This Weekend in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


1:00: Akron @ Buffalo (ESPN+)


  • Utah vs. Southern California (Pac-12 Championship Game @ Paradise, NV; FOX): By all rights, it should really be Washington versus USC here, but unfortunately the Huskies lost a conference game they shouldn’t have, so here we are. Typically, you’d expect Utah to play irascible defense along with an offense that grounds opponents into a fine powder. However, this season they’re just a touch off of where they were last year, and given the firepower at USC’s disposable the Trojans figure to cruise into the playoff once they get everything up and running.
  • North Texas @ Texas-San Antonio (Conference USA Championship Game; CBSS): Good for UNT for making it, but this figures to be UTSA’s show all the way.



  • Kansas State vs. Texas Christian (Big 12 Championship Game @ Arlington, TX; ABC): A lot of the country figures to be up early for the Netherlands-USA knockout stage game in the World Cup on Saturday. (I live on the West Coast, so I am personally dreading what I will need to do to be ready for a 7am kickoff, but such is life.) Naturally, that game should end close enough to this one to provide a natural place to flip the channel. TCU has perhaps been college football’s most “getting away with it” team this season, and the field goal fire drill they pulled off to Baylor only cemented this in everyone’s mind. K-State is, of course, always the perpetual spoiler in the Big 12, and I definitely rate a higher chance of an upset here than in the Pac-12. Shouts out especially to K-State’s latest iteration of Darren Sproles: Deuce Vaughn, listed at 5’6″ and 176 pounds. Despite his best efforts, I suspect this will be TCU’s game to lose.
  • Ohio vs. Toledo (Mid-American Championship @ Detroit, MI; ESPN): Toledo should win this, but on paper Toledo should win pretty much every MAC game. Plus, they have a reputation of losing the MAC Championship in brutal fashion, sort of like how Clemson used to do when “Clemsoning” was a thing. So I’m picking them, but there’s some caveats.
  • New Hampshire @ Holy Cross (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)


  • Furman @ Incarnate Word (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ William & Mary (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)


  • Valparaiso @ New Mexico State (Flofootball)
  • Southeastern Louisiana @ Samford (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)
  • Weber State @ Montana State (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)
  • Delaware @ South Dakota State (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)


  • Coastal Carolina @ Troy (Sun Belt Championship; ESPN): Troy has been sneaky good all year, considering that the most anyone has seen of them was that time App State threw a Hail Mary on them to win. They’ve been excellent outside of that, and with CCU’s quarterback likely out and their coach perhaps departing for greener pastures (monetarily, at least, because their turf is already their own shade of green) this looks like it’s finally time for Troy to shine.
  • Montana @ North Dakota State (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)


  • Fresno State @ Boise State (Mountain West Championship; FOX): The Mountain West has been… kind of bad this year, but at least the two best teams are in the title game. Naturally, a game in Boise this time year obliges one to check to see if it’s going to snow. While it’ll be plenty cold, snow isn’t really in the forecast. Regardless, Boise’s been the best team in the league all year, and I’m not sure why they’d stop now.
  • Louisiana State vs. Georgia (Southeastern Championship @ Atlanta, GA; CBS): Few were happier than to me than to see that UGA was kinda sleepy last weekend, letting my beloved Yellow Jackets hang around with a hope for way too long before we kind of took ourselves out of it. By my reckoning, that’s sort of the third time this season that UGA has played with their food to a point where their own fans probably started getting a bit uncomfortable. Will playing in front of what figures to be a wildly pro-“dawg” crowd against a deflated LSU team get them to fire on all cylinders from the jump? Despite losing to Texas A&M last weekend, LSU still isn’t terrible, and I can’t count out that they may start feeling their oats a little bit. Anyway, that’s a lot of metaphors the past few sentences, so let’s bring this home: I don’t think UGA is going to have any issues here, but if they look like they did against Mizzou, Kentucky, and us, there’ll be reason to watch this.
  • Central Florida @ Tulane (American Championship; ABC): This could well be the most evenly matched of the game we’ve looked at so far, at least on paper. UCF did beat Tulane during the season, but regardless they’ll be back in New Orleans and a rematch figures to benefit the Green Wave. I suspect I’ll be watching this, but I also suspect UCF will wind up winning.
  • Southern @ Jackson State (Southwest Championship; ESPN2)

