Sunday, December 15, 2013

TMMPF P6 Bowl Preview

The bowls start this Saturday (Dec. 21). A few of these 35 bowls will undoubtedly affect the outcome of the Pick Six game. But which games should you watch? I'm here to guide you through the bowl schedule from the P6 perspective.

The games fall neatly into three categories:

New Mexico Dec. 21 Colorado St vs. Washington State
Idaho Potato Dec. 21 Buffalo vs. San Diego State
New Orleans Dec. 21 Tulane vs. UL Lafayette
Pizza Pizza Dec. 26 Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh
Military Dec. 27 Marshall vs. Maryland
Texas Dec. 27 Minnesota vs. Syracuse
Armed Forces Dec. 30 Middle Tennessee vs. Navy
Music City Dec. 30 Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss
AdvoCare V100 Dec. 31 Arizona vs. Boston College
Liberty Dec. 31 Mississippi State vs. Rice
Heart of Dallas Jan. 1 North Texas vs. UNLV
GoDaddy Jan. 5 Arkansas State vs. Ball State

Among these, the best matchup for football fans is Arizona/BC. Both feature awesome running backs: Kadeem Carey (great surname for an RB) and Andre Williams, who quietly had such a good year he got invited to the Heisman ceremony. The Liberty may be fun to watch if only to see Rice, who is excited to spend New Year's Eve in Memphis.

Note: the numbers in parentheses are the number of Pick Six players with that team, NOT the Associated Press ranking. 
Las Vegas Dec. 21 Fresno State vs. USC (14)
Beef O Brady's Dec. 23 East Carolina vs. Ohio (1)
Poinsettia Dec. 26 Northern Illinois (3) vs. Utah State
Belk Dec. 28 Cincinnati (1) vs. North Carolina
Holiday Dec. 30 Arizona State (4) vs. Texas Tech
Pinstripe Dec. 28 Notre Dame (24) vs. Rutgers
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 Duke vs. Texas A&M (19)
Fiesta Jan. 1 Baylor (10) vs. UCF
Compass Jan. 4 Houston vs. Vanderbilt (1)

You can be guaranteed no one in the Pick Six game will be cheering against you in these games. The most intriguing matchup is likely Northern vs. Utah State in a battle of conference championship losers. Who will be motivated to get the win? Baylor and A&M should be huge favorites. Notre Dame is favored by two touchdowns; that game is played in a baseball stadium in New York.

Hawaii Dec. 24 Boise State (12) vs. Oregon State (9)
Fight Hunger Dec. 27 BYU (1) vs. Washington (1)
Russell Athletic Dec. 28 Louisville (11) vs. Miami Fla. (4)
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Kansas State (11) vs. Michigan (17)
Alamo Dec. 30 Oregon (9) vs. Texas (7)
Sun Dec. 31 UCLA (12) vs. Virginia Tech (5)
Gator Jan. 1 Georgia (7) vs. Nebraska (15)
Capital One Jan. 1 South Carolina (18) vs. Wisconsin (20)
Outback Jan. 1 Iowa (5) vs. LSU (12)
Rose Jan. 1 Michigan State (7) vs. Stanford (3)
Sugar Jan. 2 Alabama (27) vs. Oklahoma (15)
Cotton Jan. 3 Missouri (2) vs. Oklahoma State (7)
Orange Jan.3 Clemson (9) vs. Ohio State (20)
BCS Title Jan. 6 Florida State (16) vs. Auburn (1)

All 14 of these games feature P6 vs. P6 matchups. The most "interested" matchup is the Sugar Bowl, with 42 of you/us caring about the outcome. The runner-up is Wisky vs. Cocky, with 38. And, if you're rooting for chaos, you want the leaders' teams to lose. So that means rooting against Alabama, South Carolina, Florida State, Oklahoma, UCLA, Baylor and Michigan State. You'll definitely get a loser in the Sugar Bowl. Root for Oklahoma, because since Bama is favored, they will fall more if they lose. Florida State and Baylor are big favorites so don't expect a loss there.

Most importantly: gorge on the 35 games because when it's over, there's no more football til September.

Good luck! The following clip is true, and also a good reason why you shouldn't let your kids read/listen to this blog:

Sunday, December 08, 2013

P62013: The Regular Season Is in the Books

Games watched: Louisville-Cincy (Thurs); Mid-American championship (Friday); Oklahoma-Oklahoma State; Texas-Baylor; Southeastern championship; Pacific 12 championship (2nd TV); Big Ten championship; Atlantic Coast championship (2nd TV); Mountain West championship (a little, then fell asleep). 

Well, the regular season is over. A pretty good batch of games yesterday, including Sparty's surpising win over Ohio State to knock them out of the national championship game. So now, thanks to Sparty, we get the SEC in the championship, again. Way to go, guys.

The bowls are now set. Iowa is going to the Outback to play Louisana State. Notre Dame goes to the Pinstripe Bowl vs. RRRRutgers. Ohio heads to St. Petersberg for the Beef O'Brady's Bowl vs. East Carolina.

In the poll: In: Notre Dame. Out: Texas. Pretty quiet.

Biggest mover:  Mizzou fan Tippy had two big winners in Michigan State and Oklahoma, plus Notre Dame and Alabama who ticked up thanks to other teams losing. Tippy was up 15 points and more than 20 spots in the standings (to a tie for 17th).

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

The joke, if you don't know it, is right here. But the joke is on us, because a guy who doesn't like or pay attention to college football has taken the lead heading into bowl season. "Nope. I'm a Frayed Knot" had a great week, going plus 14 and moving into the top slot, two points ahead of "No F'n Clue." He has perfect picks in Groups A through E.

This Saturday, there is only one game in Division I-A. It is Army-Navy, and you should watch it and feel glad you live in America.

Reminder, the Pick Six game goes through the bowl season, to the final AP poll after all bowls are over. We'll be back with a bowl preview before the games start.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

P62013: Week 14 Had Some Pretty Darn Good Games

Games watched: many of them. See below.

Hi everybody. Thanks for your patience in getting this week's update out to you. TMMPF left the HQ and headed to the desert of Arizona for Thanksgiving. The flight home was a frustrating disaster (supposed to land at 5pm, finally got home at quarter to midnight).

So let's talk about the games. On Tuesday we might have watched Northern Illinois. I think we did.

On Thursday, Texas beat Texas Tech. I miss watching Texas vs. Texas A&M Thanksgiving weekend. It was starting to feel like turkey and stuffing. Texas vs. Texas Tech is like Chinese food for Thanksgiving dinner. It's still tasty, it's just not the tradition you expected. I think I watched the Egg Bowl (Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State). I remember an exciting finish, which probably means I fell asleep on the couch.

Friday meant Iowa-Nebraska. One nice thing about Arizona is the games all start an hour early, so I only had to wait til 10am for the 11 o'clock kickoff. Iowa looked like the team we've been waiting to see since Ricky Stanzi's junior year. The offense is finally starting to gel and the defense was stout. It didn't hurt that Nebraska (and their coach) were in meltdown mode.

By the way: Duke and Michigan played in the Big Ten-ACC basketball challenge last night. That matchup made me realize: Duke football is better than Michigan football. Think about that for a minute.

Now to Alabama-Auburn. The ending was so great it's easy to overlook that the consensus No. 1 team in the country lost for the first time in over a year. The loss all but guaranteed two non-SEC teams will play for the national championship for the first time in almost a decade.

But of course, it was the ending that mattered. With the game tied 28-28, Alabama chose to try a 57-yard field goal instead of a Hail Mary or just kneeling and going to overtime. Auburn wisely put a receiver in the back of the end zone in case the kick came up short.

