Tune in or turn off: All 10 conference title games ranked by watchability
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Now that the college football world orbits around the playoff, there's a growing belief that Championship Week doesn't matter. Those who see it as pointless will point to rematches, or they'll debate how it should or shouldn't or won't impact the final four.

But it matters a lot to the people involved. Boosters want to get their championship rings. Fans want bragging rights. Titles give a coaching staff momentum heading into recruiting season.

People - recruits, athletes, coaches - remember whether or not their team won the Sun Belt. Nobody could care less about claiming the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (which is a real thing).

Here's our ranking of the 10 championship games, from least to most watchable, based on five factors we've rated out of 10: the quality of the teams, the intensity of their rivalry, the passion level of the respective fan bases, the in-game entertainment potential, and something we'll call "intangibles." Enjoy!

10. ACC championship (No. 2 Clemson vs. Pitt)

Quality of teams: 6
Rivalry factor: 1
Fan bases: 4
Entertainment potential: 2
Intangibles: 3
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Total: 16

Did you even know Pitt made it out of the ACC Coastal?

Pitt is OK. The Panthers have a plus-1 point differential for the season. But Clemson is a certified juggernaut, and likely the only team in the country that could hang with Alabama. This shouldn't be much of a contest.

Pat Narduzzi adds some degree of intrigue, as the veteran defensive mind has long found ways to fluster opponents with superior talent. Could the Panthers grab a turnover or two and force the young Clemson offense to tighten up? Perhaps. But probably not.

9. MAC championship (Buffalo vs. Northern Illinois)

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Quality of teams: 5
Rivalry factor: 3
Fan bases: 3
Entertainment potential: 4
Intangibles: 2
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Total: 17

In the second blah matchup of the week, Northern Illinois is a bad team that finagled its way into a conference title game despite one of the most appalling offenses in the civilized world.

Rod Carey's offense currently averages 4.3 yards per play. Only Rutgers, UTSA, and Central Michigan have worse marks at the FBS level. And the Huskies are playing for a championship!

Carey's all about defense, though, and the Huskies have delivered this year. They rank fourth in rushing efficiency and sixth in sack rate, a dastardly combination. They pin quarterbacks back, then go hunting.

Sutton Smith is the player to watch. The Northern Illinois edge rusher's production this year is astonishing: 13 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and 24 run stuffs.

The selling point for any neutral fan, however, is Buffalo's offense, which runs some goofy stuff and hits a ton of explosive plays. Tyree Jackson is one of the most fun quarterbacks to watch in the country. At 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds, with a cannon attached to his right shoulder, he looks like a create-a-player come to life.

Jackson hasn't been everything the Bulls hoped for this year, but watching him battle this frisky NIU defense will be fun.

8. Conference USA championship (Middle Tennessee State vs. UAB)

Quality of teams: 7
Rivalry factor: 3
Fan bases: 4
Entertainment potential: 6
Intangibles: 5
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Total: 25

We saw this matchup eight days ago, and it wasn't competitive, with Middle Tennessee winning 27-3.

UAB's had an unbelievable season. Two years ago, the school didn't have a football program. Now, Bill Clark will lead his team out with a chance to win its first C-USA championship. It's the most impressive coaching performance in America in 2018.

Still, the Blazers are entering with spotty form. They cruised through much of their early schedule but got waxed by Texas A&M in mid-November as part of the SEC's annual scrub week.

The hangover was real. UAB averaged 1.6 yards per play against MTSU, good for 89 total yards. The Blue Raiders posted just shy of 400 yards of offense and didn't turn the ball over.

UAB had no answer for MTSU's defensive front during that first meeting, as DQ Thomas, Khalil Brooks, and Darius Harris lived in the Blazers' backfield. Eight days doesn't seem like enough for Clark and his staff to solve such a fundamental problem; MTSU's linebacking corps is too fast and too strong.

7. Sun Belt championship (Appalachian State vs. UL Lafayette)

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Quality of teams: 5
Rivalry factor: 4
Fan bases: 5
Entertainment potential: 7
Intangibles: 7
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Total: 26

Anyone tuning into the Sun Belt title game is probably tuning in for Appalachian State and Scott Satterfield. Either you're scouting the coach in the hopes your program can pull him away (hello, Louisville) or you want to see what your school could be up against when he eventually jumps ship.

