeks and allowed Darnold more freedom to throw, as defenses have had to respect the run. In the end, USC just has too many athletes and with Love a little banged up, he lacks the explosiveness he had earlier in the year. USC will make enough plays to secure the win.   USC 31 Stanford 24  


Joe-S-U:  Stanford  


jOShUa I think this game really comes down to what USC team shows up. I don’t think that Stanford is great, but I think they have the discipline to take care of business and dash any hope USC has for a playoff. I noticed that I usually pick what helps Ohio State and normally get them wrong, however, I feel good about these picks. Stanford wins in their backyard, and Love makes his Heisman case.   Stanford 35 - USC 21  


Dr. Mark:  USC 38-20  Trojans having fewer turnovers- should win this one but Stanford plays well against good teams  


PJSBuck:  I am going with USC in honor of my cousin Mark - ROLL TIDE! Uh, Hook 'em Horns! Uh, go Trojans (by 5)!


Pia Pete:  Stanford takes down USC  


Coach Rick:  Talk about a great match up with what I see as two evenly match teams. I think this game comes down to mistakes.  I think USC will make fewer mistakes and takes the win by a score of 28 to 24. 


Steven:  USC should win this one, despite the fact Sam Darnold is probably the most over-hyped QB since David Klingler. Stanford certainly showed their grit in roughing up Notre Dame last week. They still make too many mistakes. I'd love to see the Cardinal win but really, they lost 42-24 last time. This time will be closer, but USC wins 28-24. 


Trout:  It's hard to beat a team twice in the same season. Although I think USC might be the slightly better team, I think Stanford wins this game. I believe they have the confidence after winning against two top ten teams in the last three weeks in Washington and Notre Dame. It wont be easy for the Cardinal. USC's offense can score a lot of points, but I believe Stanford can keep the Trojan's in check. It will be a very close game, probably coming down to the last few seconds of the game. I see the Cardinal pulling off the win and winning the PAC 12.   (Stanford, 24-21)  

​ 

​Final Score:  USC 31   Stanford 28
                (11-2)        (9-4)
 (11)TCU  vs.  (3)Oklahoma
(Favorite: Oklahoma  - 7 1/2)


Roy Hall (2002-06):  Oklahoma


Bbaver:  The Pick: TCU - Gonna be tough for Oklahoma to beat a good TCU team twice, but I think OU squeaks by.  


Cory:  The joke about the Big 12 is that no team in that conference plays defense. TCU does not think that joke is funny. The Horned Frogs are very strong defensively. TCU is giving up just 13.6 points per game this season, and the Horned Frogs have forced 11 interceptions, and generated 40 sacks. On the other side is Oklahoma, a team that features one of the best offenses in football. Baker Mayfield is looking to put his stamp on the Heisman Trophy, and while he is good let's not forget that the Sooners can run the ball well, too. As a team the Sooners have 31 rushing touchdowns this season. These two teams met on November 11, and Oklahoma won 38-20. The game was in Norman, and though the final score looks bad, TCU did manage to hold the Sooners scoreless in the second half. While TCU is a very good team, the Horned Frogs are not quite on the same level as Oklahoma this season. Expect the score to be a bit closer this time around, the result will be the same.   Oklahoma 35, TCU 24  


Dave:  Oklahoma 28  TCU 21


Gregg:  Once again the failures of the Big 12 league are evident and once again those failures may keep them out of the playoffs. If the league had not added the championship game back again this year, the Sooners would already have a spot in the playoffs and would be sitting back watching the action unfold this week. Instead they must figure a way to get a second win over a solid TCU squad. I think this game will go to the team that plays the most defense (or any defense), but expect a lot of scoring in this one.  If it goes to overtime, both teams may hit 100. I think the frogs will keep it close but Baker Mayfield will win it in the end.   Oklahoma 48  TCU 42  


