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    More than 75 percent of Splash Inc. users thought Clemson would cover the 12.5 points Vegas gave Duke prior to kickoff. The Blue Devils won, 28-7. But for every mistake, there was a triumph: almost 74 percent correctly chose Penn State to cover its 20.5-point spread.

    Now it’s Week 2, and Splash users don’t have to make their decisions sight-unseen. The picks across RunYourPool, OfficeFootballPool, and Splash Sports are in, giving us a view into the games to watch for the second week of the season according to the most informed football faction on the planet: the fans.

    #20 Ole Miss at #24 Tulane (+6.5)

    Splash Users Pick Against the Spread: Tulane (50.1%)

    When: 3:30 p.m. ET

    How to Watch: ESPN2

    Ole Miss is fresh off of a 66-point beating of Mercer in which quarterback Jaxson Dart slung it for 334 yards and four touchdowns and the Rebels passed for more than 500 yards among the three QBs who saw the field. It was an air raid, literally, and the Bears could do nothing about it. It was a refreshing change from the four-game losing streak the team concluded last season with, and Ole Miss fans will hope it’s a sign of strides in the right direction.

    Tulane probably won’t be as easy of a target, especially in New Orleans. The Green Wave handled South Alabama, 37-17, in Week 1, grinding out a relatively comfortable season opener. Tulane is still riding the momentum it manifested last season when it won 12 games, a savory success over USC in the Cotton Bowl serving as the cherry atop the Green Wave’s 2022 milkshake.

    This isn’t the exact same Tulane, but familiar faces are around, and expectations are high. Four-year senior quarterback Michael Pratt might be the best-known of the bunch after throwing for more than 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior. He was his typical self against the Jaguars in Week 1, nearly perfect through the air as he completed 14 of 15 attempts for 294 yards and four scores, plus 39 yards on the ground.

    Splash users can’t come to a consensus on how they feel about the spread; just 0.1 percent divides an otherwise 50-50 split. This is a big rumble down south that will teach us a lot about each of these teams’ ceilings. Can Ole Miss be a real factor in the SEC West? Is Tulane destined for another New Year’s Six trip? We’ll have a much better idea of those answers after Saturday.

    James Madison at Virginia (+6.5)

    Splash Users Pick Against the Spread: Virginia (58.0%)

    When: 12 p.m. ET

    How to Watch: ESPNU

    It wasn’t a very flattering start for the Hoos. Virginia was out of the game in Knoxville by halftime and eventually let the Vols run wild for a 36-point demolition. Tennessee is good, and the Cavs were always unlikely to win at Neyland Stadium, but to lose in such a fashion does not inspire confidence for the campaign ahead.

    James Madison kicked off its second FBS season with a bang, stiff-arming Bucknell back to Lewisburg, 38-3, without much trouble. A game against FCS competition isn’t representative of what the Dukes will face week-in, week-out the rest of the way, let alone when it heads to Charlottesville this weekend.

    But the Sun Belt visitors are favored by 6.5 points at the power-conference team’s home, a sign of both how serious Vegas takes James Madison and how unserious it regards Virginia. JMU is no normal group-of-five outfit. The Dukes would have played in the Sun Belt title game last year after waxing Coastal Carolina in the final week of the regular season, but their transition to FBS made them ineligible.

    Splash users have picked the Cavaliers against the spread, but not by an overwhelming amount. Could that be power-conference bias sneaking in, or is favoring a second-year FBS team on the road against an ACC opponent by about a touchdown a bit too much? For there to be any hope of a bowl appearance, Virginia needs to win this game – starting out 0-2 before a single ACC kickoff is a recipe for golf. From JMU’s perspective, this is an opportunity for a major statement against a major opponent. With the same shackles as last year, James Madison can do nothing but make statements this season. Judging by their 8-3 under equal restrictions in 2022, that should be motivation enough.

    It’s a stretch to call this thrice-played series renewed for the first time since 1983 a rivalry, but there will be some added juice thanks to the in-state reality these programs share.

    UCF at Boise State (+3.5)

    Splash Users Pick Against the Spread: Boise State (56.4%)

    When: 7 p.m. ET

    How to Watch: FS1

    UCF and Boise State had pretty opposite introductions.

    The Knights ushered in 2023 with a 56-6 bashing of Kent State, thrashing the Golden Flashes for more than 700 yards on offense, nearly 400 of those on the ground. The better than 44,000 that packed the place in Orlando left satisfied.

    In their matchup in Seattle against Washington, the Broncos gave up as many points as UCF scored, a clear indication of where modern-day Boise State stands in the national pecking order. It wasn’t the easiest way to open up a campaign; context aids perspective. The Washington game won’t define Boise State’s season.

