ūüŹą Chaos Scenario Planning

College Football Champ Week Preview...

It's Almost Friday! Which means it's time to preview one of the most anticipated College Football championship weekends maybe ever with eight teams in the hunt for just four spots in the coveted College Football Playoffs. We break down every matchup, the playoff implications and our betting locks. Prior to that, College Basketball had themselves quite the Humpday with four top 25 upsets. Then we can't forget about the people who play sports for real money with the NBA and NHL in action. Ready. Set. BLITZ!

WTF Stat: Jets QB Aaron Rodgers has returned to practice just 79 days after tearing his Achilles in Week 1 earlier this season. This is typically a 9-12-month recovery period. He has a 21-day practice window and then the Jets will make decision if he will suit up for the final few games - maybe we should all try ayahuasca...

Pretty Please?

ūüŹą Duke QB Riley Leonard has entered the transfer portal following the news that his HC Mike Elko left the program for the Texas A&M job - Nebraska clearly isn't interested in Leonard as HC Matt Rhule was complaining about the cost to acquire transfers as he prefers to grow players within the program... good luck with that!

ūüŹą¬†Cleveland Browns have promoted former Super Bowl champ¬†Joe Flacco to QB2 and could start Sunday vs. Rams with starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson in concussion protocol

‚öĺ All-Star Pitcher¬†Luis Severino¬†is taking the subway cross-town to sign with the New York Mets on a 1-year, $13M deal after eight seasons with the Yankees

ūüŹą¬†Championship Chaos

Photo: CFP Rankings | Source: College Football Playoff

College Football - Conference Championship Preview

Woah, Nelly! Buckle up, folks, because you're in store for what could be the most chaotic conference championship history since the birth of the College Football Playoff. Eight teams remain alive for four postseason spots, and seven of them will be in action in the next 72 hours, with the Buckeyes praying for a miracle from their couch. We can't comb through every scenario because there are simply too many. (But if you want to read about them, click here.) We're here to talk ball and prep you for an epic championship weekend. Also, yes, our patent-pending Blitz computer model did go 3-1 last week to surge back above .500, thank you for asking. What can we say? We're a postseason team. Now, it's time to see who else is...

Power Five Conference Championships

Pac-12 | #3 Washington (12-0) vs. #5 Oregon (11-1) Friday 8:00pm ET, ABC

  • Washington beat Oregon, 36-33, at home in October on a last-second field goal, but the Ducks are favored by more than a touchdown in the neutral site rematch (held at the Raiders' Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas). Why? Because since then, Dan Lanning's team has¬†steamrolled through the Pac-12, while the Huskies have looked shaky against that same competition.

  • Oregon is riding a six-game winning streak that has boosted QB Bo Nix into the Heisman front-runner, finishing with four straight 360-yard passing performances and 20 total touchdowns. Defensively, they've¬†held four of its last five opponents under 20 points. Meanwhile, Washington has survived several close calls en route to an undefeated season, winning its last two games by five combined points, and they haven't had a double-digit win since September.

  • Still, the Huskies won the head-to-head matchup and also have a Heisman contender in QB Michael Penix Jr. Oregon outgained Washington 541-415 when they played but failed to convert three critical fourth downs, which was the difference. Now, they'll get a chance for revenge with a playoff berth on the line. The Ducks are the¬†more well-rounded team and playing at a much higher level, but we think this one may be closer than some people think.

  • Pick: WASH +9.5

Big 12 | #7 Texas (11-1) vs. #18 Oklahoma State (9-3) 12:00pm ET, ABC

  • In their final Big 12 game ever, Texas will look to ride off into the sunset with a conference banner in the¬†rearview and their first playoff berth on the horizon. A win would mark their first Big 12 championship since 2009, and the odds are in their favor, entering Jerry World as 15.5-point favorites. UT is one of the most talented teams in the country. However, they've shown a bad habit of letting inferior opponents hang around late into games.

  • Enter Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State. Under Gundy, the Cowboys notoriously play up (and down) to competition. This year, they recovered from early defeats to South Alabama and Iowa State by winning five straight games, capped by a top-10 upset over Oklahoma. Then, they lost 45-3 to UCF. Still, they managed to sneak into the conference championship with narrow wins against Houston and BYU to close out the regular season.

  • The Longhorns should hit plenty of big strikes against the Cowboys' defense, which ranks outside the top 100 in yards per play (6.28)¬†and has an obvious advantage in the trenches. Texas is the better team, has the better quarterback, and¬†should¬†get into the playoff with a win. But Gundy will throw the kitchen sink their way in hopes of spoiling their picturesque¬†Big 12 exit. Give us the points.

