Thursday, December 31, 2009

12/31: Calm Before the Storm

To continue my Tour de France metaphor from yesterday, we've now completed the early flat stages. Initial positions are set and we have an idea of the strongest competitors, but, starting today, WE ENTER THE MOUNTAINS.

Over the past couple weeks, we've gone through 14 games, but there are 15 over the next three days alone. The leaderboard could get real topsy turvy, and it should be fun. I'm going to try to update a couple times per day (not because I'm extra committed, but because it should make it easier for me...also, I have firm plans not to move from my couch until Monday morning at 3:45am).

Last night, our leader Tom Fisch scored a big win with Nebraska, but the top tightened up due to our latest....


Jordan Glickson, who hit an enormous Idaho-21 pick to move within striking distance of the leader. He was one of only 4 people to pick Idaho, and it goes nicely with his earlier Wyoming-33 selection. Is he great at picking a rare underdog, or does he just really like states from Big Sky country? We may never know.

Biggest Winner, Biggest Loser

You may notice today's post is a bit abridged. Work is keeping me busy, so I have to be fast. Jordan was the big winner with 38 points between two picks, while Emily Radford makes her second straight appearance as the biggest loser, dropping 45 points over two games.

Helter Skelter vs. By-the-Numbers

Two more underdogs won last night, and Patricia's coin called one of them. Her lead is 119-86.

The Schneid Watch

Charles Rosen missed both games last night to fall to an abysmal 3-11. Nick Thomas, not to be outdone, stayed close with two losses of his own. He's close by at 4-10.

Battle of the Brothers

Fisches have the lead over the Mooneys, 345-327. Verrrry close. Should be mentioned that the Mooneys are now 3rd and 4th in the overall pool.

Young vs. Old

Tom Cowell moved up the leaderboard using tricks he learned in bread lines during the Great Depression, but Spike Friedman, who enjoys listening to rap music and being sullen around his parents, still holds a commanding 154-71 lead.

That's it for today! Standings below, see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12/30: The Gap Widens

You know those bike races you see on tv once or twice a year, during the Summer Olympics or when you happen to flip to that one outdoor channel during the Tour de France? There's always that one guy, every race, who says 'screw it' and surges way ahead of the pack. The distance between he and the peloton keeps growing wider, and the announcers treat him with a sort of amusement; they know he's going to tire out, get caught by the energized mass late in the race, and fall out of contention. Once in a while, though, that lone wolf makes the gap a little too wide, and things start getting dicey. When the peloton reacts, there's a bit of panic, because the unthinkable might happen- it might be too late. The crazy bastard might actually have created enough space, he might actually win!

So it is with Tom Fisch, our current leader. His PPR is abysmal, the lowest in the pool at 270. All indications are that the pack should catch him, that he's running on pure fumes, that he's in the midst of a fool's mission bound to end in disaster. But he keeps pedaling! Last night's Wisconsin-29 pick puts him 50 points ahead of the nearest competitor, and he's close to making this whole PPR thing obsolete.

But the peloton is coming, sure enough, which brings us to our first feature.

The Fan Favorite

Today, it's Jeff Hawkins by himself. He notched another modest win last night with Wisconsin-9, and is now alone in fifth place, just outside the money. His PPR is a remarkable 401, a good 130 ahead of the leader. America sees the spirit of the underdog in Jeff, and their hopes and dreams are rising with his climb up the leaderboard. Personally, I see him more like his namesake, the Hawk. He's circling high above, letting the life source drain from those below, and soon he'll swoop. If he scores a big win tonight with Arizona-23, the feeding frenzy will begin.

The Day's Biggest Winner

HELTER SKELTER! You didn't think she was done, did you? Content to vanish from the scene, like smoke after a magician's trick? She is the magician! And while you were staring at the smoke, she pulled a rabbit out of the hat! P-Curry is back, with a bold tails-never-fails Wisconsin-31 pick.

The Day's Biggest Loser

The lovely Emily Radford has been dying to get a mention on this blog, and now she has it for all the wrong reasons: Miami-29. Her strategy was to look at the quarterback from each team and pick a winner based on which was the cutest. This is a true fact. Unfortunately for her, this is UW QB Scott Tolzien:

There's an old proverb about books and covers, Emily. Shame on you.