5:00: Richmond @ Sacramento State (NCAA Division I Championship Second Round; ESPN+)


  • North Carolina vs. Clemson (Atlantic Coast Championship @ Charlotte, NC; ABC): The vibes around this game already weren’t great before UNC and Clemson lost to rivals last weekend. While I still have Clemson winning, their offense looks so limited that if UNC gets up a couple scores it could well be the Tar Heels heading to the Orange Bowl.
  • Purdue vs. Michigan (Big Ten Championship @ Indianapolis, IN; FOX): The Wolverines did it again. And in a lot of ways, they look better than last year’s team that dealt with Iowa in this game by a 42-3 margin. Purdue isn’t as limited as Iowa is offensively, but nonetheless I won’t be surprised if this game winds up with a similar margin. Wonder if the entire maize and blue crowd have a song for this season to sing as time winds down at the end?

Bowl Predictions 2022: Week 5

They’ve been up at the usual place for a few days, but I haven’t had a chance to write anything until now.

The main thing I did for these update the CFP/NY6 to reflect the rivalry week results. If everything goes chalk this weekend, I suspect the CFP part of the equation won’t change much. However, there’s a a couple variables at work, and they both involve the Rose Bowl:

  1. How the Committee treats Utah if they lose to USC tomorrow. Currently Utah is one spot ahead of Washington. If the Committee drops Utah below Washington after what would be their 4th loss, 10-2 Washington will get the Rose Bowl nod. I’m currently predicting this will happen.
  2. I didn’t realize this, but according to the Rose Bowl’s own website they do have some prerogatives if they have a repeat team. In this case, it’d be Ohio State, who went to the Rose Bowl last season and in 2018.

If the Rose decides they don’t want Ohio State again, then Ohio State would then go to the Orange Bowl. Penn State would head to Pasadena, and Tennessee would go to the Cotton Bowl. This then triggers other downstream changes, as the ReliaQuest (formerly Outback) Bowl would then have to pick an ACC team. If I had to guess, that would most likely be ACC championship game loser, NC State, or Notre Dame.

We also found out earlier today that New Mexico State got a waiver from the NCAA to be bowl eligible. I am not sure of the details, but I believe they would still need to get to 6-6. They have scheduled Valpraiso this weekend, so I suspect it has to do with being able to count 2 FCS teams. I don’t believe Army has done this yet.

Otherwise, I’ll be keeping an eye on how things shake out this weekend and will try to have my final predictions up on Saturday night or Sunday morning before the playoff and other bowls are announced. Stay tuned!

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • South Carolina @ Clemson (“Palmetto Bowl”; ABC): So last year a game South Carolina team came in brimming with confidence against a wounded Clemson and… got blown out. I suspect something similar will happen here.
  • Michigan @ Ohio State (“The Game”; FOX): At least one observer I follow has pointed out that Michigan’s physicality seems to be specifically designed to beat Ohio State. The project reached fruition last year. The question now is can Michigan pull the trick two years in a row, with a slightly stepped down defensive line and their all-everything running back Blake Corum missing most of the end of last week’s Illinois game. And Ohio State’s quarterback and receivers are still terrifying. The best way I’ve heard it said is that “if Ohio State wins, it’ll be a blowout, if Michigan wins, it’ll be close”. I agree. I also have the Wolverines pulling upset.
  • Georgia Tech @ Georgia (“Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”; ESPN): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA.
  • West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (ESPN2): I’m not sure what’s happened to Oklahoma State in recent weeks, but with Neal Brown seemingly closer to the end of his tenure than the beginning, I still have to favor the Pokes.
  • Coastal Carolina @ James Madison (ESPNU): Over the last few weeks JMU has started to look like a team that is moving up to FBS. Coastal should have no problems.
  • Rutgers @ Maryland (BTN): Provided Maryland is not deflated by letting Ohio State come back and win last weekend, they’ll be okay here.
  • Western Kentucky @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): WKU’s performance against Auburn last weekend is more the product of Auburn playing up to their potential moreso than an deficiencies with themselves. They’ll be fine here.
  • Georgia State @ Marshall (ESPN+)
  • New Mexico State @ Liberty (ESPN+)
  • Army @ Massachusetts (ESPN+)
  • Old Dominion @ South Alabama (ESPN+)
  • Elon @ Furman (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)


