Bowl Game Picks

These are in order from my most confident pick to least confident.

Texas A & M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia
Northern Illinois (+9.5) vs. Marshall
UL-Lafayette (+1.0) vs. Nevada
Rutgers (+3.0) vs. North Carolina
Illinois (+6.0) vs. Louisiana Tech
Air Force (Pick) vs. Western Michigan
UCF (-2.0) vs. NC State
San Diego State (-3.0) vs. Navy
Alabama (-9.0) vs. Ohio State
Utah (-4.0) vs. Colorado State

Last Week’s Record: 5-5, Overall Season Record: 72-78

Bowl Upsets to Watch Out For

These are in order from least shocking to most shocking according to the lines on vegasinsider.com:

Penn State (+3.0) vs. Boston College

Ole Miss (+3.0) vs. TCU

Texas A & M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia

Rutgers (+3.5) vs. North Carolina

Illinois (+5.0) vs. Louisiana Tech

Oklahoma State (+5.0) vs. Washington

East Carolina (+7.5) vs. Florida

Last week’s record: 1-4 (Best Pick: UCF (+6.0) over East Carolina)

Brad’s 13th Annual Mock 16 Team College Football Playoff

For the 13th straight season, I have created a mock college football playoff bracket based my proposed college football playoff system.  I know that a four-team playoff has emerged, but I think thinks year’s controversial selections prove that we can obviously do a lot better.  You will see below that 16 is clearly the magic number for the ideal college football playoff, as I will present to you the most comprehensive college football playoff proposal you will see anywhere.  Anyone that would like to see this playoff in an excel bracket format then just let me know, and I’ll send you a copy.

The Field: Florida State (ACC  Champ), Memphis (AAC Champ), Ohio State (Big 10 Champ), Baylor (Big 12 Champ), Oregon (Pac-12 Champ), Alabama (SEC Champ), Boise State (MWC Champ), Marshall (C-USA Champ), Northern Illinois (MAC Champ), UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt Champ), TCU (at-large, # 3 in Playoff Rankings), Mississippi State (at-large, # 7 in Playoff Rankings), Michigan State (at-large, # 8 in Playoff Rankings), Ole Miss (at-large, # 9 in Playoff Rankings), Arizona (at-large, # 10 in Playoff Rankings), Kansas State (at-large, # 11 in Playoff Rankings)

South Regional

(1) Alabama vs. (4) UL-Lafayette, Friday December 19th- 8:00 (ESPN), Nashville, TN

(2) Michigan State vs. (3) Arizona, Saturday December 20th- 3:30 (ESPN), St. Petersburg, FL

Winners play Saturday December 27th at 12:00 in Atlanta, GA (ABC)

Midwest Regional

(1) Ohio State vs. (4) Memphis, Saturday December 20th- 12:00 (ESPN), Dallas, TX

(2) Baylor vs. (3) Boise State, Saturday December 20th- 3:30 (ABC), El Paso, TX

Winners play Saturday December 27th at 3:30 in Arlington, TX (ESPN)

West Regional

(1) Oregon vs. (4) Northern Illinois, Saturday December 20th- 8:00 (ESPN), San Diego, CA

(2) Mississippi State vs. (3) Kansas State, Thursday December 18th- 8:00 (ESPN), Tempe, AZ

Winners play Saturday December 27th at 3:30 in Phoenix, AZ (ABC)

East  Regional

(1) Florida State vs. (4) Marshall, Saturday December 20th- 12:00 (ABC), Charlotte, NC

(2) Baylor vs. (3) Boise State, Saturday December 20th- 8:00 (ABC), Orlando, FL

Winners play Saturday December 27th at 8:00 in Orlando, FL (ABC)

Final Four/Championship

South Champ vs. Midwest Champ, Saturday January 3rd- 8:00 (ABC), Miami, FL

West Champ vs. East Champ, Saturday January 3rd- 3:30 (ABC), Pasadena, CA

Championship Game, Saturday Jan 10th- 8:00 (ABC), New Orleans, LA

Basic Format:

  • 16 teams (10 conference championships and 6 at-larges chosen by the top 6 in the Playoff Rankings, which can be chosen exactly as it is now with a committee of 12/13.)
  • 4 regions (teams seeded 1-4 based on committee)
  • Bowl sites will become tourney sites.  See further explanation below.
  • Selection Sunday will be held the day after conference championship day and the first game will be played two weeks after that or one week depending on how late regular season ends.
  • A couple of special stipulations are that two teams from the same conference can’t play in the same region, and each conference is limited to four total playoff teams.

