Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Week 14

NBC’s Sunday Night Football package gives it flexible scheduling. For Weeks 10-15, the games are determined on 12-day notice, 6-day notice for Week 17.

The first year, no game was listed in the Sunday Night slot, only a notation that one game could move there. Now, NBC lists the game it “tentatively” schedules for each night. However, the NFL is in charge of moving games to prime time.

Here are the rules from the NFL web site (note that this was written with the 2007 season in mind, hence why it contradicts the above – and the page it comes from, for that matter):

  • Begins Sunday of Week 11
  • In effect during Weeks 11-17
  • Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
  • The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
  • The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
  • The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
  • The NBC Sunday night time slot in “flex” weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
  • Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
  • NFL schedules all games.
  • Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.
  • Rules NOT listed on NFL web site but pertinent to flex schedule selection: CBS and Fox each protect games in five out of six weeks, and cannot protect any games Week 17. Games were protected after Week 4 the first year of flexible scheduling, but are now protected after Week 5; however, they are back to Week 4 this year, probably for the same reason as that first year: NBC hosting a Christmas night game and the other games being moved to Saturday.
  • Three teams can appear a maximum of six games in primetime on NBC, ESPN or NFL Network (everyone else gets five) and no team may appear more than four times on NBC. At this writing, no team is completely tapped out at any measure; five teams have five primetime appearances each, but all of them have at least one game that can be flexed out. A list of all teams’ primetime appearances is in my first two posts for Weeks 4 and 5.
  • Last year’s selection of primetime games was weighted rather heavily towards Fox games. This year, the selection currently leans CBS 22, FOX 20 (though if I miscounted one game it may be even). My guess is that the balance will continue to lean towards the AFC. Weeks 10, 12, 13, and 15 are all CBS games, while Weeks 11 and 14 are FOX.

Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:

Week 17 (January 1):

AFC Playoff Picture
DIVISION
LEADERS
WILD CARD WAITING IN
THE WINGS (6-7)
WEST
48-5
510-3
7-6
EAST
310-3
68-5
8-5
NORTH
210-3
7-6
10-3 7-6
SOUTH
110-3
7-6
CLINCHED
NFC Playoff Picture
DIVISION
LEADERS
WILD CARD WAITING IN
THE WINGS (6-7)
EAST
47-6
58-5
7-6
SOUTH
310-3
68-5
8-5
WEST
210-3
7-6
CLINCHED 7-6
NORTH
113-0
CLINCHED
  • Tentative game: None (NBC will show game with guaranteed playoff implications).
  • Possible games: Cowboys-Giants, Lions-Packers, Chargers-Raiders. Tiebreakers eliminate Titans-Texans and Ravens-Bengals.
  • Chances for Cowboys-Giants: 80 percent. Here are the scenarios for this game not to be picked: 1) One team loses their next two games and the other team wins their next two games. 2) The Cowboys beat the Bucs tonight, but lose to the Eagles next week while the Giants win their next two, as the Giants would hold the common-games tiebreaker even with a loss to the Cowboys in that situation. 3) and this is a maybe, considering the division winner doesn’t even have a good enough record for the wild card at the moment and the paucity of other options: the loser of the game still has a chance to make the playoffs. Any other scenario, and this game is for the NFC East crown with the loser likely out of the playoffs, and that would be by far the most TV-friendly game NBC could hope for. Those other scenarios are very possible, but the return match is looking very likely for a return to NBC.
  • Chances for Lions-Packers: 10 percent. The Pack have already locked up the division, so a) they would have to be gunning for 16-0, b) preferably the Lions wouldn’t be fighting for a playoff spot or at least their game wouldn’t have an impact on other teams’ playoff hopes even if they’re knocked out by the end of the day, and c) preferably Cowboys-Giants runs into one of those conditions that make it irrelevant. What saves it is that if situation c) happens, this is pretty likely to be the best game available.
  • Chances for Chargers-Raiders: 10 percent. What makes this game a long shot is that neither team is in the playoffs at the moment, but if the Broncos collapse this could luck into being an AFC West title game, and while the Jets and preferably Titans and Bengals would need to collapse it could conceivably be for the wild card as well. If the Broncos lose their next two, and the Chargers and Raiders win their next two, and Cowboys-Giants is irrelevant, and (maybe) the Packers lose one of their next two, this game is getting flexed in because the Chargers’ divisional record would trump the Raiders, and if necessary, their head-to-head record would trump the Raiders and Broncos. But that’s a lot of ifs, so if Cowboys-Giants becomes irrelevant NBC may well find itself stuck, especially if the Packers aren’t 15-0.

Tarquin, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!

(From The Order of the Stick. Click for full-sized negotiations.)

Rich finally proved a forum theory wrong for once… sort of.

