Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    November is at our doorsteps, and Tuesday night brings along the moment when the college football season gets real – the first edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings. Sure, there are conferences to be won and bowl games to be assigned soon enough, but what we all want to know and are interested in is who gets into the final four and who gets the shaft. Every year these Tuesday rankings updates incite anger, debate, and intrigue, and the spotlight only gets more intense as we get deeper into the season. Georgia is delivering their usual dominance, Ohio State and Michigan are crashing into their season-ending rivalry for all the marbles, and after that…spots are up for grabs in November and December.

    Week Nine included a stunner in Lawrence, Kansas that gave Oklahoma its first loss, while the rest of the big guns in CFB held serve another week. The Big 12 is wide open, there are questions about who is the team to beat in the PAC 12, and this weekend’s games will further drive the narrative toward the college football playoff season. Let’s dive in:

    Must Watch “Main Screen” Games

    #25 Kansas State @ #7 Texas (-4) – 12 pm ET – The Longhorns got along nicely without Quinn Ewers as backup Maalik Murphy fit the bill against BYU. Now he gets a Big 12 level test against the defending conference champions who would love to jump into the conversation with a win on Saturday. I’m not sure they have the firepower to score with UT but they could make it interesting with an early turnover.

    #14 Missouri @ #1 Georgia (-16) – 3:30 pm ET – Missouri might be the quietest 7-1 SEC team in the history of college football, mainly because their starting schedule was tremendously soft. Now they get a chance to make a ton of noise as they head into Athens. The line shows you that there’s very little thought of that from Vegas oddsmakers, who have Missouri as a bigger underdog than UGA’s opponent last week in Florida, who they beat by 23.

    #10 Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State (+6) – 3:30 pm ET –  I know what you’re thinking – it’s too early for Bedlam. The craze-filled nickname for this age-old rivalry tells you how much this Saturday is in OKlahoma, but it;’s usually a few weeks later on the calendar. Regardless, both teams are 4-1 in the Big 12, and the Cowboys could insert themselves into the logjam at the top of the conference if they can clip a Sooners team reeling from a road loss last weekend.

    #5 Washington @ #24 USC (+4) – 7:30 pm ET –  Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies are keeping the train on the tracks, but this Saturday could be a rock that derails if they’re not in the right mindset. UW goes on the road to play Caleb Williams and the Trojans, who quite simply have an electric offense and a feeble defense. Your early reaction would be to predict a shootout for the ages here, and that may lend its hand to USC hanging tight in this spot.

    #13 LSU @ #8 Alabama (-3.5) – 7:45 pm ET – Here is the primetime perfection we live for as CFB fans. It’s LSu heading into Tuscaloosa to play the Crimson Tide, with both teams fully rested and coming off of a bye week. If I’m Nick Saban I’m zeroing in on Malik Nabers, the wideout that makes the LSU offense go all day and night. The line here shows that it’s a toss-up game that comes down to the last few possessions.

    Tier Two “Second Screen” Games

    #3 Florida State @ Pittsburgh (+21.5) – 3:30 pm ET – The Pitt Panthers are quite overmatched and Jordan Travis should continue his torrid, but it’s worth noting that Pitt played spoiler to Louisville in a very similar spot a couple of weeks ago. I’m not saying…I’m just saying – the Panthers can hang within three scores, right?

    Army @ #17 Air Force (-18.5) – 2:30 pm ET – I’m the unofficial bandwagon leader for Air Force, the undefeated team that nobody’s watched. I’m here to tell you they won (and covered) in a snow-filled game at Colorado State and now they stay home in the Mountains to host a fellow Armed Forces branch. You know who I’m riding with here – the team that would be in a 12-team playoff if it existed this season.

    #23 James Madison @ Georgia State (+5.5) – 3:30 pm ET –  A sneaky good matchup here in the Sun Belt featuring 6-2 and 8-0 programs. It’s quite annoying that JMU is ahead of schedule and not even yet bowl-eligible as a CFB program, but that;’s not stopping them from mowing down everyone in their paths so far this year.

    The “Tablet Game” Night Capper

    #20 UCLA @ Arizona (+2.5) – 10:30 pm ET – Well, last week we had the Zona Wildcats in this same nightcap spot, the line was stinky, and sure enough Arizona won outright as a home dog against Oregon State. Now with UCLA coming into town, it’s practically the same spread and spot. Ironically, I feel like a flip of mindset might be in order here.

    Midnight Hawaii Snack is on a one-week hiatus after a Hawaii thrashing on the island, and the sadness to follow.

    Week Nine Plays To Watch

    (3-2 Last Week!)

    Texas -4 – Maalik Murphy should improve on his debut and if the defense shows, they win.

    Oklahoma -6 – I see this as a weirdly close game but the Sooners make more plays late to pull away and cover.

    Pittsburgh +21.5 – Simply too many points for a team that’s beaten top ACC talent this season already.

    Air Force -18.5 – It may be a slog to get there but Army won’t move it. Period.

    UCLA -2.5 – Flipping on the Arizona take from last week, as they’re not the team to do it two weeks in a row.

    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.

    Previous

    NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play Picks & Preview

    Next

    Raiders vs. Giants Prediction, Picks & Preview | NFL Week 9

    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.

    NFL Football Squares Pools

    NFL Pick'em

    Featured

    College Football Squares Pools

    NCAAF Pick'em

    Featured

    Baseball Squares Pool (MLB Postseason Only)

    MLB Pick'em

    Featured

    College Bowl Confidence Pools

    NCAAF Pick'em

    Featured

    NFL Football Confidence Pools for 2024

    NFL Pick'em

    Featured

    NFL 'Credits' Pool for 2024

    NFL Pick'em

    Featured

    Check Also