The Showdown: Helter Skelter vs. Mr. By-The-Numbers

Your math can't protect you now, Dave Ryder! Sister chaos rules all about; Patricia's UW pick puts her ahead 97-86, while Dave is left shouting curse words at his calculator.

The Schneid Watch

The cheese stands alone: Charles Rosen, at 3-9, has planted his flag on the Schneid's highest mountain, daring any and all to match his utter incompetence.

The Over .500 Club

The club grew considerably more selective yesterday. Tom Fisch, Brendan Mooney, and Billy M. are the grand masters at 8-4, while Dan Mooney, Spike Friedman, Joey Keppel, and Noah Davis have access to the VIP lounge at 7-5.

The Battle of the Brothers

The Fisches retake the lead! It's a seesaw battle the likes of which we've never seen!!!!!

Fisch Brothers, Tom and Joe: 2 entries, 308 points, average: 154
Mooney Brothers, Dan and Brendan: 2 entries, 280 points, average: 140
Ryan Brothers, Steve and Dan: 2 entries, 217 points, average: 108.5
Thomason Brothers, Nick and Eric: 2 entries, 179 points, average: 89
Brothers Forsythe, Jeremy and ??: 1 entry, 78 points, average: 78

Young vs. Old

A new development: Spike Friedman, not Jake Berkowitz, is the youngest entry at 24 years of age. The impostor has been cast from the throne, and this is not the best news for Tom Cowell. Spike is in 4th place with 154 points, with his fast cars and his loud music and his fancy shoes, while the wily veteran plays possum in second-to-last with 42 points, telling stories about how things used to be cheaper when he was a kid and waiting to spring his trap.

The Relative Game

Rankings, 12/30: 1,8,15,16,17,18,19,22,30,31.
Strength of the gene pool: Below Average.

Two games tonight as the pace of the pool really picks up: Bowling Green-Idaho (this is the sound of me snoring) and Arizona-Nebraska. I won't copy and paste my whole write-ups, since it just adds insult to injury, but for what it's worth I like Bowling Green and Arizona. Standings below, have a nice day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

12/29: A New Look!

In today's standings, I've added a 'Possible Points Remaining' (PPR) column. While points on the board are always better than potential points, this new wrinkle is pretty interesting. Tom Fisch, for example, remains atop the leaderboard with 181 points. However, of all 32 entries, he has the lowest PPR at 299. For comparison's sake, Brenday Mooney is in 6th place with 123 pionts, but he has 411 PPR. Again, this doesn't mean he'll definitely become the leader; the picks still have to be correct. But it does indicate that Tom has cashed in on a lot of his big money picks already (this is also true for Jordan, Dan, and Spike in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, incidentally), and we can expect him to come back to the pack in the next few days.

On to the features!

The Fan Favorite

Tie Between Brendan Mooney and Jeff Hawkins.

This sudden reversal reflects the impact of the PPR column on the wide-ranging Bowl Pool discourse. With 123 points, Brendan is a brash, young, arrogant up-and-comer who doesn't respect the current power structure. At 8-3, he also owns the pool's best record. But it's his 411 PPR that really sets the fans aswoon; he's pure potential, and the next week could hold big things. The same can be said for Jeff, who sits in 8th with 122 points and 410 PPR. Together, these two are like a tidal wave threatening a lovely sea-side community. The future is a tsunami, ladies and gentlemen; I suggest you all learn how to swim.

The Day's Biggest Winner

Georgia paid off for a lot of folks, but never more than for Tim Reale, who laughed all the way to the bank with his Georgia-32 pick.

The Day's Biggest Loser

To Kevin Francke, who made an inexplicable A&M-26 pick. Yo Kev, that's the kind of nonsense we expect from a Helter-Skelter coin flip, not from a thinking man like yourself! Speaking of which...

The Showdown: Helter Skelter vs. Mr. By-The-Numbers

The Great Randomizer took a hit yesterday with her A&M-21 pick, falling below .500 for the first time. The Spread Robot, on the other hand, hit big with Georgia-24. Dave now holds a commanding 86-66 lead, though Patricia has a significantly higher PPR.

The Schneid Watch

Charles and Nick both struck gold with Georgia last night, and remain tied at the bottom with a 3-8 record. Take what you can get, fellas!

