Week 14 College Football Picks

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

Virginia Tech (+1.0) vs. Virginia
Baylor (-26.0) vs. Texas Tech
Akron (-3.5) at Kent State
UAB (-4.5) at Southern Miss
Boise State (-9.5) vs. Utah State
Indiana (-3.0) vs. Purdue
BC (-11.5) vs. Syracuse
Mississippi State (-3.0) at Ole Miss
Utah (-9.5) at Colorado
San Diego State (-11.5) vs. San Jose St.

Last Week’s Record: 5-5, Overall Season Record: 61-69

Week 14 Upsets to Watch Out For

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

South Carolina (+4.5) at Clemson
NC State (+6.5) at North Carolina
Air Force (+7.0) vs. Colorado State
Florida (+7.5) at Florida State
South Alabama (+9.5) vs. Navy
USF (+12.0) vs. UCF
Georgia Tech (+12.5) at Georgia
Iowa State (+13.0) vs. West Virginia
Oregon State (+20.0) vs. Oregon

Last week’s record: 4-2 (Best Pick: Texas State (+6.5) over Arkansas State)

Bowl Bubble Watch- Week 13 Edition

The most comprehensive analysis of the college football bowl bubble is back!  For the sixth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing which teams will get bowl bids and which will not.  Below, I have written a report for every team that has yet to be declared either bowl eligible or ineligible.  Each week this list will be updated and new odds will be provided for each team.  Please note that these odds only represent the chances that a particular team will get enough wins to be eligible to receive a bowl bid.  They do not represent the odds a team has for actually receiving a bid.  This discrepancy likely won’t affect the bowl chances of most major conference teams, but sometimes a 6-6 record won’t be enough to a get bid from a non-BCS conference.  The teams are ordered in descending order of likelihood that they will become bowl eligible.  As of now, there are 18 teams on the list with 8 predicted to attain bowl eligibility and 10 predicted to fall short.  As of now, I’m projecting there to be 79 bowl eligible teams for 2014 (see full stats at the bottom of this entry).  Keep in mind that there are a total of 76 bowl slots to be filled.

Good Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams closing in on bowl bids (8):

Navy- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at South Alabama, vs. Army; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 80% (previous odds: 56%, 80%)

Fresno State- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Hawaii; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 71% (previous odds: 29%, 29%)

Tennessee- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Vandy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 70% (previous odds: 65%, 81%)

UAB- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Southern Miss; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 69% (previous odds: 79%, 79%)

Northwestern- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Illinois; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 64% (previous odds: 7%, 42%)

Ohio- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Miami-OH; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 61% (previous odds: 74%, 74%)

Akron- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Kent State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 56% (previous odds: 48%, 48%)

Virginia Tech- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Virginia; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 54% (previous odds: 61%, 82%)

Bad Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams who will likely be home for the holidays (10):

Old Dominion- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at FAU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 48% (previous odds: 22%, 22%)

California- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. BYU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 47% (previous odds: 53%, 53%)

Virginia- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at VT; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 46% (previous odds: 20%, 20%)

Temple- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Cincy, at Tulane; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 40% (previous odds: 45%, 40%)

Illinois- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at NW; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 36% (previous odds: 30%, 23%)

Pittsburgh- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Miami-FL; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 34% (previous odds: 46%, 32%)

Kentucky- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Louisville; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 33% (previous odds: 43%, 33%)

Michigan- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Ohio State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 19% (previous odds: 60%, 60%)

Oregon State- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Oregon; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 18% (previous odds: 15%, 24%)

Oklahoma State- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Oklahoma; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 17% (previous odds: 52%, 21 %)