Quite a few people speculated that Tarquin knew something about the Gates, and while theories about Tarquin and Nale working in collusion had died down considerably, I myself was still toying with them. Both theories look like they’ve been pretty much shot down… with regard to anything that happened before this strip, that is.

When last we talked about OOTS, Tarquin revealed that he didn’t actually know anything about Girard, but still gave the OOTS a lead toward his gate – a lead his late ex-wife had let slip, and that she was planning to follow up on, shortly before her death. The OOTS figured that her source was likely a disguised Sabine, and that Nale killed her when she was no longer useful – despite the fact that, when speaking of Penelope’s death earlier, Tarquin used phrasing that someone less dense than Elan would figure suggested he himself was the culprit.

If Tarquin did kill her, and if this clue was the reason for that, it might have been the result of jealousy and not wanting her to return to her ex-husband, or it may have been that he sensed the importance of what she said and wanted to keep her from spilling more beans. That means that, in all likelihood, if Tarquin killed her it was likely after he learned that Nale was afoot.

Interestingly, Tarquin implies in this strip that he only knew of Nale’s presence after Penelope let slip her clue, which was only “a few weeks ago”, although it seems apparent that Zz’dtri had been present for longer (his elf-ambassador disguise is shown as being present when Penelope lets slip her clue in the original strip), and Nale had earlier told Elan that he had been here for “months“. I don’t see how Tarquin could have drawn the connection between what Penelope said and Nale’s presence if he knew Nale was there the whole time, which lends more credence to the notion that Nale killed her either when she outlived her usefulness or to keep from tipping off Tarquin to his presence – although the notion that Tarquin only recently learned of Nale’s presence seems more credible to me. (The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course; though it’s unlikely, Tarquin could be telling the truth when he implies that he only learned of Nale’s presence in the last few strips.)

Why did Tarquin keep Elan around through the festival? Partly to make sure they were still around for it, rather than run off the instant they got their information or upon finding out this wasn’t the Draketooth they were looking for, partly to use the festival to draw out Nale, but maybe we should also consider why Tarquin said in the previous strip, “it is in our own best interest that they succeed.” Keep in mind, when he says this he knows nothing about the Gates or about Xykon, but he does know that Nale probably won’t be there when they get there, he knows that they are chasing “some cliched scenery-chewing villain bent on world conquest“, and we can reasonably assume that he has some inkling that he might want to chase off after them (especially since “cliched scenery-chewing villain bent on world conquest” is a pretty good description of Tarquin himself).

Everything Tarquin has done since we’ve first met him, then, has likely been aiming towards several goals: draw out Nale (doubtless engineering “Roy v. Thog” to help with this), weaken the teams of both of his sons, learn enough about the OOTS to properly incorporate them into his plans, send the OOTS on their way with enough time to stop the other cliched villain, find out what he can about what both teams are doing from a source likely to fold when he threatens him (he may have initially thought Elan stood a chance at qualifying until he found out how much of a Pollyanna he is), and maybe some other plots I can’t even fathom because I’m not the diabolical mastermind Tarquin or Rich are. Now that that’s been completed, it seems we have now officially filled in one of the “nine sides” going after the Gates (and Nale, like Xykon, presumably doesn’t know that the Snarl is pretty much worthless for conquest)… although it’s worth leaving open the possibility that Nale and Tarquin will make up and form one side.

Predictions for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2012

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s selections are performed by members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America who have been members for at least 10 years.

A six-person Screening Committee has selected a list of players that have been eligible for less than 15 years to be included on the ballot. A player must have played for 10 years and spent 5 years out of baseball before they can be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame. Players that last played in the 2006 season will be eligible for induction in 2012.

The BBWAA members will submit their ballots before December 31, and any player named on 75% of the ballots will be selected for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. No more than ten players may be named on any ballot.

My prediction for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2012 is:

Barry Larkin, Reds

I take two weeks off and already I’m completely rusty with these webcomic posts.

(From MS Paint Adventures: Homestuck. Click for full-sized nanowatch.)

I stopped reading Homestuck for the past two weeks while my computer was down. As my posting prowess in the interim should suffice to show, this was not a result of my inability to post, but rather an inability to couple my Homestuck-reading with another, related project. I still shouldn’t be posting; I have too much to do to wrap up the quarter at school.

In the interim, the post-Scratch session has gotten weeeeeird.

It’s become apparent that the effects of the Scratch, for whatever reason, are not limited to simply switching the places of the kids and guardians. Elements of the trolls’ universe are seeping in, and not just the “thirteenth troll”. There are the lusii on Jake’s island, and there’s Lalonde’s repeated references to “wiggling day” in her last conversation with Jake. And the two characters we haven’t gotten proper introductions to seem to have taken the lead; they seem to know a lot more about the session they’re entering than Jane and Jake, even though the latter two have gotten plenty of information from the “thirteenth troll”, to the point of dictating the order of entry.