The Battle of the Brothers

The Mooneys take a narrow lead! Oh my! What a thriller!

Mooney Brothers, Dan and Brendan: 2 entries, 280 points, average: 140
Fisch Brothers, Tom and Joe: 2 entries, 279 points, average: 139.5
Ryan Brothers, Steve and Dan: 2 entries, 208 points, average: 104
Thomason Brothers, Nick and Eric: 2 entries, 174 points, average: 87
Brothers Forsythe, Jeremy and ??: 1 entry, 78 points, average: 78

Young vs. Old

We've found our youngest competitor! It's Jake Berkowitz, at 25 years of age. He's trouncing Mr. Experience, Tom Cowell, by a score of 111-42. Will the old man have the energy to finish strong? Will Jake become distracted by women, fame, and money, as young people are wont to do? Is this a classic tortoise-and-hare story? Only time will tell!

The Relative Game

Rankings, 12/29: 1,7,15,16,17,19,20,26,30,31
Strength of the gene pool: Below Average

Keep in mind that tonight's UCLA-Temple game isn't on the docket for the pool, so the only one that counts is Miami-Wisconsin. Game write-up from the other blog follows the standings.

#15 Miami (-3) vs. #25 Wisconsin, 8pm

Hooray, my first chance to pick against the Big-10! Making this one extra fun is that I've watched and enjoyed Miami all year; Jacory Harris is a rising star and incredibly entertaining, and I love Randy Shannon as a coach. This team plays with nuts. Wisconsin? Boring. They can kinda run. If they have the ball 4th-and-inches on the Miami 35, they'll punt. I plan to do a crossword puzzle when they're on offense.

I Like: Miami both ways.

Monday, December 28, 2009

12/28: The Rich Get Richer

The Clemson-Kentucky game did nothing but inflate the point totals (and egos, no doubt) of our current leaders. Tom Fisch remains on top with 151 points, while there were only superficial changes in the top 5. On to the features:

The Fan Favorite:

A new feature! This one tracks the current fan favorite, based on extensive polling and the latest trends.

Today's fan favorite: Tie between Noah Davis and Steve Ryan.

Noah is the only entry to have an overall record above .500 but be nowhere near the top 10. In 25th place, he's viewed by the people as a gallant warrior who can't catch a break from the high muck-a-muck. They identify with his plight, especially in these tough economic times. He also chose "America" as the winner of the Central Michigan-Troy game (seriously), and when I asked him if he really wanted to sacrifice 6 points (it wasn't even his 1-point game) just to make some kind of statement, he didn't budge from his pick. This sort of mysterious, stubborn decision is exactly what the country needs.

Steve started the pool by going 0-5, and was regularly featured on the Schneid Watch. The rest of the entrants treated him like a big joke, and he stumbled around town not knowing what to do with himself. But he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and has reeled off 5 straight victories to get back to .500 and crack the top 15. It's a classic rags-to-riches story, and the fans absolutely love it. Watch out for Dr. Momentum, as he's now being called in the papers.

The Day's Biggest Winner

There were many, but topping the list are Tom Fisch, Jordan Glickson, and Dan Ryan, each with Clemson-31.

The Day's Biggest Loser

Things keep getting harder for ole Charles Rosen, who takes this honor with an ill-timed Kentucky-23 selection.

The Showdown: Helter Skelter vs. Mr. By-The-Numbers

This feature is changing slightly. It recently came to my attention that one of the entries, Dave Ryder, chose his winners and priorities based entirely on the spread. So he picked every favorite, and the game with the largest spread was his #33 choice, and the smallest was #1. This is in direct contrast with Patricia's Helter-Skelter coin flip/fishbowl strategy (except for the fact that both are, arguably, despicable ways to fill out an entry), and I thought it would be appropriate to check out how they match up. Is it better to pick by the numbers, or flip a coin? This feature will examine that pressing question. Currently, Helter Skelter is 5-5 (as you would expect from a coin toss) with 68 points, while Mr. By-The-Numbers is 4-6 with 62. This one could come down to the wire!

The Schneid Watch

Nick Thomas and Charles Rosen share the lowest record at 2-8, and both picked Kentucky last night. God bless you, boys!

