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ESPN’s ‘GameDay’ picks conference title games, including LSU-Georgia, Troy-Coastal, Jackson-Southern

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Championship week started off with a bang Friday night as No. 12 Utah pounded Caleb Williams and roared past fourth-ranked USC 47-24 to not only win the Pac-12 Championship, but all but end USC’s College Football Playoff hopes.

The loss by the Trojans could open the way for Oho State to find a way into the CFP at No. 5. Then, there is Alabama at No. 6.

Could there be enough spoilers Saturday to make a case for the Crimson Tide?

It starts with the Big 12 title game where No. 3 TCU battles No. 10 Kansas State.

The Horned Frogs have all but clinched a spot in the CFP, and while they are unlikely to drop lower than they presently stand at third even with a loss, they could move into the first or second spot with a win plus losses from No. 1 Georgia and/or No. 2 Michigan later in the day.

With celebrity picker former NFL standout LaDainian Tomlinson, a former TCU star, the guys broke it down.

“It will be hard-fight game, but I’m going with TCU,” Desmond Howard said.

Howard isn’t alone.

“I enjoy this Kansas State team,” Pat McAfee said. “With Will Howard coming in balling is fantastic. Deuce Vaughn is electrifying. He’s everything that is good with college football: undersized, counted out. All he does is work and kick ass. Now, Sonny Dykes, as soon as he gets the job at TCU, he hires Kaz Kazadi, the strength and conditioning coach. They set a tone. They also bring in a guy Jeff Jordan to bring in a football guru, who has been coaching high school football. Sonny Dykes has great players and great people at all the powerful positions. TCU goes undefeated and into the College Football Playoffs.

You know which way Tomlinson would lean.

“All this talk about how difficult it is to defeat a team twice, I disagree with that. You’ll see their best. … I think we know what to prepare for now. You’ll see a better TCU team, and it doesn’t have to be close, people. TCU rolls.

Corso had a different take.

“This year, TCU is a team of destiny,” he explained. “Undefeated and ranked third in the nation. They have won every close game. Earlier this year, they beat Kansas State. Poor old Kansas State doesn’t have a chance. Not so fast.”

Here are the other picks:

SWAC: Jackson State-Southern

  • Howard: Jackson
  • McAfee: Jackson
  • Tomlinson: Jackson
  • Corso: Jackson
  • Herbstreit: Jackson

MAC: Ohio-Toledo

  • Howard: Ohio
  • McAfee: Ohio
  • Tomlinson: Ohio
  • Corso: Ohio
  • Herbstreit: Toledo

Sun Belt: Troy-Coastal Carolina

  • Howard: Troy
  • McAfee: Troy
  • Tomlinson: Troy
  • Corso: Coastal Carolina
  • Herbstreit: Troy

Mountain West: Fresno St.-Boise St.

  • Howard: Fresno St.
  • McAfee: Boise St.
  • Tomlinson: Fresno St.
  • Corso: Fresno St.
  • Herbstreit: Fresno St.

American: Tulane-UCF

  • Howard: Tulane
  • McAfee: UCF
  • Tomlinson: Tulane
  • Corso: UCF
  • Herbstreit: UCF

ACC: Clemson-UNC

  • Howard: UNC
  • McAfee: Clemson
  • Tomlinson: Clemson
  • Corso: Clemson
  • Herbstreit: Clemson

SEC: Georgia-LSU

  • Howard: Georgia
  • McAfee: Georgia
  • Tomlinson: Georgia
  • Corso: Georgia
  • Herbstreit: Georgia

Big Ten: Michigan-Purdue

  • Howard: Michigan
  • McAfee: Michigan
  • Tomlinson: Michigan
  • Corso: Michigan
  • Herbstreit: Michigan

Big 12: TCU-Kansas St.

  • Howard: TCU
  • McAfee: TCU
  • Tomlinson: TCU
  • Corso: Coastal Carolina
  • Herbstreit: Troy

Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.

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