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College Football Championship Week Picks: SEC Championship, Missouri Vs Auburn, Big 10 Championship, Ohio State Vs Michigan State, ACC Championship, Florida State Vs Duke, Pac-12 Championship, Stanford At Arizona State, Plus Big 12 Games

  By Brad Carroll  
Alabama's shocking loss to Auburn last week threw the BCS standings for a loop, as it opened the door not only for undefeated Ohio State but the winner of the SEC championship game as well. But for those believing the end is here for the Crimson Tide, think again.

Alabama still has a very realistic chance of playing for the national championship again, even though it will not play in the conference title game. It's rather simple, actually. If Ohio State loses to Michigan State in the Big 10 title game and Missouri beats Auburn in the SEC championship, Alabama would be slated to play for the BCS national championship against Florida State, assuming, of course, the Seminoles beat Duke.

Now, the question is, would that be fair? In that scenario the answer would be a resounding no. The team most deserving if things go that way would be Missouri, which has lost one game this season, a double-overtime defeat to South Carolina. Right now, Alabama is ranked No. 4 in the BCS while Missouri is No. 5. The Tigers would have to jump an idle Crimson Tide team, which isn't a given even with beating Auburn.

As you'll read below, I believe this is the way Championship Saturday is going to go down, leaving what should be a much-anticipated and sure-to-be controversial announcement of who will be No. 2 in the BCS standings when they are revealed Sunday night.

The less complicated paths to the title game would be if Auburn beats Missouri and Michigan State beats Ohio State, then it's Auburn who will play for the national title against Florida State. If Ohio State wins the Big 10 championship, I don't see a way for the Buckeyes not to play for the championship, even though Auburn, Alabama and Missouri are better teams. Simply put, Florida State should beat Ohio State easily, but the Seminoles against any of the three SEC teams could go either way. That's a big difference.

But when a team goes undefeated from a major conference, there is really no way they should be left out of the title game, especially when being put up against teams with one loss. It might not make for the best national championship game, but it's what has to happen.

And, for as unlikely as it is, there is a chance everything gets blown to smithereens if Duke shocks Florida State. With a loss by Ohio State as well, it'll be the SEC title game winner against Alabama. If Ohio State wins it will play either Alabama or the SEC champion. Just imagine that.

It all makes for a must-watch Championship Saturday. We preview and our three college football experts pick each of the seven biggest games of the day against the spread right here.

SEC Championship at Atlanta
No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 3 Auburn, 4 p.m., CBS
The Spread: Missouri +2.5; Auburn -25

Brad's Breakdown: Nobody could have predicted at the beginning of the season Auburn and Missouri would be playing for the SEC championship. Missouri didn't enter the AP Top 25 until Week 7, when it debuted at No. 25. Auburn didn't make it into the Top 25 until a week later, when it entered at No. 24. Missouri has lost a game since then, while Auburn has won eight straight. Missouri lost its only game of the year to South Carolina in late October. The Gamecocks were 21st then but are currently No. 8 in the BCS. Auburn lost to then-No. 6 LSU in late September for its only loss. So, even halfway through the regular season this matchup wasn't even on the biggest expert's radars. But here we are as two of the hottest teams in the land play for a possible spot in the national championship. Auburn got its biggest victory since winning the national championship with Cam Newton, beating top-ranked Alabama last week on a thrilling touchdown return off a missed field goal on the final play of the game. That moved Auburn up to No. 4 in the BCS standings. If Ohio State loses to Michigan State, Auburn should play for a national championship if it beats Missouri. Of course, that is a big if. Before and after losing to South Carolina, Missouri played like one of the best teams in the nation, beating four teams ranked in the top 25 at the time. The lone loss also came without starting quarterback Jonathan Franklin, who missed the game with injury. Missouri, with one more win and an Ohio State loss, should play for a national championship, even tough Alabama is currently one spot ahead of it in the BCS standings. So, what happens in the most anticipated game of Championship Saturday? I was all set to pick Missouri to upset Alabama in this game last week, but Auburn threw a small monkey wrench in those plans. I thought Alabama wouldn't make it to the national championship game, meaning it would have to lose to either Auburn or Missouri. I went with Alabama winning a close game in the Iron Bowl and would take Missouri in the SEC title game. Obviously, that should make this game an easy choice for me. And it does. Missouri is going to win the SEC championship. Auburn has something special going on within the program right now for sure, but the emotional high from last week is going to play against it in this game. Auburn won't take Missouri lightly, but the magic will be erased against a team that does everything well. I'm not only picking a Missouri victory, but for it to play for a BCS title as well.