The Brothers Watch

It's heating up between the Fisch and Mooney brothers!

Fisch Brothers, Tom and Joe: 2 entries, 249 points, average: 124.5
Mooney Brothers, Dan and Brendan: 2 entries, 223 points, average: 111.5
Ryan Brothers, Steve and Dan: 2 entries, 178 points, average: 89
Thomason Brothers, Nick and Eric: 2 entries, 136 points, average: 68
Brothers Forsythe, Jeremy and ??: 1 entry, 63 points, average: 63

Young vs. Old

Still uncertain on the youngest member (the circle is tightening), but Tom Cowell is still in the basement, still losing the fight of youth vs. wisdom.

The Over .500 Club

Brendan and Bill are at the top with records of 7-3, while Tom, Spike, Dan, and Noah are all at 6-4.

The Relative Game

Rankings, 12/28: 1, 8, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 30, 31
Strength of the gene pool: Average-Slightly Below Average

Here are the standings, and below that is my take on tonight's A&M-Georgia game from the other blog. You should not take my analysis or my prediction seriously at this point.

Today's game: Georgia (-4) vs. Texas A&M, 5PM

Even after Kentucky let me down, I still like the SEC over most conferences. That's especially true of the Big-12, who were overrated last year and only got worse in '09. A&M hasn't won a bowl game since 2002, and I don't see them starting now. Georgia had only two bad losses, against Florida and Tennessee, and I'm willing to give them a pass on those. What really scares me is that they fell to Kentucky in the second-to-last game of the year...but then they beat Georgia Tech on the road to finish up. A&M is a strange team; they always win or lose big. But they also seem to give up mega-points almost every week. This is not a gimme, but Georgia should win by about 10.

I Like: Georgia straight up and with the points.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

12/27 Update: A NEW LEADER

For the first time since the bowl pool began, Jordan Glickson has slipped from the top position. He's been relegated to second, where he lurks ten points behind with revenge on his mind. To the features:

The Day's Biggest Winner:

We'll give this one to Tom Fisch, who gained a ton of points and vaulted into the lead with 120.

The Day's Biggest Loser:

Tom Cowell, who lost ground and now sits in last place with 13 points.

The Helter Skelter Watch

A recent rash of favorites winning has hurt Patricia, who is now hovering in 12th place at 5-4, her lowest position since the tournament began. Death watch for helter skelter??

The Schneid Watch

Nick Thomason was the last one off the schneid, and has since moved up nicely, but instead of demolishing the schneid, we'll make this feature a 'lowest-record' watch. Tied for last place in picking record, at 2-7, are four entries: Nick, Justin, Adam, and Charles. Justin holds schneid bragging rights with the lowest point total among those four, at 21.

The Brothers Watch

The Fisch Brothers, Tom and Joe: 2 entries, 200 points, average: 100
The Mooney Brothers, Dan and Brendan: 2 entries, 166 points, average: 83
The Brothers Forsythe, Jeremy and ?? (fill me in, J): 1 entry, 60 points, average: 60
The Thomason Brothers, Nick and Eric: 2 entries, 111 points, average: 55.5
The Ryan Brothers, Steve and Dan: 2 entries, 107 points, average: 53.5

Young vs. Old

We still don't know who the youngest competitor is, but he or she is certainly beating the oldest, Tom Cowell, who currently sweeps dust in the cellar.

The Over .500 Club

Some new faces! The club roster now reads: Tom, Spike, Dan, Billy, Patricia, Brendan, Noah. Billy and Brendan lead the pack with 6-3 records.

The Relative Game

Rankings, 12/27: 1, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 22, 25, 30, 32.
Strength of the gene pool: Average-Below Average

Standings below, and the next update will be tomorrow. Happy travel day.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Standings, 12/26

Just standings for tonight. This is through the Pitt victory over UNC, so whatever happens with BC-USC is not factored in yet. Larger update tomorrow, but congrats to Nick Thomason, who is our last entry to leap off the schneid with his Marshall-18 pick.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Update!

