Between the Bears and Illini, the respective quarterbacks of my teams have thrown a total of 8 interceptions over the past 6 days. I’m not in a state of mind to make jokes about this right now, so let’s move on:
(1) Orange Bowl Tie-ins with Big Ten, SEC and Notre Dame – Lost in the shuffle of Wednesday’s massive news of Notre Dame joining the ACC as a partial member was this quote from Jack Swarbrick:
That’s a pretty significant development in the otherwise trickle of substantive news regarding the new postseason system since the powers that be agreed upon a playoff format. The new ACC/Notre Dame partnership reportedly allows for Notre Dame to take an ACC tie-in for bowls other than the Orange Bowl (provided that Notre Dame is within 1 win of the ACC team that it’s replacing). The Orange Bowl itself, though, is an ironclad tie-in for the ACC with the opponent now apparently coming from a pool of Notre Dame, the Big Ten and SEC. Seeing that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and SEC commissioner Mike Slive are far from shrinking violets, I’d expect them to be negotiating the following parameters:
(a) The Rose, Champions and Orange Bowls will rotate semifinals in a manner where none of them will ever host the semis in the same year. (This is likely more of a demand from ESPN than from the conferences.)
(b) When the Rose Bowl is hosting a semifinal, Big Ten #1* goes to the Orange Bowl.
(c) When the Champions Bowl is hosting a semifinal, SEC #1 goes to the Orange Bowl.
(d) If Notre Dame is ranked higher than Big Ten #1 or SEC #1, as applicable, then the Irish go to Orange Bowl instead, except that Notre Dame may only replace each of the Big Ten and SEC once in a 6-year cycle.
(* This should go without saying, but the #1 pick means the top selection from the conference that isn’t playing in the semifinals.)
The upshot of this would be that ACC #1 will be playing either Big Ten #1, SEC #1 or a highly-ranked Notre Dame team in the Orange Bowl in any given year, which will likely yield a media rights payout for the ACC that will be in line with what the Big Ten and Pac-12 are receiving for the Rose Bowl and the SEC and Big 12 are receiving for the Champions Bowl. Thus, any chicken little beliefs that the ACC is going to end up playing subpar opponents in the Orange Bowl are going to go by the wayside. For the other side of the Orange Bowl, in a 6-year cycle, Notre Dame would be capped at 2 appearances while both the Big Ten and SEC are guaranteed 1 invite each under this arrangement. This would meet Notre Dame’s goal of having a strong relationship with a top bowl while having the flexibility to go to other “Access Bowls”. In the meantime, the Big Ten and SEC effectively have backup tie-ins for their #1 selections, which means that those conferences are going to be swimming like Scrooge McDuck in a vault full of new postseason money. If the above scenario occurs, this is looking like a great deal for everyone involved.
(2) BlogPoll Ballot
Nothing too crazy here except that I dropped Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State like bad habits. Last week was pretty ugly for the Big Ten. The conference is going to need Michigan State to come through against Notre Dame. Speaking of which…
(3) College Football Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)
MICHIGAN STATE (-6) over Notre Dame – Michigan State along with bowl ineligible Ohio State are probably the only 2 Big Ten teams worthy of cracking the top 10 in the rankings this year based on the early returns. Weird stuff typically happens in favor of Sparty whenever they play the Irish in a home night game.
MISSOURI (-4) over Arizona State – Arizona State rolled up a lot of points last week, but let’s face it, that was against an Illinois team without a functioning quarterback.
BYU (-3.5) over UTAH – I’m sure Utah is going to be pretty focused for this rivalry game after last week’s debacle, but I don’t think it will be enough.
(4) NFL Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)
PACKERS (-150 total yards) over Bears – GAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!
Raiders (-1) over DOLPHINS – The ’72 Dolphins might have to pop champagne for Miami’s first win this season.
SEAHAWKS (+3) over Cowboys – Coming off of a huge division win, this is exactly the type of game that Tony Romo loses.
Ravens (+1) over EAGLES – I know that you can’t take too much away from the first week of the season (as evidenced by the Bears and Packers), but I have a hard time passing up taking points with Baltimore.
(5) Classic Music Video of the Week: “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground
All that I’ll say about this song is that I know these lyrics as well as I know the Pledge of Allegiance:
Enjoy the weekend!