As we ramp up to bowl season this Saturday, I thought we would take a moment to review where everyone stands heading into bowl season. This has been a very strong year at the top, with Tom Luginbill currently sitting on top of things at 80% right (I’m not counting SVP or Michael Smith with 4 picks). Pat Forde has been on a tear this year, and Lou Holtz is looking good headed into bowl season thanks to Notre Dame running the table. Most years, his Notre Dame undefeated predictions lead to his demise. On the other end of the spectrum is rookie Brian Griese who is trying his hardest to tank this season, and Mark May who is the victim of Dr. Lou’s historic run. I’ll be updating all week with bowl picks, so check back often because who knows when the picks might start rolling in!
Scott Van Pelt: 100% (4-0)
Michael Smith: 100% (4-0)
Tom Luginbill: 80.00% (52-13)
Matt Stinchcomb: 80.00% (12-3)
Ryen Russillo: 77.27% (17-5)
Pat Forde: 75.84% (292-93)
Lou Holtz: 75.00% (45-15)
Brock Huard: 75.00% (3-1)
Colin Cowherd: 74.76% (77-26)
Mike Bellotti: 73.75% (59-21)
Dari Nowkhah: 72.41% (105-40)
Lee Corso: 72.02% (121-47)
Trevor Matich: 70.65% (65-27)
Kirk Herbstreit: 70.18% (120-51)
Christian Fauria: 69.75% (83-36)
Mel Kiper Jr.: 67.44% (29-14)
Charles Arbuckle: 66.67% (40-20)
Mark Schlabach: 66.67% (16-8)
Jesse Palmer: 66.67% (4-2)
Woody Paige: 66.67% (4-2)
Jason Sehorn: 66.22% (49-25)
Brad Edwards: 66.13% (41-21)
Jennifer’s Picks: 65.03% (119-64)
David Pollack: 64.71% (66-36)
Desmond Howard: 62.69% (84-50)
Dan Hawkins: 62.50 (15-9)
Danny Kanell: 61.11% (22-14)
Robert Smith: 61.02% (72-46)
Matt Millen: 3-2 (60.00%)
Mark May: 57.89% (44-32)
Todd McShay: 57.69% (30-22)
Brian Griese: 57.45% (27-20)
Celebrity Guests: 55.65% (69-55)
Skip Bayless: 40.00% (4-6)
Chris Fowler: 40.00% (2-3)
Andre Ware: 25.00% (1-3)
Well well well, its about the halfway point of the regular season, so I figured it was time to send report cards home to the parents of all our football experts below. I’m issuing a 14 point curve for everyone, so adjust the scores below accordingly to get their letter grade. I’ve only included experts with ten or more picks because who cares if someone is 2-0 for the season? Not me, that’s who. Lou Holtz is off to a surprise lead among those regularly picking every week. However, there is a lot of football left to be played, and most years championships are won and dreams are crushed during bowl season, so this thing is far from over. I expect these report cards to be signed and returned to my desk by 8AM Monday morning. That especially includes you Brian Griese. I don’t want to have another talk with Bob Griese about your performance, because Mark May is not a tough man to beat heads up picking games. Enjoy.
Ryen Russillo: 12-2, 85.71% A+
Lou Holtz: 25-5, 83.33% A+
Tom Luginbill: 29-9, 76.32% A-
Pat Forde: 153-50, 75.37% B+
Brad Edwards: 12-4, 75% B+
Dari Nowkhah: 40-14, 74.07% B+
Mark Schlabach: 8-3, 72.73% B+
Colin Cowherd: 37-14, 72.55% B+
Jason Sehorn: 25-10, 71.43% B
Mel Kiper JR.: 15-6, 71.43% B
Kirk Herbstreit: 59-25, 70.24% B
David Pollack: 40-17, 70.18% B
Charlie Arbuckle: 9-4, 69.23% B-
Lee Corso: 55-25, 68.75% B-
Christian Fauria: 43-20, 68.25% B-
Mike Bellotti: 21-10, 67.74% B-
Jennifer’s Picks: 58-34, 63.04% C+
Trevor Matich: 25-15, 62.5% C+
Robert Smith: 41-25, 62.12% C+
Desmond Howard: 41-28, 59.42% C-
Danny Kanell: 13-9, 59.09% C-
Mark May: 21-15, 58.33% C-
Todd McShay: 8-8, 50% D
Brian Griese: 11-12, 47.83% F (just because… come on man)
Well ladies and gents, it was a long, long day around here due to the fact that my work decided that I needed to be there most of today. Apparently that’s where I get money to pay bills or something, so I couldn’t really argue. As I stated earlier, we were camped out at Jennifer’s house overnight, and we got up early to watch the ESPNU hour of Gameday, along with as much as I could see on the main show before I had to be at work. She was awesome enough to not only DVR Gameday for me, but she watched it twice for me: once to make her own picks this morning, and once when I got home tonight. She also had homemade chile relleños ready for dinner when I walked in the door (and she got the recipe from a real Mexican, so you know its good!). How did I get this lucky? I’m not sure, but I’ll take it.