And it did.

In case you are more of a graphic mapping sort:

I heard/read many fans and commentators say they'd never seen anything like it. Except Bears fans have seen something exactly like it. In 2005, the Bears hosted the 49'ers in one of the windiest games I've ever seen. (Watch this video for great footage, but mute it because Chris Berman narrates.) At the end of the first half San Francisco tried a long field goal, and the Bears put Nathan Vasher in the back of the end zone just in case.

Devin Hester thought that was pretty cool, so the next year, he did it too.

Anyway, it was a cool play, it screwed 27 of you out of a first place team, and it opened the door for a Florida State-Ohio State championship game. (Of course, I still remember that West Virginia-Missouri championship game of 2007. Weird things happen in college football.) I didn't even get to all the great rivalry games like OSU-Meech and Oregon-Oregon State. It's damn late so I'll just say: they were good.

The poll: ND and USC lost and are out. Bluebloods Texas and Georgia replace them.

Best week: "SuperPups" up 11, with five winners/climbers.

Enough jibber jabber, despite the busy exciting week of football, who's winning?

Hello again, WTF panda. "No F'n Clue" takes sole possession of the lead. She has five (ed: I meant four, you can tell I did this late) of the six of the perfect pickset. Top kitty: Tigger, in 3rd. Top kid: "Lightning McQueen" in 9th. Top dog: Anna in 24th.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

This weekend, we've got conference championships in the Big Ten, SEC, Pacific Twelve, Mid-American and ACC. Plus a handful of Big XII that will determine that champion, and a bunch of games in the American that probably mean something but I just don't care and probably neither do you. It's your last real Saturday of football until fall 2014, so enjoy it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Games watched: Kent St.-Ohio (Tues, for as long as we could stand); Northern-Toleldo (Weds, til the 4th); Navy-San Jose (Fri, because we're junkies); Iowa-Michigan, Mich St.-Northwestern (2nd TV); BYU-ND, Nebraska-Penn St (look-ins); Texas A&M-LSU (2nd TV, mostly); Arizona-UCLA (snippets); Missouri-Ole Miss (2nd TV); Baylor-Okie St., Wash-Oregon St (until sleepy).

No burying the lead here: for the first time all season, someone besides the "Dirty Diapers"/"No F'n Clue" tandem has a piece of the Pick Six lead.

As a refresher, this husband/wife combo has dominated the standings, with five of the same teams. But they both have UCLA and Baylor, big losers Saturday night. Plus our fearless leader also had Texas A&M, who lost on the road for the first time with John Manziel at quarterback.

Put another way: he had three of the four biggest decliners of the week. (Along with Oregon who had an inexplicable meltdown at Arizona.)

Hello: Notre Dame, finally ranked again at 8-3 and with a big game against Stanford on Saturday night. Adios: Ole Miss, who got thumped at home by Mizzou.

Biggest gainers: Arizona State, up 6 for beating UCLA in the Rose Bowl.

So if you want to be the biggest gainer of the week: it helps to have ASU. Congrats to "LGNDE & Jimbo Fisher" for a +10 week and a boost to No. 4 in the standings, and also to "Prestige Worldwide," who is a Michigan fan but despite that pick also had a +10 week, and No. 7 in the standings.

Enough jibber-jabber, who made this game interesting for the first time since August?

It's a tie! "Sodeh" (might technically be pronounced So-Day, but "soda" is a much easier visual) and "No F'n Clue" come in at 92 points. "Nope. I'm a Frayed Knot." lurks in third with 90 points. Our erstwhile leader "Dirty Diapers" is down to sixth.

Top cat: Tigger in 5th. Top kid: "Lightning McQueen" in 10th. Top dog: Anna in 18th.

I'm way down in the fifties (rank, not points) thanks to Oregon's collapse and UCLA's crapout. I kinda hate the state of Arizona today. My cat has 25 points more than I do.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Next weekend is the last weekend of the regular season. Enjoy it, and enjoy your time on Thanksgiving with friends and family and assorted pets. Iowa plays Nebraska at 11am (Central) on Friday. Neither team is ranked but this is the biggest game of the year after Iowa State. There are a ton of other great intrastate rivalry games, including UCLA-USC, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Washington-Wash State, Oregon-Oregon State, and, of course, the Iron Bowl. Happy Thanskgiving everyone.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

P62013: Week 12 Pretty Much Wrote My Obituary

Games watched: Northern-Ball St (Weds), Geo.Tech-Clemson (Thurs), UCLA-Washington (Fri), UCF-Temple (at the end), Miami-Duke, Texas-Okla.St (2nd TV), Michigan St-Nebraska, Auburn-Georgia (look-ins when it was interesting), South Carolina-Florida, Stanford-USC, Arizona St-Oregon St (some), San Jose St-Nevada (until sleepy). 

Both Notre Dame and Iowa bye'd, so it was a perfect opportunity to spend time away from the TV. We went to the Brookfield Zoo and worked on our animal identification with "Lizzie Bear." As it turned out, the 11am games were pretty boring so I didn't miss anything.

Once we got home and I started watching the 2:30 games, I wished I hadn't. Texas looked like it was in early season "get killed by BYU" mode. Nebraska was terrible against Michigan State. Miami lost to Duke. In football. I knew it was bad when the announcer said: "The Miami defense just has no answer for this Duke rushing offense!" A little bit later, a Duke RB stormed in for a TD late in the fourth quarter, giving Duke a two-possession lead. At that point, I announced my Pick Six was officially dead.

UCLA beat Washington on Thursday, South Carolina eventually got past Florida, and Oregon eventually got back on track vs. Utah (although it took a while). With only three ranked teams, you'll find my pickset way down in the standings.

Who's out: Texas, Miami and Georgia, because this happened:

That was the most important catch of the day, since it happened on 4th and 18. But this was the best catch of the day:

Who's in: USC (who deserves it, the way they've been playing lately), Ole Miss (because sure why not another SEC team) and Duke, who also deserves it. I still think Minnesota deserves it more.

Best week: Not much changed in the poll, so not much changed in the standings. In a quiet week, +5 was good enough to tie for the best performance, so congrats to "Huskers Du" and Anna.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

"Dirty Diapers" remains two points off a perfect game. This is like watching Nebraska in the 90s or Florida State in the early 2000s. The dominance is so complete.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Top kitty: Tigger at 5th. Top kid: "Lightning McQueen" at 6th (tie). Top dog: "Quarter Dog" at 14th (tie).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

P62013: Week 11 Just Kinda Checked Out

Games watched: Oregon-Stanford (Thurs); Baylor-Okla (Thurs, 2nd TV); Iowa-Purdue; Minnesota-Penn St (flip); Indiana-Illinois (sometimes); Michigan-Nebraska; Miami-Va Tech (occasionally); ND-Pitt; Alabama-LSU (2nd TV); UCLA-Arizona (most).

It's late on a long weekend and I'm very tired. Apologies for the drive-thru version of the Pick Six. (At least you can understand me when I speak and I give correct change.)

Out: Texas Tech and Notre Dame. T-Tech continues their Northwestern impersonation. ND lost to 4-4 Pittsburgh.

In: Texas (deservedly so) and Georgia. Now, I hate Minnesota, so take this with the proper perspective: Georgia being ranked at 6-3 ahead of 8-2 Minnesota is an absolute fucking joke. Frankly I don't think 7-2 Miami should even be ranked after losing by about 80 points in two straight weeks.