The Mountaineers are a legitimately excellent and well-balanced team. They rank 17th in overall S&P+, ahead of the likes of Auburn, Texas A&M, and West Virginia. Defense leads the way, but it's App's wackadoo offensive system - blending triple-option, Air Raid, and rhythmic passing concepts - that attracts the most interest. Merging principles risks making things too broad, asking players to retain too much, and overloading them with superfluous play designs or techniques. Satterfield's successfully avoided these pitfalls.

App State should roll against ULL as long as any rumors of Satterfield's impending departure don't impact his players or staff.

6. Pac-12 championship (No. 7 Utah vs. No. 11 Washington)

Quality of teams: 6
Rivalry factor: 5
Fan bases: 6
Entertainment potential: 7
Intangibles: 3
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Total: 27

Here's a great example of why this week matters. Are there playoff implications? Nope, and that does reduce the tension a little. But you'd better believe that a Pac-12 title would mean the world to Utah's program.

Styles make fights. Washington's brilliant defense conceded 30 points or more only once this season, while Utah scored more than 30 points eight times this year.

These were two different teams when they met earlier in the season. The 21-7 score was closer than the game itself, as Washington ran the show. The Huskies shut down everything Utah tried to do on offense and forced quarterback Tyler Huntley into some awful decisions.

Redshirt freshman Jason Shelley will replace the injured Huntley on Friday. How will the young pup handle the bright lights?

Speaking of which: Why is this game being played at Levi's Stadium? Is the Pac-12 actively trying to harm its product? This matchup has the potential to be fun, but it's hard to imagine a more sanitized environment to play it in than a half-empty stadium in Santa Clara.

5. Big Ten championship (No. 6 Ohio State vs. Northwestern)

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Quality of teams: 6
Rivalry factor: 2
Fan bases: 5
Entertainment potential: 8
Intangibles: 8
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Total: 29

This is all about the big picture. Firstly, which Ohio State team will show up? Will the guys who bludgeoned Michigan for four straight quarters return for a second week? Or will we get the version of the Buckeyes that stumbled through much of the year?

We'll probably get our answer early, as Northwestern's something of an impostor here. Pat Fitzgerald has done a marvelous job getting his side to a championship, but the Wildcats rank 78th in overall S&P+ and 108th in defensive S&P+. They only beat Rutgers by three points.

OSU's problem this season has been defense, and that won't be an issue Saturday. A second storyline will take over: the margin of victory.

The Buckeyes are still gunning for a playoff spot. If they win, and Georgia and Oklahoma lose, they're probably in. If not, they may have to roundly thump Northwestern to have a chance. Let's say Oklahoma sneaks by Texas but the Sooners' defense gets torched again: What will the committee do?

At this point, it's not totally clear what the committee values - resume, talent, eye test, a little of each - but OSU's been in a somewhat similar situation before. Urban Meyer and Co. got in ahead of the Big 12 co-champions during the inaugural year of the playoff after hammering their opponent in the Big Ten title game.

The Big 12 plays on the season's final weekend now. We, and the committee, are in uncharted territory.

4. AAC championship (No. 8 UCF vs. Memphis)

Quality of teams: 7
Rivalry factor: 7
Fan bases: 4
Entertainment potential: 9
Intangibles: 9
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Total: 36

This is the fourth time these two sides have met in the past two seasons, and two of the previous three games were absolute barn burners.

UCF is carrying the flag for the Group of 5 and is the heavy favorite for the New Year's Six bowl bid. Memphis would love to play spoiler. The Tigers are 0-12 against the Knights since 2005, though they've come close to winning on a number of occasions.

Saturday could be their big chance to break through. UCF will be without star quarterback McKenzie Milton, who suffered a terrible knee injury last week, and freshman Darriel Mack Jr. will step in.

Memphis is led by its offense, but it's no slouch defensively. The Tigers rank a respectable 49th in sack rate and an excellent 17th in passing-down sack rate. If the Tigers can hold their own on early running downs - where UCF does its best work - then they'll have a chance to tee off on Mack.

This feels like a mistake game. Both teams have top-10 S&P+ offenses, and one fumble or interception could decide everything. Memphis has the better third-down pass rush and is going up against a freshman quarterback. I'm picking the upset.