Already Bowl Eligible (71):  Memphis, East Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami-FL, Baylor, TCU, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, Rice, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Toledo, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Nevada, Colorado State, Boise State, Utah State, Air Force, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Southern California, Arizona, Utah, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas A & M, LSU, UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Cincinnati (previous odds: 95%), UCF (previous odds: 99%), Penn State (previous odds: 71%), NC State (previous odds: 80%), Rutgers (previous odds: 66%), Brigham Young (previous odds: 99%), South Alabama (previous odds: 64%), Texas (previous odds: 51%), UTEP (previous odds: 84%), North Carolina (previous odds: 42%, 63%), Texas State (previous odds: 73%, 66%), San Diego State (previous odds: 67%, 64%), Houston (previous odds: 98%, 98%), Florida (previous odds: 99%, 97%), South Carolina (previous odds: 49%, 90%), Western Kentucky (previous odds: 54%, 68%), Washington (previous odds: 77%, 71%), Middle Tennessee (previous odds: 78%, 62%), Arkansas (previous odds: 41%, 55%), Stanford (previous odds: 75%, 54%)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game (39):  Georgia Southern*, Appalachian State* Tulsa, SMU, UConn, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Iowa State, Purdue, FIU, FAU, UTSA, Southern Miss, Kent State, UMass, Miami-OH, Eastern Michigan, Hawaii, UNLV, Colorado, Washington State, Vandy, Troy, Idaho, New Mexico State, Georgia State, Ball State (previous odds: 18%), Army (previous odds: 16%), Kansas (previous odds: 1%), Tulane (previous odds: 4%), New Mexico (previous odds: 6%), Texas Tech (previous odds: 3%), Indiana (previous odds: 2%), San Jose State (previous odds: 6%), UL-Monroe (previous odds: 9%), North Texas (previous odds: 14%), Buffalo (previous odds: 47%, 47%), Wyoming (previous odds: 25%, 25%), South Florida (previous odds: 5%, 7%)

Current Stats:

Already Bowl Eligible: 71

Predicted to be Bowl Eligible: 8 (79)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game: 39

Predicted not to become Bowl Eligible: 10 (49)

Conference Championship Analysis- Week 13 Edition

For the sixth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing the conference championship races.  Like my bowl bubble watch, there is not really a column like this on any other mainstream college football site.  Bold teams have already clinched their division or conference.  Italicized teams are my predicted champions of their respective conferences/divisions at this point in time.  This list is updated through all week 13 games.

ACC Atlantic- Florida State

ACC Coastal- Georgia Tech

Big Ten East- Ohio State

Big Ten WestWisconsin (The oldest FBS rivalry in existence will decide the Big Ten West, as the Gophers meet the Badgers in a de facto Big 10 West division title game next Saturday.)

Big 12- Baylor (Baylor, TCU, and Kansas State are all tied atop the conference standings with one loss.  Kansas State’s chances of winning the Big 12 are slim by virtue of losing their head to head matchup with TCU and having to travel to Waco at the end of the season.  Both Baylor and TCU should win out, so the Bears will likely win the Big 12 thanks to their victory over TCU.)

Pac-12 North- Oregon 

Pac-12 South- UCLA (We now have a three-way tie between UCLA, Arizona, and Arizona State for the Pac-12 South division lead. The Bruins control their own destiny because of their head-to-head victories over both Arizona schools, but they do have a tough regular season finale against Stanford. If the Bruins falter in that one, then the winner of the Duel of the Desert will earn a trip to the PAC-12 title game.)

SEC East- Missouri (By virtue of their huge road victory over Tennessee last night, the Tigers are now in command of the SEC East race. All they need to do is beat Arkansas at home next Friday and they will earn a second consecutive trip to Atlanta. A Mizzou loss will send Georgia there instead.)

SEC West- Alabama (Alabama clinches the division with either a Mississippi State loss to Ole Miss or a victory over Auburn. However, if neither of those things happen, then the Bulldogs of MSU will go to their second SEC Championship game in school history.)

American- Memphis (UCF, Memphis and Cincinnati all have one conference loss, and at this point in the season, you have to assume at least one of them will finish at 7-1.  Memphis has best chance as they have played more conference games than the other two and will be heavily favored in their season finale over UConn next Saturday.  They also own head to head tiebreaker over the only other 1-loss team they played Cincinnati.)

C-USA East- Marshall

C-USA West- Louisiana Tech (The Bulldogs will host the Owls of Rice in a de facto C-USA West title game next Saturday.)

