Tusk to Tail: The boys pick winners in championship games – even in some that don’t matter
Who do you think will play in the college football playoffs? Who wins the championship?
Mac Garland: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter because Alabama is going to curb stomp whoever they play, and that includes Clemson, en route to the national championship.
Mark Wagner: The easy answer would be Alabama; Clemson or Notre Dame, depending on who wins the ACC Championship; Ohio State (maybe not); and the next best team. Looking at all of this, I think Ohio State doesn’t belong. Who did they play and how many did they play? So, I’d take the two best from the SEC, Alabama and Texas A&M, and the two best from the ACC, Clemson and Notre Dame.
THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
PAC 12: Oregon @ #15 USC
Mark Wagner: Here we have not the two top teams, but a replacement thanks to COVID (Oregon you owe Washington a big thank you). Does the game really matter? Does anyone think a PAC 12 school will get into the Championship playoffs? This year the North division can’t figure out who really won it, and in the Southern Division, USC dodged the only competition they would have faced by not playing Colorado. So, let’s have a conference Championship between two teams who haven’t proved they are the best in the conference. USC wins in an irrelevant game 35 – 20.
Big Ten: #14 Northwestern vs. #4 Ohio State
Mac Garland: #4 Ohio St (5-0) is favored by 20 over #14 Northwestern (6-1). Justin Fields and company will roll over the Wildcats in a game they have to win in order to be considered for the playoffs. That any team would be one of the four with only 6 wins is astonishing. I could say more, but you can draw your own conclusions. Buckeyes 42, Northwestern 17
Big 12: #11 Oklahoma vs. #7 Iowa State
Mark Wagner: This should be a good game. Iowa State has already beaten the Sooners once and are on a roll having won their last five games. But it’s their first time in a Championship game, whereas the Sooners have loads of experience. The Sooner defense is pretty good against the rush, and can possibly keep Breece Hall in check, although the dude is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. I’m staying with the rankings on this one as Iowa State beats the Sooners again, 24-21.
Sunbelt: #19 Louisiana @ #13 Coastal Carolina
Mac Garland: First, the Ragin’ Cajuns will always be Lousiana-Lafayette regardless of the ridiculous attempts to make people see them as the flagship school for the state. The fact that two Sun Belt teams are ranked in the top 20 tells you what a bizzaro season this is. The Chanticleers have the advantage of playing at home and as such, are favored by 3.5. The teams went down to the wire a week or so back, so expect nothing less Saturday. CCU 30, ULL 28.
ACC: #3 Clemson vs. #2 Notre Dame
Mark Wagner: This is another great game. When the Irish beat the Tigers earlier this year, Clemson was without the services of Trevor Lawrence, James Skalski, Tyler Davis, and Mike Jones Jr. Although their backups did a wonderful job, we’ll know without a doubt this go around. No overtime this time. Just a straight up Clemson win, 35-27 over the Irish.
SEC: #1 Alabama vs. #6 Florida
Mac Garland: This will be the best team Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide has faced this year and they’re still favored by 17.5. It will be great preparation as they head toward the playoffs. Based on that last postgame presser, Dan Mullen may still not be over his butthurt from losing to LSU. Fans know Dan likes to dress up as Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie character from the Vacation movies. He also strayed into crazy Quaid territory with that Darth Vader getup a few weeks back. Well, after Mac Jones and company are done Saturday in Atlanta, Mullen’s shitter will definitely be full. Alabama 52, Florida 28
Editor’s note: Now in its ninth year, Tusk to Tail is the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. The primary focus of Tusk to Tail will be to follow the Hogs through the fans’ perspective with their insightful, irreverent, smart-alecky and sometimes practical style. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.