#CheddarBay Playoffs week one.

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The field is set and congratulations to our playoff field: CLEVTA, rolub, swig, pforever, Concierge, oxr, Petefranklin, zarathustra, Tim Butler, trashycamaro.

Now get busy because you’re jumping right back into this with two games today and ten picks this week.

This week’s lines.

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Playoff Ground Rules

Here’s the email we shot out to the playoff contenders yesterday establishing the guidelines for this playoff season.  (Week one is tricky.)


1. In week one, you’re picking ten games.

a. Mandatory college (4) — Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar;

b. NFL (4) — pick all four wild card games;

c. Optional college (2) — pick two from the remaining bowls (Peach, Outback, Cotton, Citrus, Armed Forces, TaxSlayer, Alamo, Cactus, Birmingham, GoDaddy).

2. Timing of picks submissions is as follows:

* College picks may be submitted one hour before the first kickoff of the first college game being played on THAT DAY. (All of your December 31 picks need to be in by 11:30 AM on that day, all of your January 1 picks need to be in by 11 AM on that day, etc.)

* All NFL picks for a weekend have to be in by 1PM of the FIRST DAY of that NFL weekend.

Optionally, you can submit your picks via email for me/Pete to release by the deadline for receiving picks for that day. You may post to the thread if you prefer, but the timing remains the same.

3. CC Frowns on all your playoff picks.

5. The playoff pool number is 10. Just a reminder that if we have playoff group that is more than ten, those players on the cut line will be in a sudden death status and until we have the field pared back to ten.

6. I’ll post the week one lines in a thread going up first thing tomorrow morning. Bet let’s lock in tomorrows games now:

TCU -3.5 vs. Ole Miss (Peach); Arizona -3 vs. Boise (Fiesta); Miss. St. -6.5 GaTech (Orange).

7. For rounds 1 and 2, essays are 10 points, regular picks are 5 points. For round 3, regular picks are 10 points, essay is 15 points. For the Super Bowl, your pick is worth 25 points.

That’s it for now.  Thanks to all who played.  That Bama/OSU should be pretty great.


Enough on TCU getting hosed.

Cripes, with this never ending Peach Bowl it seems like all there is to talk about is how TCU got porked.  A couple things:

1.  Playoff will never eliminate the prospect of someone getting ‘porked.’  Before the playoff, the #3 team usually had a greivance; four team playoff and #5 feels maltreated.  Make it six or eight games?  #7 and #9 will feel slighted.  Happens.  Has for forever.  Comes with the territory.

2.  Stop eye-balling OSU with your trolling.  If the idea is to get the four best teams into the playoffs, ask yourself how Vegas would rate the games?  Here’s where the Kanick Book would open for neutral site games:

  • TCU +10 vs Bama;
  • TCU +7 vs OSU;
  • TCU pk Oregon;
  • TCU -8 vs FSU.

(I seriously don’t know how Vegas would rate the games and am interested in what our capper community thinks.)

Here’s FSU:

  • Six point win vs 6-6 OkSt;
  • Ref-aided OT win at home vs. 10-3 Clemson;
  • Losing by ten in 3rd quarter at NCST;
  • Ref-aided win at home vs. 8-5 Notre Dame;
  • Losing by three with four minutes left at 9-4 Louisville;
  • Lucky with three minutes left at 6-7 Miami;
  • Beats 7-6 BC with FG on last play at home;
  • Four interceptions at home versus 6-5 Florida;
  • And two point win vs. GT.

That’s 3-10-0 ATS record.

Point is:  if you think TCU got hosed, you should be directing your snark at the weak link that is FSU, not OSU.

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  • Petefranklin

    Well, that was pleasant!

  • swig

    What a blood bath in the spreadsheet, yikes.

    I like the essay has been win-less thus far, and we have one person on each side of today’s games.

  • Panthers*** (W); Ravens (W); The dream of an 11-0 NFL playoff run is still alive and I’ll take the Colts and Cowboys today. Bigger on Cowboys than Colts.

    First, a couple of quotes on Lions/Cowboys:

    “Stafford still has no idea what the third option on a pass play looks like.”

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2315479-nfl-wild-card-picks-credit-for-cam-newton-debt-relief-for-the-cowboys

    “The [Lions] averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and ranked 29th in rushing offense DVOA. And
    that was all with guard Larry Warford, the team’s best offensive lineman, who will likely miss Sunday’s game with a knee injury. The dropoff from Warford to dismal backup Garrett Reynolds isn’t exactly Romo to Weeden, but it’s not far off, either.”

