Monthly Archives: November 2019

Bowl Predictions 2019: Week 4

They’re hot and fresh right here.

We’re probably going hear plenty about this, but the biggest question come December 8th is almost certainly going to be: “Who’s Number 4?” And that’s certainly the thorniest issue when I was trying to project this. Here are the teams I perceive to be the candidates:

  • Alabama: the committee ranked them 5th last week, but that was before they lost their all-everything QB for the season. Their best win on the season is projected to be Auburn. Their loss is to the projected CFP #1, LSU.
  • Oregon: the committee ranked them 6th last week. I currently project them to win the Pac-12 by defeating Utah in the championship game, which would give them a top 10 win. Their loss was to Auburn back in Week 1.
  • Georgia: ranked 4th last week, I currently have them losing to LSU in the SEC championship game. Their best win on the season is over Florida, who will probably play in a New Year’s Six bowl. They lost to South Carolina, a team that will probably finish 4-8.
  • Utah: I don’t think they have as strong of a resume as Oregon does, but their loss to Southern Cal looks less awful now. Their best win would be beating Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.
  • Oklahoma: ranked 10th last week, they lost to K-State earlier this season. Their best wins are projected to be a win over Baylor on the road and a neutral site win over the Bears in the Big 12 championship game.

Obviously, Minnesota and Penn State are in if they win their conference. Baylor is tricky, as I’m not sure a season-split with Oklahoma would get them in.

I think Alabama and Oregon have the best chances given my projections. I think that if Georgia loses in the SECCG, they will have a too-recent loss, no conference title, and a loss to a bad team at home. In my current projections, I have Oregon in, because I think a conference title will put them over the top. I could honestly put together a set of projections with Bama in, and the thing about this is that reality has a way of messing with my predictions. We’ll see how the committee ranks these teams on Tuesday and try to read the tea leaves.

Elsewhere:

  • The SEC is extremely top heavy, and I have four of their teams going to New Year’s Six bowls. (The last at-large spot will probably come down to Florida or Penn State.) The two best teams after Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Bama are probably Texas A&M and Auburn. Mizzou may not be bowl eligible (the NCAA still hasn’t said), which makes some of the situations in the lower-tier SEC bowls somewhat dire.
  • The Pac-12 was tough to project this week, as it’s a nest of 5-5 and 4-6 teams. Outside of the teams that are already eligible, I feel like it’s basically random which of the rest will get in.
  • The Big 12’s championship game is still dumb, but if Oklahoma beats Baylor again it’ll probably work out.
  • The CFP hasn’t said yet what will happen with regards to the Orange Bowl if no ACC team is ranked in the final standings other than Clemson. I’m assuming they’ll still take an ACC team of some sort. Wake Forest was an early favorite, but they’ve dropped 3 games now, which probably makes Virginia the favorite if they win the Coastal. Other candidates are a better-than-anyone-expected Louisville and a Coastal-winning Virginia Tech. Watching Georgia crush one of these teams is going to be incredibly depressing for me.
  • The favorites for the G5 At-Large bid are the AAC winner and Boise State.
  • The “Power Six” thing by the AAC maybe dumb, but looking at the AAC’s bowl games, well, there could be a lot of blowouts. It’s hard to see how their games against the MAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA will be competitive. The AAC tried to remedy this by getting games like the Birmingham Bowl, where they would play lower-tier major conference teams, but the major conferences don’t have enough teams for those bowl slots anymore.
  • Your Internet College Football Hipster Projected Bowl of the Week is the New Orleans Bowl, which I have as Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Tech. I have App State going 11-1 and winning the Sun Belt, and LT is quietly tearing up C-USA, where I have them going 10-2. Oh, and App State doesn’t win the Sun Belt, then Louisiana(-Lafayette) probably will. Dear New Orleans Bowl Committee: if you can match these conference champions in your game, do it. DO IT NOW.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Florida @ Missouri (CBS): LIGHTNING ROUND! Okay, look, I realize I’ve been leaning on that trope a lot so far this season. I honestly don’t know what the future of the site is. In some ways even thinking about the future I think assigns more importance to this than it actually merits. So, yeah, with that bout of self-doubt out of the way, I’m going to do this. pick winners, provide commentary on games that I think are worth it, and then get some sleep. Sounds good, yeah? That’s what I thought. Anyway, Gators.
  • Michigan State @ Michigan (FOX): Wolverines!
  • Indiana @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): Nittany Lions!
  • Alabama @ Mississippi State (ESPN): Oh, man, this is such a pithy one-word response that I felt it necessary to preface this with “yes, this is a one-word response”: Bama.
  • Texas Christian @ Texas Tech (ESPN2): TCU?
  • Kansas @ Oklahoma State (FS1): Cowboys.
  • Tulane @ Temple (ESPNU): This should actually be a fun contrast of styles in the American and one of the more fun games here in this morning slate… maybe I’ll be awake for the fourth quarter. Tulane?
  • Wisconsin @ Nebraska (BTN): Wisconsin.
  • Massachusetts @ Northwestern (BTN): Even Northwestern figures to score against UMass.