The gifts are opened, I took my jog, and now I fulfill my duty to the Bowl Pool, even on Christmas. SMU's victory over Nevada last night sent most of us reeling, and turned the pool on its head. Let's get to the features:

The Day's Biggest Winner

This goes to Steve Ryan, who made an incredibly bold SMU-29 pick. He's one of only seven entries to correctly pick Southern Methodist. Congrats also to the others: Jeff Hawkins, Justin Fisch, Joe Fisch, Noah Davis, Patricia Curry, and Tom Fisch.

The Day's Biggest Loser

Folks got absolutely killed by this game. At least ten lost 25 points or more (including our leader, Jordan, who had Nevada-32), but the following pitiable entries actually had Nevada as their top priority game: Tim Reale, Dave Ryder (who's getting what he deserves, because he just picked with the spread), and Adam Hammerschmidt.

The Helter Skelter Watch

She's baaacccck! The coin doesn't lie: Patricia had SMU-11 to vault back into second place with 59 points.

The Schneid Watch

It's a sad day for the Schneid, which is now on the endangered species list. Of the four remaining winless entries, three picked SMU. Sayonara Justin Fisch, Jeff Hawkins, and Steve Ryan- you'll be missed. That leaves just a single denizen of the doomed depths. Nick Thomason (0-6), you're one of a kind!

The Brothers Watch

I forgot the Fisch Brothers last time! Here's the update:

The Fisch Brothers, Tom and Joe: 2 entries, 105 points, average: 52.5
The Mooney Brothers, Dan and Brendan: 2 entries, 68 points, average: 34
The Ryan Brothers, Steve and Dan: 2 entries, 40 points, average: 20
The Thomason Brothers, Nick and Eric: 2 entries, 27 points, average: 13.5
The Brothers Forsythe, Jeremy and ?? (fill me in, J): 1 entry, 9 points, average: 9

Young vs. Old

Tom Cowell is stuck on 4 points, and we're still investigating to find out our youngest competitor.

The Over .500 Club

In this crazy year of the Underdog, there's only one. Ladies and gentlemen, you know who it has to be...HELTER SKELTER, QUEEN OF THE QUARTER, Patricia Curry!

The Relative Game

Rankings, 12/25: 2, 3, 7, 8, 11, 17, 24, 29, 30, 31
Strength of our gene pool: Average (woo-hoo!)

Happy Christmas, everyone. Last, a congrats to Tom Fisch, who jumps into a tie for second with his SMU-20 pick. Next update on Sunday, most likely.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Pac-10: Where Football Goes to Die

What a wild, crazy, breathtaking day in the Bowl Pool. After last night's game turned into a carbon copy of the one before (a strong MWC team from the state of Utah beats a mid-level Pac-10 team with no firepower or defense), the league went topsy turvy. Today, in what might be the last post of the week, we're going to check out some highlights and introduce some new features.

Feature 1: The Day's Biggest Winner

This goes, obviously, to the person who gained the most points. Today's honoree is Kevin Francke, who had Utah-23 and vaulted into second place.

Feature 2: The Day's Biggest Loser

For the guy or gal who lost the most: Joe Fisch, with Cal-22.

Feature 3: The Helter Skelter Watch

However we feel about Patricia Curry's coin-flip/paper-draw strategy, we can no longer deny that she's captured the nation's imagination. This feature will track the progress of the woman the papers call 'The Randomizer.' Last night, she (read: her coin and slips of paper) incorrectly chose Cal-8. For the first time, she's now out of the money, slipping to a tie for 5th place.

Feature 4: The Schneid Watch

Here, we keep track of our most tragic characters: the doomed, heroic ranks of the winless. I'm very sad to report that after Utah's victory, we are now down to 4 0-fer entries. Team Forsythe correctly picked Utah-9 to get on the board, and Charles Rosen went wild with Utah-13. We'll miss you both. Happily, Jeff Hawkins, Justin Fisch, Nick Thomason, and Steve Ryan all picked Cal, and will stick around the Schneid for the holiday weekend!