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/together-we-make-playoffs-the-2015-nfl-wild-card-preview/

    The ideas that Detroit’s defense neutralizes the Cowboys’ run game, and that Detroit’s passing game can exploit the Cowboys’ passing game, seem too easy, especially with this line at a full touchdown. As oxr pointed out in his essay, the Lions defense has let up significantly as the season has carried on, and was lit up by New England and Green Bay. Additionally, if there’s any (non-Haslam) owner worse than Jerryworld, it’s the Ford family. But in the end I mainly think it’s too easy for folks overinfluenced by fantasy stats to look at the big names on the Lions roster and feel safe taking the touchdown. Dallas can lose in Green Bay next week to an offense that actually can exploit their D.

    As for the Colts over Cincy, I like the Bengals as much as anyone and said here that they were a legit Super Bowl contender when the season started, but the injuries (Burfict, Jones, Eifert, now Green, also Gresham is really banged up) have just been too much. I don’t think Dalton is as terrible as everyone says he is, and the way AJ Green has been playing lately makes me think the Bengals could be better off without him today, but in the end I mainly think the Colts are coming in underrated here. I think Indy knew it was going to more or less coast into the playoffs this
    year so I don’t read too much into their bad losses against the toughest teams on their schedule and feel safe enough taking Andrew Luck against a team that can’t get a pass rush. I also think the Colts defense doesn’t get enough credit.

    OK, hope everyone enjoys the games. Next week’s slate should be terrific, too.

    • Might as well pick the rest from here on out, too.

      Divisional round:

      Pats -7.5 over Raisins;
      Panthers (+9?) over Seahawks;
      Colts (+7?) over Broncos;
      Packers (-4?) over Cowboys

      Buckeyes +7 over Ducks.

      Championship round:

      Pats (-4/-8?) over Broncos/Colts;
      Seahawks (-5?) over Packers.

      Superbowl:

      Seahawks (-3?) over Pats.

    • arent you forgetting something?

      i sorta love the rockets +3.5 in the godaddy tonight.

  • trashycamaro

    Jeff Driskel tried to destroy my Cheddar Bay day today – but not even his stink could keep the Gators from covering!

  • I’ll take Carolina and the Baltimore Raisins today.

    Re: Carolina, I was all set to take the Cards for various reasons well-stated below by Rob and Pete F, but then I read this, of which I’ll paste relevant excerpts below: http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/156930/cardinals-vs-panthers-preview

    “The [Carolina] offensive line had been a mess due to injuries and inexperience. But the same five have started five games in a row, developing a continuity and consistency that wasn’t there much of the season. That has allowed quarterback Cam Newton to do his thing as a runner and a passer. The fact that Jonathan Stewart has been one of the most productive runners in the NFL during that stretch has given that unit balance. Then there’s the defense. The Panthers have been playing at a top-10 level the past nine games. But inserting more speed in the secondary with rookie cornerback Bene’ Benwikere and rookie free safety Tre Boston has elevated that group to the level it was last season, when it was second in the NFL. The emergence of Josh Norman as a shutdown corner also has been key. The Panthers basically are using the same formula that worked last season: Pressure the quarterback, stop the run and create turnovers.

    “The threat of Newton as a runner certainly helps. But it’s way more than that. As I mentioned above, Stewart is running better than at any point in his career now that he’s completely healthy. And the line that was criticized for much of the season is winning the battle in the trenches. It starts with the inside group. Center Ryan Kalil has been steady all season, but the emergence of left guard Andrew Norwell and right guard Trai Turner has solidified that group, which was constantly making mistakes early in the season. Then there’s right tackle Mike Remmers, who was on the Rams’ practice squad the first half of the season. He’s played so well that he’s earned a right to start next season. That Newton is making smart decisions on the read-option makes it tough for teams to load up against the run as it did earlier in the season. The Panthers are averaging about 195 yards rushing the last five games, so this appears to be strength against weakness.

    “The Cardinals lost twice to a Seattle team that relies on a running quarterback. Russell Wilsonhad 88 yards on six carries in the second loss. What is Arizona doing to adjust to facing another running quarterback in Newton? And is stopping him the primary concern there?

    “The [Panthers front-seven is] flying around and playing at a level that is every bit as good as last year’s defense, which carried the team. That the sacks finally are starting to come has been key. The pressure has made good quarterbacks such as Drew Brees and Matt Ryan look average. Defensive end Charles Johnson is playing at arguably his highest level of his career. The front four is getting such a big push that it disrupts what the opponent wants to do without having to commit other players to a blitz. Then there’s Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, arguably the best pair of linebackers in the NFL. The front seven that was promoted as one of the best in the league before the season finally is playing as advertised. They’ve found a personnel grouping that really works, and they’re having fun again. They’re peaking at the right time.”

    I find all this to be very persuasive, and will probably take Carolina and the points in Seattle next week as well for similar reasons.

    As for the Ravens, I mainly think the Steelers look too easy here. I think Bell is one of those guys who will help prove that not all running backs are expendable. The injuries in the Ravens secondary are not undervalued in this point spread, nor is the Steelers’ passing attack. Meanwhile Steve Smith is one of the best playoff receivers of all time, probably going somewhat underappreciated here. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens lose by 1 or 2 here, either.