  • Pick: OKST +15.5

SEC | #1 Georgia (12-0) vs. #8 Alabama (11-1) 4:00pm ET, CBS

  • The culmination of the SEC season will come down to another matchup featuring the conference's two Death Stars. The Kirby Smart-led Bulldogs and Nick Saban-led Crimson Tide will meet yet again with an SEC title on the line, with both previous duels in Atlanta siding with the Tide in 2018 and 2021. Conference supremacy is on the line, as well as a berth to the College Football Playoff. If Alabama loses, they're out. If they win, chaos will ensue, creating a scenario where both teams could make or miss the playoff.

  • The Dawgs have only improved as the season progressed and hardly blinked during a tough three-game stretch versus Missouri, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. The Tide have also morphed into a championship contender following their home loss to Texas, and ‚ÄĒ after once being considered a liability ‚ÄĒ QB Jalen Milroe has developed into one of Saban's best assets.

  • But as we mentioned last week, Alabama still has flaws, particularly on the offensive line. Those warts began to show in the Iron Bowl, where the Tide needed a miraculous fourth-and-31 conversion to steal a win. Bama gave up 244 yards on the ground to Auburn, and Milroe was running for his life all afternoon. That won't get it done against the two-time reigning champs. Georgia makes a statement with a big win, and the playoff committee is relieved of making an impossible decision.

  • Pick: UGA -5

Big Ten | #2 Michigan (12-0) vs. #16 Iowa (10-2) 8:00pm ET, FOX

  • No disrespect, but the Big Ten final may have already been played when Michigan beat Ohio State last Saturday for their third straight win over the Buckeyes.

  • Iowa has one of the best defenses in the country, allowing just 12.2 points per game. But as good as they are defensively, they're even worse offensively. Of the 133 FBS teams, the Hawkeyes rank dead last in total offense, averaging just 247.3 yards and 18 points an outing. Their first half over/under was set at 0.5 points (yes, 0.5 points), and they aren't projected to score a touchdown all game. We're not going to overthink this one: With¬†HC Jim Harbaugh back on the sideline, the Wolverines¬†waltz to their third straight conference title, along with their¬†third straight playoff bid.

  • Pick: MICH -22.5

ACC | #4 Florida State (12-0) vs. #14 Louisville (10-2) 8:00pm ET, ABC

  • In perhaps the most peculiar game of the weekend, Florida State will look to remain unbeaten while seeking their first ACC title since 2014. However, they'll have to do without their star¬†quarterback, Jordan Travis, who suffered a season-ending leg fracture two weeks ago. The Noles may not be the best team in playoff contention, but a win would certainly make them one of the most deserving. An undefeated Power Five champion has never been left out of the playoff, but it's possible FSU¬†ends up on the wrong side of history, depending on how things shake out. However, it won't matter if they fail to take care of business against a dangerous Louisville team.

  • The Cards knocked off Notre Dame this season, shut out Duke, and beat Miami, but then lost to Kentucky 38-31 last week. With Florida State allowing nearly 140 yards on the ground per game, Louisville has a real advantage in the run game. They also have more experience at quarterback, with senior Jake Plummer under center. With that said, Plummer has struggled to take care of the ball at times, and he'll be going up against one of the best defensive lines in the country that has helped force 16 turnovers, tied for the fifth-most in college football.

  • On the other side, Florida State¬†has elite weapons in RB Trey Benson and wideouts Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson. But backup QB Tate Rodemaker completed less than 50% of his passes last week against Florida while accounting for just 134 total yards. The Seminoles suffered a cruel fate with Travis going down, and their dream season could come to a close if they can't muster up enough takeaways to shorten the field for Rodemaker. Cards win outright.

  • Pick: LOU +2.5

The Rest of Conference Championship Weekend

  • CUSA | New Mexico State (10-3) @ #24 Liberty (12-0) Friday 7:00pm ET, CBSSN

  • MAC | Toledo (11-1) vs. Miami (OH) (10-2) 12:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Mountain West | UNLV (9-3) vs. Boise State (7-5) 3:00pm ET, FOX

  • AAC | SMU (10-2) @ #22 Tulane (11-1) 4:00pm ET, ABC

  • Sun Belt | Appalachian State (8-4) @ Troy (10-2) 4:00pm ET, ESPN

Note: All "vs." matchups are held at a neutral site. 