It seems rather odd that Lalonde and Strider would know so much about the game that Jane and Jake don’t. Couple that with Lalonde’s aforementioned “wriggling day” reference, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re entirely what they seem – which would make Lalonde’s suspicion of Betty Crocker’s nature rather suspect.

Oh yeah, and then there’s the part where Jane just freaking exploded.

I imagine that, when this happened, all sorts of questions ran through the fandom’s heads, questions like how the story could continue with the equivalent of John dead (after Jake’s death had been foreshadowed in Jane’s dreams). As we’ve heard, Jane has been the subject of assassination attempts before, so she could conceivably survive this one. But the impression I’ve gotten from the latest interlude is that this entire post-Scratch session may well have been a red herring, allowing Hussie to toy with the fans with various bits of “fan-canon”, only to serve as a long-winded introduction to “Hussiebot” and his schtick.

That schtick, if we are to take this panel at face value, may well involve every piece of misfortune that has befallen this story so far. If Hussiebot is, somehow, the invisible hand behind every major death in the story, truly Andrew Hussie’s “evil twin”, then perhaps he is the true villain of the story, more supreme even than Noir, Scratch, maybe even Lord English – if he doesn’t have some sort of tight-knit connection with English somehow.

I won’t be able to remark on whatever happens next with Hussiebot, John, and Jade until Sunday at the earliest, leaving open the possibility that there will be some sort of major development on Saturday that will be immediately followed up on and leave any reaction I might have in the dust. It’s not entirely out of the question that the universe we just spent nearly a month getting acquainted with will still have some impact on the story, but I do have to admit: it is refreshing to get back to the main plot again.

Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Week 13

NBC’s Sunday Night Football package gives it flexible scheduling. For Weeks 10-15, the games are determined on 12-day notice, 6-day notice for Week 17.

The first year, no game was listed in the Sunday Night slot, only a notation that one game could move there. Now, NBC lists the game it “tentatively” schedules for each night. However, the NFL is in charge of moving games to prime time.

Here are the rules from the NFL web site (note that this was written with the 2007 season in mind, hence why it contradicts the above – and the page it comes from, for that matter):

  • Begins Sunday of Week 11
  • In effect during Weeks 11-17
  • Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
  • The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
  • The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
  • The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
  • The NBC Sunday night time slot in “flex” weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
  • Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
  • NFL schedules all games.
  • Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.
  • Rules NOT listed on NFL web site but pertinent to flex schedule selection: CBS and Fox each protect games in five out of six weeks, and cannot protect any games Week 17. Games were protected after Week 4 the first year of flexible scheduling, but are now protected after Week 5; however, they are back to Week 4 this year, probably for the same reason as that first year: NBC hosting a Christmas night game and the other games being moved to Saturday.
  • Three teams can appear a maximum of six games in primetime on NBC, ESPN or NFL Network (everyone else gets five) and no team may appear more than four times on NBC. At this writing, no team is completely tapped out at any measure; five teams have five primetime appearances each, but all of them have at least one game that can be flexed out. A list of all teams’ primetime appearances is in my first two posts for Weeks 4 and 5.
  • Last year’s selection of primetime games was weighted rather heavily towards Fox games. This year, the selection currently leans CBS 22, FOX 20 (though if I miscounted one game it may be even). My guess is that the balance will continue to lean towards the AFC. Weeks 10, 12, 13, and 15 are all CBS games, while Weeks 11 and 14 are FOX.

Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:

Week 10 (November 13):

  • Selected game: New England @ NY Jets.

Week 11 (November 20):

  • Selected game: Philadelphia @ NY Giants.

Week 12 (November 27):

  • Selected game: Pittsburgh @ Kansas City.

Week 13 (December 4):

  • Selected game: Detroit @ New Orleans.

Week 14 (December 11):

  • Selected game: NY Giants @ Dallas.

Week 15 (December 18):

  • Selected game: Baltimore @ San Diego. This one was announced substantially later than normal, indeed later than the 12-day window the rules allow, thanks to CBS actually fighting to keep Pats-Broncos, with Robert Kraft (who’s a landlord for a CBS-owned restaurant) taking their side. Why CBS’s opinions should have any relevance whatsoever when the NFL is supposed to make the decisions to support NBC’s package is beyond me. This is why we have the protection system; CBS doesn’t get to decide after Week 13 “oh, we’d like to keep this game too.” While there are extenuating circumstances here (the NFL moved a normally-CBS Broncos-Vikings game to Fox this past week, and all involved networks are in the midst of contract renegotiations), this may presage a tweak of the flex schedule rules in the next contract. I fully expected the game to keep its spot anyway once the Chargers won, because it meant the Chargers weren’t so godawful as to overrule the tentative game bias (that’s why Lions-Raiders didn’t get flexed in either), so it also shows how desperate for Tebow NBC is. Everyone looks bad all the way around.