    • Looks like all the late money’s coming in on the Cards as well. Panthers roll here.

      • Also, of course Arizona is the worst generally and the Cardinals’ primary sponsor is an online diploma mill that represents even more of the worst of the worst of America. Too bad I already wasted my Play of the Year. Dang.

        Hey wouldn’t it be fun next year if we added a “Playoff Play of the Year” or “Play of the Playoffs” or whatever? Just for an extra 5 points? This seems like a no brainer.

  • Found this in my inbox — not late:

    ClevTA
    7) Indy -3.5
    8) Detroit (Essay) +7- This line shocked me more than any other this weekend. I expected something like 4.5 but a full 7? Whoa. Yes Dallas is hot but who have they really faced lately? In the last 10 games, Dallas has faced only one defense that ranks better than 22nd in def yds/play (Eagles 2x). In the first matchup, Philly held them to just 10 points and Dallas came back with 37 the next time out. Point is, it is easy to get hot and look great on offense when you don’t face a good defense in that NFC East. What does Dallas do well and rely on the most? Running the ball of course. Well Detroit ranks #1 defensively in opponents rush yds/carry. And what does Detroit do well on offense? They can sling it and will face a weak Dallas secondary which ranks 25th in yds/attempt. I understand all the stats when it comes to Stafford not beating a winning team on the road in his career so I’m facing an uphill battle but the good news is that Detroit typically plays close games so the 7 should matter here. Dallas is also great on the road going undefeated this season but was only 4-4 at home. Last point, in listening to local radio and reading the generic NFL analysts online, nobody is giving Detroit a shot here. As of 10am today, 71% of the public is on Dallas so it makes me feel good taking the Lions here and confirming my thoughts.

  • Swig
    Panthers -6, feel good about ARI inability to score, bit worried about CAR putting up enough points to cover
    Steelers -3, logic says take 3 or more points in an AFC North divisional game, but I think Big Ben will be able to pick apart the Ravens depleted secondary
    Lions +7, DET D should be able to slow down the Dallas O, flip the sides and neither is that good, this will be a close game
    Bengals +3.5, ***ESSAY***
    This line moving from 4 to 3.5 indicates the early betting is on my side, I am ok giving up that half point for a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling. Dalton is at his worst when under pressure, the Indy D is not that good so a decent matchup for the Bengals. Let’s discount a complete CIN O collapse. IND O has not been quite the same since Bradshaw went down, and CIN D is good enough to corral a one dimensional offense, despite the Bengals injuries. Luck is good, but the team is faltering.


    Rolub
    PIT -3
    DAL -6.5
    IND -3.5
    Essay: ARI +6.5
    I changed to Arizona as both a play and essay at the last minute; my capping at its best is when I take subjectivity out and just go with what the numbers tell me, as well as going back to my old friend of recency bias. Carolina may be a division winner and blew out the Falcons in spectacular fashion to do so, but they flat out are not a good team, and now, they’re laying close to a TD against a team with the defense to keep this a baseball score. We could be in for one of those exciting 10-6 ballgames today (of course, that now guarantees a 37-34 final, but I’d take it). The line is already starting to shade down from its peak, and I won’t be surprised if this is 4.5 by kickoff. I’ll roll the dice on that prediction and take 2 points of value for 10 points of cheddar.


    ClevTA
    7) Cards +6
    8) Baltimore +3


    OXR
    With preemptive regret in my heart, I am going chalk this weekend. I can see each and any of the four games becoming an upset, because they are NFL playoff games, but I can’t tell which and I’m hoping that at least a couple of favorites can take care of business, whoever they may be. (I have tried to get too cute with guess-the-upset in the past, but the only thing worse than picking all favorites/dogs is picking exactly the wrong favorites/dogs.) As far as the meta-game goes I am expecting the most popular road team to be Arizona, then Baltimore. So:

    Panthers -6 (oof) over Cardinals – I have a bad feeling about this, but probably not as bad as does Ryan Lindley.
    Colts -3.5 over Bengals – the Bengals are incredibly up-and-down (#31 in DVOA variance) and if they don’t have a serious up week then this is going to be tough on them, even with the half-point.
    Steelers -3 over Ravens – Here the half-point might have swung it. The Ravens grade out pretty well this year but haven’t had an opponent who made the playoffs since the beginning of November (it was the Steelers, and they lost by 20). Losing Le’Veon Bell obviously hurts, and Flacco might get something going against Pittsburgh’s generally poor defense, but I obviously don’t want to bet on it.
    Essay Cowboys -7 over Lions – This is a pick against the Lions as much as anything, a team I damn nearly made my POTY against the Bears, and had I done so I wouldn’t be writing this now. In that Bears game they resorted to the full gamut of red-zone interceptions, muffed punts, missed sub-40-yard field goals, and inexplicable personal fouls – with that auspicious lead-in to the playoffs (plus losing to the Packers, whatever) it will be exciting to see what they can manage against a nominally good team. Detroit’s strength early in the year was their defense, but lately they’ve looked vulnerable and Dallas is, if nothing else, a testament to what can happen when you just throw all your first-round picks at the O-line and say to hell with it. Detroit’s special teams are also a relative weakness here (31st in DVOA). Given the offseason they had, I’m not entirely sure how the Cowboys defense has managed to be only slightly below average, but they have – and even with Calvin Johnson playing, Detroit’s offense has looked out of sorts all year, and Stafford hasn’t really looked right on the occasions I’ve watched them. Overall, I prefer Romo’s chances to put up points with better protection and a solid running game. A touchdown at home doesn’t seem that unreasonable, but then it never does, does it? Survive and advance is the watchword here (for me, not for the Cowboys – they are hopefully thinking “win by at least 8”).


    Tim Butler
    Zona +6
    Pitt -3
    Lions +7
    ESSAY: Colts -3.5
    The only reason anyone needs to take the Colts in this game is the horrendous playoff/big game history of Andy Dalton. I would have laid the points with any playoff team against Dalton in a road game. Still, there are other reasons to like the Colts in this game. During the regular season, the Colts led the league in plays of over 20 yards with 85, while the Bengals were 29th with 49. AJ Green accounted for over 25% of such plays. AJ Green is likely not going to play. This means Dalton will have to limit his mistakes while executing long drives down the field – I like this. I can recall several games this year where Luck was constantly scrambling while taking big hits, throwing the whole offense out of rhythm. The Bengals are last in the NFL in sacks. So we have a Colts team led by Luck, who should have time to throw, against a Bengals team who can’t make big plays, is missing their best play-maker, and is being led by Andy Dalton, who has 1 TD to 6 INT’s in the playoffs, and Marvin Lewis, who is 0-5 in playoff games. Dalton vs Luck, I’ll take Luck.


    Concierge
    Detroit +7
    Bengals +3.5
    Arizona +6
    Pittsburgh -3


    Trashycamaro
    Panthers -6 over Cardinals (1.3) Not a whole lot needs to be said here. Panthers have been lights out for the last 5 games or so while the Cardinals are stuck with Ryan Lindley/Logan Thomas/Rushed back Drew Stanton. Really the only thing that would make me hesitate to pull the trigger here would be if the Panthers can score enough on the Cards defense to win by more than 6. At the end of the day though, I this is still the winning bet for me, even without diving into any fancy stats. Here are some old schools stats for you: …well never mind, they really argue against what I am writing, as they have struggled to score on the Browns, Vikings, and the Bucs since their bye while taking advantage of historically bad defenses in the Falcons and Saints. Fine, talked myself out of the essay here.

    Essay pick: Steelers -3 over Ravens (1.3) ** Replacement Essay ** Had to move the essay here. Despite the good pass rush, Ben can move around to enough to get the ball to Antonio Brown. Whether or not Bell plays, the Ravens secondary is so depleted that Brown, who beats top secondaries, push the Steelers to the win here. Aside from that, not a great matchup for the Steelers secondary if Flacco brings his “A” game with the deep ball – the Steelers are effective in short yardage pass defense but struggle on longer throws. the Steelers pass rush is ok, but the Ravens O-Line is solid. This is almost exclusively a bet on the two best players on the field – Ben and Brown and that the Steelers can play the Ravens to a draw everywhere else.

    Bengals +3.5 over Colts (1.3)
    Lions +7 over Cowboys (1.3)


    pforever
    Cardinals +6 panthers
    Indy -3.5 cincy
    Ravens +3 steelers
    Dallas -7 detroit


    Zara
    Cardinals +6 over Panthers
    Steelers -3 over Ravens
    Bengals +3.5 over Colts
    Lions +7 over Cowboys


    Petefranklin
    I guess no one will be tailing these:
    Steelers-3
    Bengals +3.5
    Lions +7 This is a great matchup for the Lions If Stafford doesn’t self destruct, I see them winning outright as DeMarco won’t be able to hide the lousy Cowboy D from actually having to stop someone for more than half a game.
    Essay Cards +6…From a line value standpoint I should take the Lions, but from a strength of schedule standpoint which is vital to capping the wildcard rounds, Ill take the points with the better team.I didn’t really like how the Panthers played against the Browns even though they got the win. Just like their last 4 games that they all played against weakly power rated teams, they won but weren’t really tested. Carolina does have the playoff experience that Arizona doesn’t but that will be mitigated by the clear coaching advantage that Ariens has. As for the QB situation, well I’ll take the two TD’s thrown from last week against a strong defense looking to win at home as an indicator that the Cards should get some production on offense today. Strong teams that have lost two straight going in to the playoffs have been a traditionally great bet even without catching points. I’ll take six.

