Skip to main content
Publish date:

Where every conference title race stands with 3 weeks until Championship Saturday

It's Election Day, which turns every American into an amateur forecaster. And since we're all in the mood to crown a new leader, I took a dive into forecasting the championship chase in each of the 10 FBS conferences with three weeks to go until Championship Saturday.

I tried to stick to scenarios that remain somewhat rooted in reality. Enjoy.

American
East
Temple (5-1) controls its own destiny, with wins over South Florida (4-1) and Central Florida (3-2). Should the Owls lose to Tulane and East Carolina, the winner of the War on I-4 in Orlando on Oct. 26 would likely decide the division.

West
Navy (4-1) hosts Tulsa (4-1) on Saturday, with the winner controlling the division. Should the Golden Hurricane win, Houston (4-2) would be in prime position with another Tulsa loss. Memphis (3-2) remains the chaos candidate, but with losses to both Navy and Tulsa the Tigers would need lots of help.

ACC
Atlantic
Clemson (6-0) is a win away from clinching its second straight and fourth overall Atlantic championship. Should the Tigers lose to Pittsburgh and Wake Forest, Louisville (6-1) needs just to beat Wake to reach its first ACC title game. And should Clemson lose to Pitt on Saturday, Wake Forest (3-2) would retain control of its own destiny with games against the Cardinals and Tigers upcoming.

Coastal
By virtue of their 34-3 Hurricane Matthew-aided win over North Carolina, Virginia Tech (5-1) holds an edge over the Heels (5-1).

Big 12
Oklahoma (6-0) sits alone in first place but closes with Baylor (3-2), West Virginia (4-1) and Oklahoma State (5-1).

Big Ten
East
All signs point to the winner being decided when Michigan (6-0) visits Ohio State (5-1) on Nov. 26. Should Michigan fall at Iowa on Saturday (plausible) and lose at Ohio State (entirely possible), Penn State (5-1) would be in prime position to swoop in and steal the division.

West
With five of the seven West teams all within a game of each other, this one is truly too close -- and complicated -- to call. Minnesota (4-2) and Wisconsin (4-2) are the only two of the above five that control their own destinies, and the Badgers' path is significantly easier than the Gophers'.

Conference USA
East
Western Kentucky (5-1) is the heavy favorite to clinch its second straight East title. Old Dominion (4-1) would need WKU to drop both of its final two games to claim its first division crown in just its third year in the league.

West
Louisiana Tech (5-1) leads the race, but UTSA (4-2) and Southern Miss (3-2) each face the Bulldogs down the stretch and can claim the division. UTSA holds the tiebreaker over Southern Miss.

MAC
East
Ohio (5-1) can win the division with one more win, with Miami of Ohio (4-2) and Akron (3-3) in position to pick up the pieces should the Bobcats fall apart.

West
This one mirrors the Big Ten East. Western Michigan (5-0) leads the race but must fend off Toledo (4-1) to claim the crown.

Mountain West
Mountain
Wyoming (5-0) controls its own destiny, with Boise State (4-1), New Mexico (4-1) and Colorado State (3-2) chasing behind.

West
San Diego State (5-0) is in the clubhouse as the West Division championship for the second consecutive year.

Pac-12
North
Washington (6-0) and Washington State (6-0) are on a collision course for Cup for All the Apples on Black Friday in Pullman.

South
Colorado (5-1) holds a game lead over the pack, but Utah (4-2) retains control of its own destiny ahead of the pair's Nov. 26 meeting in Boulder. USC (4-2) beat Colorado but lost to Utah, meaning Clay Helton is rooting for Colorado to lose to Washington State and beat Utah.

SEC
East
Hoo boy. Florida (4-2) holds a game lead over Kentucky (4-3) and Tennessee (2-3). The Gators would win a tiebreaker over Kentucky but not Tennessee. A possibility exists that Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina (3-4) and Georgia (3-4) each end up at 4-4. That scenario, based on my interpretation, would favor Tennessee.

West
Assuming they can beat Georgia on Saturday, the division will be decided when Auburn (5-1) visits Alabama (6-0) on Nov. 26. And based on everything going on in the East, the conference title will likely be determined by that outcome as well.

Sun Belt
Appalachian State (5-0), Troy (4-0) and Arkansas State (4-0) share the conference lead. Troy must play both Appalachian State (Saturday in Troy) and Arkansas State (Nov. 17, also in Troy), but the Mountaineers and Red Wolves do not play each other. Like the Big 12, the Sun Belt will add a conference championship game next season.

Tags
terms: