Championship Week is always bittersweet. There are usually a few entertaining games, but it's the culmination of college football's regular season. The only thing standing between us and bowl season are the games this weekend and Army-Navy next Saturday. Frankly, while it's hard for me to get excited about any of the games beind played this weekend, it's even harder for me to get too worked up for an impending bowl game against Maryland. So it's time to pretend that Thanksgiving comes twice this year and force-feed ourselves the last morsels of the 2014 season. The most delicious bite is this week's National Game of Interest: No. 9 Kansas State at No. 6 Baylor (-9).
The pick: Kansas State +9
Why you should care: This game will determine the Big XII champion. If Baylor wins, it could also cause some controversy with the brand new playoff. TCU is currently ranked third and will almost certainly be in the playoff unless they somehow lose to 2-9 Iowa State. (That's not going to happen.) But recall that Baylor beat the Horned Frogs heads up back in October and, due to that head-to-head win, will beat out TCU for the Big XII championship with a win this weekend. In other words, a one-loss conference champion will stay at home in favor of an opponent they beat during the regular season. If that happens, expect the consensus to be that we need an 8-team playoff before we've even started this brand new 4-team championship system.
Rationale: If you've been watching college football for the last couple of years, it should come as no surprise that Baylor leads the Big XII in scoring offense. They're putting up nearly 50 points per game. What might surprise you is that Kansas State -- not Baylor -- leads the league in passing efficiency. And Baylor's passing defense is suspect, giving up 250+ yards per game and more than 7 yards per attempt through the air. In other words, this could be a shoot-out, and you almost always want to take the points in a shoot-out. That may be even more true of Baylor this season, who squeaked by TCU 61-58 in October and Texas Tech 48-46 just last week.