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2021 College football - Championship weekend

Georgia vs. Alabama, Michigan vs. Iowa... This is a great day for football

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning New York Giants fans!

Happy Saturday and welcome to Week 15 of the College football season — otherwise known as Championship Weekend!

As great as Rivalry Weekend is, this weekend we’ll see only the best teams in each conference throw down for their respective titles. The games today will be absolutely stuffed to the brim with NFL prospects, and we’ll see NFL starters on the field all day today.

Full slate of games

  • Big 12 Championship: (9) Baylor vs. (5) Oklahoma State - ABC, noon
  • MAC Championship: Kent State vs. Northern Illinois - ESPN, noon
  • Mountain West Championship: Utah State vs. (19) San Diego State - 3pm, Fox
  • Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State vs. (24) Louisiana - 3:30pm, ESPN
  • SEC Championship: (1) Georgia vs. (3) Alabama - 4pm, CBS
  • AAC Championship: (21) Houston vs. (4) Cincinnati - 4pm, ABC
  • Big 10 Championship: (2) Michigan vs. (13) Iowa - 8pm, Fox
  • ACC Championship: (15) Pittsburgh vs. (16) Wake Forest - 8pm, ABC

USC vs. Cal - 11pm, FS1 (note: This is a previously postponed game)

Spotlight games

SEC Championship - (1) Georgia vs. (3) Alabama

I mean, we HAVE to start here. How could we not?

This game promises to be a clash of titans as Georgia looks to unseat Alabama as the power in the SEC, and perhaps even knock them right out of the College Football Playoffs. The Bulldogs have simply steamrolled the rest of college football, fielding a potent offense and a suffocating defense.

Alabama has been as good as we expected, save a 41-38 upset loss to Texas A&M back in October. Nick Saban will be looking to reclaim his position as the top team in the country, and bounce back in a big way after nearly losing to Auburn last week in the Iron Bowl.

From a draft perspective, this game simply has way too many great prospects to watch. This will absolutely be go-to scouting tape, and these two teams are going to absolutely dominate the first three rounds of the 2022 draft.

As per usual when either of these teams are on the field, my advice is to just watch the game and take note of which players jump off the screen. There’s too many to list without this turning into a long-form piece.

AAC Championship - (21) Houston vs. (4) Cincinnati

I honestly feel bad that this game is being played at the same time as the SEC championship. It absolutely deserves to be watched and could be a fun game, but it’s completely overshadowed by the SEC title matchup.

Cincinnati has several interesting prospects, lead by QB Desmond Ridder who could be in the conversation for first quarterback drafted. Cornerback Ahmad Gardner and EDGE Myjai Sanders could hear their names called by the end of the second round.

Players to watch

  • Logan Hall (DL, Houston)
  • Hasaan Hypolite (S, Houston)
  • Max Banes (G, Houston)
  • Desmond Ridder (QB, Cincinnati)
  • Ahmad Gardner (CB, Cincinnati)
  • Myjai Sanders (EDGE, Cincinnati)
  • Josh Whyle (TE, Cincinnati)

Big 10 Championship - (2) Michigan vs. (13) Iowa

This is the second BIG matchup on the day.

If I had my way, the Giants’ first two draft picks would come out of this game — namely Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Of course, that plan is looking like an increasingly remote possibility as Hutchinson is positioning himself to (potentially) be the first overall pick.

Michigan’s defense has been dominant over the last several weeks, and almost completely shut down Ohio State last week. Hutchinson, who set Michigan’s single-season sack record last week, has had an incredible season this year, but he hasn’t been the only reason for Michigan’s great defensive play.

On the other side, Linderbaum has already emerged as one of my favorite players to watch and should be a top target for the perpetually OL-needy Giants.

Players to watch

  • Tyler Linderbaum (C, Iowa)
  • Riley Moss (CB, Iowa)
  • Sam LaPorta (TE, Iowa)
  • Dane Belton (S, Iowa)
  • Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE, Michigan)
  • David Ojabo (EDGE, Michigan)
  • Daxton Hill (S, Michigan)
  • Chris Hinton (iDL, Michigan)
  • Michael Barrett (LB, Michigan)

ACC Championship - (15) Pittsburgh vs. (16) Wake Forest

Like the AAC Championship, I feel bad that these two teams are matched up opposite a game like Michigan vs. Iowa. This game absolutely deserves its own spotlight, but that just wasn’t in the cards.

That said, I fully expect a heavy NFL presence at this game. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is in the mix with four or five other passers to be the first one off the board in April. On the other sideline is Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman who has flown under the radar, but has some supporters of his own as the potential top QB in the upcoming draft. Hartman is a bit undersized, but he has quick feet, an accurate arm, and could catch the eye of a team looking to install a spread or RPO based system.