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Georgia-Alabama Headlines Full Day of Conference Championships

Plus, Michigan faces Iowa in the Big Ten title game.

While college football provided plenty of off-the-field intrigue this week, from the still-swirling coaching carousel to Brian Kelly’s new Southern accent, I’m glad to put all of that on the backburner for a day full of conference championship contests.

As could be expected, the top matchup comes in the SEC, where No. 3 Alabama will battle No. 1 Georgia, but don’t discount the rest of the conferences, even those outside the Power 5. Yes, I’m looking at No. 4 Cincinnati in particular, which will try to hold on to its potential College Football Playoff berth as it faces No. 21 Houston in the AAC championship game.

Here’s what I’m watching.

MUST WATCH

SEC Championship: Georgia vs. Alabama

kirby-smart-georgia

No. 1 Georgia could knock No. 3 Alabama out of the College Football Playoff race if the Bulldogs can hand the Crimson Tide their second loss of the season. Alabama, though, has a history of spoiling Georgia’s plans; the Crimson Tide scored comeback wins against the Bulldogs in the national title game in the 2017 season and in the SEC championship game in ’18. The Bulldogs have not beaten the Tide since ’07.

Georgia does enter as the betting favorite, which wouldn’t be that impressive except for this: Alabama has been favored in 92 straight games heading into Saturday. Its last game as an underdog came in 2015, also against Georgia. The Crimson Tide won that regular-season game, 38–10.

4 p.m. ET, CBS, watch on fuboTV

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• Big 12 Championship: Baylor vs. Oklahoma State | No. 5 Oklahoma State appears in its first Big 12 title game against No. 9 Baylor. A win could keep the Cowboys in the running for a spot in the four-team playoff. 12 p.m. ET, ABC, watch on fuboTV

• MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers | Seventh-seeded Real Salt Lake, the final team to make the postseason in the Western Conference, continues its surprise run in the conference final against fourth-seeded Portland. 6:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1, watch on fuboTV

• Big Ten Championship: Michigan vs. Iowa | After No. 2 Michigan secured its first win against Ohio State since 2011, the Big Ten championship game could be an emotional letdown, but the Wolverines will aim to keep rolling against No. 13 Iowa. 8 p.m. ET, Fox, watch on fuboTV

• ACC Championship: Pitt vs. Wake Forest | Star quarterbacks attempt to lead their teams to an ACC title as Kenny Pickett and No. 15 Pitt take on Sam Hartman and No. 16 Wake Forest. 8 p.m. ET, ABC, watch on fuboTV

HIDDEN GEM

AAC Championship: Houston at Cincinnati

No. 4 Cincinnati is trying to become the first non–Power 5 school to earn a spot in the eight-year history of the College Football Playoff, but a meeting with No. 21 Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship game stands in its way.

The Bearcats (12–0) have not faced a ranked opponent since taking down then No. 9 Notre Dame, 24–13, on Oct. 2. The Cougars (11–1) also have one game (and one win) against a ranked opponent this season; they beat then No. 19 SMU, 44–37, on Oct. 30.

4 p.m. ET, ABC, watch on fuboTV

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