Scheduling:

  • I’ve even drafted a mock game schedule that takes into consideration both the interests of the viewers and  television providers.  I’m going to assume that ABC/ESPN buy the rights to playoff coverage, since they have already purchased future New Year’s Six coverage rights.
  • Week 1 (First Round):  Game 1: Thursday 8:00- second best game of the week (ESPN);  Game 2: Friday 8:00- worst game of the week (ESPN); Games 3 and 4: Saturday 12:00- two non-west region games (ABC/ESPN split); Games 5 and 6: Saturday 3:30- two games of any type (ABC/ESPN split); Games 7 and 8: Saturday 8:00- game of the week is on ABC; ESPN has other game.
  • Week 2 (Elite 8): Game 1: Saturday 12:00- Third biggest game of the week but can’t be midwest/west regional final (ABC); Game 2: Saturday 3:30- Worst game of the week (ESPN); Game 3: Saturday 3:30- Second biggest game of the week (ABC); Game 4: Saturday 8:00- Featured game of the week (ABC).
  • Week 3 (Final Four): Game 1: Saturday 3:30- Second biggest game of the week (ABC); Game 2: Saturday 8:00- Featured game of the week (ABC).
  • Week 4 (Championship Game): Saturday 8:00 (ABC)

Playoff Sites:

  • Lower-tier bowl sites will become first round sites on a rotational basis.   
  • 2013: East- Birmingham, New York; South- Shreveport, Jacksonville; Midwest- Fort Worth, Boise; West- San Francisco, Boise. 2014: East- Charlotte, Detroit; South- Nashville, St. Petersburg; Midwest- El Paso, Dallas; West: Tempe, San Diego.  2015: East Regional- Mobile, Washington D.C.; South Regional- Memphis, Tampa; Midwest Regional- San Antonio, Houston; West Regional: Albuquerque, Las Vegas.
  •  The current semi-major bowl sites of Arlington (Cotton), Orlando, FL (Citrus), Phoenix (Fiesta), and Atlanta (Peach) will be annual elite 8 sites.
  • The Final Four/Championship games will be held in Pasadena, New Orleans, and Miami.  The championship game will rotate between the 3 sites, and the two final four games will be played in the non-championship cities.
  • Other notes: (1) New bowl sites coming into existence must replace old ones.  (2) The first-round sites that are off of the playoff rotation will still hold bowl games.  More explanation on that to follow.

Remaining Bowl Games:

  • This is time where things get tricky, as I try to accommodate the rest of the bowl eligible teams who do not make the 16-team playoff.
  • There will be 19 bowl games held at all the first-round sites who are off  of the playoff rotation and the three bowl-only sites of: Nassau, Bahamas, Montgomery, AL, and Boca Raton, FL.
  • The names of the bowls can either change depending on which bowl is being played each year, or a bowl game can be played every year at different sites.  It doesn’t really make a difference to me.
  • The tie-ins for the bowls will try to replicate those for the current bowl games with the obvious omission of all tie-ins of conference champions.  Also, the number of bowl teams from each conference may fluctuate depending on how many teams it sends to the playoff in a particular season.
  • Overall, in this system there will be 54 1-A postseason teams (16 in playoff, 38 in bowls), which is much more reasonable than the current number of 76.  Honestly, by taking out some of the garbage teams who currently squeak into bowl games, I think this system will actually make the bowl games more meaningful and watchable.

Brad’s 2014 Bowl Intrigue Rankings

Some bowl games produce fascinating matchups.  Others produce complete duds.  Here is my ranking of most intriguing bowl games for the 2014 season.

