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Blair Kerkhoff | The Kansas City Star | December 1, 2016

Title games set, then real action begins

  Washington will face Colorado in the PAC-12 title game, which has some major CFP impact.

All but one of the Power Five conferences play a league championship game this weekend, and the one that doesn't — the Big 12 — continues its uncanny knack of having its championship decided on the final weekend in what amounts to a title game.

After the confetti cannons erupt and championship caps are presented, the real drama begins with the College Football Playoff committee meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

This could be easy if Alabama wins the SEC, Clemson the ACC and Washington the Pac-12. Those teams, along with Ohio State, are likely to find themselves in the in the national playoffs.

Here's a prediction: If those are the teams, look for the Buckeyes, second in the current CFP standing, to be seeded fourth.

But before then, some business on the field will be conducted. Here's a snapshot of the Power Five championships:

PAC-12: Washington vs. Colorado, at Santa Clara, California, 9 p.m. ET Friday, FOX

It was quite the scene in Boulder last Saturday when Colorado held off Utah, and moments after the game Folsom Field was flooded with fans celebrating a division title after the Buffs were picked to finish last. Fourth-year coach Mike MacIntyre should sweep the national coach of the year awards. Defense paves the way for both teams, with the Huskies leading the Pac-12 in scoring defense (17.8 points) and Colorado leading in total defense (323.8 yards). Washington quarterback Jake Browning is one of the nation's best, should be Heisman finalist and should be the difference in what ought to be a close game.

RELATED: Throwback Thursday: Washington's unbeaten championship season in 1991

Competitive promise: High

CFP impact: High, for Washington. Win and the Huskies have a strong chance to make the field with a 12-1 record. A Colorado victory likely keeps the Pac-12 from the CFP for the second straight year.

BIG 12: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday, FOX

The Sooners are bidding to become the first 9-0 team in Big 12 history. It's the sixth year of the complete round robin scheduling and the first five champions or co-champs finished 8-1, including Oklahoma last year. It's the final season before the return of the Big 12 Championship Game, but the schedule makers have succeeded in titlelike showdowns on the final weekend more often than not. It's quarterback/wide receiver battery of Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook of Oklahoma against the Cowboys' Mason Rudolph and James Washington.

Competitive promise: Medium

CFP impact: Low. Only the Sooners have a chance, and it's a long shot.

SEC: Alabama vs. Florida, at Atlanta, 4 p.m. ET Saturday, CBS

For the ninth time and the second straight year, the Crimson Tide and Gators meet for the SEC title and a close game would be an upset. Alabama hasn't surrendered a touchdown since Oct. 23. Keeping the game low scoring and having a chance in the fourth quarter is the Gators' goal. The Tide's defense is tremendous, allowing only 69 rushing yards per game. With a victory, Alabama will match the Gators' seven all-time SEC title-game victories.

Competitive promise: Low

CFP impact: Low. Even if Alabama is stunned in one of the biggest upsets in SEC title game history, the Tide won't be omitted from the CFP. And Florida wouldn't get in.

ACC: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech, at Orlando, Fla., 8 p.m. ET Saturday, ABC

Quarterback Deshawn Watson nearly led the Tigers to last year's national championship, and now, he has a chance to lead Clemson to consecutive ACC titles for the first time in 28 years. He has been hot lately, accounting for nine touchdowns and one interception over the past two games. Quarterback Jerod Evans leads the Hokies' most productive offense (450 yards per game) since Michael Vick's 1999 national runner-up.

Competitive promise: Medium

CFP impact: High. Clemson has the edge but it won't be easy, and a victory puts the Tigers in the national semifinals. But only Alabama can lose its title game and feel good about its CFP chances. The ACC likely will go without a playoff team if the Hokies pull the surprise.

BIG TEN: Wisconsin vs. Penn State, at Indianapolis, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, FOX

The Nittany Lions appear in their first conference championship game on the strength of a big-play offense. Nine different players have caught a pass of least 40 yards. Mobile quarterback Tracy McSorley makes it work, especially when it appears a play has broken down. This plays into the strength of Wisconsin, which leads the nation with 21 interceptions. It appears quarterback Alex Hornibrook will be cleared to play after suffering a concussion last week.

Competitive promise: High

CFP impact: Low. The Rose Bowl likely awaits this winner, not the CFP. But say either Clemson or Washington loses its league title game. With Michigan ranked fifth, ahead of the Nittany Lions and Badgers, who would be next team up from the Big Ten?

This article is written by Blair Kerkhoff from The Kansas City Star and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network.

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