As conventional wisdom states, the sequel is never as good as the original. That certainly held true for this second season of DCIAPC. While we had a couple high notes—such as my journey to find and resurrect “We Are ND” and Bob’s annual column—we also had numerous weeks of mailed-in columns written at the last minute and the glaring omission of not even writing a column on conference championship weekend. (We did at least pick those games on Facebook, and the records in this column reflect that.)
*Stephen A. Smith voice* HOWEVA, we have decided to take a short break from playing Trivia Crack to top last year in a very important way: we’re actually going to pick bowl games and wrap up the season properly! Last year, after the end of the regular season we did haphazardly throw some picks up on Twitter, but never in a truly organized way and we never even announced the winner. In the words of Roger Goodell, “I never saw that tape.” Wait, wrong quote. In the words of Roger Goodell, “I got it wrong.” As a collective group, the three of us got it terribly wrong last year, and as a result we’ll be sure to
change Ray Rice’s punishment on the fly without seeing any new evidence, effectively trying him twice for the same crime, which is an incredible violation of one of the core principles of this country extend DCIAPC to bowl season this year!
Here’s how this will work: for this week and the next two, we’ll post a standard DCAIPC column with five bowl games, except the final week when we’ll pick each of the six major bowls. The bowl picks will count towards your record and carry the same weight as regular season picks. They won’t necessarily be on Thursday—for example, next week Illinois plays on Friday so we’ll probably put up DCIAPC on Wednesday to give people enough time to get their picks in. Each post will get the standard Facebook promotion treatment. (Or, to make sure you don’t miss a post, you can subscribe by email on the top right of this page! Hooray for shameless self-promotion.) After that, we’ll take stock of where we end up and celebrate a champion. If a tiebreaker is necessary, we’ll use the National Championship Game.
So all of that said, here are the current standings, along with our social security numbers because last week’s standings are irrelevant at this point, but I was too lazy to modify the table. As an expression of gratitude for my laziness, feel free to steal our identities.
|Season||Social Security #|
Here are the splits:
|We All Agree||15-24|
Huge props to anyone who noticed that Bob’s “social security number” was the first 10 numbers of the Fibonacci sequence. Meanwhile, if you didn’t get the reference in Matt’s, then your musical knowledge is bad and you should feel bad. Here’s the peanut gallery, again with an arbitrary category that I completely made up in the time that I could have just spent deleting the column:
|Winning Percentage||Season Record||Favorite Animal|
|Creed Tucker||.543||38-32||Snow leopard|
|Andrew Hunt||.533||24-21||Venus fly trap|
Here are this week’s games. As usual, all lines come from Pinnacle and game times are eastern. The rankings come from the College Football Playoff Rankings. I’ll be honest—this slate is weak. That’s just the price you pay for attempting to find five decent match-ups in the first week of bowl season. Oh well.
Saturday, December 20:
New Orleans Bowl; New Orleans, Louisiana
Nevada (-1) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 11 a.m., ESPN
Bowl season kicks off with quite a doozy this year in the Superdome. Can’t say I’ve seen either of these teams play this year, but I can definitely tell you which state both teams come from.
Las Vegas Bowl; Las Vegas, Nevada
#22 Utah (-3) vs. Colorado State, 3:30, ABC
One team doesn’t have a coach. The other has 85 scholarship athletes who have never had sex or tasted alcohol before. Wow!
Idaho Potato Bowl; Boise, Idaha
Western Michigan vs. Air Force (-1.5), 5:45, ESPN
After their victories over Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan, I present to you the Michigan Directional Schools State Champion, Western Michigan Broncos!
Monday, December 22:
Miami Beach Bowl; Miami, Florida
Memphis (-1.5) vs. BYU
I’m low-key fired up to watch this game. Justin Fuente is really building something impressive at Memphis and they’ll get a pretty good test from a solid BYU team that is also composed of 85 scholarship athletes who have never had sex or tasted alcohol before. Ladies and gentlemen, the state of Utah!!!!
Tuesday, December 23:
Boca Raton Bowl; Boca Raton, Florida
Marshall (-10) vs. Northern Illinois, 6, ESPN
These teams lost three games combined this season. Regardless of whether they’re actually any good or not (Marshall is okay; NIU is pretty bad), bravo to the Boca Raton Bowl for putting this match-up together. Let’s get to the picks.
