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51
Baseball Archives / Your College Football Bowl Game Guide
« on: December 27, 2013, 11:36:15 PM »
This article is brought to you by Walter Smith.

Walter Smith follows college football closely. While the NFL is fun, he knows that the college game is where the heart truly is. Catch his articles for breakdowns on the best college games. 

Who’s ready for some Bowl Game action? There are a lot of headlines as we enter the final year of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The BCS will move to a playoff format starting next season, so enjoy this year’s five historical matchups! Let’s take a look at the final BCS games.

 photo college_football_bowl_guide_zps5b518d3e.jpg

Rose Bowl presented by Vizio: Michigan State vs. Stanford

Jan. 1, 2014 Pasadena, CA

ESPN 5pm ET

Michigan State’s defense is one of the top 3 elite defensive squads in the nation; 1st against the run and 3rd against the pass. Stanford brings a well balanced offense to the table, so expect them to try to open up the passing game with their running game. If Michigan is able to shut down the run, this will make Stanford one dimensional and we’ll have a pretty good game. This is going to be a good one for sure.

The intrigue: Stanford’s head coach, David Shaw want’s the wins to keep coming.  He’s 1-1 in bowl games, so he’ll be looking for his 2nd win which could catapult him to the NFL.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. UCF

Jan. 1, 2014 Glendale, AZ

ESPN 8:30pm ET

This is one of those games that could potentially be a blow out and a classic David vs Goliath type game. The Baylor Bears are a -16.5 favorite at the moment. Art Briles brings in his highly touted offense to the dessert and expect QB Bryce Petty to air it out. Baylor has the #1 overall offense in the FBS.  There will be plenty of NFL talent in this game. For Baylor it starts with OG Cyril Richardson and RB Lache Seastrunk. Central Florida has some prospects as well; RB Storm Johnson and QB Blake Bortles.

The intrigue: Despite signing a 10-year extension in November, Head Coach Art Briles could be getting some calls from NFL front offices. His name has already been attached to the Washington Redskins where he would re-unite with QB Robert Griffen III.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Jan. 2, 2014 New Orleans, LA

ESPN 8:30pm ET

Alabama is heavily favored to win this game, the latest odds have them winning by a spread of 15. Oklahoma has had an up and down season, but they finished strong enough to earn themselves a BCS Bowl game. This is the third time the two storied programs square off in a bowl game. Alabama leads the series 1-0-1, the first time they played was in 1963 where Alabama took home the win and the last time they played to a tie in the 1970 Bluebonnet Bowl.

The intrigue: This game will be hard fought in the trenches as we’ll see the Sooners explosive rushing attack go up against the Crimson Tide’s very stout rushing attack. Who will flinch first? This will be one of the more entertaining games from the BCS Bowl games.

Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Ohio State

Jan. 3, 2014 Miami, FL

ESPN 8:30pm ET

If you’re into high scoring and tons of offense this bowl game with be tailored made for you. Both offenses are packed with offensive weapons, and both defensive squads are quite suspect. The Buckeyes are a slight 2.5 favorite, but this is one game that could go either way. At the collegiate level, Clemson’s QB Tajh Boyd and Ohio State’s QB Braxton Miller are as electric as it gets. This should be one of those games where touchdowns are traded on every drive.

The intrigue: Keep an eye on some NFL talent during this game, scouts will be out in force to get a closer look at Clemson’s QB, Tajh Boyd and WR Sammy Watkins; both are potential 1st round talents. Ohio State has some play makers on defense with LB Ryan Frazier and CB Bradley Roby.

Vizio BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn

Jan. 6, 2014 Pasadena, CA

ESPN 8:30pm ET

This Championship will redeem last year’s lopsided affair when Alabama trucked Notre Dame for 4 quarters. In this title game, it will be about getting some defensive stops and Auburn has some solid rotational depth to help keep the pressure on, but I think Florida State comes with an advantage with their stingy defense. Both offenses have been on fire, so expect some fireworks and big plays in the passing game. Auburn rolls into the game with an amazing running game with RB Tre Mason which will keep them in the game.

The intrigue: Auburn has faced some of the SEC’s best quarterbacks in the nation, but how will they do against the newly minted Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston? Conversely, how will Winston do under the huge stage of the National Championship game? We will soon get all these answers. It’s going to be a great game!

