2015-16 College Gameday Season Preview (and more!)

Welcome back to regularly scheduled programming here at GamedayCole.com.  Yesterday was the annual College Gameday season preview, and we have been stockpiling preseason predictions from anyone who wants to throw out any claims, and this is going to be the preseason mega-post leading up to Thursday night’s kickoff.  Remember, these are for entertainment purposes only, and we only track these picks so we can look back at then in January and laugh at ourselves.  So without further adieu I present to you the officially unofficial preseason Gameday predictions!

Lee Corso:
SEC to have 2 teams or 0 teams in playoff
Notre Dame 8 wins
FSU over VaTech in ACC Championship
Baylor to win Big 12
Ohio St to win Big 10
Oregon to win Pac-12
LSU to win SEC
Leonard Fournette to win Heisman
Final Four: Ohio St over Oregon, LSU over Baylor
LSU over Ohio St for Championship

Kirk Herbstreit:
Arizona St over Stanford in Pac-12 Championship
LSU over Tennessee in SEC Championship
Notre Dame to go 10-2 (Twitter 8/24)
Ezekiel Elliott to win Heisman (8/26 Twitter)
Michigan 8 wins at most
GaTech over FSU to win ACC
OU to win Big 12
Ohio St to win Big 10 over Wisconsin
Ohio St vs. OU, Ariz St vs. LSU
Ohio St vs. LSU
Ohio St to win Championship

Desmond Howard:
Recycled his Brady Hoke hiring speech for Jim Harbaugh
Notre Dame 9 wins
VaTech to win ACC
TCU to win Big 12
Michigan State to win Big 10
Stanford to win Pac-12
TAMU to win SEC
Final Four: TCU, Mich St, Stanford, TAMU
Stanford wins championship

Jennifer’s Picks:
Clemson to win ACC
TCU to win Big 12
Ohio St to win Big 10 (but watch out for Michigan St!)
Arizona St to win Pac-12
Auburn to win SEC
SEC Champion to have 2 losses
Final Four: (1) Ohio St vs. (4) Mich St, (2) TCU vs. (3) Ariz St
TCU over Ohio St for Championship

Cole’s Picks:
GaTech to win ACC
Auburn to win SEC
Texas to win Big 12
Ohio St to win Big 10
Oregon to win Pac-12
Final Four: Oregon, Auburn, Ohio St, Texas
Oregon over Texas, Auburn over Ohio St
Oregon over Auburn for Championship

Charles Arbuckle:
Duke under 9 wins
FSU wins ACC
No ACC in playoff
Stanford over 9 wins
UCLA over USC
Stanford over UCLA in Pac-12 championship

Mike Bellotti:
Duke under 9 wins
FSU wins ACC
No ACC in playoff
Stanford under 9 wins
USC to win Pac-12
Final Four: (1) Ohio St, (2) TCU, (3) Alabama, (4) USC
Heisman Favorites: (1) Trevone Boykin, (2) Ezekiel Elliott, (3) Deshaun Watson, (4) Nick Chubb, (5) Cody Kessler

Kevin Carter:
OU at least 9 wins
Baylor wins Big 12
Auburn best chance for SEC to make playoff

Colin Cowherd preseason over/unders:
ND at 9 wins or less, trap bet
Arkansas over 8 wins
Michigan under 7.5 wins
USC over 9 wins
Nebraska under 8 wins

Ed Cunningham:
Notre Dame over 9 wins
Texas under 7 wins

Rece Davis:
Louisville over 7.5 wins
USC over 9.5 wins

Heather Dinich: (Twitter 8/28)
Final Four: Auburn, Ohio St, TCU, USC

Brad Edwards: 3 best season totals at top (regular season)
Vanderbilt under 3.5 wins
Tennessee over 8 wins
S. Carolina under 6.5 wins
Arkansas 8-4
Auburn over 8 wins
Georgia over 8 wins
Kentucky under 5.5 wins
LSU over 8.5 wins
Ohio St over 11.5 wins
FSU over 9.5 wins