I had three road wins: Nebraska @inexplicably bad Michigan, UCLA @ Arizona and Texas @ wherever they were, West Virginia I think. However, those were my only three wins, as Oregon got their wings clipped in the Tree of Stanford (I am tired but still punny) and Miami started doing their best Texas Tech impersonation.

Best week: Biggest movers were Wisconsin, Michigan State and Texas. Congrats to "sodeh" and "Prestige Worldwide." Sodeh is all the way up to 4th, congrats! And Prestige is knocking on the top 10.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? You know:

"Dirty Diapers" keeps rolling. No comment, check the scoreboard below.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Top kitty: Tigger at 5th. Top kid: "Lightning McQueen" at 7th (tie). Top dog: "Quarter Dog" at 19th (tie). I might be in 36th place, but at least I'm still tied for the household lead!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

P62013: Week 10 Is Thinking About the Endgame

Games watched: Wisconsin-Iowa; Miss. St-South Carolina (2nd TV); Illinois-Penn St (2nd TV, late); Naval Academy-Notre Dame; Florida-Georgia (some); Michigan-Michigan St. (2nd TV); Northwestern-Nebraska (late); Miami-Florida State; Tennessee-Mizzou (early); Oklahoma St.-Texas Tech (2nd TV); Colorado-UCLA (flip); Nevada-Fresno State (a quarter or so before going to sleep). 

Not much happened in the poll, to be honest. Miami got killed by Florida State, as many expected, and they dropped seven spots. Sparty beat Meech handily and moves up six spots. Michigan drops out. ND eked past a so-so Navy team (I seriously thought we got past this in the Charlie years) and is ranked again at 7-2. Texas Tech lost at home and dropped 10, but you don't care because you don't have Texas Tech in the game. The top 6 stayed the same.

Best week: you needed to have both Michigan State and ND, plus a couple other winners. And this week, that means ... Sports Illustrated magazine.

Undefeated watch: Here's the gang of eight:
ACC: Florida State and Miami.
Big Ten: Ohio State.
Big XII: Baylor.
Mountain West: Fresno State.
Mid-American: Northern Illinois.
SEC: Alabama.
Pac 12: Oregon.

So these seven conferences can all produce an undefeated champion. A lot can happen in the last three weeks, but that would make for some interesting conversations at bowl time.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? Sigh:

Like last week, "Dirty Diapers" is just three points off a perfect set. I've never seen that in November. I don't know how you compete with that.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Top kitty: Tigger at 7th. Top kid: "Lightning McQueen" at 11th. Top dog: "Quarter Dog" at 22nd.

This week: don't wait til Saturday to tune in to college football. Two of the biggest games of the season take place on Thursday night: Group "A" battle Stanford vs. Oregon and Big XII matchup Oklahoma vs. Baylor. Plus on Saturday, two great conferene matchups: LSU vs. Alabama in the SEC and Virginia Tech vs. Miami in the ACC.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

P62013: Week 9 Isn't Complaining

Games watched: Tues, some Louisiana Lafeyette-Western Ky (yes I know I need help); Fri, some Boise-BYU. Sat: Wake-Miami (end); Iowa-just Northwestern (2nd half); Nebby-Minny (2nd TV); Duke-Va. Tech (end); Michigan State-Illinois (end); ND-Air Force (parts); South Carolina-Missouri (most); UCLA-Oregon; Stanford-Oregon St (til asleep).

Let's start with this: the week started with attending a funeral in my hometown on Monday. The week ended with: Iowa won, Notre Dame won, Ohio won. Hell, even Drake won. Iowa State lost and Michigan didn't win (they had a bye). I can't complain.

Looking at the AP Poll: Co-host "QBKatt" points out that this week's poll has four Tigers in a row: #8 Auburn, #9 Clemson, #10 Missouri, #11 Lousiana State. That is awesome. Newcomers: Michigan State, who lost to Notre Dame, and Arizona State, who lost to Notre Dame. NOT in the Top 25: Notre Dame. Who by the way beat Sparty and Sparky. Also not in the Top 25: Nebraska, who inexplicably lost to an awful Minnesota team that might be the worst bowl eligble team right now, and Virginia Tech, who lost to Duke at home. If Pat Haden were VT's AD, he would probably drive Frank Beamer to an airport, just to fire him there.

Undefeated watch: Here's what happened to last week's list of 10:
ACC: Florida State and Miami. They play this Saturday night in the featured ABC game.
Big Ten: Ohio State.
Big XII: Texas Tech (lost to Oklahoma) and Baylor.
Mountain West: Fresno State.
Mid-American: Northern Illinois.
SEC: Missouri (lost at home to South Carolina) and Alabama.
Pac 12: Oregon.

So we are down to eight total, and seven conferences that can still produce an undefeated team.

Ups and downs: South Carolina had the best week, knocking off a previously undefeated Missouri squad in Columbia. Yeah no kidding! It frustrated me all week when I heard radio announcers say "Missouri plays South Carolina in Columbia." They are BOTH in Columbia! We wouldn't have this problem if Missouri would have just stayed in the Big XII where they belong. Anyway, the game was at Mizzou, and Sakerlina moved a little closer to where they were two weeks ago before losing to Tennessee.

Worst week was Va Tech (losing to Duke will do that to you, even if Duke is better these days), -10 and out, and UCLA -5, for getting blown out by Oregon just like everyone else this year. Mizzou also down -5.

Best week: It helped to have South Carolina, and perhaps one of those schools that lost to Notre Dame. So congrats to "Liars, Gastropods, Normads, D-bags, Enablers, and Jimbo Fisher" for a +11 week, moving into sixth place.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? Ninth verse, same as the first:

"Dirty Diapers" maintains that strangehold on the lead. Wife "No F'n Clue" still in second. "QBKatt" retakes the household lead with 67 points, but I'm lurking at 64 points. I really need Miami to beat FSU on Saturday, but that's a tall order. The Clemson-South Carolina game is lurking on the horizon too.

Top child: "Lightning McQueen" in 7th place (tied). Top kitty: Tigger, in 10th. Top dog: "Quarter Dog" in 15th.

Los linques:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Next week: Big game is Florida State vs. Miami in a top ten matchup. Okie State plays Texas Tech. Florida and Georgia are unranked, facing off in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Closer to home, it's the battle of the mitten when Mitten faces Mitten State. I think a great T-shrt for this rivalry would say "The Gloves Are Off (And The Mittens Are On)."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

P62013: Week 8 Is Still Bleeding From All The Carnage

Games watched: Western Kentucky-Louisiana Lafayette (Tues); Miami-N.Carolina (Thurs); UCF-Louisville (Fri); South Carolina-Tennessee; Florida-Missouri (flip); UCLA-Stanford (2nd TV); USC-Notre Dame, Florida State-Clemson (2nd TV); Wash St.-Oregon (a little); Utah-Arizona (a little).

I was all ready to write about what an exciting bunch of games we watched on Saturday. Upsets left and right.

And then I ran the math on the P6 game and saw this:

Geez, when I saw all the carnage represented by that red, all I could think of was this scene (start at 1:55):

I thought I was alone in my P6 pain. On Saturday I only had one win (Oregon). UCLA and South Carolina lost on the road, Texas and Nebraska bye'd, and Miami won on Thursday night. But clearly, misery loves company. ("Mizzery" loves winning. More on them in a second.)

Nebrask ... Abide.

Here's the tally: Georgia: -11 and out. Louisville: -10. South Carolina: -9. Texas A&M: -7. LSU: -7. Clemson: -6. Washington: -6 and out. Florida: -3 and out. There's a 100% you have at least one of those teams, because the entire Group "B" quartile lost yesterday. The average score fell this week from 60.3 to 54.3. I can't remember an average six-point drop as long as I've been running this game. Georgia earns the ignominy of being the first Group "A" team to fall out of the Top 25.