Jason:  The inaugural Big 12 Championship pits Oklahoma and TCU with playoff implications. If Oklahoma wins, they are in. The Horned Frogs have a last chance to make their case with a win but it may have to be dominant. The previous matchup was an point Sooner win led by Heisman favorite Baker Mayfield who threw for 333 yards and three TD’s and RB Rodney Anderson gashed the porous Frog D for 151 yards and two TD’s. Even though the TCU defense ranks 2nd in the nation in rushing and leads the Big 12 which isn’t saying much, Oklahoma made them look average. The running game has really blossomed of late for the Sooners, leading the Big 12 with over 200 yards per game and Mayfield has been truly Heisman like, throwing for 37 TD’s with just 5 picks all season. The Frogs will need to unleash the defensive front and get after Mayfield to have a chance in this game. They currently sit 4th nationally in sacks but in the previous meeting struggled to manage just 1. Offensively, TCU can definitely move the football. Led by QB, Kenny Hill, who despite missing a game with injury has the ability to put up points in a hurry. Look for TCU to pin their ears back and come after Mayfield. They have nothing to lose and Oklahoma has it all on the line. I expect this one to be close, but Mayfield is just too good and will make enough plays late to pull away.   Oklahoma 38 TCU 24  


Joe-S-U:  Oklahoma  


John:  Boy, would I like to see TCU win this one. Mayfield is a punk, and I fully expect him to flame out a la Johnny Manziel at the next level. It is real hard to beat the same team twice in the same year in College Football. While the rematches don’t happen often, usually the team that lost the first time gets revenge the second time around. That’s what I think happens here. TCU throws a big monkey wrench into the CFP selections.  TCU 38 Oklahoma 31  


jOShUa They say it is hard to beat a team twice, but I think Oklahoma is a team on a mission. TCU once more has the defense to put pressure on Oklahoma, but I think it is better if Oklahoma wins this one for us, in the same way us beating them last year helped us. Oklahoma as a conference champ helps us, and I think is Oklahoma were to lose, the committee would keep them ahead of us even if we win the Big 10 Championship. Oklahoma has to be rooting for us too to help their overall ranking.   Oklahoma 45 - TCU 35  


Dr. Mark:  TCU - I'm going to go with the upset- although $ is on Sooners- I think Sooners D will prevail but I'm still picking TCU upset- for fun!!  


PJSBuck:  I want TCU but think the Sooners are on a mission.  Oklahoma by 9


Pia Pete:  Oklahoma wins.  


Coach Rick:  How I would like to see Oklahoma lose, I just do not see it happening in this game. I have Oklahoma in an impressive victory over TCU.  I have it OU 45 to TCU's 21.


Steven:  TCU has been flirting with being a really good team for much of the year, but got upended 14-7 by this year's spoiler team, Iowa State, and then pretty well dominated by Oklahoma. The Frogs are just not offensively up to Oklahoma's level, and there may not be much changing in this game. Going chalk. Baker Mayfield solidifies his grip on the Heisman race with a Sooner win 42-31. 


Trout:  Once again, its really tough to beat a team twice. But, I think Baker Mayfeild and the Sooner offense are good enough to do that. Although TCU presents a challenge for Oklahoma, I just think they are the superior team. Baker Mayfeild is playing at an extremely high level, and I don't believe the Horned Frogs will find an answer. TCU might keep it close for a while, because Oklahoma's defense is very suspect. But in the end, Oklahoma's offense will be too much for TCU. The Sooners win the Big 12 and cement their place in the playoff.  (Oklahoma, 42-21)   
​ 


​Final Score:  Oklahoma 41   TCU 17
                           (12-1)          (10-3)
 (2)Auburn  vs.  (6)Georgia
(Favorite: Pick'em)



Roy Hall (2002-06):  Auburn

Bbaver:  The Pick: Georgia - So much emotion with Auburn beating #1 twice in three weeks. They come back to earth this week losing a tight one to a good Georgia team.


Cory:  A lot of teams will have their eyes on the SEC Championship game this week. Auburn's win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl has the Crimson Tide on the outside of the playoff picture - for now. If Auburn beats Georgia, the playoff picture gets murky, especially for Ohio State. In the last three weeks, Auburn has beat the No. 1 team in the nation, twice. The Tigers beat Georgia 40-17 on Nov. 11, and upset the Crimson Tide last week. Since losing to Auburn, Georgia has looked good in big wins over Kentucky and Georgia Tech. I was critical of Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham in last week's picks, and then he went out and completed 21 of 28 passes for 237 yards with no touchdowns or turnovers against Alabama. Auburn has played a tougher schedule than Georgia, and is coming off a huge win. However, you have to wonder about a potential hangover from the Iron Bowl. Ultimately, I think Auburn will get over that feeling pretty quickly to beat Georgia, but don't expect a blowout like last time these two teams played.   Auburn 35, Georgia 28  