Feature 5: The Brothers Watch

An arbitrary feature to see which set of brothers are faring the best in their pick-ems. Right now, the Mooneys (suspected Mormons) are dominating:

The Mooney Brothers, Dan and Brendan: 2 entries, 68 points, average: 34
The Thomason Brothers, Nick and Eric: 2 entries, 27 points, average: 13.5
The Brothers Forsythe, Jeremy and ?? (fill me in, J): 1 entry, 9 points, average: 9
The Ryan Brothers, Steve and Dan: 2 entries, 11 points, average: 5.5 (yikes, fellas)

Feature 6: Young vs. Old

Another arbitrary feature, where we track who's winning the one-on-one battle of the ages: youngest competitor vs. oldest. Tom Cowell represents the 'wisdom faction' clocking in at 70+ years old. Unfortunately, I don't know who our youngest competitor is. It's either Nate, Noah, Kyle, Brian, Adam, Jake, or Kevin. Let's hear some birthdays, fellas.

Feature 7: The .500 Watch

Where we celebrate those pickers who have gotten more right than wrong, even when it's not reflected in the standings. Today's honor roll, all at 3-2: Dan, Spike, Patricia, Tim, Brendan. Well done, lads and lasses- in the Year of the (under)Dog, that's no easy feat.

Feature 8: The Relative Game

There are 10 entries out of 33 who are either me or related to me ( by blood or by marriage), and in this feature I'll list our current rankings and then evaluate the strength of the gene pool.

Rankings, 12/24: 6, 7, 8, 13, 17, 24, 28, 29, 31, 33
Strength of our genes: Below Average - Poor

Other highlights/opinions:

*Dan Mooney vaulted into the money. He now sits in third with 50 points.

*It's much harder to pick these games beforehand than one by one. After the BYU-Oregon St. result, I knew beyond doubt that Utah would romp over Cal last night. A sure thing, or as close as you can get in sports. Then I looked at my sheet, and read: Utah-1. F#*%!

*Jordan Glickson, he of the fast start, is still our leader with 63 points. But the hounds are starting to yip at his feet.

Here's your updated leaderboard. Have a great weekend, and I will do my best to update sometime before Monday. For a preview/BS-analysis of the games to come, I'll paste some content from my other blog below the standings.

Tonight's Game: Nevada (-13) vs. Southern Methodist, 8pm

Conference trends: C-USA is 0-2 in bowls. The WAC is 0-1. Maybe I should have learned my lesson from Fresno State, the other WAC club who was a huge favorite and lost in OT to Wyoming. On the other hand, Nevada killed Fresno, 52-14, about a month ago. And unlike Fresno, they pass all the time. Almost every game SMU won was close, and they were blown out a few times along the way. Am I still scared of the underdog after what's happened so far? Yes. Absolutely. But the miserable showing by C-USA is enough for me, as is Nevada's strong end-of-year showing against Boise State.

I Like: Nevada straight up and (gulp) with the spread.

Saturday: Ohio (-4) vs. Marshall, 1pm

Here we are again; mid-level C-USA team (they lost to UCF and Southern Miss, who were both blown out in earlier bowl games) with a .500 record against a strong team from the MAC who lost 20-10 against a very good Central Michigan club in the title game. No-brainer here, the spread should be much higher.

I Like: Ohio straight and with the spread.

#17 Pittsburgh (-3) vs. North Carolina, 4:30pm

Three points, really? Pitt came a missed extra point from taking Cincy to overtime in their final game. But looking more closely, the spread does make some sense. UNC is a tough team with a few quality ACC wins, and this should be a really fun game. But can they stop Dion Lewis? Can they put up enough points to keep pace? I'm not sure, but I doubt it. It'd be crazy, in my mind, to take a team that lost to Florida State and NC State semi-recently over one of the strongest teams in the Big East. I think that conference has a lot to prove, and they're going to do so. I don't hate UNC at all, but this is still an easy pick.

I Like: Pitt straight and with points.

#24 USC (-7.5) vs. Boston College, 8pm

The Pac-10 looks miserable, USC is without Joe McKnight and 3 others, they're probably disappointed by a down year and no Rose Bowl, and it might not the biggest deal to them or their fans if they lose. On the other hand, BC lost big this year to UNC and Virginia Tech, and barely squeaked by Maryland in their last game. Plus, the game is being played in San Francisco, and Pete Carroll is pretty great at bowl game preparation. I'm really torn here; I think it could go either way, but I have to ride this Pac-10 trend at least one more game.

I Like: USC straight up, barely, and Boston College against the spread.

