College football 2021: Predictions for Power Five, plus AAC, title games

Christian Holmes, Oklahoma State Football (Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Christian Holmes, Oklahoma State Football (Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports) /
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College football’s regular season is officially over and we’re on to Championship Week. Who will win each Power Five matchup?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Conference championship week is finally upon us. There are six teams left who have legitimate shots at making the College Football Playoff and it has all come down to this.

There are tons of great games this weekend that will shape the landscape of the playoff. The committee will surely have a lot to consider when they release the final four teams on Sunday. Will chalk play out? Or will there be upsets that cause even more chaos in the playoff picture? I can’t wait to find out.

I will be previewing all of the Power Five conference championship games as well as the AAC title game as Cincinnati is in the driver’s seat to qualify for the playoff if it can win.

As we take a look at each conference’s game, we will start with the AAC.

All odds are courtesy of WynnBET.

AAC Championship Game

Matchup: No. 21 Houston (11-1) vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (12-0)
Time/TV: Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on ABC
Location: Nippert Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Spread: Cincinnati -10.5

This is it for Cincinnati. Win and you’re in (most likely). The Bearcats are in line to become the first Group of Five team ever to make the College Football Playoff if they can defeat Houston.

This game will not be easy for the Bearcats, though.

The Cougars are not your typical AAC team. This team is legit and I believe that they’re a top 15 team in the country regardless of their ranking. Houston comes into this one on an 11-game winning streak and have not lost since their first game of the season against Texas Tech. They also have not lost a conference game this season just like Cincinnati. So this one will be a battle for sure.

These teams are mirror images of each other and play a very similar style to one another. Even though this is a Group of Five game, there is plenty of NFL talent featured. Houston has two defenders who will likely be Day 2 draft picks in cornerback Marcus Jones and defensive lineman Logan Hall. While Cincinnati of course has Sauce Gardner who is arguably the best corner in the country along with defensive lineman Myjai Sanders who could find themselves being selected in the first round next spring.

Both teams are built on having a strong defense and are extremely well-coached. Their offensive and defensive stats are nearly the same when you take a look at the numbers. But overall, I still believe Cincinnati is the more talented team all around.

The Bearcats know how big the stakes are for this game and they are surely going to be fired up for it. This truthfully might be the biggest football game in Cincinnati history. It helps that they’ll be in front of their home crowd. That could be the difference-maker in this one.

I expect it to be a close hard-fought game by both teams. But in the end, I believe the Bearcats will prove that they’re still the more dominant team and will shut down Clayton Tune. I predict Cincinnati to win and finally get into the College Football Playoff.

My prediction: Cincinnati wins 31-21