The week ahead looks pretty nice. The College Football Playoffs championship game takes place Monday night. The NFL Conference Championship games are on Sunday. And there is a lot of good college hoops in between. Let’s get right to it.
Here is the best of The Week Ahead…
BEST OF THE WEEK: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (2:05 pm Sunday on CBS)
The Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. After never hosting an AFC Championship until last year, the Chiefs will now host two in a row.
The Titans dominated the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. So far in the playoffs, the passing game hasn’t been the focus for Tennessee. It has been defense and Derrick Henry in the running game that has been successful for the Titans.
The Chiefs are the exact opposite on offense. The Chiefs run when they want to run the clock after reaching a comfortable lead. And while just about everything went wrong to start the game against Houston, everything went right starting with about one minute left in the first quarter.
I will talk a lot about this game in the Thursday podcast this week so make sure you subscribe to the Kansas City Sports Monitor podcast wherever you get your podcasts.
DON”T MISS: CFP Championship Game: #1 LSU vs #3 Clemson (7pm Monday on ESPN)
Both teams enter the game 14-0. Clemson has won 29 consecutive games overall and is looking for its second consecutive “national championship”. LSU’s win streak stretches back one game into last season with its win over UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. In their semifinal games, LSU blew out Oklahoma and Clemson got by Ohio State.
LSU is led by QB Joe Burrow. Burrow has completed 78% of his passes for 5,208 yards on the season. He has thrown 55 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy this season.
Clemson is led by QB Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence has never lost a college football game having gone undefeated in his freshman season last year. Lawrence has completed 68% of his passes for 3,421 yards. He has thrown 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
LSU is averaging a 49-21 win. Clemson averages a 45-11 win.
LSU throws the ball more than Clemson. They average 397 yards passing and 167 yards rushing. Clemson averages 292 yards passing and 246 yards rushing.
LSU opened as a 6 point favorite and is down to 5 1/2 now.
MONDAY: CFP Championship Game: #1 LSU vs #3 Clemson (7pm on ESPN)
TUESDAY: Kansas at Oklahoma (8 pm on ESPN)
Kansas and Oklahoma are both coming off of their first conference loss on Saturday. Kansas was handled rather easily by Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse in a 67-55 loss. Oklahoma lost 81-68 at Iowa State.
When these two played in Norman, Oklahoma last year, the Sooners ran out in front early and won 81-68. This is a completely different Kansas team and the Jayhawks need this game in a bad way.
Kansas is dealing with health issues right now. Devon Dotson has a hip pointer and Marcus Garrett aggravated an ankle injury on Saturday. Garrett should play but I haven’t heard about Dotson yet.
Oklahoma is led by Wichita State transfer Austin Reaves and Kristian Doolittle. Reaves is averaging 15.9 points per game. Doolittle leads the team with 17.1 points per game.
KenPom predicts a Kansas win 73-66.
WEDNESDAY: Iowa State at Baylor (7 pm on ESPN+)
This game is more about Baylor than Iowa State. While I don’t expect it to be a great game from a competitive aspect, Baylor is worth watching and is a fun team to watch. Baylor made Kansas look silly on Saturday. I don’t expect them to have any trouble with the Cyclones. Baylor is 3-0 in the Big 12 and tied with TCU for first place in the conference. Iowa State is 1-2 and tied with Texas Tech and Texas for 6th in the conference.
KenPom predicts a Baylor win 76-64.
THURSDAY: Colorado at Arizona State (8 pm on ESPN)
This is a Pac 12 battle between two teams who can’t really afford another conference loss at this time. Colorado is ranked 37th in KenPom and has high expectations for their season.
KenPom predicts a Colorado win 71-69.
FRIDAY: Wisconsin at Michigan State (6 pm on FS1)
Michigan State “struggled” early in the season with losses against Kentucky and Virginia Tech on neutral courts and a home loss to Duke. Those are good teams so it really is not a shock to lose those games. The Virginia Tech loss is probably an exception and an eye-opener that makes you think something wasn’t right with the Spartans. But the Spartans won eight games in a row until getting destroyed on Sunday at Purdue and are in first place in the Big Ten by a game in the loss column with a 5-1 record. Let’s see just how good Michigan State is right now when they play a good Wisconsin team on Friday night.
KenPom predicts a Michigan State win 71-62.
SATURDAY: Louisville at Duke (5 pm on ESPN)
This is a top 10 matchup based on the current KenPom rankings. Duke is #1 and Louisville is #9.
Louisville has dropped three games so far this season: Texas Tech on a neutral court, at Kentucky in overtime and home against Florida State. Jordan Nwora is the player to watch on Louisville. He is currently #3 on KenPom’s list for player of the year.
Duke has lost just one game. That was a home game to Stephen F. Austin in a shocker in overtime. They beat Kansas 68-66 in their first game of the season and received 28 turnovers from Kansas to help. Vernon Carey is currently #1 on KenPom’s list for player of the year.
KenPom predicts a Duke win 72-63.
SUNDAY: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (2:05 pm Sunday on CBS)
Thanks for reading…