Championship Week Picks

Ah, the bonus weekend – when real conferences play championship games and the Pac 10 tries to act like it has a championship game by also playing. Beats the Big 10″s lack of games for the past couple of weeks, but come on; add two teams and get yourself a real conference, USC. The big deal here in Atlanta, of course, is the SEC Championship Game. No. 4 Florida vs. No. 8 Arkansas. Florida needs a win to keep BCS title hopes alive; Arkansas needs a win for a SEC championship and Sugar Bowl trip.

From a selfish perspective, it”s hard to know what would help LSU more. If Arkansas wins, our victory over them looks more impressive. If Florida wins, our loss to them makes us look stronger as well. Then there”s the idea that a Florida loss makes it less likely for the Rose Bowl to pick LSU, but I”m not sure I buy that. Sure, it would be unjust for the BCS to take LSU over a Florida team we lost to that also just has two losses and played an extra top-10 game to close the season. But the BCS isn”t fair, and a No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 4 LSU matchup would be better than No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 8 Florida.

And I think Arkansas takes the game. Florida is largely unimpressive on offense, and they”re banged up. If Arkansas can run, run, run (and they can) and can keep the Florida offense in check (not impossible), the Hogs control the game.

Hogs 24 – 20

Elsewhere, I like Ga. Tech in the ACC game, Oklahoma in the Big 12, Rutgers to lose and USC to beat UCLA – and act like they just played a conference championship game.

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