CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK: The Picks

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 9 Virginia Tech vs. No. 11 Boston College
The ACC Championship Game has not really turned out the way the bigwigs intended it since the game began, though the Virginia Tech-FSU tilt a couple of years ago pretty well fit the bill. This is the first CG to sport two expansion teams. The Hokies have no offense and a tough defense. The Eagles have Matt Ryan and came from a 10-0 hole to beat VT 14-10 with just about as little time as you can have for a two-score rally. The Hokies won't let that happen again; they win a low-scoring affair. Virginia Tech 13, Boston College 3

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 14 Tennessee vs. No. 5 LSU
This one is a hard one. On the merits, the Bengals would drill the Vols. But this is a team distracted by falling out of the national championship picture last week and the near certainty that the head coach is headed to Michigan. One big strike against Tennessee: They're not playing at home, where they perform much better than on the road. This is also a swan song for Miles and a chance to prove that he can bring home the SEC championship before heading to the Midwest. Give the Tigers a healthy win. LSU 38, Tennessee 14

UCLA at No. 7 Southern Cal
UCLA can actually win the Pac-10 title, which would please the sadistic side of me that would like to see what the Bruins' establishment would do with Karl Dorrell if it happened. That said, there's little chance. Yes, Southern Cal got upset by their cross-town rivals last year, but twice in two years is probably too much. And I can't wish that on the devoted folks over at Bruins Nation. Southern Cal 37, UCLA 13

Oregon State at No. 18 Oregon
Can someone tell me why a game in the Pacific Northwest is called the "Civil War"? Neither here nor there. Oregon is officially out of the running for the Pac-10 championship, at least as far as the accompanying Rose Bowl berth goes. The Dennis Dixon loss was a brutal blow to the Ducks. Rivalry juices help the Beavers pull a minor upset. Oregon State 30, Oregon 27

Pittsburgh at No. 2 West Virginia
::Shudders:: Ugly, ugly, ugly game. The Mountaineers could get 650+ yards of offense. In other words, they could make the Pitt defense look like the South Carolina defense. Pat White, meet Heisman conversation. West Virginia 53, Pittsburgh 13

BIG XII CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Missouri
The Alamodome is a dark, dank place when it comes to football games, or at least it was when I went. That might be because it was when the Saints were calling San Antonio their temporary home, and anything related to Katrina conjured up thoughts of darkness and water. In any case, it seemed like the place where national championship dreams go to die. In the regular-season matchup between these two teams, the Sooners beat the Tigers by 10 points. All that aside, I think Missouri pulls out a narrow one. Missouri 28, Oklahoma 27

Arizona at No. 12 Arizona State
If UCLA finds some way to defeat the Trojans, all West Coast eyes would then move to the Sun Devils' showdown with the Wildcats. An Arizona State win would catapult them to the Rose Bowl; an Arizona victory sends the Bruins. Arizona State secures what might be the easiest at-large BCS berth in history with a win. Arizona State 34, Arizona 31

Non-Championship Games

No. 21 BYU at San Diego State University
This is a makeup for a game that was canceled as the wildfires scorched California earlier this year. The Cougars have wrapped up the Mountain West title, but are playing with a chance to end the year in the Top 25. BYU 43, SDSU 13

Washington at No. 15 Hawaii
It's not on the mainland, which means that Colt Brennan and Co. can get the win that will allow them to immediately pass Arizona State as the team to gain the easiest BCS berth in history. Should the Warriors be ranked highly enough to go to a BCS bowl? Of course not. But that's never stopped the coaches, Harris Poll or computers before. Hawaii 56, Washington 14

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