2:30: Navy @ Notre Dame (NBC): So overall this is a fantastic season for Navy so far, but I’m not sure I can realistically ever pick them against most Notre Dame teams that should simply out-athlete them.

3:00: Louisiana-Monroe @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Georgia @ Auburn (CBS): I want Auburn to win so badly, but I just can’t pick them. But then again, it’s not exactly outlandish. Auburn will come in with a great defensive line on a Georgia offense that has definitely scuffled at points this year. I can definitely talk myself into Auburn winning this, which is exactly why I’m going with UGA.
  • Wake Forest @ Clemson (ABC): Clemson!
  • West Virginia @ Kansas State (ESPN): Kansas State!
  • Memphis @ Houston (ESPN2): Memphis.
  • Texas @ Iowa State (FS1): Texas?
  • Kentucky @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Kentucky?
  • Ohio State @ Rutgers (BTN): Ohio State!
  • Central Michigan @ Ball State (CBSS): Central Michigan?
  • Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech (ACC/RSN): Well, it’s Year Zero. What this means, if you’re not familiar, is that a team has a new coach and things are so different, and so many changes are being made, that the new coach sort of gets a free pass on their first year. Hence, “year zero”. I watched the game last week and believe that this team is getting better, and I think there’s reason to believe that next year we’ll get back to a bowl. But for now, I hope that we can still at least spoil Bud Foster’s last season appropriately by running the option like 50 times.

4:00:

  • Minnesota @ Iowa (FOX): Minnesota? Should we believe in them now? I have no idea, but I don’t feel tempted to bet against them again.
  • Wyoming @ Utah State (ESPNU): Wyoming?
  • Syracuse @ Duke (ACCN): Duke?

4:30:

  • Stanford @ Washington State (Pac12): Wazzu should win this game, so I’m picking Stanford.
  • Rice @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)

5:00: Louisiana-Lafayette @ South Alabama (ESPN+)

6:00: Southern Mississippi @ Texas-San Antonio (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Louisiana State @ Mississippi (ESPN): LSU!
  • Air Force @ Colorado State (ESPN2): AF!
  • Cincinnati @ South Florida (CBSS): Cincy!

7:30:

  • Oklahoma @ Baylor (ABC): Oklahoma’s defense didn’t improve as anticipated, but I think they can still outscore Baylor.
  • Arizona State @ Oregon State (FS1): Arizona state?
  • Appalachian State @ Georgia State (ESPNU): App State!
  • South Carolina @ Texas A&M (SEC): TAMU!
  • Louisville @ North Carolina State (ACCN): Louisville? Seriously, I feel like that’s just a question in and of itself. No expected the kind of season they’re having after the barren wasteland Bobby Petrino left. It’s kind of amazing.

8:00: California-Los Angeles @ Utah (FOX): Utah.

10:15: New Mexico @ Boise State (ESPN2): Boise.

10:30: Arizona @ Oregon (ESPN): Oregon!

11:00: Southern California @ California (FS1): USC?

This Weekend in College Football: Week 11

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Maryland @ Ohio State (FOX): This is a “Hey, you wanna see a dead body?” game. Buckeyes all the way,
  • Pennsylvania State @ Minnesota (ABC): ABC doesn’t call i this, but this is really your BIG NOON SATURDAY game this week. The main this, we’re going to find out a lot about these here Golden Gophers. Perhaps my favorite stat about Minnesota so far this year is that they have only faced a first string quarterback for something like 15 minutes on the whole season. It’s nuts how lucky they’ve gotten, and that luck runs out later today.
  • Vanderbilt @ Florida (ESPN): Solid bounceback game for the Gators, here.
  • Texas Tech @ West Virginia (ESPN2): I have no idea what is going on with these two teams at this point and I’m too tired to look it up. WVU?
  • Baylor @ Texas Christian (FS1): TCU can pip ’em, but I’ll still take Baylor for now.
  • East Carolina @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU): Almost beating Cincy aside, ECU is dreadful. I’ll stick with the Ponies.
  • Western Kentucky @ Arkansas (SEC): Getting very heavy “They supposed to be SEC!” vibes from this one.
  • Purdue @ Northwestern (BTN): Purdue can actually score touchdowns, so I’m going with them.
  • Massachusetts @ Army (CBSS): It’s been a bit of a struggle for Army this year, but not enough of a struggle to figure they’ll have any issues with UMass.
  • Florida State @ Boston College (ACCN): FSU just fired this coach after not even two years, so, uh, I’ll take BC here.