Week 17 (January 1):

AFC Playoff Picture
DIVISION
LEADERS
WILD CARD WAITING IN
THE WINGS (5-7)
WEST
47-5
59-3
7-5
NORTH
39-3
67-5
9-3
EAST
29-3
7-5
7-5 7-5
SOUTH
19-3
7-5
7-5
NFC Playoff Picture
DIVISION
LEADERS
WILD CARD WAITING IN
THE WINGS (5-7)
EAST
47-5
57-5
6-6
SOUTH
39-3
67-5
7-5
WEST
210-2
7-5
CLINCHED 6-6
NORTH
112-0
CLINCHED
  • Tentative game: None (NBC will show game with guaranteed playoff implications).
  • Possible games: Cowboys-Giants, Titans-Texans, Lions-Packers, Ravens-Bengals. The AFC West, AFC East, and NFC South just don’t pair up right.

NFL Schedule: Week 14

Thanks to Tebow-Kraftgate, the Flex Schedule Watch is coming sometime Thursday. This week isn’t a particularly attractive slate of games either (just look at all the huge point spreads), and I’m rushing to get something important done. And that’s on top of the bad taste the way the college football season ended left in my mouth. Bad vibes all the way around.

What is the Median Expected Score?

Away MXS Home Time (ET) TV DTV Announcers NTR SIRIUS Notes
Away Home
#28(4-8) 12½-26½ #4(9-3) Thu 8:20 PM Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan WW1 92 93 Not a good sign when your struggling team goes Ravens-Steelers back-to-back.
#26(4-8) 19¼-18¼ #30(3-9) Sun 1:00 PM 712 Sam Rosen, Chad Pennington 136 117 Can you believe the Bucs were playoff contenders not that long ago?
#24(5-7) 13¾-22¾ #11(7-5) Sun 1:00 PM 706 Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts CMP 137 93 Can Kyle Orton repeat his Soldier Field magic at the Met?
#7(9-3) 17½-20½ #15(7-5) Sun 1:00 PM 707 Marv Albert, Rich Gannon USA 86 104 The Texans seem to be doing okay with T.J. Yates. Will that continue against the Bengals?
#6(9-3) 28-20 #27(4-8) Sun 1:00 PM 704 Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf 91 134 Will getting scared by the worst team in the league cause the Patriots to play with fire against the Skins?
#T9(7-5) 25¼-22¾ #25(4-8) Sun 1:00 PM 710 Ron Pitts, Jim Mora 112 125 Hey, Cam Newton has a winning streak! But can it continue against a potential playoff team?
#23(4-8) 21-24 #18(4-8) Sun 1:00 PM 711 Chris Myers, Tim Ryan 132 113 Two teams going in very opposite directions.
#5(9-3) 26-22½ #14(7-5) Sun 1:00 PM 713 Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver WW1 94 128 The Titans are scratching and clawing for a playoff spot… good luck getting it against the Saints.
#32(0-12) 12½-28½ #2(9-3) Sun 1:00 PM 708 Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker 106 85 The Colts showed signs of life against the Patriots, but the Ravens defense won’t be any easier.
#29(2-10) 20¾-28¾ #12(7-5) Sun 1:00 PM 709 Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin 138 92 Maybe the Vikings won’t solve the Lions’ penalty problem, but they will make it matter less.
#16(7-5) 16¼-19¾ #8(7-5) Sun 4:05 PM 715 Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa CMP 135 93 Tebowmania is reaching a fever pitch, but will it continue against a hungry Bears defense?
#3(10-2) 21¾-17¾ #21(5-7) Sun 4:05 PM 714 Dick Stockton, John Lynch USA 92 139 The Cardinals might be a long shot for the playoffs, but it’ll be difficult getting past the Niners.
#22(5-7) 20¼-27¼ #20(5-7) Sun 4:15 PM 716 Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots WW1 91 85 The Chargers are going on their late-season charge, while the Bills’ season is entering a tailspin.
#13(7-5) 20½-31½ #1(12-0) Sun 4:15 PM 705 Jim Nantz, Phil Simms 94 86 Good luck defending your division lead against the Tebow onslaught playing the Packers.
#17(6-6) 22¾-26¼ #T9(7-5) Sun 8:20 PM Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya WW1 92 93 First of two for NFC East supremacy.
#31(2-10) 17½-22 #19(5-7) Mon 8:30 PM Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber WW1 92 93 Rematch of last year’s NFC West title game with substantially less importance this time around.

Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 15 Picks

Week 15 (December 18):

  • Tentative game: Baltimore @ San Diego
  • Prospects: At one point this game was the only one of NBC’s tentatives involving two teams above .500. Might the Chargers’ mid-season swoon be putting this one in flex jeopardy? There aren’t many alternatives, but…
  • Protected games: Jets-Eagles (CBS) and Redskins-Giants (FOX).
  • Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Lions (7-5)-Raiders (7-5), Patriots (9-3)-Broncos (7-5).
  • Impact of Monday Night Football: The Chargers will be desperately defending the tentative tonight.
  • Analysis: Given the tentative game bias I think this game is still fairly safe if the Chargers are 5-7, but if they lose again to fall to 4-8? Why would NBC and the NFL keep a lopsided 9-3 v. 4-8 clash with two games each involving two teams at at least 7-5? As I said last week, with the Broncos winning again there’s no reason not to go with the Tom Brady-Tim Tebow clash, and the Lions and Raiders losing only helps in that regard. If you’d told me two months ago that Ravens-Chargers being flexed out for Patriots-Broncos was a very real possibility, I’d have said you were crazy.
  • Final prediction: Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers (if the Chargers win); New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos (if the Chargers lose).

Who SHOULD Be Going to Which Bowls?

The bowls if selections were based on my C Ratings, out soon. If two teams are separated by an “or”, then I’m weighing whether teams would select based strictly on the standings, or if non-BCS teams have to be conference champions. An asterisk denotes teams filling for conferences and alternate conferences unable to fill all tie-ins. Not going to bowls despite being bowl-eligible: Purdue and Ball State.

  • Gildan New Mexico Bowl: MWC #4 (Wyoming or Air Force) v. Pac-12 #7 (UCLA or *Western Kentucky)
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: MAC #3 (Ohio) v. WAC (Utah State)
  • R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: C-USA #5 (*Illinois or Marshall) v. Sun Belt #1 (Arkansas State)
  • Beef’O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl: Big East #6 (Pittsburgh) v. C-USA #4 (Marshall or SMU)
  • San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: MWC #2 (San Diego State or Boise State) v. WAC (Nevada)
  • MAACO Bowl Las Vegas: MWC #1 (TCU) v. Pac-12 #5 (California or Washington)
  • Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: C-USA #2? (Tulsa or Southern Miss) v. Hawaii/WAC (Louisiana Tech)
  • AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl (Shreveport): ACC #7 (Virginia) v. MWC #3 (Air Force or San Diego State)
  • Little Caesar’s Bowl (Detroit): Big 10 #8/Sun Belt (Northwestern or Illinois) v. MAC #1 (Toledo)
  • Belk Bowl (Charlotte): ACC #5 (Georgia Tech) v. Big East #3 (Rutgers)
  • Military Bowl (Washington DC): ACC #8/MAC #4 (Wake Forest) v. Navy/Big 12 #8 (*Temple)
  • Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (San Diego): Big 12 #5 (Baylor) v. Pac-12 #3 (Arizona State or Utah)
  • Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando): ACC #3 (Florida State) v. Big East #2 (Notre Dame)
  • Valero Alamo Bowl (San Antonio): Big 12 #3 (Missouri) v. Pac-12 #2 (Stanford or Arizona State)
  • Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas): C-USA #3 (SMU or Tulsa) v. BYU
  • New Era Pinstripe Bowl (New York): Big 12 #7 (Iowa State) v. Big East #4 (Cincinnati)
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: ACC #6 (NC State) v. SEC #7/8 (Auburn)
  • Insight Bowl (Tempe): Big 12 #4 (Kansas State) v. Big 10 #5 (Penn State or Iowa)
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Houston): Big 12 #6 (Texas) v. Big 10 #6 (Iowa or Ohio State)
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl (El Paso): ACC #4 (North Carolina; would be Miami (FL)) v. Pac-12 #4 (Utah or California)
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis): C-USA #1 (Southern Miss or Houston) v. SEC #7/8 (Mississippi State)
  • Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (San Francisco): Pac-12 #6/ACC #9 (Washington or UCLA) v. Army/ACC #9 (*Western Michigan)
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta): ACC #2 (Virginia Tech) v. SEC #5 (Vanderbilt)
  • TicketCity Bowl (Dallas): Big 10 #7/Big 12 #8 (Ohio State or Northwestern) v. C-USA #7/Big 12 #8 (*Western Kentucky or *Wyoming)
  • Outback Bowl (Tampa): Big 10 #3 (Nebraska or Michigan State) v. SEC #3-4 (East) (Georgia)
  • Capitol One Bowl (Orlando): Big 10 #2 (Michigan or Nebraska) v. SEC #2 (South Carolina)
  • TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl (Jacksonville): Big 10 #4 (Michigan State or Penn State) v. SEC #6 (Florida)
  • Rose Bowl Game pres. by Vizio (Pasadena, CA): Big 10 #1 (Wisconsin) v. Pac-12 #1 (Oregon)
  • Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ): Big 12 #1 (Oklahoma) v. BCS (Boise State or Stanford)
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans): SEC #1 (Alabama) v. BCS (Houston or Michigan)
  • Discover Orange Bowl (Miami): ACC #1 (Clemson) v. BCS/Big East #1? (West Virginia)
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Cowboys Stadium): Big 12 #2 (Texas A&M) v. SEC #3-4 (West) (Arkansas)
  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham): Big East #5 (Louisville) v. SEC #9/Sun Belt (Louisiana-Lafayette)
  • GoDaddy.com Bowl (Mobile): MAC #2 (Northern Illinois) v. Sun Belt #2 (Florida International)
  • BCS National Championship Game: BCS #1 (LSU) v. BCS #2 (Oklahoma State)