  • Kent State @ Buffalo (ESPN+)
  • East Carolina @ Temple (ESPN+)

1:30: Akron @ Northern Illinois (


  • Rice @ North Texas (ESPN+)
  • Southern vs. Grambling State (“Bayou Classic” @ New Orleans, LA; NBC)
  • St. Francis @ Delaware (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
  • Fordham @ New Hampshire (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
  • Davidson @ Richmond (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)

3:00: Louisville @ Kentucky (“Governor’s Cup”; SEC): Kentucky hasn’t looked themselves except for some brief glimpses against UGA in recent weeks. That, and Louisville seems determined to save Scott Satterfield’s job, so how can I pick against them?


  • Auburn @ Alabama (“Iron Bowl”; CBS): With with Bama being a bit “down” this year, I just don’t see them losing to this Auburn team, even if these Iron Bowls often do consist of Auburn being weirdly competitive. (Not to mention that the team has rallied around interim Carnell “Cadillac” Williams.) So I’m not going to pick the Tigers to win, but I am going to say that this could be interesting.
  • Oregon @ Oregon State (ABC): This one could also be interesting. The game is in Corvallis and Oregon State is spicy, but I think Oregon’s talent will just be too much for them.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin (ESPN): I just don’t think Wisconsin is going to be able to keep up with the Gophers. The Axe stays in Minneapolis.
  • Memphis @ Southern Methodist (ESPN2): Memphis has looked more dangerous in recent weeks, but I think SMU is still a better team.
  • Troy @ Arkansas State (ESPNU): This game is here instead the Commonwealth Cup due to the recent events at UVA. I am not optimistic but I think we need to figure out some way to combat gun violence in this country. No other country in the world is like the US, at least, any country that we want to be grouped with in terms of life expectancy and standard of living. For the game itself, Troy is one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, and Arkansas State… isn’t. Trojans all the way.
  • Wake Forest @ Duke (ACCN): I have no idea what happened to Wake Forest the past few weeks. Even beating Syracuse by 10 didn’t feel that inspiring. I think they’re still a lot better than Duke, but I’m also still not sure about them.
  • Purdue @ Indiana (BTN): The Old Oaken Bucket is once again in doubt, and I also have some doubts about who will win. Thanks to Nebraska beating Iowa earlier today, Purdue has a chance to clinch the Big Ten West with a win. I think they’re probably the most palatable of the available options, so I’ll pick the Boilermakers.
  • Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN): Meanwhile, just outside of Chicago the Land of Lincoln Trophy will be contested and this game also has Big Ten West title stakes, at least for Illinois. A loss here keeps Iowa a live. Fortunately for Illinois, Northwestern is terrible.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Louisiana Tech (CBSS): Y’all, I got a little heavy above, but I just wanted to also say that this is the last full Saturday of the season and I think that’s worth enjoying. There’s some good World Cup matchups I will also be keeping an eye on, but the whole panoply of the college football universe is what makes Saturdays fun. UAB should win here, and also keep this one in mind.
  • Texas-El Paso @ Texas-San Antonio (Stadium): This one isn’t really a rivalry, but it sort of feels like it should be? Also UTEP needs to get this to get bowl eligible, but I’m picking UTSA because they’re, well, better.
  • Hawaii @ San Jose State (Team1Sports)


