Category Archives: college football

Bowl Predictions 2018: Week 3

They’re real and they’re spectacular.

Anyway, we are currently at 65 teams, so we’re probably going to get the number of bowl eligible teams we need. Huzzah! I should probably start going into more detail in addition to just posting the link, so let’s do this newspaper columnist style:

  • If Oklahoma winds up beating West Virginia twice, I think that will be enough to get them into the playoff over Michigan. If I had to guess, the committee will be looking for reasons to include a Michigan team that lost to Notre Dame rather than exclude them, unless, somewhat ironically, Notre Dame ceases to be undefeated.
  • That said, putting four SEC teams into the playoff-controlled bowls really stresses the system. I ran out of teams even before getting out the SEC Tier 2 bowl quagmire, so guessing which teams will get at-large to those bowls is a lot of work.
  • That said, I am here for a West Virginia-LSU Sugar Bowl when and if that actually happens.
  • I’m pretty excited Georgia Tech was able to get bowl eligible, but I’m less sure about where we’ll actually go. It looks pretty likely only Clemson will get into the CFP-bowls (NC State had a great shot until they lost to Wake Forest last weekend) from the ACC, so that probably means Tech will miss out, but it’s currently hard to say. In the next couple of weeks bowl rumors should start to float around, and I’ll have a better idea.
  • I feel a bit bad that the two best teams from the Mountain West this year, Utah State and Fresno State, will probably play each other on December 1st and then have a bowl game two weeks later.
  • That said, I am also here for HERM versus Utah State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
  • I like to think that teams with winning records will get picked before 6-6 teams, so I wound up putting Miami in the Quick Lane Bowl. It’s a shame that the Miami in Ohio isn’t going to a bowl this year, because otherwise we’d have a decent shot at a Miami-Miami game for only the fourth time ever.
  • Another thing I feel a bit bad about: “Congratulations on your under-the-radar great season, Cincy! Now watch as everyone just talks about Lane Kiffin the whole time because you’ll get to play them in the Gasparilla Bowl.”

And there we are for now. I’m traveling next Sunday into Monday, so I have no idea when next week’s predictions will be posted.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 11

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Mississippi @ Texas A&M (CBS): The popular consensus is that Week 11 is “trash”. I say, let’s see for ourselves. We start with a bad Ole Miss team against a reeling Texas A&M… yeah, TAMU should still win.
  • Ohio State @ Michigan State (FOX): Speaking of trash, just ugh. I keep thinking Ohio State has like three losses at this point, but no, it just feels that way. I guess they’ll win though?
  • Wisconsin @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): Also trash: the Big Ten West, where the winner will probably have four losses on the year by the time all is said and done. I’m taking Penn State here.
  • South Carolina @ Florida (ESPN): The Gators just got beat pretty soundly by Mizzou at home and somehow they’re still sixteenth in the country. What? It’s cool, though, they’re still less trash than South Carolina, probably.
  • Navy @ Central Florida (ESPN2): Navy is garbage this year, UCF cruises.
  • Texas Christian @ West Virginia (FS1): Any season where you lose to Kansas is rubbish, so I’m going with West Virginia here.
  • Tulsa @ Memphis (ESPNU): Tulsa is 2-7, which is a pretty refuse-worthy record.
  • Vanderbilt @ Missouri (SEC): Mizzou finally gets that elusive second SEC win.
  • Kansas @ Kansas State (FSN): The Sunflower Showdown is so garbage this year that it’s pretty likely the Jayhawks win, as the Bill Synder era at K-State continues to end in the most awkward way possible.
  • Illinois @ Nebraska (BTN): Illinois at least has the distinction of the perennially awful Big Ten team that at least has nothing otherwise awkward going on around it this year, though they’ll probably lose to Nebraska and further dash the Big Ten’s chances of filling all of its bowl slots.
  • Maryland @ Indiana (BTN): Speaking of teams the Big Ten wishes it could throw away… Indiana all the way.

12:20: North Carolina @ Duke (Raycom): Okay, so the morning slot is… mostly garbage. So let’s get past that block and go straight to… a probable rout of UNC by Duke. Great.

2:00: California-Los Angeles @ Arizona State (Pac12): Well, I would’ve guessed that one of the head coaches in this game would probably be the Pac-12 Coach of the Year (if that’s a thing, I’m assuming it’s a thing). The thing is, well, I wouldn’t have put my money on HERM, that’s for sure.

3:00: Liberty @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): I included this because Liberty is technically FBS, though they’ll probably be independent forever because they’re so radioactive that no conference wants them. And if a conference does pick them up, it would just stink of desperation.