Chris Fallica: 3 best season totals at top (regular season)
TAMU over 8 wins
Florida over 7 wins
Alabama under 9.5 wins
Arkansas 8-4
Auburn over 8 wins
Georgia over 8 wins
Kentucky over 5.5 wins
LSU under 8.5 wins
Ole Miss over 8.5 wins
Miss St over 7 wins
Mizzou over 7.5 wins
Ohio St over 11.5 wins
FSU over 9.5 wins
OU over 8.5 wins
Clemson under 9.5 wins
Louisville over 7.5 wins
USC under 9.5 wins

Joey Galloway:
Ohio St undefeated
USC/UCLA meet undefeated
Michigan at 7 wins
Notre Dame under 9.5 wins
OU over 8.5 wins
Clemson under 9.5 wins
Louisville over 7.5 wins
USC over 9.5 wins

Danny Kanell:
Notre Dame 9 wins
Texas over 7 wins
Ohio St to go undefeated
Michigan at 8 wins
Notre Dame at 9 wins
OU over 8.5 wins
Clemson over 9.5 wins
Louisville over 7.5 wins
USC over 9.5 wins

Tom Luginbill:
Alabama best chance for SEC to make playoff
Final Four: (1) Ohio St, (2) OU, (3) Alabama, (4) USC

Ryan McGee:
SEC West winner has two losses

Brett McMurphy:
USC to make playoff (CFB Live 8/25)

Jesse Palmer:
Tennessee to win SEC East (Finebaum 8/21)

Robert Smith:
Auburn to make playoff

Clint Stoerner:
Arkansas to go 9-3 (lose to Bama, LSU, Ole Miss)

Jason Sehorn:
10 wins for OU
TCU to win Big 12

Phil Steele:
Utah St 9 wins in regular season
Boise St to top the “Group of 5” in bowls
Final Four: Ohio St, Alabama, TCU, USC
Cody Kessler to win Heisman

Marcus Spear:
Four teams possible to make playoff from SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU

Greg McElroy:
Four teams possible to make playoff from SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Arkansas

Paul Finebaum:
One team possible to make playoff from SEC: Winner of Iron Bowl

Dari Nowkhah Playoff Predictions:
(1) Ohio st over (4) Auburn
(2) TCU over (3) Stanford,
(2) TCU over (1) Ohio st 27-23
Georgia to win SEC East, not make playoff

Dari Nowkhah Heisman predictions:
1. Trevone Boykin
2. Nick Chubb
3. Cody Kessler

Dari Nowkhah Big 10 Predictions:
Ohio St to win Big 10
Michigan as sleeper
Minnesota overrated
Ezekiel Elliott Player of the Year

Dari Nowkhah SEC Predictions:
Auburn to win SEC
Arkansas as sleeper at 10 wins
Alabama overrated
Nick Chubb as player of the year

Dari Nowkhah ACC Predictions:
FSU to win ACC
UNC as sleeper
Louisville overrated
Justin Thomas as player of the year

Dari Nowkhah Big 12 Predictions:
TCU to win Big 12
KState as sleeper
Nobody is overrated
Trevone Boykin as player of the year

Dari Nowkhah Pac-12 Predictions:
Stanford to win Pac-12
Utah as sleeper
Oregon overrated
Cody Kessler player of the year
Boise St undefeated

Mel Kiper Jr. Playoff Predictions:
(2) TCU over (3) USC
(4) Auburn over (1) Ohio St
(2) TCU over (4) Auburn

Mel Kiper Jr. Heisman Predictions:
1. Trevone Boykin
2. Ezekiel Elliott
3. Jeremy Johnson

Mel Kiper Jr. Big 10 Predictions:
Ohio St to win Big 10
Michigan as sleeper
Minnesota overrated
Ezekiel Elliott player of the year

Mel Kiper Jr. SEC Predictions:
Auburn to win SEC
Tennessee as sleeper
S. Carolina overrated
Nick Chubb player of the year

Mel Kiper Jr. ACC Predictions:
FSU to win ACC
UNC as sleeper
Miami (Fl) overrated
Deshaun Watson player of the year

Mel Kiper Jr. Big 12 Predictions:
TCU to win Big 12
Oklahoma St as sleeper
KState overrated
Trevone Boykin as player of the year

Mel Kiper Jr. PAC-12 Predictions:
USC to win Pac-12
Arizona St as sleeper
UCLA overrated
Cody Kessler player of the year

Mel Kiper Jr. miscellaneous predictions:
Boise St to lose 1 or 2 games

Baby Reese:
Alabama to win championship

Big changes to our Gameday experience: Who is in, and who is out?