Sunday: Clemson (-7.5) vs. Kentucky, 8:30pm

This one is so friggin' tricky. Kentucky ended their year with an OT loss to Tennessee, and they beat Auburn and Georgia along the way. The only games they lost decisively were Florida and Alabama, and, well, so what? Also, there were two results late in the year which gave a good hint about the relative strength of the ACC and SEC: Georgia over Georgia Tech, and South Carolina over Clemson. Neither was expected, both were fairly decisive. I have to roll with the SEC and the underdog on this one, especially with a spread this high. Hopefully CJ Spiller doesn't make a fool of me.

I Like: Kentucky straight up and against the spread.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Mormons Strike Again, 12/23

Another day, another underdog ruining bowl season for the rest of us. Last night, Oregon State (this close from being in the Rose Bowl, mind you) looked totally hapless against a surprising BYU team that jumped down their throats from the outset. 44 points later, another favorite had bit the dust. Underdogs are now 3-1 in bowl games. Some notes, and then the new standings:

*6 of 33 entries took BYU. Congrats to Tim, Nate, Brian, Joe, and the Brothers Mooney (who I confirmed this morning are not Mormons, just good at picking upsets). Nate also owns the unique distinction of being the one dude who has yet to pay the ten dollar entry fee, so unless things change by, say, Friday, this nice pick will go for naught. Ahem.

*Patricia 'Coin Flip' Curry suffered her first loss of the year, as the penny, nickel, dime, or quarter she used chose BYU. However, hers is now the only entry with a record above .500, and she remains in second place.

*Jordan Glickson maintains his top spot, despite picking Oregon State last night. Rounding out the unchanged top 3 is Spike Friedman.

*Dan Mooney was yesterday's big winner with BYU-20. He surged up to a tie for 4th, while Brian L. crawled out of the cellar with BYU-14.

*Remaining at the bottom of the heap are our 6 winless wonders: Jeff, Justin, Charles, Nick, Steve, and Team Forsythe.

*Tonight should be interesting, as a majority of entries (21) picked Utah, the underdog. It will be the first game of the year to feature a more even split among the pool. It's also an interesting echo of last night: a mid-level Pac-10 school against a strong team from the Mountain West. Utah took BYU to overtime in the last game of the year, while the Golden Bears lost 42-10 to unranked Washington. It could be a rough night for the Cal backers.

*I'll update tomorrow morning, and I'll try hard to update during the weekend. Shouldn't be too hard, but I'll be traveling, so if there's no post until Monday, rest assured that I haven't abandoned the pool in frustration at my terrible picks. Take care.

Monday, December 21, 2009

12/21: Leaderboard Update

The first weekend is officially over, and three games are in the books. Wyoming, Rutgers, and Middle Tennessee State are the early winners. Let's take a look the pool highlights:

*Jordan Glickson, with an insane and awesome pick of Wyoming-33 (winner-priority), is the current leader with 63 points.

*On the flip side of that game, 22 of the 34 entries had Fresno State winning with a priority of 20 or above. Four, including myself, made that their highest priority game. Not a great start.

*Patricia Curry, she of the randomized coin-flip selection strategy, is the only entry to have picked all three games correctly. She stands in second with 47 points. Everyone else can proceed to bang their heads against a wall.

*Only five entries correctly picked Middle Tennessee State to beat Southern Miss. Congrats to Patricia, Noah, Spike, Berko, and Gordy.

*Patricia, Tom, and Jordan were the only ones to correctly pick Wyoming.

*Although only one entry is 3-0, the ranks of the winless are healthy and full: Jeff, Justin, Charles, Brian, Nick, Joe, Steve, and Team Forsythe have yet to hit a game.

*Of 34 participants, all but 3 currently have losing records.

Money Split: There is now $330 in the pool, so unless anyone has a huge objection, the splits will be: $210/80/40 for 1st/2nd/3rd place. Check out the leaderboard below. No games tonight, so the next update will be Wednesday morning.

Friday, December 18, 2009

One Day Left! A Message from the Cast of "Coach"

Hey y'all. Here at "Coach," we believe in two things: college football and punctuality. Get your money in on time! Get your picks in! Let's go Minnesota State Screaming Eagles!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bobby Bowden Says...

Getcher dad-gum money in by Friday, ya hear?!