Randy Smith: Power Five Championship Game Picks

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

The 2021 college football season absolutely flew by. Seems like only yesterday I was preparing to watch Tennessee open the Josh Heupel era against Bowling Green, but I hear the older you get, the faster time flies. I can tell you that is accurate. My picks this year went pretty well as after missing all of last year due to COVID-19 and feeling the season should not have been played at all, I thoroughly enjoyed this season. My final record of 86-25 (77%) was just a slight bit better than it was two years ago.

(Friday) #11 Oregon vs #19 Utah Pac - Ten Championship in Las Vegas, NV

The Oregon Ducks are 10-2 with one of their losses just two weeks ago to Utah and it wasn't even close. Utah won by a score of 38-7 which makes this game really difficult to pick. You have to ask, "Was Utah really that much better?" Probably not, but Utah should win again, and it will be much closer.

Utah 27 Oregon 20

#8 Baylor vs #7 Oklahoma State - Big 12 Championship in Arlington, TX

The Cowboys have an 11-1 record going into the Championship Game, with a loss to a really good Iowa State team being the only blemish. Oklahoma State also knocked off rival Oklahoma in the season finale last week, so the Cowpokes feel with a win they should be in the playoff picture. Baylor has two losses and one of them was a 24-14 decision to Oklahoma State in the middle of the season. Depending upon how the teams ahead of them fare, Oklahoma State's chances of making the playoffs are razor thin and that's only with a win.

Oklahoma State 35 Baylor 20

#17 Pittsburgh vs #18 Wake Forest - ACC Championship in Charlotte, NC

This game could be one of the most entertaining on the schedule this weekend. Wake has a really potent offense, but their defense is not good at all which bodes well for Pitt and their Heisman candidate quarterback Kenny Pickett. If you don't remember him, he's the guy who picked Tennessee apart early in the season. Pickett has been picking apart teams all year and he also did it to Clemson. Coach Dave Clawson has done a wonderful job for the Demon Deacons since taking over in time for the 2014 season but Pittsburgh is just a better team. However, if Pitt had to face Tennessee or Clemson again they would likely lose.

Pittsburgh 38 Wake Forest 35

#5 Michigan vs #16 Iowa - Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis, IN

Jim Harbaugh has silenced the critics that wanted his head going into the season. The Wolverines beat an outstanding Ohio State team last weekend, snapping an eight game losing streak to the Buckeyes. That win also took OSU out of the playoff picture and gave Michigan the number two spot in the playoff poll, just ahead of Alabama. The Wolverines' only loss was to rival Michigan State and Harbaugh has his team playing as well as anybody right now. They're a single win away from making the playoffs and while Iowa has something to say about that, I feel the Hawkeyes are no match.

Michigan 30 Iowa 17

#1 Georgia vs. #3 Alabama - SEC Championship in Atlanta, GA

We've been waiting on this match up all season long, perhaps even in the pre-season. Georgia has dominated every team they've played the entire season, with the exception of Clemson in the season opener. The Bulldogs have one of the best defensive units in college football history, holding the opposition to about a touchdown per game. Georgia has shut out three different teams this year and the 17 points scored by Tennessee is the most they've given up in any game all season long. They may not have an explosive offense but they have a very good offense that makes very few mistakes. Alabama on the other hand has struggled especially in the latter part of the season. They should have lost last week to Auburn but managed to pull out a four overtime thriller. Make no mistake, Alabama is very, very good but not as good as Georgia. The Tide's reign in the SEC comes to an end on Saturday.

Georgia 31  Alabama 20

The playoff committee will have a big decision to make if Cincinnati wins over Houston. Right now the Bearcats are 12-0 and rated third. If they win and finish 13-0, they simply have to be included in the playoff scenario. We shall see on Sunday.

---

Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com



UTC Women's Tennis Wins 4-3 Over MTSU

Lee Track Set Records At Vanderbilt, Samford

Covenant Men Win 93-66 Over Huntingdon


The Chattanooga Mocs women’s tennis team defeated in-state foe Middle Tennessee 4-3 in thrilling fashion its second match of the season on Sunday evening at the Strang-Voges Tennis Center on ... (click for more)

The Lee University men’s track & field team participated in the Vanderbilt Invitational and the Samford University Open this past weekend and came away with three Lee records. Caleb ... (click for more)

Will Crumly and Chris Barnette combined for 43 points and the Covenant men's basketball team bounced back from a tough loss on Friday night with a resounding, 93-66, win over Huntingdon on Saturday ... (click for more)



Sports

UTC Women's Tennis Wins 4-3 Over MTSU

The Chattanooga Mocs women’s tennis team defeated in-state foe Middle Tennessee 4-3 in thrilling fashion its second match of the season on Sunday evening at the Strang-Voges Tennis Center on the campus of The McCallie School. Following the victory, Chattanooga improves to 2-0 on the young season. MTSU falls to 1-4 overall following the defeat to the Mocs. After UTC went up ... (click for more)

Lee Track Set Records At Vanderbilt, Samford

The Lee University men’s track & field team participated in the Vanderbilt Invitational and the Samford University Open this past weekend and came away with three Lee records. Caleb Long and Christian Noble had record-breaking performances in the heptathlon and mile run, respectively. Long finished the heptathlon in seventh with 4,218 total points. His point total surpassed ... (click for more)

Breaking News

3 More County Schools Shift To Remote Learning Due To High COVID Numbers

Three more county schools have switched to remote learning due to high COVID-19 numbers. School officials said, "The health and well-being of all Hamilton County students and staff has and will always be our highest priority. We are monitoring the current wave of COVID-19 spreading across our community and schools. Current state law does not permit the entire school district ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2 Sunday Morning Restaurant Fires

Several LongHorn Steakhouse employees acted fast Sunday morning when a fire in the kitchen got out of control, safely exiting the restaurant and calling 911 for help. Multiple CFD Red Shift companies responded to the business at 5771 Brainerd Road. The kitchen hood was on fire and flames were coming through the hood vent on the roof. A second alarm was called to bring additional ... (click for more)

Opinion

Earl Freudenberg: Johnny Haynes Overcome His Disability To Become A Police Department Fixture

Johnny Haynes was a special person. Under almost clear skies and 45 degree temperatures, he was buried Saturday afternoon when a small group of his friends gathered at Greenwood Cemetery off Wilcox Boulevard for the committal service. The retired Chattanooga Police Department employee has been my friend since 1962. The Central High School graduate was born with polio but was ... (click for more)

Employers Broke The Social Contract - And Response

Along with our trust, most employers are going to need to give those who participated in the great resignation something to hold onto. The cliché during the pandemic is that we’re all in the same storm, not the same boat. Some of you are in yachts while the rest of us are drowning, grasping at driftwood. For some it’s being deep in medical debt, for others they suffer from burnout ... (click for more)