See the full CFP rankings here. 2023 Pick Record: 24-23-2

Photo: Franz Wagner | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Orlando Magic¬†139, Washington Wizards 120: The Magic continue to roll making it eight straight riding the backs, once again,¬†of Franz Wagner (31 PTS, 6 REB) and Cole Anthony (25 PTS, 5 AST) as Jalen Suggs (22 PTS) added a¬†360 dunk¬†to the 'Magic Show'¬†-¬†this is a fun, young, dangerous team down in Florida

  • Los Angeles Lakers¬†133, Detroit Pistons 107: Speaking of streaks, the Pistons are on the wrong side of one losing a franchise record 15 straight games with D'Angelo Russell (35 PTS, 9 AST) catching fire for the Lakers -¬†big bounce back the Lakers after a 44-point loss to the 76ers on Tuesday

  • Denver Nuggets¬†134, Houston Rockets 124: Michael Porter Jr. (30¬†PTS, 10 REB) was on FIRE from long range in the first half hitting six-of-seven threes, and the two-time MVP Nikola Jokic (32 PTS, 15 AST, 10 REB) added a triple-double¬†- current odds favorite (+165) by a wide margin to win a third MVP award

  • New Orleans Pelicans 124, Philadelphia 76ers 114: Zion Williamson (33 PTS, 8 REB) had a near perfect¬†shooting night going 11-for-12 from the field and charity stripe taking advantage of a Joel Embiid-less Sixers team

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

Men's College Basketball - Top Games

  • #17 North Carolina 100, #10 Tennessee 92: It was a blowout from the first whistle as UNC had three guys over 20 points led by seniors R.J. Davis (27¬†PTS) and Armando¬†Bacot (22 PTS, 11 REB). The Volunteers made the final score look a lot more reasonable thanks to an incredible shooting night from sure-fire first round pick Dalton Knecht (13-17, 37 PTS), but storyline to watch is the fact he left the game in the second half with an ankle injury¬†- Rick¬†Barnes, who's coached¬†the program since 2015, said this was the worst¬†1st half performance he's ever seen while coaching at Tennessee

  • Arkansas 80, #7 Duke 75: Duke had never visited Arkansas' Bud Walton Arena¬†and they wish they never did as the Razorback faithful clearly had this game circled on the calendar with fans revved up to say the least. After a first half of several lead changes and just a 1-point lead, Arkansas came out firing from deep in the second half pulling away from the Blue Devils, despite a late game comeback attempt, in a very strong resume building top 10 dub -¬†last time Duke played in an SEC arena was 1992¬†vs. Shaq's LSU Tigers

  • St Joseph's 78, #18 Villanova 65: After a Battle 4 Atlantis title and¬†impressive wins over Texas Tech, UNC, Maryland and Memphis,¬†the Wildcats slumped in the Big 5 Classic to a¬†Philly rival - the only other Nova loss was to UPenn a few weeks back, no longer kings of Philly?

  • Virgina 59, #18 Texas A&M 47: UVA demonstrated once again that they know defense wins championships better than anyone in the country, as another top 25 team fell on Wednesday night -¬†only second matchup ever, other game was in the '60s

See the full men's scoreboard here and the full women's scoreboard here.

NHL - Top Games

  • New York Rangers 3, Detroit Red Wings 2: Two playoff-hopeful Eastern Conference squads faced-off as¬†a¬†two-goal third period from the home team capped off by a¬†Jimmy Vesey tip-in with under 5 minutes to play secured the Rangers

  • Montreal Canadiens 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2: Three unanswered goals kicked off by Blitzer Cole Caufield, who has the¬†Canadiens¬†back to a .500 record as the Blue Jackets sit in last place of the Metropolitan Division

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

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Photo: The Kick Six | Source: NCAA

On November 30, 2013, the miraculous "Kick Six" happened at the Iron Bowl. If you thought this year's Iron Bowl ending was unthinkable with the "Milroe Miracle", let's turn the clocks back a decade. Alabama, the #1 ranked team in the country and two-time defending national champion, lined up for a 57-yard FG attempt to try and break the tie. Instead, the kick came up just short and Auburn's Chris Davis was sitting back there who caught the kick. He ran 100+ yards down the sideline and sent 88,000 strong at Jordan-Hare Stadium into a frenzy as they won the game in regulation. This win catapulted them into the SEC Championship, which they won over Mizzou, but ended up losing to Florida State in the National Championship game to Jameis Winston and company.

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NFL - Thursday Night Football

  • Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys 8:15pm ET, Prime Video

NBA

  • Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat¬†7:30pm ET, NBA TV

  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder 8:00pm ET, Local

  • Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors 10:00pm ET, NBA TV

  • Full Schedule

NHL

  • Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings¬†7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames 9:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Vegas Golden Knights @ Vancouver Canucks 10:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM:¬†Texas Tech @ Butler 6:30pm ET, FS1

  • NCAAM: #15 Creighton @ Oklahoma State 9:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAW: #1 South Carolina @ #24 North Carolina 7:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: Arkansas @ #15 Florida State 7:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAW: #9 Virginia Tech @ #7 LSU 9:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Men's: Full Schedule

  • Women's: Full Schedule

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"Lock" of the Day

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NFL - Thursday Night Football

  • Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys: Seahawks -8.5

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Football is so awesome. See you tomorrow for an NFL Week 13 Preview.