While most of those teams deserved their demotions, I must say this "SEC rulez" mentality among the voters is bullshit. I highly doubt Auburn is the 11th best team in the country, just because they beat John "Football" Manziel and his teammates.

As for Mizzou ... wow. I was very wrong when I teased "sadandbritish" that they'd enjoy a one-week stay in the Top 25 with Georgia on deck. All they did was curbstomp the 'Dogs last week and then cruise past Florida yesterday ... all with their backup QB. They might not deserve to be #5, but they have had a nice run. As a mea culpa, here is a somewhat sad and British song from the godfather of sad and British, Stephen Morrissey.

It is a little known fact that MPF004 likes some Smiths and Morrissey. This song was on the "Bona Drag" record that came out while I was in high school. It's also the same record that David Rawlings and Ryan Adams argued about. Somebody out there knows what I'm talking about.

Undefeated watch: Here's what happened to last week's list of 14:
American: Louisville (lost to Central Florida). Houston (lost to BYU).
ACC: Florida State, Clemson (lost to FSU) Miami. FSU and Miami will play on Nov. 2.
Big Ten: Ohio State.
Big XII: Texas Tech and Baylor. They play on Nov. 16.
Mountain West: Fresno State.
Mid-American: Northern Illinois.
SEC: Missouri (still!) and Alabama. They would play each other in the conference championship game.
Pac 12: Oregon and UCLA (lost to Stanford).

Four down, so the new total is 10.

Best week: Not many options here. "Prince of the Potty" and and Boots were up +6. You know what, I'm just going to go ahead and call out the other players in positive territory: "" +4, "Stanzi City Chiefs" +1. That's it. If your name isn't listed, you either pushed or lost ground.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? You would think that with all that losing going on, that maybe we'd have a shakeup at the top. Somebody new has to have that 103 score we saw above. Right? Right .... ?

Nope. "Dirty Diapers" had enough winners to stay in first. The top two stay the same, with some minor movement below them. The only two players with Missouri move into the Top Ten.

Top kitty: Tigger, in 9th  Top child: "Lightning McQueen" in 10th. Top dog: "Quarter Dog" down at 15th. I'm in 12th, claiming the household lead for the first time all season.

Update: Here are the links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Sunday, October 13, 2013

P62013: Week 7 Finally Saw Some Upsets

Games watched: can't remember. Mostly watched Texas A&M-Ole Miss at night.

It was a bye week here at TMMPF. Both Iowa and Notre Dame didn't play, so we took advantage of the chance to visit some Pick Sixers in the city. "Violas Rock" and "The Champagne Room" introduced us to "Lifelong Football Fan." "sodeh" was back from California, making seven Pick Six players in one room. That might be a non-Christmastime record.

After Stanford and Oklahoma got upset, an announcer mentioned there are 14 undefeated teams left in Divison I-A. That's a pretty good number for seven weeks in. But there are actually eight conferences that can produce an undefeated conference champion. Here's the list of the 14 current undefeated teams and how we can get to a max of eight:

American: Louisville and Houston. They play on Nov. 16.
ACC: Florida State, Clemson, Miami. FSU and Clemson play this Saturday. Miami would play that winner in the conference championship game.
Big Ten: Ohio State.
Big XII: Texas Tech and Baylor. They play on Nov. 16.
Mountain West: Fresno State.
Mid-American: Northern Illinois.
SEC: Missouri (I know!) and Alabama. They would play each other in the conference championship game.
Pac 12: Oregon and UCLA. They play on Oct. 26, a fact I neglected when I picked both for my Pick Six slate.

None of the teams above play each other, so eight total undefeated teams is possible. Keep your eye on these 14 as the season goes on. Onto the poll.

Hello: Auburn and Wisconsin. The player who picked Auburn, whose mascots are a bird and a cat, is a dog. I love this game. A whopping 20 of you picked the Badgers. Welcome back and enjoy that 1 point for now.

Adios: Northwestern, the worst 5-0 team in the country most years, and Michigan, this year's worst 5-0 team in the country. They both lost, on the road to unranked foes. They are banished. (Said Shakespearean style, with the emphasis on "SHED.")

Georgia, Michigan, Northwestern and Stanford were the big losers. Mizzou (beat Georgia) jumped up 11. Virginia Tech up 5. Texas Tech up 4. I'd like to think that's because of other things that happened to other teams, not that beating Iowa State on your home turf is a big accomplishment.

Also: Group D is a vast wasteland of red. If you didn't pick Oklahoma, you're currently looking at zero points. And another bad loss by the Sooners might make me sing "The Ballad of Group D" all over again.

Best week: I thought I had a pretty good week, with all five teams winning (Miami bye) and three of them taking nice jumps. But I can't compete with whoever picked Missouri, which was "sadandbritish" of course (I apologize for mocking your inevitable loss, I underestimated your Tigers) and kitty "Tigger," who also had no losses and jumped up 17 points. That's how you go from 33rd place to tied for 11th.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? Copy-paste from last week:

"Dirty Diapers" saw Oklahoma lose ... but so did the next four players behind him. Hard to gain traction on the leader when you've got the same team. "No F'n Clue" stays in second.

So, the western Des Moines suburbs still dominates the game, with a big moat between the top of them and the rest of us.

The best candidate not in that household is "The Cough-Inn" in third. Top dog: Still "SuperPups" but down to a tie for 9th. Top child: "Daddy's reason to like softball" also in 9th. Top kitty: Tigger, thanks to that Missouri pick.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Monday, October 07, 2013

P62013: Week 6 Gets Back From Dallas

Hi everyone. Apologies for the late start on this week's recap. The Pick Six went off-site this weekend for the Shamrock Series game in Dallas. If you're not aware, every year Notre Dame plays a "home game" at a neutral site. ND gets the home uniforms, home sideline and NBC broadcasts the game. But being offsite allows ND's spread-out fans to see the team a little closer to home (and also allows recruits in talent-rich areas to get a better look at the program).

So, more to come on the game, if/when I get my thoughts together. I don't have much to say about this week's games (since I didn't see much) or the poll. The Top 5 stays the same.

Personally, I was happy to have a week where all my Pick Sixers won. UCLA and Texas survived road scares Thursday night. Miami beat Georgia Tech, Oregon rolled as usual, Nebraska thumped Illinois and South Carolina outlasted Kentucky, without star defender Jadeveon Clowney.

Adios: Arizona State, Ole Miss and Maryland all lost and disappeared. Not a ton of Pick Six points at risk there.

Hello: They are replaced by Northern Illinois (it's about time, frankly), Virginia Tech and ... Mizzou! Congrats to sadandbritish for your alma mater's appearance. I see you play at Georgia this Saturday. Enjoy your one-week stay in the Top 25.

Best week: The biggest mover was Northern, up three. The highest ranked teams to lose (Washington and Northwestern) lost to Top Five teams, so there wasn't much of a shakeup. A couple people had a +4 week ... "Detroit Tigers" and, aw crap, really? "Dirty Diapers"?