2011 College Football Rankings – Week 13

How lame is this college football season? We have a team in negative B Points in the Top 25 for about the second or third time since I started keeping track. It’s possible no game this weekend will affect the national title game, meaning if Georgia wins the SEC Title Game, we’ll have two teams playing for the national championship and neither won their conference. It’s not a lack of one-loss alternatives; it’s just that no one trusts an Oklahoma State team that lost to Iowa State, a Stanford or Boise State team that won’t win their conference either, a Virginia Tech team that would win a conference no one trusts and doesn’t have the parity of years past, or a Houston team that hasn’t even won the respect of a BYU, Boise State, or TCU.

This week’s rankings are a bit later than I would have liked because I lost the USB drive containing the database I use to calculate the rankings last week.

How the C Ratings are tabulated: First, A Ratings are tabulated by multiplying the total score ratio, which is expressed by (points-opponents’ points)/points, by the winning percentage. Score ratio minimizes the effect of running up the score. Next, B Points for each game are tabulated by (margin of victory)/(opponent’s A rating)+/-1 for wins, and -(margin of loss)/(1-opponent’s A Rating)+/-1 for losses. The “+/-” is + for road games and – for home ones. The total number of B Points is multiplied by the A Rating to get the B Rating. Finally, the C Rating is tabulated by taking one-tenth the difference between the team’s B Rating and the average of his opponents’ B Ratings and taking the result off the B Rating. The three ratings go A, B, C across. Click here to see the complete ratings.