  • Northwestern @ Iowa (FOX): Well, this game is important in the sense that it’ll probably determine the Big Ten West champion (maybe?), so enjoy watching a game Iowa will win like 11-5 or some crap.
  • Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (ABC): BEDLAM SAVE US DEAR GOD oh wait Oklahoma State is kinda bad this year. Sigh.
  • Mississippi State @ Alabama (CBS): Last week, I railed against the line in the Alabama-LSU game because, surely, LSU could at least, like, score once, right? Nah. Sure, LSU played some defense, but this Alabama team plays defense 95% as well as the previous editions and basically plays the kind of offense that Nick Saban said a few years ago would “ruin football” or some such. Yeah, this Bama team is just incinerating people right now.
  • Washington State @ Colorado (ESPN): Remember when the Buffs were undefeated? No? Yeah, I don’t really blame you, that was like a month ago. Since then, they’ve lost 4 straight, including to an absolute trash fire of an Oregon State team. Yeesh. Wazzu will probably blow one at some point, but predicting when is folly.
  • Purdue @ Minnesota (ESPN2): That Minnesota win over Fresno State continues to get weirder and weirder. Meanwhile, Purdue got their mojo back with a win over Iowa, further ensuring their position somewhere near the top of the Big Ten West garbage heap. I’ll take the Boilermakers, which, with the way this schedule is shaping up, could well be a double entrendre before this day is out.
  • Baylor @ Iowa State (FS1): I am so tired, y’all. The way this is going, I may as well reel in some sleep debt and just sleep until the Tech game starts at 4:00 my time. Uh, Cyclones?
  • Kentucky @ Tennessee (SEC): Ugh, Kentucky is still ranked 12 and they’re kind of terrible? Anyway, Tennessee is worse, so…
  • Michigan @ Rutgers (BTN): Do you know what the line is on this game? No, higher. No, just a bit more. Close… okay yeah it’s Michigan by 38. I’ll take the Wolverines to cover. New Jersey remains our trashiest state. Since no one is reading this anyway, allow me to regale you with one of my favorite bits from Futurama (warning: may be paraphrased a bit):

    [Montage of Fry looking for apartments]
    Fry: This place is great! What’s the catch?
    Agent: Well… we’re technically in New Jersey.
    [Cut back to Planet Express]
    Fry: Not a single livable place!

  • New Mexico @ Air Force (CBSS): These teams are both trash this year, but Air Force is slightly less so.

4:00: East Carolina @ Tulane (ESPNEWS): ECU figures to be 0-6 in the AAC after this one.

5:30: Oregon @ Utah (Pac12): Hey, an interesting game, except unless you’re on the West Coast like me you probably can’t see it. Alas and alack. I’ll take the Utes.


  • Auburn @ Georgia (ESPN): It’s the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry (I missed the South’s Oldest Rivalry a couple weeks ago, sorry Carolina-Virginia fans) once again, and UGA is unfortunately a prohibitive favorite. I don’t know how they’ll do it, but as usual I’m hoping for something weird to happen. Anyway, I probably won’t see any of this because…
  • Miami @ Georgia Tech (ESPN2): HEY WE GOT A HOME NIGHT GAME, WOOOO. So we’ve done what we needed to the past couple weeks to try to salvage this season, but nonetheless two things remain to be seen. The first is, how much longer can the offense continue to essentially pound Tobias Oliver into defenses over and over again? TaQuon Marshall did start against UNC last week, but he still looked hurt and Oliver played most of the game. But there’s no doubt that Oliver does not have the same freedom to operate that Marshall does, and I can’t help but think at some point defenses will gear up to stop him. Also, Miami posses the most capable defense we’ve played since Clemson. (Yes, VPI has Bud Foster, but they’re so thin this year that not even Bud can save them.) Not only are they likely to be more schematically sound than Louisville or UNC, but they also have the second best athletes on our schedule. While I don’t think Miami has the same caliber of player Clemson does, they’re close than anyone else and that’s how they’ve beat us eight of the last nine times. I also suspect that Mark Richt will not gift us any touchdowns via failed onside kicks this year. The second thing is, between injury and inconsistency Richt is having a devil of a time finding a quarterback. Can the Georgia Tech defense finally get stops that aren’t fueled by turnovers? Passing defense, especially on third downs, has been atrocious. One more thing: it’s going to be cold in Atlanta Saturday night, with a game time forecast calling for 40 degrees and dropping.
  • South Florida @ Cincinnati (ESPNU): USF decided to show they were garbage after appearing not garbage for a large chunk of the season, but after two consecutive blowouts by Houston (understandable) and Tulane (less so), I have to go with Cincy here.