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? Copy-paste from last week:

"Dirty Diapers" widens his lead to five points. "No F'n Clue" stays in second. The best candidate not in that household is "The Cough-Inn" in third. Top dog: "SuperPups" in 4th. Top child: "Lightning McQueen" tied for 12th. Top kitty: Franklin "The F-Bomb" tied (with me) for 23rd. If you're looking for something to break that logjam at the top ... Oklahoma doesn't play Baylor until the first week of November.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Next week: Both Iowa and Notre Dame have a bye, so the TV will be quiet at TMMPF HQ. Texas-Oklahoma is always fun to watch ... maybe less so with Texas being so down this year. Florida at LSU is a good Group B vs. Group C matchup. Oregon travels to Washington. How tired will the Huskies be playing the conference's best two teams back to back?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

P62013: Week 5's Balloon Gets Deflated

Games watched: Va. Tech-Ga. Tech (Thurs); Utah St.-San Jose St. (Fri); Ohio State-Wisconsin (4th quarter). Radio: A&M-Arkansas.

I spent Saturday afternoon in the 82-degree heat of Notre Dame Stadium. The game was over before it barely started. After an incompletion and a three-yard run by GAIII to open the game, here were the next two plays from scrimmage:

3-7  N28   REES pass intercepted by Nelson, Corey at the ND24, Nelson, Corey return 24 yard to the ND0, TOUCHDOWN.
--------------- 3 plays, 3 yards, TOP 00:49 ---------------

               Hunnicutt, Mike kick attempt good.

                                    OKLAHOMA 7, NOTRE DAME 0

Hodgson, Nick kickoff 60 yards to the ND5, ATKINSON, G. return 29 yards to the ND34 (Colvin, Aaron).
1-10 N34   REES pass intercepted by Shannon, Frank at the ND49, Shannon, Frank return 17 yards to the ND32, out-of-bounds.
--------------- 1 plays, 0 yards, TOP 00:21 ---------------

Four plays later, Oklahoma scored again to make it 14-0. Less than three minutes had expired.

For the final 57 minutes, Notre Dame played Okahoma to a draw. But they never got closer than six points, and it never really felt like the Irish were in the game, because of those two picks by Tommy Turnover.

I'll only say one more thing about this game. I haven't had a ton of time to spend on dissecting Notre Dame football this season (have a busy job and being a dad will do that). But I apparently knew enough to call plays based on formation. For example, on one play I saw WR Daniel Smith come in. I said to TM, "it's gonna be a run." And it was, because Daniel Smith doesn't catch passes, he only blocks. After the play, I said to TM, "if I knew that, you know damn well Bob Stoops knew that." Later on, they brought in running QB Andrew Hendrix and a tight end on the left side. No surprise: ND ran to the left. They play went nowhere.

Notre Dame lost only once in 2012 (and that was in January 2013), to the Nick Saban juggernaut. In five games of September, they lost twice. At least Iowa beat Minnesota and kept Floyd. The day wasn't a total loss.

The poll: Notre Dame and Wisconsin out. Arizona State and Maryland in. Oklahoma and LSU down, Georgia up. No major moves.

Best week: it was "Dirty Diapers." Who, if you are paying attention, is in first place.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? There's no suspense here:

Not only did "Dirty Diapers" not lose (five wins and a bye) but he had Oklahoma which bumped him up seven points, widening his lead in the game. It's time we all start rooting against Texas A&M (shouldn't be too hard), Florida State (ditto) and Oklahoma if we want any drama in this year's game. (Of course, "Sidney" and "let's do this thing" dominated the first half of last year's game, and we know how that ended...)

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Next week: Michigan-Northwestern will have a lot of interest from Pick Sixers (28 total picks). K-State vs. Oklahoma State is it's own special cripple fight. TCU-Oklahoma is a Group D fight that should shake up the poll. Washington at Stanford should be a great game.

I'll be in Dallas, feeling a lot more pessimistic about Notre Dame's chances against the now-ranked Sun Devils. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

P62013: Week 4 Is a Good Time to Look Back

Listen to this cool, languid song while you read this week's update. It's fitting.

Games watched: Clemson-NC State (Thurs), Boise-Fresno (Fri), Iowa-Western Mitten (2nd half), La Tech-Kansas (the very end, to see if Kansas would lose), Sparty-Notre Dame, Tennessee-Florida (2nd TV), Arizona St.-Stanford, Auburn-LSU, Utah-BYU. 

Last week I looked at the upcoming slate of games and thought, to quote second-year Pick Sixer "LizzieBear":

There was only one game between ranked teams. That was the only loss in the entire Top 25. The top 14 of this week's poll is the same as last week. There are 47 teams active in the game (the top 25 and 22 Pick Sixths), and there were only seven matchups between teams in the game. None of them really mattered.

In short: nothing changed. Arizona State (loser of that Top 25 matchup) is out, Fresno State is in. No teams really moved up or down in the poll, so no players really moved.

So let's take a minute to look back on the first four weeks of the season. The highest ranked team to fall out of the poll is Texas (preseason No. 15). Nebraska, Boise, Oregon State and Southern Cal also have departed.

Poor Texas. (I can say that because I picked them.) After their Week 3 loss to Ole Miss, things were bad. According to a comment on Burnt Orange Nation, this was the first since Texas had back-to-back losses of 19+ points since 1994. Yeouwch. I don't think we'll see the Longhorns in the Top 25 anytime soon. also from the same article: "This is the 8th time in our last 13 games an opponent has set a career high in rushing."

Here's another question: who had the best road win (not neutral site) in the first four weeks? The clear answer is Alabama over then-No. 6 Texas A&M in Week 3. Here are some other nominees:

Week 1: FSU at Pitt. That assumes that Pitt is good enough to brag about beating. Pitt is 2-1, so maybe.
Week 2: Oregon at Virginia. Of course, Oregon should win that game, no matter where it is. 
Week 3: #1 Alabama hangs on to win at #6 Texas A&M 49-42
Week 3: Ole Miss at Texas? On paper that looks good, but there are two weeks of evidence that Texas is awful. The win over K-State is a minor reassurance, but we'll need more evidence. 
Week 3: Ohio State at Cal? Maybe, but Cal lost to a I-AA school and Northwestern. 
Week 3: Notre Dame at Purdue? ND played awful for three quarters and then stole a victory with a furious late comeback. Plus, it's Purdue. That shouldn't be a note-worthy win. 
Week 3: UCLA at Nebraska. If Nebraska gets their defense in order, that might look good by the end of the year. 

Checking in on Iowa: After losing to a MAC school in Week 1, Iowa has rolled off three straight wins. The Missouri State and ISU wins were not impressive. Yesterday's 59-3 win over Western Mitten was impressive.

At the beginning of the year, the math to get a bowl was simple: win the four non-conference games, beat the two weakest conference foes on the slate, Minnesota and Purdue, lose the rest and you're 6-6. Now with that NIU loss, Iowa has to find another potential victory among Michigan State, Northwestern or Nebraska, and still beat the two weaklings. Before Saturday, I would have thought that impossible. But after Iowa scored 59 at home and Michigan State scored 13 on the road, I have a shred of optimism.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

I telegraphed this, but in case you weren't paying attention, "Dirty Diapers" keeps the lead. Until Alabama, A&M or Florida State loses, get used to this picture. Top dog: "SuperPups" in 3rd. Top kid: "Daddy's reason to like softball" in 12th (tie). Top kitty: my furry little friend Franklin "The F Bomb" in 19th (tie).

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Next week: Much better games on the docket, including Georgia-LSU and Ohio State-Wisconsin.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

P6 2013: Week 3 and Winning Feels Lousy

Games watched: TCU-Texas Tech (Thurs), Boise-Air Force (Fri), Stanford-Army, Akron-Michigan (the end), USC-Boston College (look-ins), Oregon-Tennessee (2nd TV), Alabama-Texas A&M (until Iowa started), Iowa-Iowa St, Auburn-Miss. St (a little), Ohio-Marshall (some), Notre Dame-Purdue, Utah-Oregon State, Arizona St-Wisconsin.

