What to Watch – Bowl Edition

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 3-2 .600 1-0 1.000
Overall 103-43 .705 18-13 .581

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

BOWL OF THE YEAR 

Fiesta Bowl: #2 Clemson vs. #3 OHIO ST.**
Sat., Dec. 31, 5:00 PM, ESPN
College Football Playoff / Overtime Watch

FIVE-STAR BOWL

Sugar Bowl: #14 Auburn vs. #7 OKLAHOMA
Mon., Jan. 2, 6:30 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

FOUR-STAR BOWLS

UPDATE: Changed Sun Bowl pick to UNC.

Citrus Bowl: #13 Louisville vs. #20 LSU**
Sat., Dec. 31, 9:00 AM, ABC
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

The Rose Bowl Game: #5 Penn St. vs. #9 USC**
Mon., Jan. 2, 3:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Sun Bowl: NORTH CAROLINA* vs. #18 Stanford
Fri., Dec. 30, 12:00 PM, CBS
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Hall of Fame Bowl: #17 Florida vs. IOWA*
Mon., Jan. 2, 11:00 AM, ABC
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Peach Bowl: #1 ALABAMA vs. #4 Washington
Sat., Dec. 31, 1:00 PM, ESPN
College Football Playoff

Orange Bowl: #11 Florida St. vs. #6 MICHIGAN
Fri., Dec. 30, 6:30 PM, ESPN

THREE-STAR BOWLS 

Alamo Bowl: #10 COLORADO vs. #12 Oklahoma St.
Thu., Dec. 29, 7:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Cotton Bowl Classic: #15 Western Michigan vs. #8 WISCONSIN
Mon., Jan. 2, 11:00 AM, ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl: Northwestern vs. #23 PITT
Wed., Dec. 28, 12:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert

Russell Athletic Bowl: MIAMI** vs. #16 West Virginia
Wed., Dec. 28, 3:30 PM, ESPN

Boca Bowl: Memphis vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY
Tue., Dec. 20, 5:00 PM, ESPN

Camellia Bowl: Appalachian St. vs. TOLEDO
Sat., Dec. 17, 3:30 PM, ESPN
Overtime Watch

Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. TCU*
Fri., Dec. 30, 10:00 AM, ESPN
Overtime Watch

Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs. WASHINGTON ST.
Tue., Dec. 27, 5:00 PM, ESPN

Music City Bowl: Nebraska vs. #21 TENNESSEE
Fri., Dec. 30, 1:30 PM, ESPN

Independence Bowl: NC STATE vs. Vanderbilt
Mon., Dec. 26, 3:00 PM, ESPN2

Texas Bowl: K-State vs. TEXAS A&M
Wed., Dec. 28, 7:00 PM, ESPN

Belk Bowl: Arkansas vs. #22 VIRGINIA TECH
Thu., Dec. 29, 3:30 PM, ESPN

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POSSIBILITIES

#2 CLEMSON vs. #4 Washington
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

#3 OHIO ST. vs. #4 Washington
Upset Alert

#1 ALABAMA vs. #3 Ohio St.

#1 ALABAMA vs. #2 Clemson

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking

Guide to Creating a Six- and Eight- Team College Football Playoff

Using my plan from a few years ago to replace the BCS, here’s how I would create expanded college football playoffs using six and eight teams.

SIX-TEAM PLAYOFF

  1. Using the College Football Playoff Committee rankings, the #1 and #2 teams would have a first-round bye and automatically be in the semi-finals (Alabama to the Peach Bowl and Clemson to the Fiesta.)
  2. Conference champions ranked in the top 10 will automatically qualify for the playoff (Washington, Penn St., and Oklahoma). If there are more than four conference champions ranked #3-#10, the highest-ranked champions will be in the playoff.
  3. Any remaining spots will be filled by highest-ranking teams (Ohio St.).
  4. The first round will happen the weekend following Championship Week (this weekend) and will be hosted by the higher-ranked team.
  5. TEAMS ARE RE-SEEDED AFTER FIRST ROUND.
  6. Bowl games are not selected until the Sunday after the first round (deal with it, New Mexico Bowl).

