Colorado running back Jarek Broussard (23) runs for a first down against Colorado during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Southeastern Conference, American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt championship game matchups are locked in, leaving no drama this weekend in those leagues.

The ACC even went ahead and gave No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson the week off ahead of the Dec. 19 showdown.

What's left to be decided in college football?

Conference USA: This is a little complicated because Marshall (4-1 in conference), which was in position to clinch the East Division by beating Charlotte, can't play because of COVID-19 issues and injuries. Because Marshall beat FAU (4-1), the Thundering Herd has clinched without playing even though FAU has a game left. UAB can clinch the West by beating Rice. If not, UTSA is West champ.

Pac-12: No. 16 Southern California (4-0) likely wins the Pac-12 South by beating UCLA. The uncertainty comes from No. 21 Colorado (3-0). The Trojans and Buffaloes had their game canceled so the tiebreaker will be the College Football Playoff rankings. The Trojans were 15th and CU was 21st this week. The Buffs play Utah this week. In the North, the winner of Oregon-Washington would be champ if it is played.

Mountain West: Boise State is in the title game if it beats Wyoming against the winner of San Jose State-Nevada. If Boise State loses, it gets more complicated.

Mid-American Conference: No. 24 Buffalo was finally declared the East Division champion Wednesday. The Bulls will face the winner of Ball State-Western Michigan.

And then there is the Big Ten, where the drama has been more off the field then on but things are tracking toward No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Northwestern, regardless of this weekend's results.

The picks:

No. 1 Alabama (minus 32) at Arkansas

Tide has won 13 straight in the series, including the last five by an average of 46-18 ... ALABAMA 45-16.

LSU (plus 23) at No. 6 Florida

Tigers have not shown much desire to be playing out this season ... FLORIDA 49-21.

No. 20 North Carolina (plus 3) at No. 9 Miami

Hurricanes still feel a little fraudulent as a top-10 team ... NORTH CAROLINA 31-28.

No. 11 Coastal Carolina (minus 13 1/2) at Troy

Weird sandwich game for the Chanticleers between last week's BYU showdown and next week's Sun Belt title game ... COASTAL CAROLINA 31-21.

No. 12 Georgia (minus 13) at Missouri

Tigers have been surprisingly good under first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz, but an upset over Georgia would be the crown jewel ... GEORGIA 35-24.

No. 13 Oklahoma (minus 14) at West Virginia

Sooners are the only Big 12 team the Mountaineers have not beaten since moving to the Big 12 in 2012 ... OKLAHOMA 35-17.

San Diego State (plus 16 1/2) at No. 14 BYU

Cougars look to bounce back from first loss of the season ... BYU 42-20

Illinois (plus 14) at No. 15 Northwestern

Wildcats have won five straight and seven of eight, their most dominant run in series that covers 111 games ... NORTHWESTERN 24-13.

No. 16 Southern California (minus 3) at UCLA

Been a little tough to tell how seriously to take this Bruins uptick, but they currently lead the Pac-12 in defense at 5.12 yards per play ... UCLA 27-24.

No. 25 Wisconsin (minus 1 1/2) at No. 19 Iowa

Badgers' usually reliable running game has not been and they are minus-2 in turnover margin. They have a really good defense, though ... WISCONSIN 21-18.

Utah (minus 1 1/2) at No. 21 Colorado

Utes have won seven of nine since the teams joined the Pac-12 together in 2011 ... COLORADO 24-23.

No. 23 Texas (minus 29 1/2) at Kansas

Longhorns have questions surrounding the future of their coach, plus uncertainty about whether they can even play because of COVID-19 cases. If they do ... TEXAS 35-10.

Akron (plus 32 1/2) at No. 24 Buffalo

Zips broke a 21-game losing streak last week; two straight seems unlikely ... BUFFALO 49-21.


Navy (plus 7) at Army — @kyleinmke

First time the game will be played at West Point since 1943 ... ARMY 24-20.

Arizona State (minus 11 1/2) at Arizona — @ArtWMoore

Sun Devils have won three straight and six of eight in the Territorial Cup ... ARIZONA STATE 31-17.

Houston (minus 5) at Memphis — @jefe172

Cougars, crushed by postponements and cancellations, are playing seventh game after intending to start in September; Tigers are slogging to the finish of a rocky season ... HOUSTON 28-21.

Michigan State (plus 14 1/2) at Penn State — @SteveWildzNB

After 0-5 start, Nittany Lions looking for a three-game winning streak and a second straight win in the Land Grant Trophy rivalry ... PENN STATE 24-13.



Last week: 13-6 straight; 9-11 against the spread.

Season: 150-57 straight; 102-104-1 against the spread.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at and listen at


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