Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bowl Pool Update: December 23, 2009

Two days ago, Todd and I were discussing how difficult this year's crop of bowl games was to pick. I have a pretty good track record in this pick 'em the last five years or so, and in each of those bowl seasons I went in feeling very confident about at least four or five games at the top of my "confidence points" list. I'm talking, "well, there's no way in hell (team X) is gonna beat (team Y)" kind of confident. Yes, yes, in the '05-'06 pick 'em I lost my top three highest-confidence games – my point is, I always at least felt good, really confident, almost certain, about five or so games, and fairly confident about ten or fifteen more. Not this year. I could easily see upsets in, like, every game. After about the first ten or so highest confidence games on my list, I have absolutely no idea who is going to win the remaining 23 or so games. This is unprecedented.

Anyway, our conversation veered to why it was so difficult. One of the main monkey wrenches in the process of trying to pick college bowl games is the dreaded "no-show," where one team is clearly disinterested and just goes through the motions and either A.) just barely wins or gets upset in a game in which they were a solid favorite, or B.) gets their doors blown off in what looked to be a relatively even matchup. It's really difficult to pick these games; it's almost like they are black swans, and their unpredictability is part of what actually makes them happen. We were discussing possible no-show candidates, finding flaws with most possibilities (example: USC and Pitt are way too obvious, stuff like that) and deciding that no-shows are inherently unpredictable. But, like obscenity, you know one when you see it happen. If you watched the Las Vegas Bowl last night, you saw an epic no-show.

Astonishingly, coming into the game BYU seemed a more likely no-show candidate. After their upset of Oklahoma (which in retrospect was not an upset at all, but I digress) on opening weekend, BYU was probably thinking they'd end up where TCU is now. After getting positively assblasted by Florida State and the Terrifying Alien Frogs and seeing their BCS dreams disintegrate, you'd have to think that the Cougars would be less than ecstatic about playing in the Las Vegas Bowl for the FIFTH CONSECUTIVE SEASON. Conversely, Oregon State had won five straight bowl games and six out of seven this decade. Mike Riley was doing a great job at the helm of a program that had finished in the top three in the Pac Ten each of the last five years and was a touchdown away from making the Rose Bowl an OSU/OSU matchup. So, naturally, the Beavers faceplanted in spectacular fashion, losing 44-20 in a game that was nowhere near that close. They looked lethargic and disinterested, especially after a fumbled backwards pass was returned for a BYU touchdown. After that, Oregon State's players looked like they just wanted to get the hell out of there and go home. And if your guys look like they’re dying to go to Corvallis, Oregon, you know they are experiencing a soul-crushing beatdown. So congratulations to BYU on a big victory. And thank you, Oregon State, for giving us our first official no-show of the '09-'10 bowl season, and a positively textbook example at that.

So what does this mean for the pick 'em? Well, in general, things aren't going well. We've got two winless entries, seventeen 1-3 entries, nine people treading water at 2-2, and a scant four people charging forward at 3-1. Obviously this will all change, starting tonight with the Poinsettia (three syllables, ESPN. Three!) Bowl.

1jimlaipply 1Jimmah3-146596
1Super SnavelyDonnie Smavels 3-146596
4Shiva BowlKristin3-149371
5d32moyer 1Di2-246564
6Birds of WarFred2-247259
7Pocket Full of PoseyKatey2-247358
7mjn1980Mike N.2-247158
9What's YOUR Hangup?!?Christina2-248150
10BenKarrasch 1take a guess2-251142
10Kitten MittonsS. Wolfe2-250541
12moyer1jlcmu 1Pops1-346533
12astro1305 1Javy1-346533
12Super Happy Fun BowlEvan1-346533

1 comment:

Nipsey said...

Thank you for at least spelling out EXACTLY why I put 20 confidence points on the fucking Beavers.

Little Caesars Bowl about to kick off.
"Hey pizza land - that's lots of fun!"