Welcome to the very last edition of How To Football. Thanks for reading and for using my shitty excel spreadsheet screenshots as your football guide. You probably made a mistake by listening to anything I had to say, but it’s a mistake I’m glad you made.
GameDay will make their way to land of ranch and milk for the B1G game.
Legalize It Shift
I’m going to come out and address the elephant in the room: Western Michigan. They’ve rowed the boat all the way to a perfect regular season, but their fight is far from over. They’re 17th in the college football rankings, which is unbelievably way too low for one of the two undefeated teams in college football. If the boat is rowed in Detroit and WMU improves to 14-0, they have to be let into the playoffs. Right now, there are only three teams that should be in over the Broncos: Alabama, Clemson, and Washington. And if Clemson or Washington lose (or both), then it would be a war crime to hold PJ Fleck’s merry band of sailors out of the port. The college football playoff was instituted out of protest after the 2012 BCS National Championship where Alabama backed into a National Championship despite not even winning their own division. Why should we repeat that with Ohio State? Not only that, but the four team playoff was chosen to reward the teams that earned the ticket with a fair shot at the title. Did Western Michigan not earn that with a perfect regular season? And even if you go with a conference champion, is an undefeated mid-major less deserving than a two loss conference champion? I don’t believe so.
Of course, we’re putting the cart before the horse here, because in order for Western Michigan to reach 14-0, they have to win their first MAC Championship since 1988. I wasn’t even a thought back then. But the Broncos are ready to take on The Ohio University of Ohio (OH), and they’re bringing Kalamazoo with them:
Ready for this? I'm hearing 47,000 tickets have already been sold for the MAC championship game. Could double previous record.— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) December 1, 2016
The #MACtion season finale and all the potential playoff implications it carries isn’t the show stopper on Friday night, however, as we also get Washington and Colorado to determine who wears the PAC-12 crown. The Huskies are clinging onto the fourth playoff ranking for dear life as one of the three one loss teams riding in Alabama’s wake, but a doomsday scenario exists where Colorado can steal a bid into the playoff with a win over Washington, assuming the committee comes around on Colorado. As for the actual game, the Huskies performed about 7% better than the Buffaloes did this year according to S&P+.
One True Champion Shift
Technically we get three championships in the nooner, which is a rarity.
The Big 12 doesn’t believe in championship games because they’re a loser conference with not enough members to form divisions, but the standings and schedule lucked out so that the Big 12 #1 and #2 teams play on the last week of their season. Those two teams are Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, otherwise known as the Bedlam Series. Both teams have identical records at 9-2, but don’t be fooled, one team operates at an S&P+ percentile that’s 10 percent better than their rivals. Can you guess which is which in this situation?
The second championship is Temple and Navy, and here is where you should pour some salt on the S&P+ numbers: the stat has Temple at 18th and Navy at 53rd. I STRONGLY submit that this is where numbers drop some context, as the Midshipmen have been ON ONE lately. To wit: this is the November that Navy had: 211 points scored, 1,686 rushing yards, two punts. Two (2) punts! People won’t say that momentum exists in football, but Navy has the ball ROLLING and I’m not sure I can trust Matt Rhule and Temple to stop them, and I like Matt Rhule.
Championship game #3 is the C-USA tilt between Louisiana Tech and Western Kentucky. There will be points, and we’re getting the mega industrial box of points from Costco fellas. Bring your friends and bring your silverware, we’re going to have a feast.
Troy and head coach-less Georgia State also play, but we also have two FCS playoff games for your eyeballs to observe: New Hampshire-James Madison and Bo Pelini’s Youngstown State-Jacksonville State. There are some other games on, but these are the real marquee playoffs game in the noon side of the line.
Uncle Verne Memorial Shift
Our dear beloved Uncle Verne will be calling one more SEC game before calling his farewell in the Army-Navy game, and it will be like so many other of his SEC calls: an Alabama thrashing. Or at least I hope so.
After that, whooooo man is this shift a dud. The UL’s square off in the Hyphenate Bowl and Baylor-West Virginia get cooking in WFV. You know what, North Dakota State plays during this shift, so just watch that until that become a blowout as well. Idk, go get some Christmas shopping done or run off the Thanksgiving weight or something.
Chest Pass Shift Presented By Dr. Pepper
Wisconsin and Penn State is the big draw of the day, even though there’s a chance that the playoff committee decides to take Ohio State and make this game meaningless. But as of now, both teams are reaching for a half-court shot at getting into the playoff with an impressive win over a top ten team. A top team that won their division. Ca-razy, right?
All Clemson has to do for their ticket to be punched is to beat Virginia Tech, which should be nip and tuck, but Clemson almost got derailed by North Carolina in the same game last year, having to bailed out by the refs on an onside kick.
That’s right, I haven’t forgotten.
The Mountain West has their championship game between San Diego State and Wyoming. The Wyoming wave was rolling high up until last week, when they lost to Footbawl Bawb’s New Mexico State, giving up 568 yards on the night. Three different Lobos racked up a Benji, with Teriyon Gibson leading the charge with 217. This matters because San Diego State has a guy named Donnel Pumphrey, and he’s good. He’s second in the NCAA in rushing yards (1908), mostly because San Diego State runs the ball a lot, seventh most in the NCAA (3311 yards).
Two more FCS playoff games for your consideration: Wofford-The Citadel and Richmond-North Dakota, whose name will hereby be shortened to “ND” until further notice.