After the historic 2014 season of college football, which included record breaking ratings for ESPN’s college football coverage, I did not expect changes in that coverage. The landscape of college football coverage at ESPN has been pretty steady aside from recent expansions, with very little shakeup in their core coverage. However, this season’s landscape will look very different from years past.

To go back in my time running this blog, the biggest shakeup we’ve seen in the realm of college football pickers and prognosticators was Pat Forde leaving ESPN in 2011 when he jumped ship to Yahoo Sports. A few other changes of smaller significance come to mind. Howie Schwab being let go from ESPN in 2013. Craig James’ hair leaving ESPN for a failed political career. Christian Fauria getting the boot in 2013. Dan Hawkins taking a position coaching Team USA to compete against the Japanese. The passing of Beano Cook in 2012. Oh, and also the retirement of Billy the Cat and the addition of the heir to his legacy; Charley the Cat. Considering that I’ve tracked around 65 analysts (in addition to dozens of celebrity guests), those changes are pretty small. That all changed this offseason.

Chris Fowler: OUT

Chris Fowler: OUT

College Gameday itself has had a core of Corso, Herbstreit and Fowler since 1996. Corso was with them from the beginning in 1987, and Herbie joined the party in 1996, but it has been Chris Fowler anchoring the production since 1990. In a surprise announcement which shocked fans of College Gameday, Fowler announced he was going to willingly step down from his hosting duties on College Gameday in order to focus on his duties replacing Brent Musberger in the biggest game on Saturday night, and his passion for covering the game of tennis. While his replacement Rece Davis is no slouch, there is no one finer when it comes to college football coverage. He can capture the drama and magnitude of games as well as Musberger, yuck it up with Corso and Will Ferrell on any Saturday morning, and deliver news on sometimes harsh realities of the sport with the class of Walter Chronkite. It is a shame we are losing him after 25 years, but that’s one heck of a run in one position. While only picking games rarely on College Gameday, and many of them being absurd TRIPLE-NOT-SO-FASTS, he retires with a Gamedaycole.com record of 29-18 (61.7%). I can only hope the hundred dollar bill question from College Gameday does not retire with him.

Rece Davis: IN

Rece Davis: IN

In his slot, Rece Davis will be stepping in, and I’m sure he will do great. Rece is no stranger to College Gameday, hosting the college hoops edition since 2005. He has a perfect combination of a sports almanac for a brain, a smooth delivery, and enough self-deprication in his sense of humor to don a judge’s rope and listen to Lou Holtz and Mark May yell at each other every Saturday night. We look forward to his addition to the College Gameday team, and he brings with him a lifetime Gamedaycole.com record of 5-3 (62.5%).

Colin Cowherd: OUT

Colin Cowherd: OUT

The next biggest change (possibly bigger depending on your tastes) is the departure of Colin Cowherd to parts unknown. After three seasons as a Gamedaycole.com champion (08, 09, 10), his status as a competitor on this site is unknown. He is rumored to be headed off to Fox Sports, Sirius XM, or some combination of both. I would assume he can pick college football games for another media outlet just as easily as he did at ESPN, but until some announcement is made and he starts broadcasting somewhere, his picks may be on hiatus. As he departs ESPN, he takes with him one of our all-time best records at 526-217 (70.79%).

Holtz, Davis, May: OUT, OUT, and OUT!

Holtz, Davis, May: OUT, IN, and OUT!

