UPDATE: If you want to cite my data or use my data for a project, please let me know! I LOVE seeing what people can do with my data and I’m always glad to help out. All I ask is that you reference my site, give me a shoutout, and send me a link to your final project so I can see your work!
Ever wonder to yourself “what is Lee Corso’s record for picking games”? Now we have an answer (sort of)! I’m here to track expert predictions as best I can week to week with focus on College Gameday, but as much of ESPN’s crew as I can fit in. I love College Gameday to death and always wondered what the guys on the show have as far as their records. Basically everyone always wonders: What is Lee Corso’s picking record? Does Kirk Herbstreit know what he’s talking about? Does Lou Holtz have a good picking record even though he always picks Notre Dame to win? Well I’m here to solve the riddles.
This is and will always be an incomplete puzzle because I don’t have video tapes of Gameday going back 20 years. I also have to sleep and work a job, so I can’t listen to every podcast on the internet. However I will keep up with the current picks, and will continue to do research to find old picks from sources like Youtube videos, old news articles, blogs, tweets, and so on. As we put more and more pieces of this puzzle together, we may never complete the puzzle but the image will still emerge the same and we can get a good idea about what the lifetime averages are for the experts.
You can follow the picks as they happen on my twitter @gamedaycole.
As far as how I go about my research, the following rules apply:
1. I’m here to track predictions on winners. Straight up or against the spread. It doesn’t matter the games or who is playing. I track them all, big and small.
2. If one of our experts does pick against the spread, the following rule is implemented: If the expert is taking the points and picking the underdog, that does not count. All that means is that our expert thinks they will cover the spread, not that the team will win. If the expert lays the points and takes the favorite, that will count for the official record. Obviously, if our expert thinks the team will win by 14 points, then he thinks they will win straight up. Picks ATS are obviously more difficult, so they can earn partial credit laying points if they don’t cover but still win the game.
3. If an expert makes a pick, then changes their mind and picks the other way on another show, I take the most recent pick for the official record. Things can develop and change during the week, so predictions can change as well. The most up-to-date pick is the one I will take, even if the expert changes their mind twice in the span of an hour. Dr. Lou, I’m looking in your direction.
4. If someone predicts a winning streak, losing streak, or projects several weeks into advance, I will count the picks until something changes. Example: There will be a point in most seasons where Tom Luginbill will predict FIU to go undefeated after starting off with a few wins. If they win the next game, obviously he will think the streak continues, so I count it. Once they lose, all bets are off, because it could have totally changed the landscape of things, so the official record stops there.
5. I try not to read too much into what our experts are saying when analyzing games for predictions. I only count it if I hear key words like “I’m picking”, “I’ll take”, “I like”, “I’m going with ____ in this game”, and so on. If its not clear who they think will win, then its an under-pick and not counted.
6. Our experts have to have at least a handful of picks to make my rankings. Nobody cares if someone is 100% right on their record if they have only picked two games. This is known as the “Matt Millen” rule. When the rule was implemented, Matt Millen was our #1 ranked picker, but with a very small sample size. Now I require at least 50 picks to be ranked.
About the author
My name is Cole. This is my blog for all the millions (or dozens) of my fans around the world. It started out as my Las Vegas blog for everyone back home when I spent a few months in Sin City. I told the tales of what I was doing day to day, how things were going, and how thick the bankroll was at the end of the day. Then it became my blog about all kinds of gambling shenanigans involving live poker, online poker, prop bets and sports betting. Then it became my college football gambling blog where I tracked my bets, my wins, and my losses. Then it became just a blog about life. Much more boring. Until I started tracking Lee Corso’s predictions one Saturday morning years ago. Things quickly escalated, and now you see the result. I live in the heart Big 12 country, and have an unhealthy obsession with College Gameday. In addition, I also have an amazing wife named Jennifer (@GamedayJen) who also makes picks every week against the Gameday crew. She does quite well compared to some of the people making the big bucks on ESPN, and its amazing that she puts up with this whole blog. We’ve recently been joined by @TheGamedayBaby and she has already has started handicapping with her “Public Fade of the Week”.
I’d like to plug some resources I use for historical research and make sure these entities get credit. I have spent a lot of time trying to dig out picks from the last 20-30 years, and having these sites has provided some great information.
ESPN – Obviously I watch a lot of Gameday, but podcasts, ESPN.com, ESPN Chalk, ESPN Media Zone, and ESPN Front Row provide me tremendous help in my research
Archive.org – I spend a ton of time looking through archived snapshots of various websites where picks have been posted in the past
506sports.com – They have forums containing historical broadcast data going back a very long time, and their users were able to provide historical data for some significant gaps I had
TigerDroppings forum – Their userbase constantly bitching about who Lee Corso picked on any given day has provided a valuable historical snapshot of picks going back a very long time
USA Today – Their online archives go back decades and have provided some of the oldest data I have collected
NewsOK.com – Oklahoma news which has had some past material about Gameday and Oklahoma
The following Youtube channels have provided classic episodes and clips of College Gameday which I have referenced:
LASooner – His Youtube channel provides his old VHS records of OU related content on College Gameday and ESPN
hokietapes – Old episodes and clips of Virginia Tech related content on ESPN
Classic Vol Video – Old Tennessee related material from ESPN/College Gameday
Tim Bliss – A massive archive of college football material including episodes of Gameday
keeerrrttt – A collection of Oregon Ducks related material from College Gameday
The following may seem obvious, but deserve credit:
PhilSteele.com – Obviously this is Phil Steele’s website, and I’ve included some of the historical picks he has available from past years to include in my database
Bet the Process podcast – Rufus Peabody & Jeff Ma’s weekly gambling podcast
Crowd’s Line – Youtube channel/Podcast featuring Lou Holtz and Mark May put out weekly
Stanford Steve and the Bear – Chris Fallica and Steve Coughlin’s weekly podcast