Picks for conference title games

Picking Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and SEC title games, plus Big 12 clashes

Updated: December 5, 2013, 10:46 AM ET
By Phil Steele | ESPN Insider

Hyde/MillerAP Photo/Jeff HaynesCan the dynamic duo of Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller lead Ohio State to a Big Ten title?

Each week during the 2013 college football season I will offer up my picks and a projected score for the biggest games in addition to a handful of other key matchups.

Week 14 is in the books and my picks went 6-3. Overall, my record now stands at 95-31 this year (67-58-1 versus the spread).

After a week that saw the two-time defending champs dethroned on a miracle finish, championship week sees four of the BCS's top five playing not only for a conference championship but also for a spot in the BCS National Championship on Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.


Big Ten championship
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes versus No. 10 Michigan State Spartans (Indianapolis)

Saturday, 8:17 p.m. ET

The Buckeyes have won eight of the past nine games in the series, including last year's 17-16 escape in East Lansing. It could be argued that this is the most important Big Ten game played since No. 1 Ohio State beat No. 2 Michigan in 2006. A win here should put the Buckeyes back in the BCS title game for the first time since 2007 while Michigan State, win or lose, looks to be in good shape for its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1987.

The Buckeyes come in winners of 24 straight games, which is the longest streak since USC won 34 straight back in 2003-2005. The Spartans, meanwhile, finished their first unbeaten Big Ten season since 1966 and also became the first Big Ten team since Michigan in 1943 to win all of their conference games by double digits. The two teams have played six common opponents and the Spartans are actually outgaining those foes by 176 yards per game while the Buckeyes are plus-130 YPG.


To read Phil Steele's pick for the conference championship games as well as the rest of Week 15's biggest contests, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Phil Steele

ESPN Insider