Brad's Pick: Missouri 31, Auburn 24
Craig's Pick: Missouri 31, Auburn 28
Glenn's Pick: Missouri 28, Auburn 27

ACC Championship at Charlotte
No. 20 Duke vs. No. 1 Florida State, 8 p.m., ABC
The Spread: Duke +29.5; Florida State -29.5

Brad's Breakdown: If Florida State doesn't win this game and advance to the BCS national championship game it would be the ultimate shocker. Forget about that Auburn victory last week over Alabama, Duke beating the Seminoles would trump that and everything else that has happened this season. But Florida State isn't going to lose, especially with Heisman front-runner Jameis Winston finding out Thursday he would not be charged in a sexual assault case. That giant sigh of relief for the star quarterback can only strengthen the Seminoles' chances to rout the Blue Devils in the ACC championship game. We all know about Florida State, the No. 1 team in the nation. The Seminoles have rolled over every opponent put in front of them, scoring at will with Winston putting up big numbers. The defense is just as good, allowing just 11 points per game. Florida State has beaten Duke all 18 times both teams have played by an average of 34 points. Of course, this Duke team is its best ever, holding a 10-2 record and is on one of the greatest runs in school history. The Blue Devils have won eight straight games after an early two-game losing streak, to Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. The whole question here becomes can Duke, with the national spotlight on, make this game competitive? Forget that, can Duke keep the game within four touchdowns? Florida State has given no indication it is going to slow down in its quest to go into the BCS title game with dominating performance after dominating performance. This has been a great Duke season, but reality sets in Saturday night.

Brad's Pick: Florida State 52, Duke 21
Craig's Pick: Florida State 52, Duke 21
Glenn's Pick: Florida State 51, Duke 20

Big 10 Championship at Indianapolis
No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Ohio State, 8:17 p.m., FOX
The Spread: Michigan State +5.5; Ohio State -5.5

Brad's Breakdown: There was a lot of noise coming from Ohio State and its fans the past several weeks about not making the BCS championship game even if the Buckeyes finished undefeated. Well, all of that has worked itself out and Ohio State now will have no one to blame but itself if it doesn't win the Big 10 championship game and advance to the BCS title matchup. There is little to no chance the Buckeyes will get passed over by an SEC team if they win this game against Michigan State. But Ohio State is going to have to beat the Spartans first and that is going to be a tall order. Ohio State has the second best running game in America, averaging 321.3 yards per game. Michigan State is best in the country in stopping the run. Which will win out in the end? The Buckeyes have played with fire for most the season, playing down to teams before pulling away in the fourth quarters. That almost bit them last week when Michigan was a two-point conversion away from beating Ohio State and ruining its championship dreams. That was a rivalry game, so it't not exactly a mark against Ohio State for being so close to losing - again - but Michigan has had its worst season since Rich Rodriguez was the coach. Michigan State lost just once this season but has gotten no respect from around the nation, even with a championship-caliber defense. The Spartans offense is far from championship caliber and their one loss is a bad one, to Notre Dame. They've beaten just one team in the top 25 at the time, Michigan. But the Spartans' defense is going to win this game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes have trouble stopping opponent's offenses, which should allow Michigan State to put enough points on the board to throw the BCS into a state of chaos.

Brad's Pick: Michigan State 24, Ohio State 21
Craig's Pick: Michigan State 20, Ohio State 17
Glenn's Pick: Michigan State 24, Ohio State 21

Pac-12 Championship
No. 7 Stanford at No. 11 Arizona State, 7:45 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: Stanford +3; Arizona State -3

Brad's Breakdown: I'm speculating the reason Arizona State is favored by three points in the Pac-12 championship is because its the home team. Otherwise, I don't get it at all. Stanford beat Arizona State earlier this season at home, leading 39-7 before ultimately finishing off a 42-28 victory. Arizona State has won seven straight games at home and seven straight overall since losing to Notre Dame in Texas. The Cardinal ruined their chance for a shot at making the BCS title game by losing to Southern Cal three weeks ago. But in the last six weeks, Stanford beat ranked teams four times, including last week against Notre Dame. Stanford should be able to pound the line of scrimmage with Tyler Gaffney, who averages almost 150 yards per game on the ground, and wear down the Arizona State defense on its way to an upset victory.