Dave:  Georgia 32  Auburn 28


Gregg:  It is tough to beat a great team twice, which is part of the reason why I would love to see the Buckeyes have another crack at the Sooners. Auburn is coming off an emotional win and I think that will make this rematch closer than last time, and it will be just close enough for the Bulldogs to take the win.   Georgia 28 Auburn 24


Jason:  Another conference championship that will act as a playoff quarterfinal and it wasn’t long ago that Auburn whipped Georgia 40-17. That win, coupled with the win last week in the Iron Bowl, elevated Auburn to #2 in the playoff rankings. Georgia is not far behind at 6 and they are looking to avenge their only loss of the season. For the Tigers, the offense led by QB Jarrett Stidham has been getting all the headlines and rightly so. He has completed 70% of his throws and only thrown 4 picks. The defense has been unheralded but very good, shutting down the powerful Dawg rushing attack, holding them to their lowest output of the season. The Georgia defense has been good too, outside of the Auburn game, teams have struggled to muster much against the powerful front 7. Behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the offense has the ability to get it rolling on the ground, being held to under 200 yards just twice all year. They will need a big game from their backs to get it done. The defense has to step up and pressure Stidham but with the injuries in the Tiger backfield. Stidham will make some plays but won’t be enough against the conference’s number 1 secondary. Georgia exacts a little revenge and punches their ticket to the college football playoff.   Georgia 30 Auburn 27  


Joe-S-U:  Auburn   


John:  Auburn had rally come on strong toward the end of the year, but something tells me that they come out a little flat after the emotional win in the Iron Bowl. Dawg’s win, then get Penn Stated and left out of the CFP in favor of Alabama.   Georgia 27 Auburn 21   


jOShUa Once more, another rematch of teams replaying each other. I am going to root and pick Georgia in this one. I think they will have a plan in action for Auburn this time around, and I think Auburn will be riding an emotional high into this game after beating Alabama. Georgia probably has the best running back tandem in college football (outside of Ohio State) and I think Kirby Smart will have a defensive game plan to slow down Auburn. Also, I think its helps us in the comparisons with Alabama if they are competing with us in the 4th spot for the playoff.  Georgia 28 - Auburn 24   


Dr. Mark:  Auburn 27-24 hard to pick this one- If Georgia can run the ball and slow down game they can win  


PJSBuck:  Bulldogs will be out for blood and they are playing I believe in Atlanta. Can't see Auburn beating them twice in the same season.  Georgia by 12


Pia Pete:  Georgia over Auburn  


Coach Rick:  In this championship game I have Georgia winning in a close game. I think it is going to be a lower scoring game with a score of Georgia winning 24 to 21.


Steven:  I figure that you have to pull for Auburn in this one because it would legitimize a 2 loss playoff team, of which the Buckeyes hope to be. The Tigers are probably playing the best ball in the SEC right now, but they are not heads and shoulders above anyone. QB Jarrett Stidham has grown over the season and as long as they don't ask him to do too much, he can bring home a win. The Tiger defense needs to not only contain Bulldog running back Nick Chubb, but his lesser known stablemate Sony Michel. Chubb is just over a thousand yards for the year and Michel is right there with 900 yards on the ground. Pen them in and you can control the game. It is tough not to like the roll Auburn is on. Let's keep it going. Tigers 27-17. 


Trout:  Auburn is playing the best football in the country right now. They made the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide look really bad last week, and I believe they continue that streak against Georgia. The Bulldogs have been surprisingly good this year, but I just don't think they can handle the Tigers. It might be a little closer, since they played them only a few weeks ago, and will mostly likely make adjustments, but I don't believe it will be enough. I think the game will remain close during the first half, but them I believe Auburn turns the jets on, and wins by a few scores. Although I believe Georgia will put up more of fight than they did a few weeks ago, I can't see them beating the Tigers. Auburn wins the SEC. (Auburn, 38-17)  
​ 


​Final Score:  Georgia 28   Auburn 7
                        (12-1)         (10-3)
 (7)Miami  vs.  (1)Clemson
(Favorite: Clemson  - 7 1/2)



Roy Hall (2002-06):  Clemson


Bbaver:  The Pick: Clemson - I think Miami hangs around in this one, but I like the Tigers here.


