Expect upsets in league title games

Why two or three favorites could fall in conference championships

Updated: November 29, 2012, 10:32 AM ET
By Phil Steele | Special to ESPN Insider
Jarvis JonesDaniel Shirey/US PresswireJarvis Jones and the Georgia defense have fared very well in the second half of the season.

My bold predictions did not fare well last week, as the SEC proved once again that it is by far the best conference in the country (more on that later), and Notre Dame's defense did hold Max Wittek and USC in check. I will also retire my toss-up game of the week for the year at 8-5, after a loss last week.

I'm hoping to rebound in a big way this week. Here are my bold predictions for the final week of the regular season.

1. The conference title games will feature at least two or three upsets
Two weeks ago I predicted that at least one of the unbeatens at the time (Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Ohio State) would lose, and while I decided to ultimately go with Ohio State, it was the Wildcats and Ducks that would succumb to undefeated pressure. This week there are six conference championship games and I again think there is a great possibility that at least two or three of the games will feature an upset.

The wild weekend could all start with a pair of games on Friday night, as the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal host the 16th-ranked UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 championship, while the No. 17 Kent State Golden Flashes play the No. 21 Northern Illinois Huskies in Detroit for the MAC championship.


To read more from Phil Steele on possible upsets in this week's conference championship games, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Phil Steele

ESPN Insider