Anyways, now that I have viewed all of Gameday and had a chance to digest everything, let’s dive right in. We were broadcasting live from East Lansing, Michigan for the matchup between Ohio State and Michigan State. Samantha Steele apparently met her new boyfriend there this week, so sorry to all of you who are reading this and thought you had a shot. He’s a good listener, but not much of a talker apparently.
There was a very lively crowd gathered this morning to celebrate Gameday’s broadcast, and they were especially happy to see Michigan Wolverine Desmond Howard grace everyone with his presence. And if you couldn’t tell, that was sarcasm, as it poured boos every time he started talking. What do you expect when your two most hated rivals are playing at each other, and you’re supposed to chime in with your unbiased opinion? On a related note, the sign of the day was inspired by the Heisman winner, and had his face plastered on it.
As things continued, we got the usual Chris Fowler open before Samantha Steele took over hosting with Pollack and Howard breaking things down for us. Anyone who is a regular to College Gameday will surely know Chris Fowler’s $100 challenge, where he poses some obscure college football trivia question nobody will ever know an answer to, and if they get it right he will give them the hundred dollar bill. Today, Samantha Steele started her own version; the $20 challenge. I don’t remember the question or the answer, but this will certainly be an entertaining segment in the future.
Speaking of Samantha Steele, Jennifer was torn on her outfit today, as was I. She had on a pink jacket with a green and red scarf, along with some black pants and boots. This marks her first appearance without the wedge heels. Jennifer didn’t think the scarf matched the jacket, and as she put it, she liked the outfit from the chest up and waist down, but not the torso. I’m not quite the fashion critic she is, so I’ll leave it to Jennifer.
We got a replay of some Mike Gundy video they have played all this week on ESPN about their weekly prep. We got some early picks from David and Desmond, including lots of boos when they both picked Ohio State over Sparty. A nice “Ohio sucks” chant broke out. Tough crowd. We also got David Pollack’s third consecutive pick of Oregon State. As he put it, he is “riding the Beaver train”. There were many more immature snickers referencing our Gameday crew’s love of the Beavers. Grow up guys.
As the main show on ESPN kicked off with Fowler, Corso, Herbie and Howard, they sent David Pollack to use the internet. This week he was tweeting live from an ice-cream shop, where he was having some mint chocolate chip with Sparty.
We got a nice Chris Fowler interview with Brian Kelly that I mostly slept through. Sorry Notre Dame fans, but Brian Kelly is quite generic. Perfect for Notre Dame. At least he’s doing things better than Charlie Weiss. We had the Gameday crew breaking down the hideous Nebraska and Wisconsin uniforms for tonight. Why can’t teams with classic looks just leave them alone? There was a segment by Gene Wojciechowski about the fall of the Arkansas Razorbacks. The gist was that Bobby Petrino not only screwed himself, but screwed the entire football team (as you can now see). Also, John L. Smith is crazy.
This week’s Tebow Memorial Segment was about De’anthony Thomas from Oregon, who grew up in the hood in LA. After a rough upbringing, he became well known playing in Snoop Dogg’s youth football league, and was such a standout that Snoop himself gave him the nickname Black Mamba, after the snake. Snoop himself had a nice quote about Thomas: “He is like Thomas Edison”. I don’t get it, but sounds good.
We also got a brief Tom Rinaldi segment about the suffering Big 10, highlighting their struggles against… well anyone outside of conference. We got a FULL Tom Rinaldi quiet talking segment about Braxton Miller at Ohio State. Apparently he’s pretty good or something. My biggest takeaway was that Braxton Miller has a gigantic ass, and Urban Meyer likes to let him know this. I didn’t know Urban Meyer was funny.
But enough jokes from Urban Meyer, its time to get down to the business we all came here for. Picks. Lots of them. I’m sure you’ve been waiting anxiously to know who the guest celebrity picker was. Well I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as this Michigan State/Ohio State crowd to learn that there was no celebrity guest. Instead, we got an extra dose of Desmond Howard! Before we get down to headgear picks, let the official record show that Chris Fowler issued a TRIPLE NOT-SO-FAST and called for the Oklahoma State upset over Texas. Heading into this headgear selection, Coach Corso is 10-3 all time picking games in the state of Michigan. What does this mean in the statistical sense? Nothing really, but go with it. He looked back fondly at how his first every headgear pick was putting on the Buckeye headgear 16 years ago. But that was just to fake the crowd out. He reminded us he picked Sparty to go to the Rose Bowl this year! DOUBLE FAKE! He went with the Buckeyes for his official headgear pick, and after all that poking and prodding, the crowd reacted with a nice chant of “Asshole!” as the games kicked off this morning.