This year we would have #7 Oklahoma at. #3 Ohio St. (interesting!) and #5 Penn St. at #4 Washington with #1 Alabama and #2 Clemson having byes. After the games were played, the higher-ranked team would go to the Fiesta Bowl to play Clemson and the lower-ranked team would go to the Peach Bowl against Bama.

If Washington loses to Penn St., the Rose Bowl would feature Washington and Ohio St. or Wisconsin while a Washington victory would give us the actual match-up we’ll see this year (USC/Penn St.)

A win by Ohio St. would keep Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and a win by Oklahoma would put Ohio St. in the Rose Bowl and Oklahoma St. in the Sugar.

EIGHT-TEAM PLAYOFF

With eight teams, the same rules would apply as above with two major exceptions: the highest-ranked Group of Five champion ranked in the top 16 would get an automatic first-round bid (Western Michigan) and there would be no byes for #1 and #2.

#15 Western Michigan at #1 Alabama
#7 Oklahoma at #2 Clemson (rematch!)
#6 Michigan at #3 Ohio St. (what?!)
#5 Penn St. at #4 Washington

I’d still advocate for a re-seeding after the first round.

What to Watch – Week 14: The Best of Championship Week’s College Football Games

Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

See the second half of the post for this week’s viewing guide.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week N/A N/A N/A N/A
Overall 100-41 .709 17-13 .567

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE WEEK 

Big Ten Conference Championship Game: #7 Penn St. vs. #6 WISCONSIN
Sat., Dec. 3, 6:00 PM, FOX
Game of the Week / Overtime Watch

THREE-STAR GAMES

PAC-12 Championship Game: #8 Colorado vs. #4 WASHINGTON
Fri., Dec. 2, 7:30 7:00 PM, FOX

#10 Oklahoma St. at #9 OKLAHOMA
Sat., Dec. 3, 10:30 AM, FOX

American Conference Championship Game: TEMPLE* at #19 Navy
Sat., Dec. 3, 10:00 AM, ABC

K-State at TCU
Sat., Dec. 3, 10:00 FS1

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking


VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

MAC Championship Game: Ohio vs. #17 Western Michigan
5:00 PM, ESPN2
Blowout Warning

FRIDAY NIGHT

PAC-12 Championship Game: #8 Colorado vs. #4 Washington
7:30 7:00 PM, FOX

SATURDAY MORNING

#10 Oklahoma St. at #9 Oklahoma
10:30 AM, FOX

American Conference Championship Game: Temple at #19 Navy
10:00 AM, ABC
G5 Game of the Week / Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

K-State at TCU
10:00 AM, FS1
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY MIDDAY

Baylor at West Virginia
1:30 PM, FS1

SEC Championshop Game: #1 Alabama vs. #15 Florida
2:00 PM, CBS
Blowout Warning

Georgia St. at Idaho
3:00 PM, ESPN3 (streaming)
Toilet Bowl

SATURDAY PRIME TIME

Big Ten Conference Championship Game: #7 Penn St. vs. #6 Wisconsin 
6:00 PM, FOX
Game of the Week / Overtime Watch

ACC Championship Game: #3 Clemson vs. #23 Virginia Tech 
6:00 PM, ABC

Mountain West Conference Championship Game: San Diego St. vs. Wyoming 
5:45 PM, ESPN

What to Watch – Week 13: Hate Week Viewing Guide

Ohio Stadium aka "The Shoe"

Ohio Stadium aka “The Shoe”

Abbreviated Thanksgiving Week post. No game rankings, just the viewing guide.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 4-3 .571 1-2  .333
Overall 100-41 .709 17-13 .567

 

VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

THURSDAY

LSU at Texas A&M
5:30 PM, ESPN

FRIDAY MORNING

#20 Houston at Memphis
10:00 AM, ABC

NC State at North Carolina
10:00 AM, ESPN

Northern Illinois at Kent St.
10:00 AM, CBSSN

FRIDAY MIDDAY

#16 Nebraska at Iowa
1:30 PM, ABC

#5 Washington at #23 Washington St.
1:30 PM, FOX

TCU at Texas
1:30 PM, FS1

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

Toledo at #21 Western Michigan
3:00 PM, ESPN2
G5 Game of the Week

Baylor at Texas Tech
4:00 PM, ESPN

FRIDAY NIGHT

Arizona St. at Arizona
7:30 PM, ESPN

Cincinnati at Tulsa
6:30 PM, ESPN2

SATURDAY MORNING

#3 Michigan at #2 Ohio St.
10:00 AM, ABC
Game of the Week

Georgia Tech at Georgia
10:00 AM, SECN

UCF at South Florida
10:00 AM, CBSSN

SATURDAY MIDDAY

#13 Auburn at #1 Alabama
1:30 PM, CBS

Notre Dame at #12 USC
1:30 PM, ABC

Minnesota at #6 Wisconsin
1:30 PM, BTN

SATURDAY EVENING

#15 Florida at #14 Florida St.
6:00 PM, ABC

#22 Utah at #9 Colorado
5:30 PM, FOX

UCLA at Cal
5:00 PM, ESPN2

SATURDAY NIGHT

Colorado St. at San Diego St.
7:00 PM, CBSSN

Utah St. at BYU
8:15 PM, ESPNU

Wyoming at New Mexico
8:15 PM, ESPN2

What to Watch – Week 12: The Best of This Week’s College Football Games

Folsom Field

Folsom Field

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

See the second half of the post for this week’s viewing guide.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 6-2 .750 0-0
Overall 96-38 .716 16-11 .593

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE WEEK 

#22 WASHINGTON ST.* at #10 Colorado
Sat., Nov. 19, 1:30 PM, FOX
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Note: a composite ranking using the four systems mentioned above puts Washington St. at (19) and Colorado at (16)

FOUR-STAR GAMES

VIRGINIA TECH* at Notre Dame
Sat., Nov. 19, 1:30 PM, NBC
Overtime Watch
Composite advanced stats top 25: (24) Virginia Tech

#11 OKLAHOMA ST.*** at TCU
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:00 AM, FS1
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Composite advanced stats top 25: Oklahoma St. unranked

THREE-STAR GAMES

#9 OKLAHOMA at #14 West Virginia
Sat., Nov. 19, 6:00 PM, ABC
Upset Alert
Composite advanced stats top 25: (13) Oklahoma vs. (23) West Virginia

#11 OKLAHOMA ST.*** at TCU
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:00 AM, FS1
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Composite advanced stats top 25: Oklahoma St. unranked

K-State at BAYLOR*
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:00 AM, ESPN2

MIAMI at NC State
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:30 AM, CW? / WatchESPN (streaming)
Composite advanced stats top 25: (17) Miami

NORTHWESTERN at Minnesota
Sat., Nov. 19, 1:30 PM, BTN

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking


VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

NOW WITH 100% MORE MACTION!

WEDNESDAY

Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
6:00 PM, ESPNU
Toilet Bowl

Ball St. at Toledo
5:00 PM, ESPN2

THURSDAY

#5 Louisville at Houston
6:00 PM, ESPN
P5/G5 Showdown

Arkansas St. at Troy
7:30 PM, ESPN2

FRIDAY

Memphis at Cincinnati
6:00 PM, CBSSN

UNLV at #20 Boise St.
7:00 PM, ESPN2
Blowout Warning

SATURDAY MORNING

#11 Oklahoma State at TCU
10:00 AM, FS1
Overtime Watch

K-State at Baylor
10:00 AM, ESPN2

Miami at NC State
10:30 AM, CW? (ACCN) / WatchESPN (streaming)