The next big tree to fall in this offseason was none other than Lou Holtz (or Dr. Lou as you may know him). In what was described by Sports Illustrated as “closer to a mutual agreement between the parties than Holtz getting fired”, this will be the first season we don’t see Lou Holtz since he joined ESPN in 2004. At the age of 78 maybe he decided it was time to hang it up, or maybe he wants to focus on his public speaking engagements. Maybe he will show up on NBC on Saturdays to pump up Notre Dame before each game. Whatever he decides to do with his newly-found free time, we know for sure it will be a much more solemn Saturday if you are a fan of Notre Dame (or South Carolina or Arkansas for that matter). Noone on ESPN had an undying loyalty to their own team like Holtz had to his teams, although Desmond Howard looks to be the new leader in the clubhouse of bias analysis. The ESPN studio halftime reports, as well as College Football Final, have been blown apart starting with the departure of Lou Holtz, and while this may not be as big of a single name to leave as Fowler or Cowherd, more dominoes start falling once Holtz is out. As Holtz makes his exit, he takes with him a lifetime record of 240-136 (63.83%).

That next domino to tip over is none other than Lou Holtz’s partner-in-crime Mark May. The unlikely marriage of an elderly white coach with a younger former black player, consecrated by Rece Davis, brought us some of the most absurd moments of ESPN’s college football coverage over the years. Yelling matches were regularly scheduled programming. There were victory dances when a debate was settled by Davis. There were tantrums on the part of losers and gloating on the part of winners when “Final Verdict” came to a close. While Mark May isn’t entirely out, it seems that his role continues to diminish. Before Desmond Howard was a regular contributor on College Gameday, Mark May was a regular presence. His argumentative tendencies may have been too much, as he was removed from Gameday, then seemingly removed himself from Twitter, and now has been removed from College Football Final. He will now be sitting in with John Saunders and Mack Brown for a game or two each week on ABC, which doesn’t exactly offer the same amount of exposure. While he was often considered a dunce in the world of picking games, he still takes with him a record of 214-140 (60.45%), which undoubtedly could have been better if he didn’t pick against Lou Holtz on principle so often for entertainment value.

Kanell and Galloway: IN and IN!

Kanell and Galloway: IN and IN!

The duty to replace the trio of Rece Davis, Lou Holtz, and Mark May for studio coverage on Saturdays will fall to a new trio of Adnan Virk, Joey Galloway, and Danny Kanell. Galloway brings a solid starting record of 26-15 (63.41%), while Danny Kanell brings a 108-56 (65.85%) record. More importantly, Kanell brings a world class Twitter trolling record as he takes every opportunity to stick it to the SEC fans. While some may be concerned that he will be toning it down in his new position, given the fact that he is replacing world class troll Mark May I don’t predict we will miss out on any of Kanell’s antics. Kanell used to be in the third ABC spot with John Saunders and Mack Brown (a spot formerly owned by Jesse Palmer), so it is interesting that he is literally swapping spots with Mark May. The third member of the trio, Adnan Virk, is just Adnan Virk. Solid studio man with no record of picking games.

SVP & Russillo: STATUS UNKNOWN

SVP & Russillo: STATUS UNKNOWN

The next change saw the forced breakup of the SVP & Russillo show by ESPN. I guess it may not have been getting the ratings it needed, but this show will be sorely missed by college football fans as well as degenerate gamblers. “WINNERS” is now a thing of the past, given the fact that Scott Van Pelt will likely not be picking games while he hosts Sportscenter at nights, as well as the fact that Russillo was always pretty half-assed in his engagement of the “WINNERS” segment. While SVP takes a weak 32-24 (57.15%) record with him, his specialty was without a doubt picking against the spread (underdogs 99% of the time) rather than straight up winners. Ryen Russillo is hosting his own show, and taking an 84-54 (60.87%) record with him. The smaller tragedy is the loss of Stanford Steve Coughlin, who went 73-38 (65.77%) as our newcomer last year.