  • Petefranklin

    I guess no one will be tailing these:
    Steelers-3
    Bengals +3.5
    Lions +7 This is a great matchup for the Lions If Stafford doesn’t self destruct, I see them winning outright as DeMarco won’t be able to hide the lousy Cowboy D from actually having to stop someone for more than half a game.
    Essay Cards +6…From a line value standpoint I should take the Lions, but from a strength of schedule standpoint which is vital to capping the wildcard rounds, Ill take the points with the better team.I didn’t really like how the Panthers played against the Browns even though they got the win. Just like their last 4 games that they all played against weakly power rated teams, they won but weren’t really tested. Carolina does have the playoff experience that Arizona doesn’t but that will be mitigated by the clear coaching advantage that Ariens has. As for the QB situation, well I’ll take the two TD’s thrown from last week against a strong defense looking to win at home as an indicator that the Cards should get some production on offense today. Strong teams that have lost two straight going in to the playoffs have been a traditionally great bet even without catching points. I’ll take six.

    • zarathustra

      Re: Lions
      Not only do I agree about the them pulling the upset, but if I were to rank teams by the likelihood of winning in Seattle the Lions are number one by a pretty decent margin.
      Of course I was also pretty confident Florida St was going to win outright so what do I know.
      Either way, good luck!

  • Picks for Florida/ECU:
    pforever Hi happy Saturday go pirates!!!! East Carolina +6.5 Florida,
    Trashycam At Large Bowl 1: Florida -6.5 over ECU (1.3)
    Tim Butler East Carolina +6.5 (optional #2)

    • Concierge also on Florida.

    • found this in my inbox — not late:
      pforever ECU essay pick.
      Symmetry never happens in real life-maybe that’s why it’s so pleasing in art and literature? And yes-cheddar bay counts as art. I started the season winning with the pirates and I figure that’s how I’ll end it too. Florida has nothing to play for in this bowl-not even pride, which they lost a long time ago. They pulled it together for the FSU game, but no one is actually expecting them to do that again, are they? To play a viewerless bowl on Jan 3 against a team that isn’t even in a major conference??? I know the Gators have a respectable defense, but they don’t have the kind of defense that will actually shut down the pirates’ ridiculously prolific offense (and East Carolina plays even better against high profile teams). That means Florida will have to score to win, and they’re really pretty bad at that phase of the game, particularly with that freshman quarterback. (Actually he is the one Gator player that will play hard-he just isn’t that good. He’s also a sexual assaulter, and I’m anti assaulter this bowl season.) But mostly Florida is just super done with this football season, and they will be playing just to finish it, not to win.

  • okie doke, i think everyone’s picks are in for today.

  • Petefranklin

    Washington -6 for the next loss

  • zarathustra

    Ok. So I’m all hopped up on Wisconsin and Sparty and eager to talk football.
    Re: TCU
    I believe they were/are a top four team, but still did not belong in the playoff due the conference they play in and its lack of a championship game. I have no idea what the lines would have or should have been., but I think bama beats them–though I’m not sure cover your 10–and the buckeyes probably do though I could go either way there. TCU beats Oregon pretty easily I think. Now, Florida St is tricky. I cannot argue with any of your criticisms of them, but I would offer that you may not be giving enough weight to team that finds a way to win. The best example I can think of is the national championship buckeyes. There were legitimate reasons to question their worthiness throughout that year and certainly against that stacked canes team, but not properly considered at the time–among other things to be sure–was that ability to find a way to win. At this point I would be hesitant to pick against the noles regardless of their opponent for this very reason (also, jameis).
    Moreover, I think another aspect of this that is overlooked by pretty much everybody is that the acc was far and away the most underrated conference this year.

  • I will take Auburn, Baylor and Minnesota in the early games, Ohio State in the late game, and will lay off FSU/Oregon because as much as I like FSU it looks like bad action.

    With the whole coaching mess at Wisconsin, the way Wisconsin played in the B1G title game and Alvarez filling in as head coach of a team that beat no one and might not be very good at all, I think this one has major conflagration potential. Gordon is great, but Wisconsin’s offense is one dimensional.

    Then let Baylor beat Sparty as well so everyone can talk about how terrible the B1G is before OSU knocks Bama off. A Gophers cover over an SEC team that lost to Indiana shouldn’t tilt that narrative.

  • zarathustra

    I request an official ruling from the chairman emeritus. Does it still qualify as bad action if it is a playoff all-play?
    Asking for a friend.

    • I love Jamies as much as anyone here but FSU looks like a dangerous play. I hardly know anyone who isn’t on them and that line just stinks.

      Harder to say about Ohio State because we’re mainly a bunch of homers here from B1G country if not Ohio itself. I think a lot of people will be quick to hop on Bama as the “minority choice” tonight, especially if there are 2 or 3 B1G losses in the early games (though I think the Auburn/Wisc game will have an especially big impact on public perception here).