  • Iowa State @ Texas Christian (FOX): This year just hasn’t been it for Iowa State. TCU survived by the skin of their teeth last week against Baylor, and I know that’s kind of their thing, but I think this one will be more comfortable.
  • Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (FS1): Everyone’s favorite ugly trophy is once again on the line! That’s right, the Land Grant Trophy will probably… head back to Happy Valley, in keeping with my general sentiment that Penn State is so thoroughly the Third Best Team in the Big Ten.
  • Utah @ Colorado (“Rumble in the Rockies”; Pac12): Colorado is just so bad as to make anything else about this moot.
  • North Dakota @ Weber State (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)


  • Louisiana @ Texas State (ESPN+)
  • Southern Mississippi @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ Eastern Kentucky (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)


  • Nevada @ Nevada-Las Vegas (“Battle for Nevada”; MTN)
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Florida International (
  • Appalachian State @ Georgia Southern (“Deeper than Hate”; ESPN+)


  • Louisiana State @ Texas A&M (ESPN): Okay, so far this weekend we’ve had a traditionally crazy rivalry game get crazy (the Egg Bowl) and then Florida-Florida State went off the rails earlier tonight. But, let’s not forget that this sort of non-rivalry rivalry gave us SEVEN OVERTIMES back in 2018. I kinda want this one to be crazy as well, but TAMU is such a struggle bus on offense that I just can’t see them staying in this game unless LSU also struggles. This feels unlikely at this point.
  • Central Florida @ South Florida (“War on I-4”; ESPN2): With UCF leaving for the Big 12 after this season, this will be the last War on I-4 for the foreseeable future. This is kind of a bummer. The series has been paused before, and recent editions haven’t been close as USF declined. But the 2017 edition is one of the best college football games of all time, and it reminds us of what this could be. Either way, UCF figures to win in a rout.
  • Idaho @ Southeastern Louisiana (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)


  • Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC): This figures to be one of the best versions of this matchup in recent memory. USC can score it, and Notre Dame has turned into a much more competent team over the course of the season. I still like USC but this could be fun.
  • Oklahoma @ Texas Tech (FS1): Oklahoma isn’t good, but I can’t pick them to lose to this Texas Tech.
  • Tulsa @ Houston (ESPNU): Houston all the way here.
  • Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Hoo boy. Tennessee lost to South Carolina last weekend, and lost their quarterback in the process. By all accounts, they should be able to handle Vandy with their backup, but this Vandy team has now won 2 SEC games in a row and can’t be considered a pushover. Still picking the Vols, just… cautiously.
  • Syracuse @ Boston College (ACC/RSN): BC is still bad, ‘Cuse all the way.


  • Kansas @ Kansas State (“Sunflower Showdown”; FOX): Hey, it’s relevant KU football in primetime! That said, um, K-State is still a lot better than them and it’s in the Little Apple. I don’t see an upset here.
  • Pittsburgh @ Miami (ACCN): Pitt figures to put the ‘Canes out of their misery.

9:00: Air Force @ San Diego State (CBSS): Should be Air Force all the way here.

10:00: Southeast Missouri @ Montana (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN2)

10:30: Washington @ Washington State (“Apple Cup”; ESPN): Again, this is a game that shouldn’t be, but it’s just hard to trust that the Washington offense can be consistent enough for them to put Wazzu away. With the game on the Palouse, that means that this could be fun, even UDub eventually wins.

11:00: Brigham Young @ Stanford (FS1): And finally, the cap to the last full Saturday slate is… admittedly not great. But it’s college football, and it’s going to be a long day. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll pick BYU here, and remember: TO HELL WITH GEORGIA.

This Week in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


7:00: Mississippi State @ Mississippi (“Egg Bowl”; ESPN): It’s Egg Bowl time once again, and this one seems primed for some classic Egg Bowl mayhem. Miss State is slightly more dangerous this year, and after a hot start Ole Miss has settled down the point where a down Arkansas womped ’em last weekend. This naturally sparked rumors–since enhanced–that Lane Kiffin might have his mind elsewhere. Ole Miss is definitely still the pick on paper, and it’s in Oxford, so the odds still favor them. But it could be fun.