1 LSU SEC #1 ’06 Boise St.
12-0 LW: #1 A Rat: .831 B Rating: 62.549 C Rating: 54.630 AP: 1 BCS: 1
Can LSU avoid complete BCS embarassment in their opponent’s home state?
2 Alabama SEC #2 BCS Title
11-1 LW: #2 A Rat: .780 B Rating: 53.170 C Rating: 45.803 AP: 2 BCS: 2
Alabama pummeled their rivals right out of the polls. Now comes the wait to avenge their one loss.
3 Oklahoma State B12 #1 BCS Title
10-1 LW: #3 A Rat: .643 B Rating: 43.721 C Rating: 36.214 AP: 3 BCS: 3
The Cowboys have their best chance in years to beat Big Brother – and while a win sends them to the Fiesta, would they even go to the Cotton over K-State?
4 Boise State MWC #1 Bowl Position
10-1 LW: #4 A Rat: .687 B Rating: 43.078 C Rating: 36.125 AP: 9 BCS: 7
What good will a #7 BCS ranking do for the Broncos? How about a trip to the Poinsettia Bowl.
5 Wisconsin B10 #1 Big 10 Title
10-2 LW: #8 A Rat: .668 B Rating: 43.762 C Rating: 35.344 AP: 15 BCS: 15
Wisconsin pummeled a good Penn State team into the ground, but the polls barely noticed. Will they notice if the Badgers avenge their loss to the Spartans?
6 Oklahoma B12 #2 Big 12 Title
9-2 LW: #5 A Rat: .605 B Rating: 41.816 C Rating: 34.593 AP: 13 BCS: 10
The Sooners demolished the team that beat the Cowboys and actually lost ground in the polls. The Big 12 may no longer have a title game, but Bedlam will serve the same purpose.
7 Houston USA #1 BCS Bowl
12-0 LW: #7 A Rat: .785 B Rating: 44.168 C Rating: 33.706 AP: 7 BCS: 6
C-USA has never sniffed the BCS. Now their title game pits two ranked teams with one playing for a BCS spot. How huge is that? It’s getting the ABC treatment.
8 Oregon P12 #1 Pac-12 Title
10-2 LW: #6 A Rat: .605 B Rating: 33.005 C Rating: 27.381 AP: 8 BCS: 9
Too many points allowed to a three-win team to avoid slipping.
9 Stanford P12 #2 BCS Title
11-1 LW: #10 A Rat: .686 B Rating: 27.597 C Rating: 21.118 AP: 4 BCS: 4
Big win to a ranked Notre Dame team – the last exclamation point on Andrew Luck’s Heisman campaign?
10 Michigan B10 #2 Bowl Position
10-2 LW: #9 A Rat: .590 B Rating: 25.000 C Rating: 20.688 AP: 17 BCS: 16
Just a little too close for comfort against a team that’s barely bowl-eligible, but all the Wolverines fans care about is finally getting the Buckeyes’ goat.
11 Virginia Tech ACC #1 Prncton/Yale
11-1 LW: #13 A Rat: .635 B Rating: 20.023 C Rating: 15.459 AP: 5 BCS: 5
Virginia isn’t terribly great, but they were poised to steal the division with a win and V-Tech blew them out of the water. Now they get a shot at revenge against the one team to beat them for a trip to the Orange Bowl.
12 Georgia SEC #3 SEC Title
10-2 LW: #15 A Rat: .586 B Rating: 14.379 C Rating: 10.167 AP: 12 BCS: 14
Big win over a good G-Tech team makes it all the more plausible the Bulldogs could pull the Upset of the Century.
13 USC P12 #3 ’09 Boise St.
10-2 LW: #17 A Rat: .559 B Rating: 13.898 C Rating: 9.650 AP: 9 SBNBlog: 13
Not even the conference commissioner likes this title game. Couldn’t we have Oregon and USC play and just send Oregon or Stanford to the Rose Bowl should USC win?
14 TCU MWC #2 MWC Title
9-2 LW: #12 A Rat: .579 B Rating: 14.515 C Rating: 9.150 AP: 18 BCS: 18
The Horned Frogs slip for idle hands, but only UNLV stands in the way of going undefeated in-conference.
15 Arkansas SEC #4 Bowl Position
10-2 LW: #11 A Rat: .545 B Rating: 13.296 C Rating: 9.078 AP: 6 BCS: 8
The appraisals of the Razorbacks come back down to Earth after getting blown out by LSU, and not even the Capitol One Bowl looks like a sure thing the way Georgia’s been playing.
16 South Carolina SEC #5 Bowl Position
10-2 LW: #18 A Rat: .560 B Rating: 11.993 C Rating: 8.982 AP: 14 BCS: 12
Big win over a Clemson team headed to the ACC title game sends the Cocks streaming up the rankings. Hey, you think they might meet again New Year’s Eve in the Georgia Dome?
17 Notre Dame   Bowl Position
8-4 LW: #14 A Rat: .402 B Rating: 8.998 C Rating: 6.181
Had they not opened the season with a three-point loss to South Florida and a four-point loss to Michigan, the Golden Domers might be going to a BCS bowl.
18 Southern Miss USA #2 C-USA Title
10-2 LW: #16 A Rat: .576 B Rating: 12.161 C Rating: 5.514 AP: 24 BCS: 24
Big win, but over one of the worst teams in the country. But it got Southern Miss back in the polls for the huge showdown with Houston.
19 Toledo MAC #1 Bowl Position
8-4 LW: #21 A Rat: .412 B Rating: 7.918 C Rating: 4.481
Big win over Ball State, but the Rockets have nothing to show for their only loss by more than five coming to Boise State thanks to one very ill-timed loss.
20 Florida State ACC #2 Bowl Position
8-4 LW: #23 A Rat: .470 B Rating: 7.603 C Rating: 3.905 AP: 25 Coaches: 24
The Seminoles finally pick up a win over Florida and await their bowl fate.
21 Nebraska B10 #3 Bowl Position
9-3 LW: #24 A Rat: .475 B Rating: 4.843 C Rating: 2.998 AP: 20 BCS: 19
Big win over Iowa, but thirty-point losses to Michigan and Wisconsin mean it matters little. They just have to wait for their bowl fate.
22 Texas A&M B12 #3 Bowl Position
6-6 LW: #20 A Rat: .310 B Rating: 5.221 C Rating: 2.173
Two overtime losses, another three losses by a combined seven points, a total four losses against teams ranked in the polls at the time, and one fired coach.
23 Michigan State B10 #4 Big 10 Title
10-2 LW: #33 A Rat: .562 B Rating: 3.094 C Rating: -.640 AP: 11 BCS: 13
Sparty’s rating has always been deflated by a combination of blowout losses, their best road win being either Ohio State or Iowa, bad nonconference opponents, and beating Minnesota by only 7, but they punched their title game ticket with a bang against Northwestern.
24 Penn State
(9-3, .456, -.343, -1.656)
B10 #5 Bowl Position
25 Louisiana Tech* WAC #1 WAC Title
8-4 LW: #31 A Rat: .415 B Rating: 1.617 C Rating: -1.704
With Boise State gone, Louisiana Tech wrapped up their WAC championship campaign in dominating fashion over New Mexico State. Their four losses all came at the start around an OT win over Central Arkansas, but included both C-USA title game participants (and OT to Mississippi State).