Tim Tebow: OUT

Tim Tebow: OUT

The next loss of this offseason is that of young Tim Tebow. As Tebow continues to chase the dream of being an NFL quarterback, he has signed on with the flock of other quarterbacks currently in Eagles training camp. While I don’t know anything for sure, I would assume that the NFL probably takes priority over his duties on SEC Nation on Saturday mornings. But assuming it doesn’t work out in the NFL (again), I think its likely that this will be a temporary hiatus for the chosen one. He takes with him a 48-23 (67.61%) lifetime record on our site.

Matt Millen: OUT

Matt Millen: OUT

The last change of the year is the loss of one Matt Millen, who has decided to jump ship to the Big Ten network and Fox Sports 1. While he may still be contributing and picking games over there, I am not sure I have the time (or patience) to sit through that much Purdue coverage to track his picks. While universally hated by most college fans and all Detroit Lions fans, he actually has some of the best analysis I’ve seen. Howerver his reputation for destroying the Lions from the inside has tarnished him beyond repair in the public eye. I know there will be at least one person who misses him as he departs with a 26-8 (76.47%) record.

So to sum it up:
Chris Fowler: OUT
Rece Davis: IN
Colin Cowherd: OUT (maybe)
Lou Holtz: OUT
Mark May: OUT (sort of)
Joey Galloway: IN
Danny Kanell: IN
Scott Van Pelt: OUT
Ryen Russillo: OUT (maybe)
Stanford Steve Coughlin: OUT
Tim Tebow: OUT (for now)
Matt Millen: OUT (sort of)

While we may be seeing the end of a golden age of college football coverage, I think it is important to focus on the fact that coverage is not being reduced. It may be expanded further as the college football playoff comes into maturity in addition to ESPN’s decision to embrace gambling odds into coverage. More importantly, you can count on our crack team of experts to continue tracking picks and predictions on Gamedaycole.com. At least until ESPN shuts us down.

2014-15 Season results & champion! #cfb #cfbplayoff

The 2014-15 college football season has come to a close, and with it the season here at Gamedaycole.com closes with it.  It was one of the most exciting seasons we’ve seen both on the field and on the blog, so let’s dive right into this season’s results.  All of the qualifying competitors this year (with 50+ picks on the season) are the following:

2014-15 Season Right-Wrong % Correct
Brett McMurphy 56-20 73.68%
Lou Holtz 53-19 73.61%
Jason Sehorn 53-19 73.61%
Colin Cowherd 102-39 72.34%
Greg McElroy 71-27 71.72%
Phil Steele 185-80 69.81%
David Pollack 64-29 68.82%
Robert Smith 69-32 68.32%
Marcus Spears 48-23 67.61%
Danny Kanell 48-23 67.61%
Tim Tebow 47-23 67.14%
Jon Berger 51-25 67.11%
Lee Corso 118-59 66.67%
Pat Forde 283-142 66.59%
Stanford Steve Coughlin 73-38 65.77%
Mel Kiper Jr. 41-22 65.08%
Desmond Howard 120-68 63.83%
Booger McFarland 44-25 63.77%
Paul Finebaum 50-29 63.29%
Kevin Carter 65-38 63.11%
Chris Fallica 64-39 62.14%
Celebrity Guests 93-59 61.18%
Dari Nowhkah 40-26 60.61%
Jennifer 129-84 60.56%
Kirk Herbstreit 109-75 59.24%
Todd McShay 43-33 56.58%
Trevor Matich 37-29 56.06%
Mark May 28-27 50.91%
Brett McMurphy: 2014-15 Champion

Brett McMurphy: 2014-15 Champion

That means the man with the legendary mustache and legendary picking skills, Brett McMurphy, is your 2014-15 Gamedaycole.com season champion!  Mark May came up on the short end of the stick, which I’m sure will amuse many of you.  Going into bowl season, it was looking like our new buddies from the SEC Network were going to run away with this year’s championship along with Stanford Steve Coughlin.  However, a disastrous bowl season doomed all of them to mediocrity, leaving Brett McMurphy as one left standing (barely edging out a great season by Lou Holtz and Jason Sehorn).