SATURDAY MIDDAY

#22 Washington St. at #10 Colorado
1:30 PM, FOX
Game of the Week / Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
1:30 PM, NBC
Overtime Watch

Northwestern at Minnesota
1:30 PM, BTN

SATURDAY EVENING

#9 Oklahoma at #14 West Virginia 
6:00 PM, ABC
Upset Alert

Tulsa at UCF 
6:00 PM, ESPNEWS
G5 Game of the Week

Arkansas at Mississippi St. 
5:00 PM, ESPNU
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY NIGHT

#13 USC at UCLA 
8:30 PM, ESPN

Arizona at Oregon St.
8:30 PM, PAC12
Overtime Watch

New Mexico at Colorado St.
8:15 PM, ESPN2

What to Watch – Week 11: The Best of This Week’s College Football Games

Kyle Field

Kyle Field

Apologies to the Tuesday and Wednesday night MAC teams for their exclusion from this week’s post.

With A&M’s and Ole Miss’ QBs being out, I deducted 10% from each teams’ ratings. That may not have been enough; it may have been too much. I have no idea how good their backups are. Even with the deduction, the Formula still picked that game as the only four-star game and the game of the week.

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

See the second half of the post for this week’s viewing guide.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 7-2 .778 0-1 .000
Overall 90-36 .714 16-11 .593

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE WEEK 

Ole Miss at #8 TEXAS A&M
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:30 PM, SECN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Note: a composite ranking using the four systems mentioned above puts Ole Miss tied for (14) and Texas A&M at (10)

THREE-STAR GAMES

#20 USC at #4 WASHINGTON
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:30 PM, FOX
Composite advanced stats top 25: (14-T) USC vs. (6) Washington

SOUTH FLORIDA at Memphis
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:00 PM, ESPNU
Overtime Watch

#16 WEST VIRGINIA** at Texas
Sat., Nov. 12, 10:00 AM, FS1
Composite advanced stats top 25: (24) West Virginia

Minnesota at #19 NEBRASKA
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:30 PM, BTN
Upset Alert
Composite advanced stats top 25: Nebraska unranked

Baylor at #11 OKLAHOMA
Sat., Nov. 12, 10:00 AM, ABC or ESPN2
Composite advanced stats top 25: (14-T) Oklahoma

Appalachian St. at TROY
Sat., Nov. 12, 1:30 PM, ESPN3 (streaming)
Overtime Watch

STANFORD at Oregon
Sat., Nov. 12, 2:00 PM, PAC12

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking


VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON

#17 North Carolina at Duke
5:30 PM, ESPN

Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia Southern
5:30 PM, ESPNU
Toilet Bowl

THURSDAY NIGHT

#15 Utah at Arizona St.
7:30 PM, FS1

FRIDAY

Boston College at #18 Florida St.
5:30 PM, ESPN2
Blowout Warning

SATURDAY MORNING

#16 West Virginia at Texas 
10:00 AM, FS1

Baylor at #11 Oklahoma
10:00 AM, ABC or ESPN2

Tulsa at Navy
10:00 AM, CBSSN
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY MIDDAY

Appalachian St. at Troy
1:30 PM, ESPN3 (streaming)
Overtime Watch

Texas Tech at #13 Oklahoma St.
1:30 PM, FS1

Stanford at Oregon
2:00 PM, PAC12

SATURDAY EVENING

Ole Miss at #8 Texas A&M 
5:30 PM, SECN
Game of the Week / Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

#20 USC at #4 Washington 
5:30 PM, FOX

South Florida at Memphis 
5:00 PM, ESPNU
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY NIGHT

Colorado St. at Air Force 
8:15 PM, ESPNU

Cal at #23 Washington St.
8:30 PM, ESPN

#12 Colorado at Arizona
8:00 PM, FS1