MAC East- Bowling Green

MAC West- Toledo (There’s a thee-way tie between Toledo, NIU, and Western Michigan atop the MAC West standings as we approach the final weekend of the season. The Huskies of Northern Illinois actually control their own destiny, as they clinch the division crown if they knock off fellow title contender Western Michigan. Toledo clinches with a win over lowly Eastern Michigan and a Western Michigan win over NIU. Western Michigan will need to beat NIU and hope Eastern Michigan finds a way to beat Toledo.)

MWC Mountain- Boise State (The first of two wild Mountain West division title races! Boise State, Colorado State, and Utah State are all tied atop the Mountain Division, but Boise is currently the frontrunner based on their head-to-head victory over Colorado State. The Broncos control their own destiny, as all they need to do is beat Utah State at home next Saturday night to get to their first Mountain West conference title game. Colorado State needs a Boise loss on Saturday and a victory over Air Force on Friday. Utah State will need to beat Boise and also have Air Force falter to Colorado State. Interestingly enough, Colorado State may end up with the best New Years Six resume of the Group of Five teams, but because they won’t be a conference champ, they won’t be eligible for selection.)

MWC West- Fresno State (The Bulldogs of Fresno, who battled through two separate three-game losing streaks this season, will astonishingly win the division title if they knock off Hawaii on Saturday night. However, if Fresno loses, not only will they likely fail to win the division, they won’t even be eligible for a bowl game at 5-7. If Fresno falters, then San Diego State will clinch the division with a win over San Jose State. If both squads lose, then we could have a chaotic four-way tiebreaker situation between Fresno, SDSU, Nevada, and Hawaii.)

Sun Belt- Georgia Southern (The Ragin’ Cajuns inexplicably dumped a home conference game to Appalachian State giving the Eagles of Georgia Southern the inside track to an outright conference championship game. All GSU needs to do is knock off UL-Monroe on Saturday night and they’ll be Sun Belt champs in their very first year in the league. Sadly though, Georgia Southern won’t be going to a bowl game unless the NCAA grants them an unprecedented waiver on their transitional status.)

Week 13 College Football Picks

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

Middle Tennessee (-6.5) vs. FAU
Marshall (-20.0) at UAB
Buffalo (-7.0) vs. Kent State
Western Kentucky (-10.0) vs. UTSA
Baylor (-28.0) vs. Oklahoma State
Texas Tech (+1.5) at Iowa State
Uconn (+10.5) vs. Cincinnati
Pitt (-7.5) vs. Syracuse
Virginia (+6.0) vs. Miami-FL
Ohio State (-35.0) vs. Indiana

Last Week’s Record: 6-4, Overall Season Record: 56-64

Week 13 Upsets to Watch Out For

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

Arkansas (+3.0) vs. Ole Miss
Virginia (+6.0) vs. Miami-FL
California (+6.0) vs. Stanford
North Carolina (+6.0) at Duke
Texas State (+6.5) vs. Ark. State
Iowa (+9.5) vs. Wisconsin

Last week’s record: 5-6 (Best Pick: Oregon State (+9.0) over Arizona State)

Bowl Bubble Watch- Week 12 Edition

The most comprehensive analysis of the college football bowl bubble is back!  For the sixth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing which teams will get bowl bids and which will not.  Below, I have written a report for every team that has yet to be declared either bowl eligible or ineligible.  Each week this list will be updated and new odds will be provided for each team.  Please note that these odds only represent the chances that a particular team will get enough wins to be eligible to receive a bowl bid.  They do not represent the odds a team has for actually receiving a bid.  This discrepancy likely won’t affect the bowl chances of most major conference teams, but sometimes a 6-6 record won’t be enough to a get bid from a non-BCS conference.  The teams are ordered in descending order of likelihood that they will become bowl eligible.  As of now, there are 32 teams on the list with 18 predicted to attain bowl eligibility and 14 predicted to fall short.  As of now, I’m projecting there to be 78 bowl eligible teams for 2014 (see full stats at the bottom of this entry).  Keep in mind that there are a total of 76 bowl slots to be filled.