  • Utah State @ Boise State (CBS): Utah State hasn’t been as bad as I would’ve thought this year, but it appears that Boise is still the class of the Mountain West. In other news, this game will be at 10am local time, which seems kind of bad?
  • Tulane @ Cincinnati (ABC): This is a big one that will go toward which AAC team gets to go to the Cotton Bowl. I will continue to take Cincy and their suspect offense, but if Tulane races out to an early multi-score lead this one could well be over.
  • Baylor @ Texas (ESPN): I think Texas has reached a turning point after completely dominating an inferior Kansas team (something that Texas has shown repeatedly is not guaranteed!). This game will put that to proof, as Baylor does have a chance to at least slow down all-everything Texas TB Bijan Robinson.
  • Toledo @ Western Michigan (ESPNU): Toledo is the best team in the MAC, they just don’t realize it. They should win here.
  • Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan (CBSS): This one of the major rivalries in the MAC and it’s good to see that’s on a weekend instead of Tuesday. Eastern comes in with a winning record and I’ll definitely be favoring them.

3:00: Arizona State @ Arizona (“Duel in the Desert”; FS1): It’s been a weird season for both teams. Arizona State, of course, fired their coach. Arizona has gone through a lot, but it’s safe to say they’re better than anyone expected. I like Arizona and their random number generator of a quarterback Jayden deLaura, but this game can probably go either way.


  • Arkansas @ Missouri (“Battle Line Rivalry”; CBS): KJ Jefferson and company looked a lot healthier in womping Ole Miss last weekend than they’ve looked in a while, which bodes well against a game but undermanned Mizzou squad.
  • North Carolina State @ North Carolina (ABC): The classically most important Tobacco Road rivalry in football meets again. UNC… somehow lost to us last weekend, and NC State’s usual (read: disappointing) season has one last chance to be salvaged. If UNC’s offense shows up on Friday they’ll have a good chance, but I’ll take the upset and the Wolfpack here.
  • New Mexico @ Colorado State (CBSS): New Mexico state is bad, but the Rams are one of the worst teams in FBS. I’ve continually been kind of bummed that Colorado State didn’t play Colorado this season, that would’ve been… something for the ages.

4:00: Nebraska @ Iowa (BTN): Well, this will be fun. Oh, wait, it’ll probably be the other thing. Nebraska will surely try valiantly for their interim coach Mickey Joseph, but Iowa’s defense will recover a fumble for a touchdown or something and they’ll win this game. All for a chance to get crushed by Michigan or Ohio State in Indianapolis next weekend. Woo.

4:30: California-Los Angeles @ California (“Battle of California”; FOX): UCLA is licking their wounds after two straight losses, but in true Hollywood style them and USC put on a show last weekend in the Rose Bowl. Cal will offer slightly less resistance.

7:30: Florida @ Florida State (“Sunshine Showdown”; ABC): Is FSU for real? We’re going to get a pretty good idea here. This Florida team isn’t good (see: losing to Vandy last weekend) but they’re still talented enough to be the best test the ‘Noles have faced in a while. With the game in Tallahassee I’ll take the home team.

10:00: Wyoming @ Fresno State (FS1): And in some Mountain West After Dark, we’ll get to watch Jake Haener pull another one out for the Bulldogs.

Bowl Predictions 2022: Week 4

The predictions are in the usual place.

The events of last weekend shookup the playoff picture a bit. Based on what I think the committee will do tomorrow, these are my best guesses for both the playoff and associated New Year’s Six bowls.

After that, I did use all of the independents, as well as JMU and one 5-7 team. Rice and UNLV I both have projected to finish 5-7, and they’re both tied atop the APR standings (as I understand them).

Overall, we’ve got 74 teams bowl eligible now, and depending on stuff breaks this weekend, we could get there. That said, I think it’s pretty likely every 6 win or better team will be needed, which is pretty good news if you’re a UConn fan.

That’s it for this week. The real action starts next week, when I start scouring for any possible news. Until then, it’s time for rivalry week.