12:30: Georgia Tech @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): I still think GT can win another game, but this team is so much a work-in-progress from week to week it’s almost hard to predict anything about them. Well, I can predict the offensive line is probably going to struggle. That seems like a gimme.

3:00:

  • Stanford @ Colorado (Pac12): Stanford seems to have some elusive property where when I look at them they look terrible, but they’re actually having a solid season on the whole. It’s weird, I tell ya. I like them against the Buffs though.
  • Charlotte @ Texas-El Paso (ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Louisiana State @ Alabama (CBS): I’m trying to talk myself in LSU. Don’t get me wrong, I want it to happen. I want there to be some sliver of a chance that Alabama doesn’t make the playoff. But few things seem as inevitable in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen as Bama easily dispatching an “evenly matched” LSU. Man, if only this game were at night in Baton Rouge.
  • Southern California @ Arizona State (ABC): USC just hired an athletic director (who isn’t a former USC athlete, even!), so Clay Helton finally getting the axe seems pretty likely. The main drama may be whether he makes on the play or gets tarmac’d Lane Kiffin-style.
  • Kansas State @ Texas (ESPN): Yeah, turns out Kansas State is actually kinda good? Huh. I’m still coping with this news, so in the meantime I’m still picking Texas.
  • Louisville @ Miami (ESPN2): Few things would be as poetic as Miami basically just getting Willie Taggart fired in Year 2 at FSU and then losing to Louisville.
  • Illinois @ Michigan State (FS1): Speaking of adjusting to teams that are shockingly good, I can tell you who hasn’t adjusted to Illinois being decent: bookies! Yeah, Sparty’s a 14 point favorite in this contest. I mean, hell, I’m not sure Sparty will score fourteen in this one. Geez. I like Illinois straight up.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Southern Mississippi (NFL): This game’s on the NFL network of all places, which is a shame. Go Blazers.
  • Connecticut @ Cincinnati (CBSS): Cincy.
  • Wake Forest @ Virginia Tech (ACCN): Wake?
  • Georgia Southern @ Troy (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Iowa @ Wisconsin (FOX): Hey, this is low-key probably going to be one of the best games of the day. Well, it’ll definitely be the best game featuring a bunch of large, corn-fed linemen and only a handful of pass attempts. But hey, if that’s your thing we’re not here to judge: college football takes all kinds. Anyway, I’ll take the Badgers here.
  • New Mexico State @ Mississippi (SEC): Ole Miss.

5:00: Georgia State @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN+)

6:00: Florida International @ Florida Atlantic (Stadium): FIU?

7:00:

  • Missouri @ Georgia (ESPN): Can you do me a favor Mizzou? Oh, you can’t? Ah well.
  • Appalachian State @ South Carolina (ESPN2): I don’t think App State will win, but it’d sure be awesome if they did. It’s not like SoCar has had a great go of it since beating UGA.
  • Utah State @ Fresno State (CBSS): Early on this looked it could be a date to circle on the Mountain West calendar, but Utah State hasn’t quite held up their end of the bargain.
  • Washington State @ California (Pac12): Wazzu? (With a heavy emphasis on the ‘?’ there.)

7:30:

  • Clemson @ North Carolina State (ABC): The weekly release of the College Football Playoff rankings is completely pointless, except as a means to drive TV ratings and give Dabo a reason to give his players some extra motivation.
  • Liberty @ Brigham Young (EPSNU): BYU.
  • Tennessee @ Kentucky (SEC): Man, this evening slate is kind of dire. Uh, despite a somewhat resurgent Vols I’m still going Kentucky here.
  • Notre Dame @ Duke (ACCN): Notre Dame all the way, probably.

8:00: Iowa State @ Oklahoma (FOX): Oklahoma.

10:15: Wyoming @ Boise State (ESPN): Boise.

10:30: Nevada @ San Diego State (ESPN2): Aztecs.

Bowl Predictions 2019: Week 2

I actually did the first edition of the predictions last week, but I didn’t have time to write up a post. I also didn’t have time to write a post this week, but against my better judgement here we are.

I’m short one team at the moment, but these things tend to work themselves out. There’s a bunch of big games this weekend that will go a long way to determine how this all shakes out, so don’t get too riled up about anything just yet.