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College Football Week 15 Picks

SEC Championship: Missouri vs. Auburn
It is truly amazing that these two teams somehow ended up in this pivotal game. Last season, both of
James Franklin
these Tigers' teams went a combined 8-16, with Auburn faltering to a 3-9 mark and Missouri to a 5-7. And this year hasn't been easy, Auburn needed two miracle plays to beat both Georgia and Alabama and Missouri needed some dazzling performances from backup QB Maty Mauk to win the East. Now, the winner of this hopes they can impress people enough to jump Ohio State into the national championship game. Auburn continues to pound teams on the ground, they ran for 296 yards against Alabama's great rush defense. Junior QB Nick Marshall and Tre Mason both receive a ton of credit as well as the offensive line. Don't underestimate Missouri's defense, it is disciplined and has a monster of a pass rusher in defensive end Michael Sam. Auburn will have to continue to explore through the air where they have been decent this season. Marshall has been decent with his arm but in order to convert on third downs they cannot be one-dimensional. Receiver Sammie Coates could be a huge threat in the play-action pass game. Auburn must account for Missouri's James Franklin who has been lethal when healthy this year. The senior can run the offense smoothly and is a dual threat. Big play threats Dorial-Green Beckham and L'Damian Washington could spell big trouble for Auburn's average secondary. Both teams could pound it on the ground and end up winning this one but like a lot of Auburn's games it could be decided by one crazy play. One that could swing Auburn into the national championship game.
Auburn, 31 Missouri, 30

Big Ten Championship: Ohio State vs. Michigan State
The nation's stingiest defense, Michigan State, hopes that they can be the first team in the Urban Meyer era to snap Ohio State's 24-game streak. It won't be easy going up against junior Braxton Miller and the speedy Buckeyes' offense. Miller is very dangerous with his legs; unfortunately Michigan State is very good at containing speedy players. The Spartans' defense is constantly disrupting backfields and Miller needs some help from Devon Smith and his receivers down the field. If Michigan State can hold the Buckeyes their offense should be able to get the job done. Ohio State has been very exposed on the ground this year and Michigan State possesses a great ground threat in Jeremy Langford. Quarterback Connor Cook has thrown 17 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions this year after taking over for the struggling Andrew Maxwell. Cook has been efficient and now has a ton of experience underneath his belt. Receivers Bennie Fowler and Tony Lippett should help stretch the field and open up the ground game, though watch out for junior cornerback Bradley Roby who can shutdown receivers. Ohio State allowed 603 total yards to a spotty Michigan offense. Even if they can find weaknesses against the Spartan defense, their defense should cost them a spot at the national championship game.
Michigan State, 27 Ohio State, 24

Pac-12 Championship: Stanford vs. Arizona State
Well the ACC, Big Ten and SEC Championship games could all be big and decide the title chase, this one should still provide some excitement. Senior back Tyler Gaffney and the psychical Stanford Cardinal travel to Tempe to take on an Arizona State team they beat by two touchdowns earlier this year. They beat the Sun Devils by running the ball over the Sun Devils with power and shutting down an explosive ASU offense. Junior linebacker Carl Bradford will lead the aggressive Sun Devils' defense which hopes it can slow down Gaffney and get pressure on Kevin Hogan. Although Stanford doesn't lean too much on the pass, when the air attack does struggle or turns the ball over, Stanford's offense isn't very effective, like many. Arizona State didn't move the ball that well against Stanford last time but they are much better now. QB Taylor Kelly is a proven dual threat who can give defenses headaches at times but still can be inconsistent as well. Arizona State has a plethora of playmakers surrounding Kelly that should test Stanford. This includes agile back Marion Grice and dependable receiver Jaelen Strong, a 1,000 yard receiver.

Other Picks
ACC Championship: Florida State, 42 Duke, 27
MAC Championship: Northern Illinois, 38 Bowling Green, 35
Mountain West Championship: Fresno State, 34 Utah State, 20
C-USA Championship: Rice, 45 Marshall, 42
6 Oklahoma State, 41 17 Oklahoma, 31
Current Picks Record: 81-31

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