College Football: Conference Championships

By Jack Woodard, Staff Writer

The college football season is wrapping up and conference championship week has ended.  Fans looked forward to this weekend all year, and there ma not have been many upsets, but it was still an exciting weekend.

The action started off in the MAC Championship game on Friday night.  Western Michigan looked to finish off their undefeated season and earn a New Year’s Six Bowl bid against Ohio.  The Broncos got off to a fast start led by Zach Terrell led the Bobcats 23-7 at halftime.  However, the whole game did not go like this.  Ohio held Western Michigan to only 6 points in the second half and almost pulled off the comeback, but fell short 29-23.  

Later that night one-loss Washington took on the underdogs of the year, Colorado in the PAC-12 Championship. Colorado went from 4-9 last year to 10-2 this year and looked to take down Washington.  After the first quarter the score was tied up at 7, then it went down hill for the Buffaloes.  Sefo Liufau left with an injury and Colorado was forced to play the game without their star quarterback.  The defense imploded and Washington kept their playoff hopes alive, defeating Colorado 41-10.

On Saturday, the games started at noon with the Conference-USA Championship that pitted Western Kentucky against Louisiana Tech.  Western Kentucky has had luck in this conference over the years and usually win.  That happened again on Saturday.  Both offenses started out quick matching each other score for score.  Then one defensive stop from Western Kentucky stopped Louisiana Tech’s momentum.  The Hilltoppers outlasted the Bulldogs for a 58-44 win.

On ABC was the AAC Championship game and #19 Navy took on Temple.  Navy had great expectations this year and had a historic year, scoring 60 plus points in their last two games.  They brought so much momentum into this game and many wondered if Temple even had a shot.  Navy Quarterback Will Worth left with an injury and Temple captured that opportunity.  The Owls shut down Navy’s explosive offense in a 34-10 win.

The SEC Championship featured Alabama and Florida, and these two have the most wins in the conference in this game and are no strangers to playing each other in this game.  Alabama came into this not allowing a touchdown in their last 4 games.  Florida came in with a horrific offense that was struggling greatly.  Needless to say, this game was not even close.  Florida did score a touchdown, however, but their defense could not keep them in the game.  Alabama torched the Gators in a 54-16 blowout.

In the ACC Championship, Clemson looked to stay in the picture for the playoff facing Virginia Tech.  Clemson has been a very inconsistent team this year, one week blowing out teams and the next having close games.  They did get a win against Virginia Tech 42-35.

The Mountain West Championship had San Diego State against Wyoming.  This was not the biggest or best game of the day, but it was a nail-biter and San Diego State won 27-24.

In the most anticipated game of the day, Penn State took on Wisconsin, in the Big Ten Championship.  Both these teams had 2 losses and a win might have secured a playoff spot for either of them (this did not happen for the winner, however).  Wisconsin got off to a quick start and led 28-14 at halftime.  The Badgers seemed to have this one under control when they went into the locker room.  In the second half, fans saw a more energetic Nittany Lions team.  Penn State held Wisconsin to 3 points in the second half and eventually won, 38-31.

College football fans love conference championship weekend.  “Although there were no major upsets, besides Navy, it was still exciting to watch as always.  The Penn State game was amazing and so was the ACC Championship.” said, freshman, Justin Reicher.

Bowl games will start soon giving college football fans even more to cheer about.