Harry: I’ll plainly admit this is the least informed pick that I have ever made here on DCIAPC, but this line seems a bit low to me. Nevada is typically decent and while it’s tough to travel across the country when your opponent is essentially playing in its backyard, I like the Wolfpack here. Nevada -1
Matt: Bet real money on this game. I’m not going to call it a lock, mostly because I’m not a cocky dick like Harry, but this Nevada team is really good (relatively speaking of course) and I kind of feel like ULL is only being favored because they’ve had recent success in the postseason (three straight bowl victories against some surprisingly solid programs). ULL has taken a step backwards from last year’s squad, especially on the defensive end. Expect Nevada to win this one by two scores; I’m happy to take an extra point to the bank with me. That, or I’m completely full of it and ULL wins this one by 40. Nevada -1
Bob: I don’t know much about either of these teams, so, of course, I turned to my go-to advanced statistics over at Football Outsiders. Basically, Nevada is an average team with a solid offense, while UL-Lafayette is a below-average team with a terrible defense. Oh no, we all agree. Nevada –1
Harry: I’m shocked that the line is this low. Colorado State put together a great season this year, but lost its head coach to Florida a couple weeks ago. I’ll happily lay just a field goal with the Utes. Utah -3
Matt: If Jim McElwain weren’t currently down in the swamp with Dabo Swinney and the boys (I don’t expect you to understand that reference because I don’t even understand that reference, I just laugh at that tweet every time I read it), I would feel pretty good about taking CSU to win this game. Instead, I’m going to feel pretty crappy about taking CSU to win this game. Colorado State +3
Bob: A lot of people tried to be cool and shit on Utah all year, but they have actually been a pretty consistently decent team this year. I would love to see a study on bowl records with interim coaches, since I suspect it’s not quite as bad as one would expect it to be. Either way, I like a 5-4 PAC-12 South team over a 6-2 Mountain West team. Utah -3
Harry: Here’s another game where I’m grasping for straws to come up with any analysis. Football Outsiders F/+ sees this as a virtual toss-up, ranking Air Force 44th and Western Michigan 47th. I’ll roll with the Falcons simply because they employ a unique triple-option offense that WMU certainly isn’t used to seeing. Air Force -1.5
Strangely, I’m picking Air Force with a decent amount of confidence in all of my bowl picking pools right now, yet I find myself suddenly drawn to Western Michigan. WMU’s PJ Fleck is at the very least a pretty fun coach, and I guess I’ll trust him to have a solid game-plan set up for Air Force’s triple option given the extra time to work. ROW THE BOAT. Western Michigan +1.5 I just saw that Air Force somehow beat both Boise State AND Colorado State this year. That’s impressive. I’m back on the Falcons bandwagon. Air Force -1.5
Bob: I strongly concur with the above statements. Air Force -1.5
Harry: Like WMU-Air Force, this is a toss-up. Both teams have put together some impressive performances against quality competition this year and this one is pretty much too close to call. I like Memphis’s staunch defense to be the difference in a down-to-the-wire game. Memphis -1.5
Bob: Wow, these lines are tighter than BYU students’ vaginas. [ED Harry: https://seohacker-seohacker.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Shocked-Face.jpg%5D Memphis has just three losses, two of them on the road to UCLA and Ole Miss, while the other was a four-point loss to bowl-bound Houston. Otherwise, Memphis has put together an impressive string of performances, while we have not really seen much from BYU since September. Memphis -1.5
Harry: Northern Illinois put up yet another shiny record this year, but its road to 11-2 featured some shaky wins against poor quality teams and shellackings at the hands of Arkansas (forgivable) and Central Michigan (not so forgivable). On the other hand, Marshall absolutely steamrolled everyone it faced until a shaky final three weeks that included two wins by a total of eight points and a one-point overtime loss. I think Marshall can regroup and win easily again against a low-quality NIU team that isn’t as good as its record suggests. Marshall -10
Matt: The only Marshall game I watched this year was their shootout against my beloved Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. I guess I’m just going to have to trust the numbers and other people who have actually seen this team play in 2014. Also, NIU kinda sucked this year. Marshall -10
Bob: Hey, Northern Illinois beat Northwestern! So… both teams have inflated records after beating a lot of bad teams, including looking shaky against a few of them. I see a bunch of shitty of teams whose names mean little to me, so we’ll have to turn to F/+ here. It feels like Marshall would be the kind of team F/+ would hate despite its inflated record, but the Thundering Herd sit at #15, 57 spots ahead of Northern Illinois, meaning Marshall should be favored by more than three touchdowns. Obviously, the game is not played on spreadsheets, but this pick looks pretty easy. Yup, somehow we agree on four of these five games. Marshall -10