Cory:  The winner of the ACC Championship game between Miami and Clemson is basically guaranteed a spot in the playoff. I still have my doubts about how good Miami actually is, but the Hurricanes can prove me wrong with a win over Clemson this week. Sadly, I don't see that happening. It's easy to see the Tigers struggle in games this year that they easily won last year and say they're not as good as they were last season. However, I see a Clemson team that lost a lot talent to the NFL and graduation, and continues to win with timely plays and good defense, more akin to the 2002 Ohio State team. Being elite doesn't mean putting up insane numbers and scores every week. Being elite means winning games when you're not at your best, and that's what Clemson has done this season.   Clemson 28, Miami 20  


Dave:  Clemson 21  Miami 20


Gregg:  Am I the only one that thinks Miami is getting an unfair advantage? Getting to the playoff is about conference titles, big wins, game control and surviving loses. I realize it was the weather that created this situation, but Miami is playing one less game. It ends for them here though as Clemson will play the best game of the season and put a beat down on them. the Canes cannot play outside of Miami.   Clemson  38  Miami 6  


Jason:  Here we go again. Clemson is back. Dabo has the Tigers rolling again despite losing arguably the best QB in Clemson history, the beat rolls on for Clemson. A win and they are back in the college football playoff and likely the number 1 seed. Miami is coming off an unfathomable defeat at Pitt last week but all is forgotten if they can knock off Clemson because that will secure their ticket to the playoff. But the offense has been lackluster at times and they face a Clemson D who may have the best front 7 in college football not allowing a team to rush for 200 yards all season. Miami is all about defense. They don’t have the offense to compete with Clemson but their defense can. They will need to play the field position game and hope to shorten the game with ball control and create turnovers which they have been very good at all year. Now with their starting RB and TE and now top WR out for the game, it puts more pressure on the D to keep Kelly Bryant and the Clemson offense in check. Bottom line, they won’t have enough. The offense will struggle to do much of anything and even if the Tigers turn it over a couple times, it won’t matter. Clemson runs away with this one and marches on to the playoffs.   Clemson 38 Miami 10  


Joe-S-U:  Clemson 


John:  Man, did Miami look bad last week. I’m talking OSU v. Iowa bad. Clemson, on the other hand, destroyed a ranked rival. Clemson rolls in this one.    Clemson 31 Miami 17

   

jOShUa Clemson is too focused in this one. I think every week I have a write up that Clemson is not that good (which I still agree) however, we need them to win this game because I think the committee sees their lose to Syracuse as half a loss because of Bryant going down in that game. Miami wasn’t necessarily exposed, but Pitt wanted it more than them, and I think that is why Miami lost. I think With Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State winning, that is your 4 playoff teams. I think if that were to happen, Oklahoma and Ohio State would have a rematch in New Orleans, with Clemson and Georgia in the Rose Bowl.   Clemson 41 - Miami 21  


Dr. Mark:  Clemson 35-24 -  I’m tempted to pick Miami because I would rather watch them this year but I don’t think their O is as good as Clemson  


PJSBuck:  Great ACC match up, IF you like ACC football. This is an important game nationally and should be a wild game.  I have to go with Clemson by 10


Pia Pete:  Clemson comes out on top.  


Coach Rick:   I am thinking the Clemson will use this game to make a statement for the voters.  I have Clemson winning 45 to 14.


Steven:  HMMMM the last time we saw Miami it was a pretty one-sided affair when the Luke Fickell-led Bucks laid an egg in a 24-6 loss in Miami. And we all remember the last time we met Clemson. So who'd you like to see if we were to miraculously make the playoff? Me, I want Miami. I'm not above saying I want NONE of the Clemson Tiger D. Miami, save their dominant performance over Notre Dame, (seems to be a theme here, right?) have been extremely ordinary. Georgia Tech took them to the wire, albeit in a rainstorm. The Hurricanes seem more smoke and mirrors, whereas Clemson is just good, top to bottom. Give me a Cubano and Hurricane win, please.... Probably not, Clemson 33-21. 


Trout:  Clemson will win this game, but it will be closer than people think. Clemson is clearly a great team, but I don't believe their offense is anything special. With proper preparation, I think the Hurricane defense can handle them for the most part. Also, Miami will be playing with some determination. They are fighting for college football relevancy. A win this would be a huge step in the right direction for the Cane's and I think the players know they need to get it done. Having said that, Clemson is still the better team. They will be able to match and exceed what ever offensive production Miami issues out. It will be tough hard fought battle, but in the end, the superior Clemson Tigers pull off the victory.(Clemson, 20-17)  

​ ​ 

​Final Score:  Clemson 38   Miami 3
                         (12-1)         (10-2)
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