3. Mountain West championship (No. 22 Boise State vs. No. 25 Fresno State)

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Quality of teams: 10
Rivalry factor: 5
Fan bases: 4
Entertainment potential: 9
Intangibles: 9
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Total: 37

This is as good as Group of 5 football gets. Boise State and Fresno State are both excellent teams. Boise ranks 14th in offensive S&P+, averaging 6.1 yards per play. Not to be outdone, Jeff Tedford's got the Fresno State offense humming to the tune of 6.3 yards per play, good for 31st in offensive S&P+.

More impressively, the Bulldogs rank 11th in defensive S&P+. They're holding opponents to 4.7 yards per play thanks to a defensive line that owns the line of scrimmage on early downs and refuses to give up explosive plays - Fresno's sixth in the country for the fewest plays allowed of 20 yards or more.

But the Bulldogs lack speed up front, and the Broncos took advantage earlier this season, winning 24-17. Without a true dip-and-rip pass rush, good offensive lines have been able to take over on passing downs. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien completed all but five of his throws against Fresno State and was kept clean throughout.

That first meeting was a toss-up, though, and the sequel should be all kinds of fun. There's a lot on the line. If UCF slips against Memphis with Milton out (something the committee will consider), one of these teams will be heading to a New Year's Six bowl.

2. SEC championship (No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Georgia)

Quality of Teams: 10
Rivalry Factor: 9
Fan Bases: 10
Entertainment Potential: 8
Intangibles: 10
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Total: 47

One game for all the marbles. Well, a lot of the marbles.

The on-field stylistic matchup is fascinating. The off-field playoff ramifications are huge. How they intertwine creates the most appealing storyline of the weekend: How does a big Alabama win impact Georgia? What if the Bulldogs squeak in? What if Bama does?

The what-ifs are almost endless. If Alabama wins comfortably, conventional wisdom dictates that Ohio State and Oklahoma will duke it out for the fourth playoff spot. But will they? And should they?

If the committee members truly believe, today, that Alabama is the best team in the country and Georgia is fourth-best, why would an Alabama win change their minds? No. 1 is supposed to beat No. 4. Shouldn't Georgia just remain the No. 4 team?

That's unlikely to happen for a number of reasons - one being that it would lead to a replay in a month that would be tough to market - but it's worth pondering.

The Xs and Os matchup is just as interesting. Few coaches in the country are as familiar with each other as Nick Saban and Kirby Smart. They know the principles, verbiage, and rules of each other's defenses, and how to attack any flaws.

In a game like this, a coach is forced to ask themselves: Do we stick to what we know?

Sure, Smart knows the principles of Saban's hybrid, pattern-matching defense, but that doesn't necessarily mean his players will be able to stop Tua Tagovailoa on third down.

It's not as significant a question for Saban, whose team has the advantage in talent. He's unlikely to change anything about his system or verbiage, though he'll probably sprinkle in some tendency-breakers.

Smart, however, might need to switch some things up. Georgia needs to steal a possession or two. The style of the Bulldogs' offense means it can't keep up with this iteration of the Crimson Tide in a shootout.

Smart won't change his signal system or play calls for a single week - that typically causes more confusion than it's worth. But expect Georgia to have a couple of cards up its sleeve on offense and defense.

1. Big 12 championship (No. 14 Texas vs. No. 5 Oklahoma)

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Quality of teams: 8
Rivalry factor: 10
Fan bases: 10
Entertainment potential: 10
Intangibles: 10
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Total: 48

The stakes don't get much higher. We have Tom Herman as an underdog, Oklahoma gunning for the playoff, Texas looking for two wins over the Sooners in one season, and Kyler bleeping Murray!

The entertainment value is incredible, even if the officials ruin the fun a little by deciding to penalize the "Horns Down" signal. A big Texas win, with Sam Ehlinger rampaging all over the Sooners' shabby defense, immediately eliminates OU from the final four. A close Texas win does, too. A close Oklahoma win makes things interesting. A big Sooners win makes things even more interesting. And, again, we get to watch Kyler Murray. Can we kick this game off now?

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Tune in or turn off: All 10 conference title games ranked by watchability
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