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    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    I don’t mean to frighten you, but we’re halfway home on college football’s regular season. I say that you can properly soak in every moment of college football bliss as we’re in the meat of the season. We’re also just a few weeks from the first CFP rankings and the ramping up of PLAYOFF talk. In what felt like our first true “playoff barometer” type of game last Saturday, the Red River Rivalry delivered on expectations. In the end, the Texas defense was one stop short and Oklahoma exited as the lone unbeaten. The final two minutes of that game had us going from “Texas is Back!” to “Nope, never mind…not yet.”

    Week Six was obviously highlighted by the Red River Shootout, and now both Texas and Oklahoma are on bye weeks while the other top teams get back to the grind. As we turn the page to CFB Week Seven, it brings us a slew of intriguing in-conference matchups and a crescendo to national spotlight matchups that will tell us a lot about which PAC 12 team(s) are playoff contenders or playoff pretenders. Let’s get to the best weekend lines:

    Must Watch “Main Screen” Games

    Syracuse vs. #4 Florida State (-17.5) – 12 pm ET – Syracuse has found their way nicely through their regular season schedule, but now they face some competition they won’t hold up against. Jordan Travis and the Noles offense are buzzin’ and WR Johnny Wilson is set to go off once again on an overmatched secondary, possibly propelling the FSU playoff talk to a new height.

    #8 Oregon @ #7 Washington (-3) – 3:30 pm ET – One of the PAC 12 spotlight matchups is a top 10 doozy between two GREAT offenses. If you like shootouts, blinding speed and points this should be a treat for your eyes. Surprisingly the O/U sits below 70, but based on recent weeks it’s hard to picture either of these offenses being slowed down. The Penix vs Nix duel should be a fun one that is won in the air.

    #25 Miami @ #12 UNC (-3.5) – 7:30 pm ET – I can’t figure this line out, so I may be sucked into betting UNC yet again. With Miami being coached into an all-time bad loss against Georgia Tech, and NC looking so good with Drake Maye at the helm last Saturday, how do they NOT roll in this one? Certainly a head-scratching spread.

    #10 USC @ #21 Notre Dame (-2.5) – 7:30 pm ET –  Our second PAC 12 spotlight game is featuring Caleb Williams. NFL teams like my Patriots may have #cavingforcaleb on their timelines pretty soon, but for now we watch the likely #1 overall pick and marvel. This is a tricky road test and a duel against Sam Hartman, so the draft scouts will be salivating on this one. I’m expecting a slower game, but Williams prevailing late with one or two more plays than the Irish are ready for.

    #18 UCLA @ #15 Oregon State (-4) – 8 pm ET –  I find myself on the D.J. Uiagalelei bandwagon out in Corvallis, where the depth of the PAC 12 is truly on display with teams like Oregon State flying under the radar. The task at hand for the Beavs is to win out until they get the Oregon Ducks on 11/24 – think they can do it?

    Tier Two “Second Screen” Games

    Texas A&M @ #19 Tennessee (-3.5) – 3:30 pm ET – A couple of teams that are hard to read halfway through the season, but the potential is there on both sides. A&M needed about 60 more seconds of clock to potentially beat Bama at home, and this week begins a brutal stretch of games in the SEC for Tennessee, thus creating a prime look-ahead spot at home.

    Missouri @ #24 Kentucky (-2.5) – 7:30 pm ET – Kentucky just got roughed around by Georgia, and Missouri simply got outscored in a shootout for the ages. The spread indicates that Vegas has just as little of a read on these two teams as we all do, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more firepower on offense if Missouri’s involved.

    NC State @ #17 Duke (-4) – 8 pm ET –  NC State QB Brennan Armstrong doesn’t have the stereotypical build or look of a great QB, but he’s quite the gamer and I’ve enjoyed betting on the Wolfpack this season.  They gave Louisville a grind of a game, but it could be tricky to find points against a scrappy Duke defense.

    The “Tablet Game” Night Capper

    San Diego State @ Hawaii (+6) – 11 pm ET – Ladies and Gentlemen and degens alike…we are back on the island for nightcap college football in paradise, which is also doubling as our Midnight Snack game of the week. It is a glorious matchup of 2-4 teams and the home team Rainbow Warriors are getting points. I think you know where my head goes there.

    Week Seven Plays To Watch

    Oregon/Washington Over 67.5 – Watch this skyrocket as the days of the week pass towards Saturday…

    UNC -3.5 – Feels too good to be true but I love Maye and Co. in this spot.

    USC +2.5 – The nation will see the #1 pick in a big spot and they’ll understand the hype pretty quickly!

    Texas A&M +3.5 – Mainly because Tennessee seems like the perfect team to look ahead to tougher matchups and sleep on a competitive Aggies squad.

    Hawaii +6 – There’s no better way to wrap up a college football Saturday than with a Sunday morning treat from paradise.

    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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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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