2010 TCU Title: #45 Baylor (8-3), .411, -7.648, -9.197

Off Top 25: #27 Rutgers (was #22), #31 Clemson (was #25)

Other Positive B Ratings: #29 Northern Illinois, #33 Ohio, #34 Arkansas State (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #24 Penn State, #27 Rutgers, #28 Utah State, #31 Clemson, #35 Tulsa, #39 Arizona State, #40 Miami (FL), #42 Iowa, #44 Georgia Tech

Bottom 10: #111 Indiana, #112 Colorado, #113 UAB, #114 UNLV, #115 Kansas, #116 Florida Atlantic, #117 Memphis, #118 Tulane, #119 New Mexico, #120 Akron

Best game of week: Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State, 5pm PT, ABC

NFL Schedule: Week 13

A day late, entirely my fault, though NFL.com’s schedule page STILL not having the Sunday Ticket channel for Colts-Pats didn’t help.

What is the Median Expected Score?

Away MXS Home Time (ET) TV DTV Announcers NTR SIRIUS Notes
Away Home
#18(4-7) 23¼-20¼ #22(4-7) Thu 8:20 PM Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan WW1 92 93 Betcha you didn’t realize these two teams were this close.
#14(6-5) 20½-17½ #25(4-7) Sun 1:00 PM 704 Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts 91 106 The Jets hope to continue building their playoff case against an iffy Skins team.
#24(4-7) 15¼-22¼ #10(7-4) Sun 1:00 PM 705 Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots CMP 135 94 Welcome to Kansas City, Kyle Orton! Say hello to the Bears defense.
#13(7-4) 18-24½ #6(8-3) Sun 1:00 PM 709 Jim Nantz, Phil Simms WW1 113 86 The two current AFC Wild Card teams face off not only for their spots, but divisional positioning as well.
#9(7-4) 20¼-17¾ #7(8-3) Sun 1:00 PM 712 Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa 134 92 The Texans try desperately to find a quarterback that can stay standing against a Falcons team fighting for the playoffs.
#15(6-5) 18-19½ #T29(2-9) Sun 1:00 PM 713 Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin 112 125 A rare network swap means it’ll be Fox (and Church of Tebow pastor Brennaman) bringing you Tebow’s latest heroics.
#27(3-8) 22-25 #20(4-7) Sun 1:00 PM 711 Ron Pitts, Jim Mora 136 117 The Bucs’ season is going into a tailspin. Might gorging on the Panthers defense help?
#32(0-11) 14-34 #4(8-3) Sun 1:00 PM 710? Marv Albert, Rich Gannon USA 132 93 Hey, remember when this was the NFL’s greatest rivalry? Then Manning went down and NBC flexed out a month in advance.
#17(6-5) 21-22½ #19(5-6) Sun 1:00 PM 706 Spero Dedes, Steve Beuerlein 137 128 Two teams with distant playoff hopes slug it out… again.
#11(7-4) 20-23 #23(3-8) Sun 1:00 PM 707 Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf 139 85 It took a last-minute FG for the ‘Boys to finish the Dolphins at home. Should the Raiders be scared heading into SunLife?
#2(8-3) 22¼-15¾ #28(4-7) Sun 4:05 PM 708 Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker 104 112 Hey fantasy nerds, Peyton Hillis is back! Just in time for the end of the fantasy regular season, against the Ravens D.
#1(11-0) 29½-23 #16(6-5) Sun 4:15 PM 715 Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver WW1 94 86 Could the Pack go 16-0? The Giants probably represent their biggest obstacle left.
#8(7-4) 25-20½ #26(4-7) Sun 4:15 PM 714 Dick Stockton, John Lynch CMP 93 128 Maybe that Sunday Night showdown won’t be for the division lead after all, with this big an opportunity for the Boys.
#31(2-9) 12¼-25¾ #3(9-2) Sun 4:15 PM 716 Chris Myers, Tim Ryan USA 138 92 The woeful Rams should be just what the doctor ordered for a Niners team looking to bounce back from the Ravens loss.
#12(7-4) 22¼-31¼ #5(8-3) Sun 8:20 PM Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya WW1 92 93 No Suh, but still a spotlight game between two teams fighting for the playoffs.
#21(4-7) 21-18 #T29(3-8) Mon 8:30 PM Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber WW1 92 93 Because if it comes down to Mo Jo-Drew or Vincent Jackson for a fantasy playoff spot, you want everyone to watch.