Brad's Pick: Stanford 31, Arizona State 24
Craig's Pick: Stanford 38, Arizona State 30
Glenn's Pick: Stanford 28, Arizona State 24

Mountain West Championship
Utah State at No. 23 Fresno State, 10 p.m., CBS
The Spread: Utah State +4; Fresno State -4

Brad's Breakdown: Fresno State's perfect season was ruined last week after losing 62-52 to San Jose State, dropping any chance the team had at playing in a BCS game. The Bulldogs still play for the Mountain West title game but it will be a huge question mark as to whether or not they will have the same motivation knowing the season has been ruined. Fresno State does have quarterback Derek Carr, who is a likely first round draft pick in the NFL. The Bulldogs have the top passing offense in the country and score the fourth most points. Utah State has won five straight and owns a 40-12 victory over San Jose State earlier in the season. But Utah State has lost to its four toughest opponents this season, Utah, Southern Cal, BYU and Boise State. Utah State does have the seventh best scoring defense in the nation. Fresno State players say they've moved on because the conference title is on the line. Makes sense to me.

Brad's Pick: Fresno State 45, Utah State 35
Craig's Pick: Fresno State 28, Utah State 17
Glenn's Pick: Fresno State 45, Utah State 38

Big 12 Regular Season
No. 17 Oklahoma at No. 6 Oklahoma State, 12 p.m., ABC
The Spread: Oklahoma +10; Oklahoma State -10

Brad's Breakdown: Oklahoma has owned the Bedlam series not only over the previous 107 meetings, but the last 10 as well, winning nine of those matchups. That's even with the Cowboys slowly reaching the level of the Sooners in recent seasons. But this year may be the biggest difference in talent between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, perhaps ever, from the Cowboys side. The Cowboys would have been national title contenders if they didn't lose a terrible game against West Virginia early on. Oklahoma has lost twice this season and hasn't looked all that good in its wins either. The Sooners were blown out by Texas and Baylor, while the Cowboys beat both of those teams soundly. Oklahoma State ruined Baylor's undefeated season with a 49-17 win two weeks ago, when the Bears were thought to have one of the best offenses of all time. The Cowboys have won seven straight games, with four of them coming against ranked teams. Nobody is going to stop that run, especially a down Sooners program. The Cowboys can win a share of the Big 12 title with a victory, so in essence this is their conference championship game.

Brad's Pick: Oklahoma State 45, Oklahoma 24
Craig's Pick: Oklahoma State 42, Oklahoma 24
Glenn's Pick: Oklahoma State 45, Oklahoma 24

Big 12 Regular Season
No. 25 Texas at No. 9 Baylor, 3:30 p.m., FOX
The Spread: Texas +14; Baylor -14

Brad's Breakdown: After cruising to a 9-0 record and scoring around 70 points a game in the process, Baylor became a fast national title contender. The Bears jumped Ohio State in the human polls and was poised to jump the Buckeyes in the BCS standings as well if they kept on winning. But Oklahoma State ended that run, blowing Baylor out in the primetime showdown. Then, the Bears followed that up with just a three-point win over a TCU team that won't even be playing a bowl game this season. So, it's anyone's guess as to how Baylor will play this week, especially against a quality Texas team. Baylor still averages 55.4 points per game, tops in the nation. Texas could be playing to save coach Mack Brown's job, as the Longhorns are 8-3 but haven't lived up to expectations again. Texas was blown out by Oklahoma State three weeks ago, but rebounded to rout Texas Tech after that. This game could be for the Big 12 championship if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma earlier Saturday.

Brad's Pick: Baylor 52, Texas 31
Craig's Pick: Baylor 45, Texas 28
Glenn's Pick: Baylor 38, Texas 31
Brad's Week 14 Record: 10-7 (spread); 11-6 (straight-up); 1-1 (upset picks)
Brad's Season: 83-79-2 (spread); 124-40 (straight-up); 5-11 (upset picks)
Craig's Week 14 Record: 7-10 (spread); 12-5 (straight-up); 1-1 (upset picks)
Craig's Season: 77-85-2 (spread); 124-40 (straight-up); 5-12 (upset picks)
Glenn's Week 14 Record: 8-9 (spread); 12-5 (straight-up); 2-1 (upset picks)
Glenn's Season: 78-84-2 (spread); 119-45 (straight-up); 8-20 (upset picks)

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