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. Today is cold, gray and rainy. It's fitting to reflect on a day where Iowa, Notre Dame and Ohio all won, and yet, for the first two games at least, the wins felt like losses. 

The 11am timeslot saw a bunch of awful games. In fact, player "Lizzie Bear" and I spent more time watching Florence + the Machine's unplugged set on Palladia than we did watching college football. Since Iowa played at 5pm and ND at 7pm, we just surfed around multiple games, including Army hanging with Stanford and the almost-upset of the year, Akron nearly beating Michigan. We had all morning to wait until The Game Of The Century Of The Week, Alabama-Texas A&M. Then the Iowa game, then ND, and a lot of pacing.  

I should say first, we saw some awesome plays. First, the Alabama-Texas A&M game. Now, I'm as sick of John Manziel as the next person. I wish he would go away from Sunday to Friday. I don't want to hear about him off the field. But on the field, it is exciting to watch him do things like this: 

I'm not sure that was even the most athletic play of the game. I was amazed by this interception by Gino (or Tino) Sunseri of Alabama (he didn't really run this fast):

Then the Iowa game started. Iowa jumped out to a 27-7 lead, then let ISU get back into it. I've watched enough Iowa-ISU games to know that the Clones would fight their way back into it (and probably win since it was in Ames). And I've watched Iowa make so many stupid mistakes on special teams recently that I just knew something was going to go wrong. And sure enough, ISU scored to make it 27-14, executed an onside kick that Iowa should have defended, and drove down to make it 27-21. 

And as ISU was driving for the game-winning touchdown ... BJ Lowery made my fricking day.  

Holy shit was that a cool interception. Let's look at that in .gif mode.

The end result was a 27-21 victory and reclaiming whatever ugly trophy goes to the winner of this rivalry. Iowa won, but the fourth quarter was so close to a meltdown, it didn't inspire any confidence in the season.


Meanwhile, the ND game started, and they looked pretty uninspiring too. They ended up beating Purdue by a touchdown, but considering the Irish were favored by 20.5 points, it was a pretty "bleh" performance. Tommy Rees threw way too many times, despite that ND played from behind for most of the game.

The Pick Six: My P6'ers were also pretty blah. Miami had a bye, Texas got killed (again), and UCLA thumped Nebraska. Yes, I violated my own rule by picking teams that play each other. Oops. So between UCLA, Oregon and South Carolina, I only had three wins this week. Surprisingly, I moved from 41st to 33rd (tie) even though I stayed at 61 points.

The poll: Hello to Arizona State (congrats to four of you with the Sun Devils) and Texas Tech, a team no one in the game picked. Adios to Nebraska (ugly loss) and TCU (reasonable loss. They might be back).

Best of the week: Not a ton of people moved up a lot, since there wasn't a lot of movement at the top. It was good to have Arizona St. or UCLA (+3) or one of a handful of +2s. Congrats to "No F'n Clue" and "SuperPups" who were +8 (and on a related note, are currently No. 2 and No. 3 in the game.)

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

"Dirty Diapers" lost some ground with A&M but gained with UCLA and Baylor for a +3 on the week and another week at the top. With wife "No F'n Clue" in second place, they are the dominant couple in the early going. Top dog: "SuperPups" in 3rd. Top kid: "Daddy's reason to like softball" in 15th. Top kitty: my furry little friend Franklin "The F Bomb" in 22nd.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Next week: There are a couple interesting games, like Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia and Florida vs. Tennessee, but there's only one ranked vs. ranked game, Arizona State at Stanford. So root for your teams, but it'll probably be pretty quiet in the P6 unless we see crazy upsets.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

P62013: Week 2 Finally Sees Some Movement

Games Watched: Sacramento St. at Arizona St. (til I got bored), Wake Forest at Boston College; UCF at FIU (look in), Florida vs. Miami (2nd TV), Iowa vs. Southwest Missouri St., Bowling Green vs. Kent St. (look in), Georgia-South Carolina, Oklahoma-West Va (2nd TV), Michigan-Notre Dame, Texas-BYU (2nd TV), USC-Washington State (intermittent).

It was a bit of a rough week. The hometown high school lost on a field goal in the fourth quarter. Iowa only scored 7 points on a I-AA school in the first half. Notre Dame lost badly. And two of my Pick Sixers tanked on national TV.

Let's start with a stat. Last year in the regular season, Notre Dame gave up 0, 3, 3, 6, 6, and 10 in its six best defensive efforts. That's 28 points. Last  night in the horror show up in Ann Arbor, the defense gave up 41 points. Let's move on.

In the poll: A lot of people had the teams that bit it: Notre Dame and South Carolina and to a lesser extent Texas and Florida. I had two of 'em. So the average score went down, from 68 to 66. Oklahoma beat a bad West Virginia team by single digits, at home, and Oklahoma moves up? Did any voter actually watch that game?

Welcome: Miami, Mississippi State. Adding the 'Canes takes the sting off of losing Texas. And, the balance of power is complete in the What Ever State Mississippi Is Called State. 

Adios: Texas, USC. Boy that 2005 championship game was a long time ago, wasn't it? In Week 1 we lost the first Group E (Oregon State) and Group D (Boise). Now Texas has the honor of being the first Group C to depart.

Best Week: "The A Team" and "Anna" used Michigan to gain nine points this week. I hope you feel dirty.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning? Speaking of dirty ...

The Pick Six leadership stays in the suburbs of Des Moines for a second week. "No F'n Clue" hands the temporary crown to her husband, "Dirty Diapers." Look for a new champ next week, as Dirty Diapers has both Alabama and A&M, who play each other on Saturday.

The links:

P62013 Scoreboard
Points for each team
AP Top 25 Poll

Looking ahead: In addition to Bama-Aggies, there's Nebraska-UCLA and Wisconsin-Arizona State.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

P62013: Kickoff Weekend

Games watched: N. Carolina-S. Carolina (a little), Ole Miss-Vandy, Miami-FIU, Michigan State-Western Mitten, Kansas State-N. Dakota St., ND-Temple, Iowa-Northern, E. Wash-Ore. St (the end), Georgia-Clemson, LSU-TCU (2nd TV), Northwestern-Cal (until sleepy).

I had kind of a weird Thursday. Normally I like to rush home from work and plop down on the couch to watch that first, glorious game of the season. But this Thursday I had to work late on a project, then attempted to get from the northern suburbs to downtown to attend a party for alumni of a former employer. Traffic sucked, I made it halfway and got a text from a friend saying don't bother coming down here. In my hassled disgust to get home, I took a wrong turn then realized I'd never get home in time to eat.

I was hungry, I was grumpy, I pulled into the first food place I could find, a gyro stand. I ordered and impatiently waited for my food, and paced around the corner into the seating area.

And there .... and there. Was the South Carolina-North Carolina game. Live college football. And then I was okay.

It was also a weird Saturday because Iowa and Notre Dame played at 2:30 pm. In the 11am time slot, we just meandered through a bunch of meaningless games (Villanova-BC, Purdue-Cincy), not really watching any of them. Then I had to juggle attention on both games, then watch Iowa lose as painfully as any of the awful losses of the last three years.

But Georgia-Clemson was pretty cool. Congrats to the nine of you with the guts to pick the Tigers.

