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Sport Bold predictions for Week 15 in college football

19:40  06 december  2019
19:40  06 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Shocking disappointments and better-than-expected performances are anticipated each weekend in the wild world of college football. Even if everyone knows they are coming, guessing when and where they will happen is difficult, especially as the College Football Playoff chase reaches its conclusion and the stakes are raised higher.

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Baylor Bears wide receiver Tyquan Thornton is tackled by Oklahoma Sooners Kenneth Murray during their game this season at McLane Stadium.© Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports Baylor Bears wide receiver Tyquan Thornton is tackled by Oklahoma Sooners Kenneth Murray during their game this season at McLane Stadium.

Members of the USA TODAY Sports college football staff weigh in with some bold predictions for Week 15 of the college football season:

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Jace Evans

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It all seems to be shaping up so wonderfully for Utah. The Utes came in at No. 5 in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings, the implication being if LSU does in fact beat Georgia, then Utah would likely be the final team in the field if it won the Pac-12 title. But I don’t think the Utes are going to. Instead, I think the Pac-12 cannibalizes itself again with Oregon winning the conference championship and locking the league out of the playoff for the third year in a row.

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Bold predictions for Week 14 in college football

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Paul Myerberg

The top three teams (LSU, Ohio State and Clemson) hold serve in conference championship games. Utah beats Oregon by 10-plus points. Oklahoma wins another narrow game against Baylor to take the Big 12. When push comes to shove, the College Football Playoff selection committee gives Utah the nod over OU to make this field: No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Utah.

Erick Smith

All the attention on the debate between Utah and Oklahoma just presumes both the Utes and Sooners will win their respective conference championship games.

But what about Oregon and Baylor playing spoiler? The Ducks have been inconsistent and seemed to let the playoff pressure get to them at Arizona State. Now the pressure is off and they can play freely. It's all on Utah, which still has not beaten a team ranked in the Top 25. Oregon is tough in the trenches and can score, too. Expect an upset.

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The same is true for the Bears. They have the formula to beat Oklahoma. Heck, they led by 25 points just a few weeks ago. Yes, the Sooners helped with some turnovers, however this is another tight game with the underdog playing free.

Should Baylor win, we could see them in the playoff.

Eddie Timanus

This is conference championship weekend. It’s supposed to be the most exciting, drama-filled, intense set of games on the schedule, right?

But it won’t be. Absolutely nothing will happen to alter the playoff status quo. Ohio State will do to Wisconsin what it did a few weeks ago. Oklahoma-Baylor was close the first time because the Sooners made enough mistakes to allow the Bears to build a big lead. This time OU won’t let that happen. LSU-Georgia has the potential to be close, but it won’t be, either. Georgia’s defense is outstanding, but it will be on the field too long. Eventually, the Tigers will get the lead and build on it. Clemson-Virginia? Yeah, no.

So no chaos, no excitement, no drama. Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

Dan Wolken

The Sun Belt championship game is a matchup of two coaches whose names have come up in multiple job searches. For a school like Ole Miss, which got off to a little bit of later start, this could be a key game for the decision-makers to watch and evaluate candidates. Louisiana-Lafayette coach Billy Napier makes a ton of sense for Ole Miss or Arkansas. He’s worked for both Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban and has now proven himself as a head coach, going 10-2 this year. With an upset of Appalachian State this weekend, he will make the case that he’s the right guy to move on to one of those open SEC jobs

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bold predictions for Week 15 in college football

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Ed Orgeron et al. posing for the camera: LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates with his players after defeating the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium on November 30, 2019.

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The College Football Playoff is just weeks away from finally kicking off in earnest.Hurts and the Sooners have already been declared dead on arrival after barely sneaking into the playoffs following a sluggish end to the season, but this offense shouldn't be counted out. Hurts managed 50 touchdowns and a Heisman finalist nod under Lincoln Riley, and has willed the Sooners here after being shouldered with another subpar defense. Dave Aranda's group aren't world-beaters this year, and they could easily be cut apart by the Oklahoma offense, provided the Sooners can establish the run.

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