Bowl Game Intrigue Rankings
1 Jan. 1 Rose- Semifinal # 1 Oregon vs. Florida State 5:00 ESPN
2 Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl Baylor vs. Michigan State 12:30 ESPN
3 Dec. 31 Peach Ole Miss vs. TCU 1:00 ESPN
4 Jan. 1 Sugar- Semifinal # 2 Alabama vs. Ohio State 8:30 ESPN
5 Dec. 31 Fiesta Boise State vs. Arizona 5:00 ESPN
6 Dec. 27 Independence Miami-FL vs. South Carolina 3:30 ESPN 2
7 Jan. 3 Birmingham East Carolina vs. Florida 1:00 ESPN
8 Dec. 27 Sun Arizona State vs. Duke 2:00 CBS
9 Dec. 31 Orange Georgia Tech vs. Miss. State 8:30 ESPN
10 Jan. 2 Alamo Kansas State vs. UCLA 6:45 ESPN
11 Jan. 1 Citrus Missouri vs. Minnesota 12:00 ABC
12 Dec. 29 Russell Athletic Oklahoma vs. Clemson 5:30 ESPN
13 Dec. 23 Boca Raton Marshall vs. Northern Illinois 6:00 ESPN
14 Dec. 20 Las Vegas Utah vs. Colorado State 3:30 ABC
15 Dec. 29 Texas Arkansas vs. Texas 9:00 ESPN
16 Dec. 30 Music City Notre Dame vs. LSU 3:00 ESPN
17 Dec. 22 Miami Beach BYU vs. Memphis 2:00 ESPN
18 Dec. 27 Holiday Nebraska vs. Southern Cal 8:00 ESPN
19 Jan. 1 Outback Auburn vs. Wisconsin 12:00 ESPN 2
20 Dec. 30 Belk Georgia vs. Louisville 6:45 ESPN
21 Dec. 27 Military Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech 1:00 ESPN
22 Dec. 29 Liberty Texas A & M vs. West Virginia 2:00 ESPN
23 Jan. 2 Cactus Washington vs. Oklahoma State 10:15 ESPN
24 Dec. 24 Bahamas Central Michigan vs. Western KY 12:00 ESPN
25 Dec. 26 St. Petersburg NC State vs. UCF 8:00 ESPN
26 Dec. 20 Famous Idaho Potato Western Michigan vs. Air Force 5:45 ESPN
27 Dec. 26 Quick Lane Rutgers vs. North Carolina 4:30 ESPN
28 Dec. 26 Heart of Dallas Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech 1:00 ESPN
29 Dec. 27 Pinstripe Boston College vs. Penn State 4:30 ESPN
30 Dec. 20 Camellia South Alabama vs. Bowling Green 9:15 ESPN
31 Dec. 24 Hawaii Fresno State vs. Rice 8:00 ESPN
32 Jan. 2 Taxslayer (Gator) Iowa vs. Tennessee 3:20 ESPN
33 Jan. 4 GoDaddy Toledo vs. Arkansas State 9:00 ESPN
34 Dec. 20 New Orleans Nevada vs. UL-Lafayette 11:00 ESPN
35 Dec. 20 New Mexico Utah State vs. UTEP 2:20 ESPN
36 Dec. 23 Poinsettia Navy vs. San Diego State 9:30 ESPN
37 Jan. 2 Armed Forces Houston vs. Pittsburgh 12:00 ESPN
38 Dec. 30 Foster Farms Maryland vs. Stanford 10:00 ESPN

Week 15 College Football Researchers Association (CFRA) Poll

1.  Florida State (10)- 296 points

2.  Alabama (1)- 286 points

3.  Oregon (1)- 278 points

4.  TCU- 256 points

———————————————————————————–

5.  Baylor- 251 points

6.  Ohio State- 245 points

7.  Michigan State- 220 points

8.  Mississippi State- 188 points

9.  Arizona- 176 points

10. Ole Miss- 167 points

11. Kansas State- 152 points

12. Georgia Tech- 141 points

13. Georgia- 128 points

14. Clemson- 119 points

15. UCLA- 101 points

16. Arizona State- 95 points

17. Missouri- 86 points

18. Louisville- 83 points

19. Boise State- 82 points

20. Auburn- 81 points

21. Wisconsin- 80 points

22. Marshall- 55 points

23. Colorado State- 34 points

24. LSU- 32 points

25. Nebraska- 26 points

Others Receiving Votes: Utah 25, East Carolina 24, Boston College 23, Miami-FL 19, Minnesota 19, Pittsburgh 18, Oklahoma 17, Wake Forest 16, Virginia Tech 15, Duke 15, Memphis 12, UCF 12, Southern California 9, UCLA 7, Northern Illinois 6, Cincinnati 5

Dropped Out: Oklahoma 17

Teams Ranked Higher in CFRA than AP, Playoff, and Coaches Polls: Florida State (1), TCU (4), Arizona (9), Clemson (14), Louisville (18), Boise State (19), Marshall (22), Colorado State (23).

Teams Ranked Lower in CFRA than AP, Playoff, and Coaches Polls: Ohio State (6), Missouri (17), Auburn (20), Wisconsin (21), LSU (24), Utah (NR), Minnesota (NR), Southern California (NR).

Teams Ranked Exactly the Same in All 4 Major Human Polls (AP, CFRA, Playoff and Coaches): Georgia (13).

Week 15 College Football Picks

These are in order from my most confident pick to least confident.

Northern Illinois (-7.0) vs. Bowling Green
Cincinnati (-7.0) vs. Houston
Tulane (+4.0) vs. Temple
Fresno State (+19.5) vs. Boise State
Oklahoma (-19.0) vs. Oklahoma State
Oregon (-14.0) vs. Arizona
Florida State (-3.5) vs. Georgia Tech
Alabama (-14.5) vs. Missouri
Kansas State (+8.5) at Baylor
UCF (+6.0) at East Carolina

Last Week’s Record: 6-4, Overall Season Record: 67-73

Week 15 Upsets to Watch Out For

These are in order from least shocking to most shocking according to the lines on vegasinsider.com:

Tulane (+4.0) vs. Temple
UCF (+6.0) at East Carolina
Louisiana Tech (+12.5) at Marshall
Fresno State (+19.5) at Boise State
Iowa State (+33.0) at TCU

Last week’s record: 3-6 (Best Pick: Georgia Tech (+12.5) over Georgia)