  • Florida State @ Notre Dame (NBC): FSU is garbage this year, and Notre Dame should be able to beat them at home with their backup quarterback.
  • Texas @ Texas Tech (FOX): Yeah, looking back Texas Tech’s best win might well be beating Houston at home back in September. But they do have the advantage of it being night in Lubbock with a demoralized set of Longhorns… yeah, I’m still picking Texas.
  • Louisiana State @ Arkansas (SEC): Arkansas’s defense is a tire fire, to the extent that LSU might even be able to score on them.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Alabama-Birmingham (beIN): Go Blazers!

8:00: Clemson @ Boston College (ABC): Yes, Boston College is, uh, good, but evidence that they can beat Clemson is… scarce. But here we are with Gameday in Chestnut Hill because Week 11 is, say with with me now, trash.

9:00: Oregon State @ Stanford (Pac12): I suppose every conference has to have one team you look forward to playing, and in the case of the Pac-12, that team is Oregon State.


  • California @ Southern California (ESPN): Anyone still reading this? Sorry I’ve been so sarcastic this week, I don’t know what it is, really. I tell y’all what, I’ll predict an upset for once: the Bears are totally going to win this game. I mean, I know I’m not entirely going out on a limb here, since I half expected to look up the line and be genuinely surprised that Cal is actually favored or something. (As is, it’s USC by 5.)
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ San Diego State (ESPN2): UNLV is bad. SDSU isn’t.
  • Colorado State @ Nevada (ESPNU): Nevada.

Bowl Predictions 2018: Week 2

Get ’em while they’re hot.

So this week I switched back to using S&P+ to predict the rest of the season. Suffice it to say, I would up with three too many teams this time, which is generally more plausible for how things should shake out. That said, I definitely felt like there were some situations where S&P+ was just too stuck on a team, but that’s something that should correct itself in the coming weeks. Overall, these are probably reasonably coherent projections, but we’ll see how things shake out.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 10

I’m out of town this weekend and will probably miss many, if not most, of these games! Despite that, let’s do our thing, though with a pretty heavy dose of LIGHTNING ROUND.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Nebraska @ Ohio State (FOX): Well, Scott Frost day came and went, which is good because this figures to put the Cornhuskers back on the schnide.
  • Louisville @ Clemson (ABC): Louisville’s defense is… really, really bad. This will get ugly.
  • Texas A&M @ Auburn (ESPN): The Internet angst regarding Gus Malzahn is really something, which will be really confusing when the Tigers win. Well, provided they can figure something, anything on offense.
  • Michigan State @ Maryland (ESPN2): Sparty.
  • Oklahoma State @ Baylor (FS1): Pokes.
  • Memphis @ East Carolina (ESPNU): Tigers.
  • South Carolina @ Mississippi (SEC): Gamecocks.
  • Iowa State @ Kansas (FSN): Cyclones.
  • Rutgers @ Wisconsin (BTN): Do I really even need to specify for this one?
  • Air Force @ Army (CBSS): Army begins its Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy run with this game, which at the rate they’ve been going this year they should handle easily.
  • Syracuse @ Wake Forest (ACC/RSN): One of the great current mysteries of this college football season is: “Is Syracuse actually good? And why are they ranked?” So suffice it to say, they need to be Wake so we can keep asking ourselves that question.

12:15: Georgia Tech @ North Carolina (Raycom): After beating VPI last week, there’s an uptick in optimism surrounding Georgia Tech. The maddening thing about this season, though, has been the inconsistency. Even in the Virginia Tech game it looked like it was going to be a track meet before they muffed that punt. The main thing I will be watching here is the defense, and whether or not we can consistently get stops. The offense, of course, bears mentioning. They played lights out with Oliver in and while I think Marshall is a superior all-around QB, Oliver’s lack of hesitancy (in fairness, this is due to a simplified playbook with less reads) has made a lot of difference. If we want to have any hope of going bowling this season, this game is a must-win, full stop. It is hard to see how we will get in otherwise, and even then…