It was also weird because of all the I-AA wins over I-A teams. In fact there were eight of them:
  • Towson beat UConn
  • Southern Utah over South Alabama (although So. Ala is a recent Div. I-A joiner)
  • Samford beat Georgia State (although Geo. St. is a recent Div. I-A joiner)
  • Eastern Washington over Oregon State (Beavers were ranked No. 25)
  • McNeese State beat South Florida (like UConn, a member of the former Big East)
  • Northern Iowa beat Iowa State, the most relieving schaudenfraudistic game of the day
  • Eastern Illinois thumped San Diego State, 40-19!
  • North Dakota State beat Kansas State in a game we watched. The Bison used an awesome drive at the end of the game to win it.
If you're a fan of the underdog, you can read more here. If you have no fear of the underdog, here's Spoon.

Right ... how'd my Pick Six do? Yes, back to you. Well, good on you if you had the aforementioned Clemson or Washington. The Huskies beat Boise State 38-6 in the debut of their new home stadium. I don't know if I'd call it an upset. Washington is a good-to-decent team, and this might be the year Boise falls back into mediocrity.

Sucks to be ... Boise, Georgia and TCU. Ranked teams losing on the road is not rewarded, even if you lost to a solid team like Clemson or LSU. Oregon State or K-State: losing at home to lower division teams is bad. Nebraska: edging out Wyoming by 3 points is not cool.

Best of the week: Early congrats to a trio of +7 players: "No F'n Clue," who apparently does have a clue, "Dirty Diapers," and "Bo's Boys," who wisely avoided picking Bo's boys (Nebraska, coached by Bo Pelini).

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

I almost ran the Beavis and Butt-Head picture to symbolize Week 1 leader "No F'n Clue" but then realized that those guys actually do have a clue sometimes. Besides, who doesn't love a confused panda. "No F'n Clue" broke the preseason tie with "Nope. I'm a Frayed Knot" (love that name) and is only six points off the perfect set. 

Oh okay I can't tease you guys like that, here's Beavis and Butt-Head. 

Bookmark this link, it won't change all season: P62013 Scoreboard.

Two more links for you: Points for each team (also found on the second tab of the scoreboard) and the AP Top 25 Poll.

Game of the upcoming week: Notre Dame (24 picks) vs. Michigan (17 picks). Good luck to the nine of you who picked the Irish AND the Skunkbears. You better be rooting for the right one on Saturday.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

MPF004's Picks Explained

As fearless leader of the Pick Six, I describe the rationale for my picks every year for laudation (or mockery). 

The Group A pick boils down to Alabama vs. Anybody Else. My choice of "anybody else" is less a vote of no confidence in Bama and more of an acknowledgment of the difficulty of maintaining a dynasty in modern college football. Nebraska had an amazing run in the 1990s, Florida State was dominant for a stretch, USC was nearly unbeatable in the mid-2000s. All of them came back to earth. Besides, I think most people will pick Alabama, and if you want to win, you've got to take a risk.

Georgia was five yards and three seconds away from the national championship game last year, but I don't think they'll repeat that success. Ohio State and Stanford had great seasons as well. But I look at Oregon and I see a team that hardly ever loses. Despite losing Chip Kelly to the NFL, they keep the same offensive system. Plus they have a kid from my old high school. Amazing athletes + hometown sentimentality is enough to outweigh those ugly, ugly uniforms.

In Group B, I'm staying far away from Clemson, Texas A&M and Louisville. I think all three are far too mercurial and likely to finish the season much lower than this. So it basically boils down to who I think will win the Florida-South Carolina game, as these two are otherwise evenly matched. I like the wiliness of Steve Spurrier to exploit the weaknesses in Will Muschamp's defense. I expect an SEC East title and a boost into the Top 5 for South Carolina.

In Group C, I was torn between Notre Dame and Texas. None of the "States" tripped my trigger, although I think FSU is in the best position among the three to run the table. In the end I thought there's enough that can go wrong for ND, and a wide open Big XII, that I felt better with Bevo. Plus I won't feel doubly-awful if/when ND tanks.

Group D was somewhat easier. I've already picked Texas to win the Big XII, so no Oklahoma or TCU. I think Boise will plummet on its first loss and probably not recover. I am not picking Michigan. So, I ended up with Nebraska. I think they'll have a nice recovery from last year's embarrassments, the schedule gets easier, and I have a bonus reason to hate Michigan on Nov. 9.

Group E is weird: three Pac 12s and two Big Tens. I've already got a Big Ten team, so those two are out. No way I'm picking USC, and I don't know why Oregon State made the poll over someone like Michigan State. So I reluctantly choose UCLA. I realized after I made this pick that the Bruins and Huskers play each other (on Sept. 14).

As for the all important Group F. It couldn't be someone from the SEC because that conference is already well-represented. I didn't want to pick Iowa ... not enough confidence there. Michigan State is very tempting. They went 7-6 but had an awesome defense and lost five of those by a combined 13 points. But then I'd have to root for a team that plays Iowa and Notre Dame. Kansas State looks impressive but I gave that one to Franklin "The F Bomb." (Note: this was written before K-State's loss to North Dakota State last night.) I didn't pick an ACC team above, so that was looking good.

I needed someone off the radar, someone with talent but not in the media spotlight. Someone with a talented roster and a good coach.

Last year I picked South Florida. They went 2-10 and Skip Holtz got fired. This year I'm going even further southeast ... to Miami.

First and probably last time the Fresh Prince shows up on my blog. 

Site of January's Irish Massacree, home of "Da U". The ACC is wide open, with only two teams in the Top 25, both on the other half of the conference. Miami's hardest games are home vs. Virginia Tech, at Florida State and home vs. Florida but a 9-3 record is certainly reasonable and could get them into the Top 20 or better.

Last year all my hard work and research garnered me a 38th place finish. We'll see how I do in 2013.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thomas The Train: The 2012 Pick Six Champion

Entries are rolling in for this year's Pick Six game. But before we kick off the season, a moment to discuss last year's winner.

Each year the winner gets a small prize. Usually I get a photo with the winner and their prize. But since last year's winner is in eastern Ohio, I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the winner, "Thomas the Train." And I couldn't really call him, because he is only 1 year old.

I did take a photo of the first place prize (and the bonus for the runner-up, courtesy of 2011 champ Sidney:)

I finally connected with "Super Why" and "Cat in the Hat", the parental units of young "Thomas." They agreed to coordinate an interview. I am grateful for this, because I'm learning that interpreting the proto-language of a 1-year-old isn't easy. His mom explained: "We answered with his favorite words because he didnt want to pay attention when we asked him  :). We provided our translation of what we think he would say." How did you make your picks as an eight month old?
Thomas the Train: "Dino"
Translation: "As with everything, I trusted my parents. Their help with my picks ended up being the best of both of them, just like me. Besides, how can you go wrong with Ohio State?" What was your reaction when you heard you won the Pick Six game?
Thomas the Train:  "yay!"
Translation: " I was shocked, at a year old I had never won anything before! But seriously, Ohio State went 12-0. I had a pretty good idea." As a former champion, what's your advice to people as they make their picks?   Thomas the Train: "it's hot"
Translation: "Don't overthink it...I may have trusted my parents last year but this year I am going to leave it up to chance. We'll see if I can repeat!"

Thanks to "Super Why" and "Cat In the Hat" (by the way, I totally get those references now ... I've seen my fair share of PBS Kids) for their help in securing access to our winner. 

Finally, here's a picture of the champ with his prize. Just think, people: in four months, this could be you. 

"Thomas the Train," 2012 Pick Six Champion.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Time To Play Pick Six 2013!

If you live in the Upper Midwest, like many readers, you've noticed a certain chill in the air. A crispness that says ... it's football season. And as of today, it IS officially football season, because the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll was released, and that means the Sixth Annual TMMPF Pick Six Game. Cue the Viking kitties.