      Good luck!

      • CLEVTA

        Line isnt stinky, the math makes sense. If you go by avg margin of victory adjusted for schedule then Oregon deserves to be a big favorite. Taking FSU is banking on assumption that FSU doesnt ever get blown out

        • Fair enough re: the line but the assumption that FSU never gets blown out strikes me as too easy. Anyway I want them to win. I have surely been wrong before and you’re the one in the playoffs. GL!

          • CLEVTA

            Whoops

    • Also, doesn’t this just seem right: 1. Oregon crushes FSU in this game (mainly due to failure of FSU’s coaching staff and defense); 2. Mariota drafted ahead of Winston by stupid NFL team and/or Winston falls in the draft, in part as a result of this game; 3. Winston has great NFL career and/or much better NFL career than Mariota.

      The pre-draft talk about Winston, at least so far, reminds me a lot of what people said about Randy Moss when he fell into the late teens to the Vikings back in ’98. Apart from the insane ’01 Pats run in Brady’s first season I can’t remember an NFL team consistently being a better bet than the Vikings were that year. They played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving that year, public was all over Dallas. It was so much free money.

      • zarathustra

        That does sound right. It is hard for me to imagine though that any nfl team could rate mariotta over jameis.
        Actually….it isn’t that hard to imagine.

      • zarathustra

        As an Ohio St fan I would much prefer play Oregon than Florida St–provided of course the buckeyes pull a major upset tonight.

  • Well done playoff pickers. I know the early daily deadlines are a heavy lift, thanks for getting your picks in on time.

    Oh and I’m like this today: Auburn, MSU, Minny, Oregon, OSU.

  • zarathustra

    I like every dog today. The odds of them all hitting aren’t great and I can’t play them all here anyway. The one I feel least confident about is Minnesota and that number has moved away from me since it opened so let’s remove them. I love sparty, but much more so at +3. I think it is a bad, bad match-up for baylor, but they are sure to be plenty motivated. I am playing sparty in real life, but for cheddarbay I will sit it out. Yesterday I posted that I expect Florida St to win outright and think (hope?) The Buckeyes will too. I could very easily essay either of those, but I won’t because I love them too much and according to zara’s number one rule in playing cheddarbay you never essay the ones you love the most, especially if you are so intoxicated by your love that you can barely fathom a legitimate argument for the other side. (FWIW I can totally fathom an argument for Bama. Oregon….much harder.)

    Technically, Pitt tomorrow afternoon is right in the sweet spot for a zara essay, but new coaches on both sides is enough to keep me away. Kansas St is also an essay candidate tomorrow, but other than repeating my love letter to bill snyder’s buddha-nature that I wrote a few weeks ago I don’t have much to say on that one.
    So I suppose I will just essay Wisconsin.

    The SEC was the best conference in football this year, but overrated at the same time. The Big Ten wasn’t great, but they were a bit underrated in my mind. This line at least partially reflects the traditional SEC is awesome/Big Ten sucks narrative that I don’t think applies as much this year. And of course Wisconsin is coming off a nationally televised beat down for the ages. So it seems like a great time to buy Wisconsin stock.
    Auburn’s defense is not good and Melvin Gordon should run all over them, allowing Stave to look MUCH better than he did against Ohio St. I love Gus and his offense, but the Wisconsin D will be better than most that they’ve seen this year and the absence of Duke Williams will make Nick Marshall’s job that much more daunting. I expect a close game. Would have preferred the 7 that’s out there in real life, but will settle for the 6.5 here.

    Arizona (L)
    Georgia Tech (W)
    Florida St
    Ohio St
    Kansas St
    Wisconsin***

  • Rob

    AP:
    F$U +9
    Bama -9

    Optional #1

    Wiscy +6.5

  • Tim Butler

    Auburn -6.5 over Wisc (optional pick 1)
    Fla St. +9 over Oregon
    Alabama -9 over Ohio St.

  • Petefranklin

    Florida St is rated about two touchdowns worse than last years team.
    There were a few book managers who didn’t have them in the top 4.

  • Speaking for the non-playoff participating consumers of the world’s finest Cheddar, based on what I’m seeing here I’ll take TCU and Ga. Tech and pass on Az/Boise.

    Much respect to the Concierge as always but nobody’s not already thinking everything he wrote below. Yet the books are still begging for Ole Miss action with that hook.

    Re: Ga. Tech it just seems from the below that Missy seems like the easy side here and that folks are tending to overlook the Yellow Jackets.

    Really tough day of picking though, especially with short time. Should be some good games. Looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s input.

    • i’m looking forward to watching and riding TCU too. love ole miss but they are SO different since treadwell went down.

      hey — what’d we all think of devante parker last night?