  • Florida State @ North Carolina State (ABC): It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Wolfpack, and while FSU has looked better I don’t think they’ve looked that much better.
  • Georgia @ Kentucky (CBS): Georgia looked a little bit more like themselves against Florida, and all they need to do is sustain that against a pesky Kentucky team. If they can get their offense rolling at all, Kentucky won’t be able to keep up with them.
  • West Virginia @ Texas (FOX): So Texas got everyone back in and re-invested, and then they went out and lost to Oklahoma State. Whoops! And now you have a pain-in-the-neck Mountaineer team that could definitely still make their way to the Big 12 title game (which, yes, is a thing again for some reason) and all sorts of problems. I’ll go with the Horns here, but sheesh nothing is easy with those guys.
  • Iowa @ Purdue (ESPN2): Iowa?
  • Kansas State @ Texas Christian (FS1): This looks to be it for Bill Synder, but the problem with a coach like that is that he very much wants to go out on his own terms.
  • Navy @ Cincinnati (ESPNU): Cincy was probably smoke-and-mirrors, running out to that undefeated start, but Navy has just been not good this year.
  • Minnesota @ Illinois (BTN): Minnesota?
  • Tulane @ South Florida (CBSS): USF.


  • Pennsylvania State @ Michigan (ESPN): This finally looks like the year Michigan will finish above third in the Big Ten East. All they have to do is not screw this up. Which, well, I don’t blame you for being nervous, but by all rights this year’s Wolverines should beat this year’s Nittany Lions.
  • Boston College @ Virginia Tech (Raycom): This game figures to be, uh, low-scoring. And I’m taking BC.


  • Missouri @ Florida (SEC): Mizzou is 0-4 in the SEC, and by all rights they should be 2-2. Such is life, and probably losing in the Swamp.
  • Utah @ Arizona State (Pac12): Arizona State is 4-4 and no one knows what to do, which is a good time for the Utes to swoop in and remind them who really rules the roost in the Pac-12 South these days (since USC continues to be AWOL).


  • Duke @ Miami (ESPN2): Miami is sort of not good, but I don’t care how good Duke is, I don’t see them out-atheleting Miami.
  • Houston @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU): Houston.
  • Connecticut @ Tulsa (CBSS): Tulsa?

7:15: Notre Dame @ Northwestern (ESPN): I’m picking Notre Dame here, not because I like the Irish (I certainly don’t), but having a division leader be 5-1 in conference and 5-4 on the year will surely deepen the existential crisis in the Big Ten offices.


  • California-Los Angeles @ Oregon (FOX): Speaking of the Utes causing crashes back down to Earth, Chip Kelly’s little two-game win streak got a rude awakening by the Utes. And now they head up to Eugene, Chip’s old stomping grounds, and a Ducks team that really themselves will be looking to get back on the ball. This could get ugly.
  • Louisiana Tech @ Mississippi State (SEC): Miss State.
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Alabama-Birmingham (beIN): Go Blazers!
  • Florida Atlantic @ Florida International (Stadium): Yep, welcome to the loathsome universe where it turns out the reason that Lane Kiffin was fun and good at FAU was because Kendall Briles was his offensive coordinator last year. Taking FIU here.


  • Alabama @ Louisiana State (CBS): This game is nuts. As I said elsewhere, these are the #1 and #3 teams in the country and the spread is Alabama by two touchdowns on the road, in Death Valley, at night. This is nuts. But then again, everything about Alabama’s season so far is nuts. Even more nuts might be to bet against them, but… I’d probably still take LSU to cover. It’s almost inconceivable. Fourteen points!
  • Oklahoma @ Texas Tech (ABC): In the meantime, the Red Raiders are having themselves a nice little season, and stranger things have happened in Lubbock but… Oklahoma is real good, y’all.

9:00: Stanford @ Washington (Pac12): Remember when the Pac-10/12 was a fun conference, full of teams that liked to throw it all over the place? Yeah, if that’s what you’re nostalgic for then stay far, far away from this game. Which, in fairness, will probably be pretty easy since you don’t live on the West coast and probably don’t get DirecTV. Anyway, I’ll take UDub.

10:00: Southern California @ Oregon State (FS1): Oregon State did beat Colorado somehow, and the Trojans are reeling, but yeah, I’m going with USC here.


  • Brigham Young @ Boise State (ESPN2): BYU just lost 7-6 to Northern Illinois, so I will go with Boise here.
  • San Diego State @ New Mexico (ESPNU): Aztecs.

10:30: Fresno State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (CBSS): Bulldogs.

10:45: California @ Washington State (ESPN): How in the world did Cal beat UDub? You know what, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. Going with Wazzu.


Bowl Predictions 2018: Week 1

And here go again!

The first edition of my bowl predictions are now up. As per usual, we’ll be attempting to forecast who will go where at the end of the season. I wound up two teams short, but from where I sit now there’s no need to panic quite yet, as these things tend to even out.

So, for now, enjoy my guesses! As usual, the closer we get to the end, the better they’ll be, and the longer these posts will be discussing my forecast.