COLUMBUS, OHIO - NOVEMBER 26: Kris Jenkins #94 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a 45-23 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)

College Football Conference Championships Part 1.  Today I will be previewing the Pac-12, Big 10, Big-12 and SEC title games.  On Friday I will post part 2 which will include the ACC, AAC and of course, the MAC.  My chaos theory is still very much alive and well!

Pac-12 Championship, #11 Utah vs #6 USC Friday 7:30pm, Fox (Allegiants Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada)

USC and Utah will face off once again as the Utes look to play spoiler. Utah won the first meeting 43-42 after scoring a touchdown and converting a two-point conversion with under a minute to go.

Dalton Kincaid had a monster performance that day, recording 16 receptions for 234 receiving yards. That is the most receptions by a tight end in a game this season and one shy of matching the most in a game by a tight end in FBS history.

Although it came in a loss, Caleb Williams finished with five passing touchdowns and zero interceptions against Utah. That is tied for his most passing touchdowns in a game this season.  Williams is having a Heisman-like season, leading USC to an 11-1 record, its best start since 2008. The Trojans have scored 38+ points in six straight games, their longest streak within a season since 2003 (seven straight).

This is the fourth time USC and Utah will make an appearance in the Pac-12 championship game, which began in 2011. That is tied with Stanford for the 2nd-most appearances, both trailing only Oregon (5).

With a win, USC has an opportunity to become one of the four teams in the College Football Playoff. The Trojans would be the 3rd Pac-12 team to reach the CFP, joining 2016 Washington and 2014 Oregon.

Big Ten Championship, Purdue vs #2 Michigan Saturday 8pm Fox (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana)

The Wolverines are 12-0 for the first time since 1997, the season they split the national title with Nebraska, and will put that undefeated record on the line against Purdue. After not reaching the Big Ten championship game in its first 10 seasons of existence, Michigan has a chance to capture the conference crown for a 2nd straight season.

Purdue is making its first appearance in the Big Ten championship game. Could the Boilermakers play spoilers? They have nine wins vs an AP Top-2 team when unranked, five more than any other school in the Poll Era (since 1936).

More College Football Conference Championships:

  • Big-12 Championship #10 Kansas State vs. #3 TCU Saturday Noon ABC (AT+T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)

    Kansas State is back in the Big 12 title game for the 4th time and its first appearance since 2003 when the Wildcats defeated Oklahoma. They lost their other two appearances in 1998 and 2000.

    TCU has won the Big 12 title once, back in 2014 when the Horned Frogs shared the title with Baylor. Kansas State has secured the conference championship twice, once in 2003 and the other in 2012, when the Wildcats shared the title with Oklahoma.

    TCU has gotten to this point by winning five games when trailing in the 2nd half, tied with Troy, Coastal Carolina and North Carolina for the most such wins in the FBS this season. One of those wins came against Kansas State earlier this season.

    Fun Facts: TCU has also committed the fewest turnovers in the Big 12, while Kansas State has forced the most turnovers in the conference.  These two teams also played earlier this season in October in Ft. Worth.  TCU overcame an 18 point deficit to defeated K-State 38-28.

  • SEC Championship #14 LSU vs. #1 Georgia 4pm CBS (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia)

    This will be the fifth time LSU and Georgia have met in Atlanta, making it the second-most frequent matchup in SEC championship game history behind Alabama-Florida (10 meetings). The Tigers won three of the previous four.

    Brian Kelly is the fourth coach to reach the SEC championship game in his first season in the conference. Gus Malzahn is the only one to win the title in his first season.

    Stetson Bennett enters the SEC championship game with 3,151 passing yards, putting him within striking distance of the Top 5 on Georgia’s single-season passing list. After throwing for at least 250 yards in nine of the Bulldogs’ 10 games he has a *total* of 256 passing yards in the past two games.