  • Zara (posted below)

    Arizona -3 over Boise St
    There is not a team this year I have bet against as unsuccessfully as Boise. Yet, here I am again. Zona is from the superior conference and is a young team that will be looking to make a statement and go into next year as a playoff contender.
    Georgia Tech +6.5 over Mississippi St
    Not a game I would play irl.
    Florida St +9 over Oregon
    I may come back with an essay here, but one point for now. Jameis > Marcus and it isn’t even particularly close in my mind. (Crossing my fingers for a jameis dui so that he slips until 12.) Jimbo will have the d ready. I expect the noles to win outright.
    Ohio St +9 over Alabama
    I like the buckeyes to win outright too, but I have futures so my judgment may be clouded.

    All one point. Will probably essay one of the other bowls Thursday or Friday.

    • Zara
      I like every dog today. The odds of them all hitting aren’t great and I can’t play them all here anyway. The one I feel least confident about is Minnesota and that number has moved away from me since it opened so let’s remove them. I love sparty, but much more so at +3. I think it is a bad, bad match-up for baylor, but they are sure to be plenty motivated. I am playing sparty in real life, but for cheddarbay I will sit it out. Yesterday I posted that I expect Florida St to win outright and think (hope?) The Buckeyes will too. I could very easily essay either of those, but I won’t because I love them too much and according to zara’s number one rule in playing cheddarbay you never essay the ones you love the most, especially if you are so intoxicated by your love that you can barely fathom a legitimate argument for the other side. (FWIW I can totally fathom an argument for Bama. Oregon….much harder.)

      Technically, Pitt tomorrow afternoon is right in the sweet spot for a zara essay, but new coaches on both sides is enough to keep me away. Kansas St is also an essay candidate tomorrow, but other than repeating my love letter to bill snyder’s buddha-nature that I wrote a few weeks ago I don’t have much to say on that one.

      So I suppose I will just essay Wisconsin.

      The SEC was the best conference in football this year, but overrated at the same time. The Big Ten wasn’t great, but they were a bit underrated in my mind. This line at least partially reflects the traditional SEC is awesome/Big Ten sucks narrative that I don’t think applies as much this year. And of course Wisconsin is coming off a nationally televised beat down for the ages. So it seems like a great time to buy Wisconsin stock.

      Auburn’s defense is not good and Melvin Gordon should run all over them, allowing Stave to look MUCH better than he did against Ohio St. I love Gus and his offense, but the Wisconsin D will be better than most that they’ve seen this year and the absence of Duke Williams will make Nick Marshall’s job that much more daunting. I expect a close game. Would have preferred the 7 that’s out there in real life, but will settle for the 6.5 here.

      Florida St
      Ohio St
      Wisconsin***

    • Zara
      Kansas St +1 over UCLA

      Cardale Jones would be foolish not to declare for the draft, right? He is by no means ready now and a team would have to go to great lengths to make sure he never touches the field his rookie year (probably have to carry four qb’s which is unheard of anymore.) I certainly wouldn’t take him at 12, and 19 would be too high too, but the second round?

      The reason I mention this is that if I’m drafting a raw qb I need to develop I would much prefer cardale to brett frickin’ hundley. (I would prefer him to mariotta as well, but only because I think mariotta is going to be a monumental bust.)

  • PeteFranklin

    All right, give me OLE Miss at +3.5,
    Miss St -6.5
    Arizona -3 although I hope Boise wins outright even though they get all the conference football money or about 70% of the MW’s bread.

    • Pete Franklin
      12-31 Put me down for FSU and Alabama tomorrow.

  • Pforever

    Man these better turn out to be super p picks – I’ll take both favorites – Arizona and Mississippi State.

    • Pforever
      I want Ohio state and Oregon today.
      Also I’d like MSU over crabby-pants Baylor.

    • pforever Hi happy Saturday go pirates!!!! East Carolina +6.5 Florida,

  • Trashycamaro
    Fiesta: Arizona -3 over Boise State (12.31)
    Orange: Ga. Tech +6.5 over Miss. St. (12.31)

    • Trashycamaro
      Rose: FSU +9 over Oregon (1.1)
      Sugar: tOSU +9 over Alabama (1.1)
      At Large Bowl 2: Wisconsin +6.5 over Auburn (1.1)

    • Trashycam At Large Bowl 1: Florida -6.5 over ECU (1.3)

  • Tim Butler

    Today’s picks: zona -3, miss st -6.5

    • Tim Butler
      Auburn -6.5 over Wisc (optional pick 1)
      Fla St. +9 over Oregon
      Alabama -9 over Ohio St.

    • Tim Butler East Carolina +6.5 (optional #2)

  • OXR

    oxr, dec 31 picks:

    Fiesta: Arizona -3 over Boise State – after the last couple of seasons I am still scared of Arizona.

    Orange: Georgia Tech +6.5 over Miss St. – in doubt, so taking the points. Could get ugly in a hurry though.

