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Transfer Stars to Watch in Power Five Championship Games

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The implications of this weekend’s conference championship games are off the charts. In every matchup there are CFP hopes on the line and unbelievable transfer talent on display. Here are the transfers I am most looking forward to watching this weekend. (Odds via ESPN Bet)

  • PAC-12 Championship: No. 5 Oregon vs No. 3 Washington (+9.5), Friday- 8:30 ET ABC

On October 14th the Ducks and Huskies met for the biggest matchup in rivalry history. Friday night, that will change. Oregon and Washington meet in the conference championship in Vegas Friday night, with the winner essentially booking their ticket to the College Football Playoff.

The transfer stars of this matchup will decide the game. Without mentioning quarterbacks Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr., both transfers, each team has stud newcomers who have been major contributors all year. For the Ducks, RB Bucky Irving (Minnesota) and WR Tez Johnson (Troy) have been keys to an offense that is second in the nation in total offense. On the defensive side, DBs Khyree Jackson, Tysheem Johnson, and Evan Williams will hope to slow down a prolific Washington passing attack.

On Washington’s side, Michigan State transfer Germie Bernard has been a reliable utility guy for Coach DeBoer. Dillon Johnson, the former Mississippi State Bulldog, has been unbelievable at the running back position in a pass heavy offense. Johnson has 961 yards and 12 touchdowns with just one fumble lost. Look for lots of fireworks on Friday night in Vegas.

  • BIG-12 Championship: No. 18 Oklahoma State vs No. 7 Texas (-15.5), Noon ET ABC

Two-time transfer Alan Bowman leads the Pokes into the conference championship game as huge underdogs. The Texas native has thrown for 2,800 yards and ten touchdowns this season. Ollie Gordon II has been unbelievable for Oklahoma State. The sophomore running back has 1,580 and 20 touchdowns with just nine games as the starter.

On the other side, a CFP berth is withing striking distance for the Horns. With 2021 transfer QB Quinn Ewers and 2023 WR Adonai Mitchell firing on all cylinders, Texas needs a win and some help for a playoff appearance. Mitchell tallied 704 yards and nine touchdowns in his first year in Austin.

  • SEC Championship: No. 8 Alabama vs No. 1 Georgia (-6), 4 ET CBS

A rematch of the 2021-2022 season’s conference championship and national championship, everything is on the line when these top teams clash Saturday in Atlanta. After a thrilling last second win at the Iron Bowl Saturday, Bama still finds themselves in the CFP race. UGA transfer Jermaine Burton has been the Tide’s top receiver, hauling in 749 and seven touchdowns.

Dominic Lovett, another intraconference transfer, tallied 552 yards and three touchdowns in his first year with the Dawgs. Look for quarterback play to decide it in a matchup of signal callers who have yet to start a SEC Championship Game.

  • BIG10 Championship: No. 22 Iowa vs No. 2 Michigan (-21.5), 5 ET FOX

In this weekend’s most lopsided matchup, heavy underdog Iowa will need to rely on a stout defense if they want any chance to pull the shocker. Linebacker Nick Jackson has been outstanding for the Hawkeyes, totaling 91 tackles and four sacks. Wisconsin transfer QB Deacon Hill will need to find a way to get Iowa’s offense moving against a force of a defense.

Former Coastal Carolina defensive end Josaiah Stewart has four sacks in his first season in Ann Arbor. JJ McCarthy and co. taking care of the ball should give Michigan all it needs to reach it’s third straight College Football Playoff.

  • ACC Championship: No. 14 Louisville vs No. 4 Florida State (-4.5), 5 ET ABC

A rivalry weekend loss to Kentucky essentially eliminated Jack Plummer and Louisville from the playoffs. However, the two-time transfer QB has a chance to play major spoiler Saturday night when the Cards clash with the Seminoles in Charlotte. After throwing for just under 3,000 yards and 21 touchdowns in the regular season, Plummer hopes to get Louisville its first ACC championship.

Louisville’s Plummer Putting the Nation on Notice, ND Looms

With star quarterback Jordan Travis suffering a horrific injury, transfer stud Keon Coleman and co. will need to show up big for their backup QB. Tate Rodemaker did just enough to win against a Florida team who also lacked their QB and will need help from a loaded group of weapons. Look for the 6-4 Coleman to make a huge play down the field for the Noles Saturday night.

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