Lee Corso’s headgear picks went 13-5 on the year (technically 14-5 with his espn.com EWU pick against SHSU), which means Corso’s headgear picks edged out Charley the Cat’s picks at 11-7 on the year.  Better luck next year Charley.

Our greatest week of the season goes to Phil Steele, who in week 5 went a stunning 15-0 on the week.

The best pick of the year will be shared by Desmond Howard, Mark May, Jennifer, and the Oregon Duck, who all picked Virginia Tech to beat THE Ohio State Buckeyes in week 2.  It was shocking when it happened, and makes even less sense looking back, so congratulations to all of you.

Conversely, let’s give Desmond Howard the worst pick of the year, taking Oregon State to beat Oregon in rivalry week.

Desmond Howard picked against Michigan twice this season, going 1-1 against his Wolverines.  He also picked in favor of Michigan 7 times this season, going an impressive 2-5 with his home team.

That will wrap things up for the 2014-15 season here.  Who knows, maybe this will be the year I actually post something in the offseason?

2014-15 Bowl Season: Results are in! #cfbplayoff #cfbchampionship #bowlmania

The 2014-15 Bowl season has come to an end, which I guess means the actual season has come to an end, but let’s focus on bowl season for now.  As you know, the majority of pickers went with the 6-point-underdog Buckeyes to beat Oregon, but how about the rest of the games?  We will start off by crowning the 2014-15 Bowl Season champion.  Coming in with a record of 25-14 is 2012-13 Bowl Season champion, and 2013-14 Bowl Season co-champion, Robert Smith.  That is three years in a row winning or splitting the bowl season championship, so we are certainly impressed.  Here he is at our awards ceremony claiming his award!

Robert Smith: 2014-15 Bowl Champion!

Robert Smith: 2014-15 Bowl Champion!

Other than that, the records of our qualifying competitors are listed below:

Qualifying Pickers:
Robert Smith: 25-14
Mark Schlabach: 23-16
Ed Cunningham: 22-17
Phil Steele: 21-17 (no championship pick)
Todd McShay: 20-19
Jennifer’s Picks: 20-19
Cole’s Picks: 20-19
Stanford Steve: 19-20
Pat Forde: 17-22

And everyone else:
Charles Arbuckle: 4-4
Skip Bayless: 1-2
Mike Bellotti: 1-1
Jon Berger: 2-4
Kevin Blackistone: 1-0
Mack Brown: 1-2
Kevin Carter: 1-5
Charley the Cat: 1-1
Gene Chizik: 0-2
Lee Corso: 5-3
Colin Cowherd: 3-4
Tim Cowlishaw: 3-0
Butch Davis: 0-3
Heather Dinich: 13-7
Brad Edwards: 5-5
Chris Fallica: 10-7
Paul Finebaum: 2-5
Joey Galloway: 7-2
Rod Gilmore: 2-0
Mike Golic: 1-3
Mike Greenberg: 1-2
Brian Griese: 0-1
Kirk Herbstreiet: 8-9
Lou Holtz: 8-3
Desmond Howard: 4-7
Brock Huard: 0-2
Danny Kanell: 8-5
Mel Kiper Jr.: 2-1
Tom Luginbill: 0-3
Ivan Maisel: 0-3
Trevor Matich: 3-6
Mark May: 0-2
Greg McElroy: 2-2
Booger McFarland: 1-2
Brett McMurphy: 1-2
Matt Millen: 2-1
Brent Musberger: 1-0
Dari Nowkhah: 0-3
Woody Paige: 1-0
Jesse Palmer: 0-3
Bill Plaschke: 0-1
David Pollack: 2-7
Ryen Russillo: 0-1
Bob Ryan: 1-0
Stephen A. Smith: 1-0
Marcus Spears: 2-3
Matt Stinchcomb: 1-1
Tim Tebow: 1-3
Scott Van Pelt: 1-0
Andre Ware: 1-2

Congratulations to everyone above for a great showing this year, or at least trying.  We are hard at work computing records to crown the season championship, so stay tuned for at least one more update!

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