    Submitted by email not for game theory reasons, but because my phone is not cooperating with Disqus and I don’t want to miss today’s deadline while I’m wandering around the grocery store. Looking forward to another edifying January.

    • OXR
      just in case I’m not back online before 11 AM:
      Rose: Florida State +9 over Oregon
      Sugar: Ohio St +9 over Alabama
      Happy new year to all; go Ducks.

    • OXR
      Pac-12-centric optional bowl picks:
      Alamo: UCLA -1 over Kansas State
      Cactus: Washington -6 over Oklahoma St

  • ClevTA

    Thanks guys. ClevTA picks week 1 playoffs:
    1) (Fiesta) Boise +3
    2) (Orange) Miss St -6.5
    3) (College Optional 1) Ole Miss +3.5

    • ClevTA
      4) OSU +9
      5) FSU +9
      6) Mich St +2.5

  • Rolub

    BSU +3
    GaTech +6.5

    • Rolub
      AP:
      F$U +9
      Bama -9

      Optional #1:
      Wiscy +6.5

      happy new year!

    • Rolub
      Optional pick #2: Pitt -3 vs HOU

  • Swig

    I’ll take Arizona -3 for the fiesta, and miss st -6.5 for the Orange.

    • swig

      My plan is to let everyone get a lead with these college picks, then coming storming back. Or something like that…

      /Took a friends advice on these two picks who sorta follows college, but knows nothing about sports betting.

    • Swig
      Florida St +9
      tOSU +9
      Mich St -2.5

      • swig

        Glad to find out I misread the line and Mich St is actually +2.5

      • Swig
        Washington -6

  • Concierge
    Ole Miss +3 Essay
    To me this Ole Miss TCU game comes down to one thing. DEFENSE. This will be the best defense by far that TCU has faced all year. For MISS to only allow 13 points per game in the SEC is astounding. On top of the fact that I just think that BIG 12 sucks and is way overrated I think that Ole Miss is a far superior team. Although Bo Wallace has been up and down this year I think with 3 weeks of prep coming off a huge win over #4 Miss State he will be very confident. Also.. OLE MIss is 4-0-1 in its Last 5 bowl games. Think the Rebels get it done.

    Miss State -6.5 Orange
    Boise +3 Fiesta

    • Concierge
      Ohio State +9 Sugar
      FSU +9 Rose

  • bupalos

    While this is mostly a day to celebrate our wonderful playoff participants, I think we all should take a take a brief moment to recognize that the world is a meaningless void and all endeavors of man and god nothing more than the vain gestures of a madman.

    • Petefranklin

      Meaningless till we get a Feburary parade past public square without all the stupid green hats.
      Then and only then will I die.

  • Petefranklin

    What is the ole miss spread? 3 or 3.5?

    • It’s 3.5. Check the email Mike sent yesterday.

    • TCU -3.5.

      DAMMIT! i thought i’d edited this morning’s pdf. Yes, TCU -3.5. And drop us your Orange Bowl pick (Missy -6.5 vs GT) pronto, thanks.

      • Petefranklin

        Thats what I thought…3 plays today,,, This format is tough, I thought we were going to get a snow day today in the desert.
        OLE MISS +3.5
        Arizona -3
        Miss St -6.5

  • zarathustra

    Arizona -3 over Boise St
    There is not a team this year I have bet against as unsuccessfully as Boise. Yet, here I am again. Zona is from the superior conference and is a young team that will be looking to make a statement and go into next year as a playoff contender.
    Georgia Tech +6.5 over Mississippi St
    Not a game I would play irl.
    Florida St +9 over Oregon
    I may come back with an essay here, but one point for now. Jameis > Marcus and it isn’t even particularly close in my mind. (Crossing my fingers for a jameis dui so that he slips until 12.) Jimbo will have the d ready. I expect the noles to win outright.
    Ohio St +9 over Alabama
    I like the buckeyes to win outright too, but I have futures so my judgment may be clouded.

    All one point. Will probably essay one of the other bowls Thursday or Friday.

    • Petefranklin

      A Jameis DUI would be incredibly awesome, but it seems most dumb Cleveland fans seem to think that Johnnie has Jameis’ talent to go along with his stupidity so he would get passed up by us as well at 12. His football smarts are top notch, from what I’ve heard and seen. A guy that will actually take what a defense is giving him, imagine that.

      • after the Belk Bowl, i’m 100% in on devante parker and i will boycott scouting anyone else.

        • zarathustra

          Boooo! Good player, but a wr at 12 is a luxury this team can’t afford–especially when considering the qb situation.

      • zarathustra

        Even with a dui he isn’t falling to 12. Maybe he could slip to Washington at 5 though at which point I would offer two firsts and throw in gordon and see if they bite. Not going to happen, but one can fantasize before the harsh reality of a jake locker and johnny qb competition for the ages begins.