    Last year, Boise State held opponents to the seventh-fewest yards per game in the FBS and had the 15th-best scoring defense in the nation. It didn’t give up more than 34 points to a single opponent. That damn has already broken after one game and by a wide margin. With bruisers like JL Skinner, Ezekiel Noa, and Scott Matlock no longer around, a step back was always likely.

    Again, context is king: the Broncos didn’t play a team as dynamic as 2023 Washington in 2022. Boise State should still be around the top of the Mountain West pile come late November, like it is every year. It doesn’t get much more consistent than 25 straight winning seasons. An 0-2 start would damage the dream of 26, though, with a tough slate on the horizon.

    That defense will have to do better when UCF is on the blue turf. John Rhys Plumlee is back after throwing for 2,586 yards and 14 touchdowns while gaining another 862 yards and 11 scores with his legs. The quarterback showcased his dual-threat skill set against Kent State, and you have to figure his rushing ability will be a factor in this one. The offensive line has some turnover from last year, and Boise State will pose more of a problem at the line of scrimmage than the Golden Flashes did – this game will be a much better judge of how well UCF plugged those holes.

    The road team is the slight favorite, but a marginal majority of Splash pickers aren’t buying it. We’ll find out who’s right on Saturday night.

    Miami (OH) at UMass (+6.5)

    Splash Users Pick Against the Spread: UMass (52.4%)

    When: 3:30 p.m. ET

    How to Watch: ESPN+

    In Week 1, Miami lost to Miami in Miami. Well, technically in Miami Gardens, but that doesn’t roll quite right.

    Florida’s Miami showed Ohio’s Miami what’s what to open the 2023 season, 38-3, forcing the RedHawks to swallow their latest power-conference pulverization pill, a medicine that’s dosage is due to increase with Cincinnati’s Big 12 move. Throw it on the pile.

    It’s a new week, and UMass is a much more adequate opponent than the Hurricanes. The Minutemen experienced their own big boy beating at the hands of Auburn, 59-14, in Week 1. But unlike Miami, Massachusetts does have a one in the W column – in Week 0, UMass managed mighty New Mexico State, 41-30, immediately matching the program’s entire win total from a season ago. It was the Minutemen’s first success over FBS opposition since Oct. 9, 2021, and fourth overall victory dating back to the 2019 season. Baby steps.

    The Minutemen opened their arms to 15 transfers in the offseason, and second-year head coach Don Brown has long been a defensive guru. The momentum has moved more than half of Splash users to call for UMass to cover the 6.5-point spread when Miami comes to Amherst, which could secure the team’s first two-win season since 2018.

    But Miami has been a pillar of consistency in the MAC for years now. Excluding the three-game 2020 campaign, the RedHawks have won at least five games in each season dating back to 2016 with four bowl appearances and a conference championship in that span. Head coach Chuck Martin transformed what was a dumpster fire into a respectable operation.

    A shoulder injury hampered Miami quarterback Brett Gabbert’s 2022, an unfortunate event made worse by his excellent 2021. But he’s back and healthy in 2023, and now is his chance to stake his claim on the MAC and beyond. The Hurricanes bottled Gabbert up nicely in Week 1, holding him to one of the worst performances of his collegiate career. Miami will need more from him in Amherst to leave smiling.

    CFB FAQs

    How are college football bowl games determined?

    Only bowl-eligible teams are selected for College Football Bowls. At the NCAA Division I FBS level, the standard by which teams become available for selection in bowl games varies. For example, in 2018-19 season, the team had to have at least as many wins as overall losses. Wins against non-Division I teams do not count toward the number of wins.

    How do you play college football pick'em pools?

    Simply pick winners from the games each week selected by the Pool Commissioner, either straight up or against the spread. Whichever member has the most points at the end of the season wins

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    What is a college football squares pool?

    In a college football squares pool, a commissioner starts with a 10x10 grid of 100 squares (though commissioners decide to use smaller 5x5 pools). Members pick one or more squares in that grid. Winners are determined based on the score of each team after each quarter and at the end of the game.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to read a football squares pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football confidence bowl pool?

    The winner of a college bowl confidence pool is the member with the most points after all games have ended. Members rank each game based on how confident they are in their pick (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). For each game picked correctly, members receive the number of points they assigned.

    What is a college football bowl confidence pool?

    Players try to pick the winner of every bowl game, assigning a point value to each game. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. Members rank each game based on how confident they are (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). A winner is determined by totalling the point values assigned to correctly picked games.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football bowl pick'em pool?

    As you might expect, the player who selects the most bowl winners will win their pick'em pool. You can win your college football bowl pick'em pool by choosing winners wisely, based on past performance, player starting status and other "intangibles."

    What is a college football bowl pick'em pool?

    In a College Bowl Pick'em pool members attempt to pick the winner of every College Bowl game (or a subset of games determined by the Pool Commissioner). Picks are made using the point spread system or "straight up", as assigned by the Pool Commissioner.

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