Power 5 Conference Championship Preview


Sofia Nevala , Reporter

What has usually been a highly anticipated weekend of college football may not be as exciting as previous years. With the unbalanced divisions of the BIG 10, the championship game features a CFP hopeful in 11-0 Michigan against an 8-4 Purdue team who beat last place Nebraska by only a touchdown. While some games have the potential to be good, none feature two undefeated teams, in fact there are only three undefeated teams out of the ten playing this weekend. Despite that, here’s a glance ahead at the Power 5 College Football Conference Championship Games. 


PAC 12: #4 USC (11-1) vs. #11 Utah (9-3)

Friday December 2, 2022 

Las Vegas, NV 

8pm EST on FOX

The Pac 12 Championship may be the best game out of all of the championship games. This is the second meeting between the two teams with Utah winning the first matchup at home, 43-42. USC is coming off a win versus Notre Dame which secured their one loss regular season. Beating Utah would give USC a chance to make the CFP, something they have not done in the history of the CFP. Lincoln Riley in his first year has improved the Trojans with much credit to Caleb Williams, the Trojans quarterback, who followed Riley from Oklahoma. Despite this, the USC defense has struggled and Utah also has a quality quarterback in Cam Rising. This will be another close game between the two teams as Utah hopes to upset the Trojans again ending their chance at making the playoffs.

Prediction: Utah Wins: 31-28 


BIG 12: #3 TCU (12-0) vs. #10 Kansas St. (9-3)

Saturday December 3, 2022 

Arlington, TX 

12pm EST on ABC

TCU enters the Big 12 championship not only for the first time since 2017, but also undefeated, hoping to secure their spot in the College Football Playoff. Very few people predicted that TCU would have such a successful season, but with Sonny Dykes leading the Horned Frogs, they have appeared unstoppable while surviving a couple close games. The two teams have already seen each other this year with TCU coming out on top 38-28. Since then TCU has only gained momentum and confidence so there is no reason to believe that this game will end differently than the first.  The only possible difference is a greater margin of victory for the Horned Frogs. 

Prediction: TCU Wins: 45-17


SEC: #1 Georgia (12-0) vs. #14 LSU (9-3)

Saturday December 3, 2022 

Atlanta, GA 

4pm EST on CBS

Georgia and LSU looked to be one of the best conference championship games until LSU lost to Texas A&M, a team tied for the worst record in the SEC. Now Georgia is the only SEC team that should make the CFP as the loss to Texas A&M ended any hope of the Tigers making it. The Tigers also may be without starting QB Jayden Daniels who was injured in last week’s game against Texas A&M. On Georgia’s side, despite losing many players to the NFL again this year, they have continued their dominance as one of the best teams in college football. With the leadership of senior quarterback Stetson Bennett the Dawgs seem unstoppable and destined for another CFP bid.

Prediction: Georgia Wins: 42-13


ACC: #9 Clemson (10-2) vs. #23 North Carolina (9-3)

Saturday, December 3, 2022 

Charlotte, NC

8pm EST on ABC

Clemson returns to the ACC Championship this year after missing it for the first time in seven seasons last year. Clemson comes into this game following their first home loss in forty games to instate rival, the South Carolina Gamecocks. Meanwhile North Carolina is coming into this game also following a loss, 30-27 in double overtime to their own instate rival NC State. This game will feature a battle of the quarterbacks with Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei, and UNC’s star freshman Drake Maye. While Uiagalelei has been inconsistent this season racking up 7 interceptions alongside his 22 touchdowns, he also struggled against South Carolina where he had 8 completions on 29 attempts for only 99 yards. Maye has been very impressive with 35 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions on the season while going 29 of 49 for 233 yards against NC State. 

Prediction: Clemson Wins: 34-28


BIG 10: #2 Michigan (12-0) vs. Purdue (8-4)

Saturday December 3, 2022 

Indianapolis, IN 

8pm EST on FOX

Michigan returns to the Big 10 championship for the second year in a row following a win versus rival Ohio State in Columbus for the first time since 2000. With young QB J.J. McCarthy and a hopefully healthy Blake Corum, Michigan should run away with this game and leave nothing to question that they are a real contender in the CFP. Coming off their win at Ohio State it seems that nothing can stop the Wolverines now, including a mediocre Purdue team. Despite the close game versus Illinois, it is hard to imagine that Michigan will take their foot off the gas and give Purdue any chance of a close game. At this point Michigan will be playing against themselves making sure to show the committee that they are worthy of one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff. 

Prediction: Michigan Wins: 49-3