If you’re ready to binge on some great Bowl Games, this December and January is for you! For a full schedule of Bowl Games, please check out the list here.

Want to see the game in person? College Football Bowl Game Tickets are still available. Get your tickets now!


52
Alumni Showdown / Re: Conference Points
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:56:00 AM »
:Iowa: Iowa's national title win puts the Big Ten up a spot. This leads to the following conference layout in 2014.  Any additional conference will take a fifth tier with 16 teams.

Top Tier = 8 teams, Pac-8
Second Tier = 10 teams, SEC
Third Tier = 12 teams, Big Ten
Fourth Tier = 14 teams, Big XII

The Commissioner will work with conference presidents on choosing how teams move in and out of conferences.

53
Alumni Showdown / Re: Week 14 Conference Championships
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:53:50 AM »
:Iowa: Iowa (13-2) 171.72 to 155.39 over :Arizona: Arizona (11-4)
Congrats to Jake for really lighting it up over the past several weeks and representing the Big Ten.  Arizona laid a dud in the championship.  Sure, 155 points are pretty good, but not at this stage.

54
NCAA Invitationals / Re: 2013 NCAAF Invitational: Bowl Pick-em
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:48:26 AM »
Place your bets in this thread.  All bets must be made by the end of 2013, so any edits thereafter are considered illegal.

55
NCAA Invitationals / Re: 2013 NCAAF Invitational: Bowl Pick-em
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:42:41 AM »
Delay due to personal reasons and the holidays, but here it is...

If you pick the winner in a 1x bowl, then you win how many points you bet.  If you pick the winner in a 2x bowl, then you win twice as many points as you bet.  4x = quadruple your points.  Note that you don't win your points back, so if you bet 5 on 1x bowl, and won, then you break even.

There are 9 bowl games, and you can't bet more than 5 points on a single game.  The #1 seed received 40 points to bet and then the next person down receives one less point.  Your points for betting are equal to 41 - SEED, so if you are the 17th ranked player then you receive 41 - 17 = 24 points.

1x Bowls
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
:Nebraska: Nebraska vs. :Georgia: Georgia
Jan. 1 - Noon   ESPN2

Capital One Bowl
:Wisconsin: Wisconsin vs. :SouthCarolina: South Carolina
Jan. 1 - 1 p.m.   ABC

Outback Bowl
:Iowa: Iowa vs. :LSU: LSU
Jan. 1 - 1 p.m.   ESPN

2x Bowls
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
:Stanford: Stanford vs. :MichiganState: Michigan State
Jan. 1 - 5 p.m.   ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
:UCF: UCF vs. :Baylor: Baylor
Jan. 1 - 8:30 p.m.   ESPN

Allstate Sugar Bowl
:Oklahoma: Oklahoma vs. :Alabama: Alabama   
Jan. 2 - 8:30 p.m.   ESPN

Discover Orange Bowl
:Clemson: Clemson vs. :OhioState: Ohio State
Jan. 3 - 8:30 p.m.   ESPN

AT&T Cotton Bowl
:OklahomaState: Oklahoma State vs. :Missouri: Missouri
Jan. 3 - 7:30 p.m.   FOX

4x Bowl
VIZIO BCS National Championship
No. 1 :FloridaState: Florida State vs. No. 2 :Auburn: Auburn
Jan. 6 - 8:30 p.m.   ESPN

56
Free Market Kings: Archives / Re: FMK 2013 NFL Playoffs Thread
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:34:16 AM »
Merry Christmas and sorry for not getting this out over the past couple days.  Next year, the Super Bowl will be played in Week 16.

Super Bowl XLVIII, 1st in FMK Era
:AFC: Champion :IND: Indianapolis (14-1) vs. :NFC: Champion :SEA-NFL: Seattle (12-4)
Indy was part of a twin-headed giant in the AFC.  With Denver upset early in the playoffs by Cincinnati, Indy had to take care of business against the Bengals.  Despite Cincy scoring over 160 points, Indy lit up the score even more.  Meanwhile, Seattle is the best NFC team in real life and showed up for fantasy football as well.  The two teams meet with a lot on the line.  Indy is the favorite here.  They only lost once this year, have scored the most points each of the past couple weeks, and have a diversified squad built for this type of game.