Good Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams closing in on bowl bids (18):

Houston- Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Tulsa, at SMU, at Cincinnati; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 98% (previous odds: 98%)

Florida- Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. EKU, at Florida State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 97% (previous odds: 99%)

South Carolina- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. South Alabama, at Clemson; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 90% (previous odds: 49%)

Virginia Tech- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Wake, vs. Virginia; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 82% (previous odds: 61%)

Tennessee- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Missouri, at Vandy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 81% (previous odds: 65%)

Navy- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at South Alabama, vs. Army; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 80% (previous odds: 56%)

UAB- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Marshall, at Southern Miss; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 79% (previous odds: 79%)

Ohio- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. NIU, at Miami-OH; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 74% (previous odds: 74%)

Washington- Record: 6-5 (needs 7 wins); Remaining Schedule: vs. Oregon State, at Wazzou; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 71% (previous odds: 77%)

Western Kentucky- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. UTSA, at Marshall; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 68% (previous odds: 54%)

Texas State- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Arkansas State, at Georgia State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 66% (previous odds: 73%)

San Diego State- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Air Force, vs. San Jose State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 64% (previous odds: 67%)

North Carolina- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Duke, vs. NC State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 63% (previous odds: 42%)

Middle Tennessee- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. FAU, at UTEP; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 62% (previous odds: 78%)

Michigan- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Maryland, at Ohio State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 60% (previous odds: 60%)

Arkansas- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ole Miss, at Missouri; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 55% (previous odds: 41%)

Stanford- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Cal, at UCLA; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 54% (previous odds: 75%)

California- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Stanford, vs. BYU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 53% (previous odds: 53%)

Bad Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams who will likely be home for the holidays (14):

Akron- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Umass, at Kent State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 48% (previous odds: 48%)

Buffalo- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Kent State, at Umass; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 47% (previous odds: 47%)

Northwestern- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Purdue, vs. Illinois; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 42% (previous odds: 7%)

Temple- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Cincy, at Tulane; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 40% (previous odds: 45%)

Kentucky- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Louisville; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 33% (previous odds: 43%)

Pittsburgh- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Syracuse, at Miami-FL; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 32% (previous odds: 46%)

Fresno State- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Nevada, vs. Hawaii; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 29% (previous odds: 29%)

Wyoming- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Boise, at New Mexico; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 25% (previous odds: 25%)

Oregon State- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Washington, vs. Oregon; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 24% (previous odds: 15%)

Illinois- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Penn State, at NW; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 23% (previous odds: 30%)

Old Dominion- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. LA Tech, at FAU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 22% (previous odds: 22%)

Oklahoma State- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Baylor, at Oklahoma; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 21% (previous odds: 52%)

Virginia- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Miami-FL, at VT; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 20% (previous odds: 20%)

South Florida- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Memphis, vs. UCF; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 7% (previous odds: 5%)

Already Bowl Eligible (60):  Memphis, East Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami-FL, Baylor, TCU, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, Rice, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Toledo, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Nevada, Colorado State, Boise State, Utah State, Air Force, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Southern California, Arizona, Utah, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas A & M, LSU, UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Cincinnati (previous odds: 95%), UCF (previous odds: 99%), Penn State (previous odds: 71%), NC State (previous odds: 80%), Rutgers (previous odds: 66%), Brigham Young (previous odds: 99%), South Alabama (previous odds: 64%), Texas (previous odds: 51%), UTEP (previous odds: 84%)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game (36):  Georgia Southern*, Appalachian State* Tulsa, SMU, UConn, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Iowa State, Purdue, FIU, FAU, UTSA, Southern Miss, Kent State, UMass, Miami-OH, Eastern Michigan, Hawaii, UNLV, Colorado, Washington State, Vandy, Troy, Idaho, New Mexico State, Georgia State, Ball State (previous odds: 18%), Army (previous odds: 16%), Kansas (previous odds: 1%), Tulane (previous odds: 4%), New Mexico (previous odds: 6%), Texas Tech (previous odds: 3%), Indiana (previous odds: 2%), San Jose State (previous odds: 6%), UL-Monroe (previous odds: 9%), North Texas (previous odds: 14%)

Current Stats:

Already Bowl Eligible: 60

Predicted to be Bowl Eligible: 18 (78)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game: 36

Predicted not to become Bowl Eligible: 14 (50)