Monday, September 15, 2014

P-F14: Week 3 NCAA Results - It's all about good picks

At the heart of this game of Pickem-Football is one basic principle: Make good picks. But before you have the opportunity to make these picks, you rely on your game commissioner to pick the games for you to pick. It is with a humble heart that I admit failure this week.

Now I don't often fail, but when I do, I almost never admit it. I'm just saying. My picks weren't good this week and I'm ashamed. Real ashamed. Ashamed like the time I couldn't think of what to cook at my BYU themed tailgate and decided just to do spicy chicken quesadillas. They don't eat spicy chicken quesadillas in Utah. Their signature foods at stuff like a potato casserole called funeral potatoes, lime Jell-O with vegetables in it, burgers with pastrami on them (??), and a dipping sauce for fries that mysteriously is just mayo, ketchup, and relish. Seriously, I looked it up. So while I'm eating enjoying my quesadilla it hit me. Jell-O shots. Jell-O shots would have been fkn PERFECT for the BYU game. Quesadillas is why Texas lost, y'all. I'm sure of it.

With my latest failure, I only ask that you approach my failings with respect, compassion, and understanding of my logic, regardless of its flaws.

Let's begin with the fundamental rules that guide my pick selections every week:
  1. Must have a betting line (e.g. no games against FCS schools). I'm looking at you SEC non-con.
  2. Must fill the 3 basic game time slots. Morning, Afternoon, Evening. 
  3. Don't over think it. Pick the best games.
If I was master NCAA scheduler, I'd have 5 morning, 5 afternoon, and 5 evening games. But what if there aren't 5 good games in each slot? What if there aren't even 15 compelling(-looking) games. If the 3 items above get us a single burger plain and dry, here are the secret menu items that make it a double double animal style with extra everything. Just like your favorite burger arrangement, these rules are very personalized to me.
  1. I like picking my favorite teams, and I assume you do too. Texas is always on the card. That's my deal.
  2. I don't know about what you guys get, but there are typically 10 or more games on at any one time on Saturday. If a game isn't on my TV, that school basically didn't want me to care about that game. 
  3. I always pick one of the last games on TV for the night. Hopefully we all go to bed without knowing our final pickem score.
  4. I'm only human, and I can only watch 5 games at one time. My living room has a cluster of TVs 3 tuners that get all the channels and 2 basic cable converters. For any time slot, if there are going to be more than three games on, the 4th and 5th have to be games I'm not particularly interested in that air on basic cable channels. I'll refer to these as HD and SD from here on. I know this seems overly complicated, but its a complication I gave myself, and will not budge on this rule on weekends that Texas does not have a home game (i.e. weekends that I'm at home).
With these in mind, let's evaluate this week's card.

MORNING KICKOFFS:

What Was On The Card? 4 Games
  • HD: UCF @ #20 Mizzou, UMass @ Vandy, Louisville @ Virginia
  • SD: ECU @ Virginia Tech
What Should Have Been On The Card? 1 game

West Virginia 40 @ Maryland 37 (Big Ten Network): This game was entertaining throughout, with West Virginia kicking a late game-winning field goal. The BTN only charges cable companies huge fees if they have customers in a Big Ten's team state, so therefore this does not come through on basic cable in Texas. This game needs to replace something planned for one of my three HD TVs with converters.

What went wrong?

One simple thing. We all overrate the SEC. I'm going to admit that I started with this game on my main television. I'm embarrassed.

You could also argue for the inclusion of Bowling Green @ Indiana, which aired on ESPNU, but I don't think that makes the cut next in any week other than revisionist history week (although I did watch that game on the 5th TV).

AFTERNOON KICKOFFS:

What Was On The Card? 4 Games
  • HD: #6 Georgia @ #24 South Carolina, Arkansas @ Texas Tech, Illinois @ Washington
  • SD: Iowa @ Iowa State
What Should Have Been On The Card? Nothing

What a weak midday. I heard Duke and Kansas lined up on the wrong side of the field coming out of the half. Michigan struggled for a half against Miami (OH), but then they remembered the Appalachian State. 

If anything, I should have only put 3 games on the card and leave 8 slots for the evening and late evening. Midday was ripe for trimming, and I should have recognized this because...

EVENING KICKOFFS:

What Was On The Card? 6 Games, staggered kickoffs
  • HD: #12 UCLA vs Texas, Tennessee @ #4 OU, Purdue @ #11 Notre Dame, #16 Arizona St. @ Colorado
  • SD: UTSA @ Okie State, Southern Miss @ #3 Alabama, Rice @ #7 Texas A&M
Bama and A&M were back-to-back on ESPN 2. Arizona State was my late game pick.

What Should Have Been On The Card? 4 Games

I'd like to start with an apology to Tiger fans. I missed the LSU game, and with that broke the "favorite team" rule above. Kentucky/Florida and USC/Boston College were also huge misses. I'll give anyone Penn State/Rutgers too. 

As a consolation, I'm adding some great game footage from the LSU game.


Soo...

What Went Wrong?

Just like my Mizzou gaffe above, I blindly picked Notre Dame because they were on NBC. Ugh. But what other 3 games should have been on the cutting room floor? UTSA was a cute pick .... Illinois/Washington from the afternoon .... and then I'm not sure. I could  have cut the Iowas game from the afternoon or Virginia Tech from the morning, but both of those would have left me with a living room with too few pickem games on TV in the morning and afternoon.

Sorry about the long post. Let's check in with injured Oklahoma State quarterback JW Walsh:


CUT AWAY! CUT AWAY!

P-F14 Week 3 NCAA Notes

SCORECARD LINK

Speaking of good picks, I think it is time to question what Dean's Mediocre Picks (DDa) is doing to cheat. He's currently picking 68% against the spread, and he's also stealing all the glory out of my distant 2nd place 58% ATS.

I may have mislead you guys with the bonus question about UCLA routing Texas, but at least none of us lost that pick in Vegas. I would have put all I had on UCLA. For the bonus question, Patriots (PDa) picked the point spread on the nose with 3. I gave him 5 points, and everyone who picked Texas to lose by 7 or less 3 points. The Gurus (ANe) put "Texas wins" as the answer, which was cute (and nearly true), so I gave him 1 point to be kind.

It's time to come clean friends. Who the heck is not named Rich, but is filling out a whole card and selecting "BlitzKrieg" as your team name. C'mon you guys. Rich's last name is buried in the team name, and while it's a good team name, you know your last name isn't Krieg. Stop doing this. You really have Rich worried.

Have you hugged a kicker today?


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