57
Baseball Archives / How is the NFL Schedule Decided?
« on: December 21, 2013, 12:40:12 PM »
The following is a featured article.

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that football, just like any other professional sport in America, is a big business. And with big businesses and serious money-money making corporations, there are many things that go into maximizing profits garnered from these games. One of the most important aspects of the NFL when it comes to both the competitive and financial side of the game is determining the playing schedule, which can be seen on allpro.

There is a basic formula that is followed every year for creating each team’s game schedule, but not many fans are aware of what a truly complex process it has become. Here is a look at how the NFL creates schedules every year.

The Basics

The basic premise is fairly simple. Each team will play 16 games over the course of 17 weeks, with one “bye” week during which they will not play. The NFL is broken up into two conferences, the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). There are four divisions within each conference and there are four teams in each division.

Six games will be played against divisional opponents. This means that every team plays the other three teams in their division twice, once at home and once away. Each team will also play four teams that are not in their division, but in their conference. Two of these games will be at home and two will be away.

A team will also play four teams from one division in the other conference, two home and two away once again. And finally, each team plays two teams within the same conference that finished in the same place in which they finished within their respective divisions in the prior year. For example, if a team finished atop the NFC West in the previous year, that team will play two teams that won the NFC East, South or North in the previous year.

These are the basics. After these initial schedules are made, there are many other extenuating circumstances that come into play.

The Ratings

The NFL is all about television ratings, at least on the business side of the ball. While most games are played in the afternoon, there are night games scheduled on Thursday, Sunday and Monday every year that are aimed at conquering the primetime television market. In this process, it is not only league representatives who are involved. Executives from all of the major networks that carry NFL games, such as NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network, are all looking to get the potentially best games for their primetime slots.

When picking and choosing the primetime games, many aspects are taken into consideration: the quality of the teams in the matchup, interesting storylines that might follow the matchups, and many other circumstances. It’s not unusual for games to get bounced out of primetime mid-season if it turns out that there is going to be a matchup in the same week that will be more interesting to viewers than the one that was scheduled for primetime initially. This happened in the current 2013 season when the game between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, both in the bottom halves of their divisions with little hopes of a playoff berth, were taken out of the primetime slot in favor of a battle between two of the AFC’s best teams, the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Conflicting Events

A common conflicting event that can occur in October is favoring important baseball games late in the season that are played in the same stadium as the NFL team plays in. An example of this is the fact that the Baltimore Ravens, who are defending Super Bowl champs, were asked to take their show on the road because the Baltimore Orioles had an important game at the home stadium that week. In 2012, both the New York Giants and Jets, who share a stadium, were asked to play on the road in order to accommodate a Bruce Springsteen concert.

There are other aspects that come into consideration as well, such as making sure that teams do not have too many cross-country trips in order to avoid jetlag that could affect their playing abilities. But even looking at these basic ideas that go into schedule creation, it’s easy to see how seriously the NFL takes this task.


58
MLB Discussion / Re: Message Icons Are Back!
« on: December 14, 2013, 05:29:25 PM »
Sweet!!  nice job Eric.     :taco: :taco: :taco: Can we get some others added or fixed?


Theses are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

:MDA:
:BUF-NHL2:
:HAR:
:LA:
:LAK:
:MIN-NHL2:
:QUE:

LAK is broke and is one of the few outliers.

The rest are under the NHL-ALT category. :thumbsup:

59
MLB Discussion / Message Icons Are Back!
« on: December 13, 2013, 11:36:29 PM »
Our apologies for the delay in returning the icons.  It seems that upgrades in the league management system caused the library to be reset.  Thanks to Eric, we now have a spreadsheet that backups this data in an organized fashion.  A few keystrokes later, the logos are back like presto!  There are some issues with several MILB and some miscellaneous logos resolving, but for the most part, the library is back and better than ever with alternate categories and additional logos.

60
NBA Invitational: Archives / Re: NBA Invitational Power Rankings by Points
« on: December 11, 2013, 10:49:00 PM »
Who's a bigger surprise at 4-2, Charlotte or Cleveland?

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