The Viking Kitty video actually won't play within Blogger. Watch here to get psyched up.

THE GAME IS EASY! If you've played in previous years, you know how simple it is (to enter at least, winning is a different story) ....

The preseason Top 25 poll is divided into quintiles (a word that probably gets used once a year and on this blog only):

A: Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Georgia
B: South Carolina, Texas A&M, Clemson, Louisville, Florida
C: Florida State, Louisiana State, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Texas
D: Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Boise State, Texas Christian
E: UCLA, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Southern Cal, Oregon State

Pick one team from each group. Then one unranked team (Group F). There's your Pick Six. The goal is to have the highest ranked teams at the end of the season. (The game ends after the bowls, with the final AP poll in January.)

FAMILY FUN! We've learned the game is more fun when multiple members of your family or household participate. Think you don't care about that Georgia/Clemson game? You will, if you've got the 'Dogs and your spouse has the Tigers!

Cats can play ....

This is Franklin on my lap as I entered my 2011 picks. 

Dogs can play ....

USC or UCLA ... which kibble looks tastier?

Heck in 2011 we had a fetus enter the game. He finished 19th. The next year after he was born, he played again and finished first!! (I hope to have more from last year's winner, "Thomas the Train," next week.)

Last year we had a TMMPF-record 60 entries. The more the merrier, so share the info with friends, co-workers, your bookie, whoever you think would enjoy.

PRIZES! Every year I give a kitchsy, college-football themed prize for first place. The last few years have been memorabilia for teams from the Southeast, which is ironic given I live in Big Ten/Notre Dame country. But along with the glory, you could walk away with a prize valued at up to TEN WHOPPING DOLLARS.

You don't have to know anything about football. You don't even have to be sober.

DO I NEED TO DO RESEARCH? If you want to ... whether you are online ...

...or prefer old school newspaper.

IT'S TIME TO ENTER! To play, simply submit your six teams and a name for your entry. If you submit picks without a team name, I will pick one for you. That can be dangerous. If you played last year, you can keep your name or choose a new one.

Send your picks to (at) gmail dotcom. Any advice, decision angst you felt, or pictures of kitties/dogs/babies making picks is always welcome, and in fact is a key component of the game.

Call your friends...

Send an email ...

tell them to get their picks in!

DEADLINE: The deadline is Thursday, August 29, 4:55 pm Central, which is five minutes before the first game of the season. No I don't know why North Carolina vs. South Carolina (and Kent State) felt it necessary to start at 5pm.

Every Sunday (God willin' and the Creek don't rise), I'll post a recap on Saturday's games and an updated scoreboard.

QUESTIONS? Reach out to me at my email address if you've got it, the email address above if you don't, or leave a comment here on the blog if it's general.

Thanks and good luck to everyone!

If the sight of this doesn't make you retch, congratulations on giving up on twenty years of hate. You've just identified your Group A pick.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

It's Coming

The coaches poll was released on Thursday. Which is meaningless, except for serving as a milestone that we are that much closer to the Associated Press poll. Which means:

August 17, people. Mark your calendars. Get out your Post-It notes and dog food bowls. We'll be back with more details then.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

P6 2012: Crowning a Winner

I guess it's fitting that today is the birthday of the King, the only royalty it is acceptable to worship here in the United States, because it's time to crown a champ. (I mean, we ain't Canadians.)

Any excuse to run this photo. ANY excuse.

Five months ago you were invited to pick six schools at semi-random, and now that the games are over and the Associated Press voters have filled out their polls, I'm here to reveal the winner of the Pick Six game for 2012.

First the usual statistics.

Biggest gainers: Louisville had the biggest upset win of the bowl season, running over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. They jumped up nine spots. Texas moved back into the poll on the strength of an Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State. Nobody else moved up much.

Biggest losers: Nobody lost more than five points, but those minus fives (not that Minus Five) all fell flat: Florida, Kansas State (lost to Oregon), LSU (should have beat Clemson) and Michigan (lost to South Carolina in the season's most exciting game).

Hey let's look at Jadeveon Clowney's awesome hit on that Michigan RB again.

Best week: Technically the bowl season lasted three weeks, but whatever. Two pets, "Four legs and a cloud of dust" and Tippy, made hay with their picks: they shared Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Louisville. Add up those four gainers and you have a 22-point improvement from the end of the regular season.

Here at TMMPF HQ: Bragging rights go to Franklin "The F-Bomb", in only his second year of competition (and life). He had a less than stellar finish, tied for 29th, but that still beat me, TinaMarie, 2010 champ Quigley and the baby.

Enough jibber jabber, who won the game?

"Thomas the Train" hadn't seen the lead since Week 10, but he'd been loitering in the top the whole time. Former leader "Flying Cougars" had four teams lose, and  No. 2 "I Hate Caillou" had three of those same teams. Meanwhile, Thomas had Ohio State (no bowl), plus four winners (and Notre Dame, who fell only three spots).

This means the last three winners have been a housecat, my father-in-law and a 1-year-old in suburban Cleveland. People: ANY ONE CAN WIN THIS GAME. The final scores are here. For your convenience, I've color coded the bowl winners and losers. The points for each school are here.

Congrats to "Thomas" and his mommy who likely made the picks, and to runner-up "Liars, Gastropods, Normads, D-bags, Enablers, and Jimbo Fisher". Your prizes will be revealed in a future post, and mailed out shortly.

Thanks again to everyone who played. I hope you found enjoyment in cheering for your six teams.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


BEST DAY: Feb. 28. It started with an early afternoon doctor's appointment and ended with our first child being born, around 11:30pm. Any other year the winner would be Aug. 24: I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the first time, then to a Cleveland Indians game.

BEST PICTURE: All year I figured it would be this one, taken minutes after her birth:

But I just love this one too:

BEST AD: (tie) AT&T aired this Olympics ad several hours after the event in the commercial actually happened live in London. Amazing use of technology to capture the viewer's attention. Co-winner: This ad that makes fun of people who stand in line to buy a portable telephone. Hilariously dead-on.

BEST NEWS STORY INVOLVING A CAT: This cat is mayor of a small Alaska town.

BEST AMATEUR ATHLETE: Manti Te'o, linebacker, University of Notre Dame. Runner-up: Missy Franklin, swimmer/lip-syncher, America.

Manti Te'o, after beating Michigan.

BEST MOVIE: Argo (dir. Ben Affleck).

WORST MOVIE: The Dictator (dir. Larry Charles). Not that it was awful, but I only saw two movies in 2012.

BEST TV SHOW: "Louie" (FX).

BEST NOTRE DAME GAME: We saw the 17-14 win over BYU on Oct. 20.

BEST BASEBALL GAME: The Indians game I guess. We did not go to any Cubs games.

BEST WEEK: Chicago week on Conan O'Brien's show. (June 11-14).

BEST CAREER MOVE: Accepting a new position, then getting laid off (with severance) from my old job before I could turn in my notice. Yes, this really happened. (Aug. 22)


BEST SONG: "We Take Care of Our Own" by Bruce.

WORST/CATCHIEST SONG: The "red, yellow, blue" song on the baby's exersaucer. Runner-up: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

BEST ROAD TRIP: To Cleveland and Buffalo (Aug. 23-27).

BEST CONCERT (OUTDOORS): Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Wrigley Field (Sept. 7).

BEST CONCERT (INDOORS): Ray LaMontagne at the Chicago Theatre (Dec. 1). Runner-up: Alejandro Escovedo at the Prairie Center for the Arts (Apr. 21).

Thanks for reading my year-end review. I hope 2013 finds you happy and healthy and at peace.