A few months ago, we heard about this college football pool that TDS contributor/FOB/troll god Ryan Smith took part in. The goal was to pick a “team” of FBS schools that would win the most football games this season.
It sounded fun. It sounded intriguing. It sounded like an idea that we could steal and use for easy offseason content. So Ryan joined myself and four other people (Nate, Gary Stephen, Anthony Vito, and former writer/FOB Andrew Pina) to hold the 2019 Daily Stampede Football Wins Pool.
Here’s how it works:
- There are six players, each picking 10 teams.
- The draft went in snake order. Nate had the 1st and 12th pick, I had the 2nd and 11th picks, and so on until Andrew had the 6th and 7th pick.
- All wins count. That includes FCS wins, 13th games for traveling to Hawaii, conference championships, bowls, and the College Football Playoff.
- Any FBS team is eligible to be chosen.
- No limit on how many teams you can pick in a conference, or requirements to pick anyone. You could pick 10 SEC teams if you really wanted to.
- Ties at the end of the season will be broken by the average finishing position in the S&P+ rankings of all 10 teams. Lowest score wins.
- There is no adding and dropping of teams during the season.
We held the draft last week in our Slack channel, and these were the results.
After the draft, I asked everyone to write down some thoughts about their team and the draft as whole. First up is Nate, who had an... interesting approach.
Nathan Bond, TDS site manager
About My Draft: There’s a fantasy baseball strategy called the “modified Labadini” where you draft one ace pitcher and stream the rest of the staff hoping for the big hits and avoiding blowups. I took that idea with the first pick with Clemson as my “ace” and then streaming some (or all) high upside, HIGHER volatility teams. I also considered “what school can I have a good time at, while also maybe winning 7-8 games and possibly lucking into 9-10?” Great road trip games tbh.
Best Pick Someone Else Made: Cincinnati in the fourth round by Jamie was a great pick. Everyone knows how high I am on Cincy.
Worst Pick Someone Else Made: Round 2-10 by me tbh. Army in the second round might be a stretch, but who am I to judge.
Jamie DeVriend, TDS co-founder/emeritus/Texas correspondent/cranky old man
About My Draft: Bama was a no-brainer at 2. That’s 12 or 13 wins in the vault already. I didn’t want to go for a lot of G5s because off years can quickly become 4-8 disasters... but i think Cincinnati, Ohio, and UNT all have very high floors. Other than that, I felt like Sparty fell in my lap, and USC at #50 in a weak division was too good to pass up. The only picks I somewhat regret are Washington and Oregon back to back, but hey, it’s only one head-to-head game. They can both still win 10 or 11 without too much trouble.
Best Pick Someone Else Made: Vito taking FSU at #44 was the only pick that made me legit mad that I didn’t get them. Sure they’re gonna die at Clemson, but we all know not to keep betting against Taggart. Ryan taking Texas right in front of me in Round 4 was also annoying. With the way Nate was drafting, I still could have taken Cincinnati with the next pick to make sure he didn’t get them, and Texas would have been waiting for me at pick 26. It would have been an outrageous value pick.
Worst Pick Someone Else Made: Nate’s lineup is Clemson and a roll of scratch-off lottery tickets. I also thought Gary taking Eastern Michigan was a little weird when they haven’t exceeded 7 wins since 1987.
Ryan Smith, TDS correspondent/troll god
About My Draft: Tough to be too strategic after the first few rounds. After you get to a certain point, a lot of these are crapshoots. But I’d say a combination of P5 schools with cushy out-of-conference schedules that only need to bat around .500 in conference to reach 8 wins (Virginia Tech, Wazzu, Mizzou, Baylor), and schools that no one wants to pick because everyone hates them (UCF, FIU, also Baylor) is a good plan. I’m not terribly excited about Texas this season, but I was still pretty surprised they dropped to 22 and happy to get them there.
Best Pick Someone Else Made: I really like Utah at 18. I stayed away from Auburn, but they undeniably are good value with the last pick. One of the fourth-round AAC schools (Memphis at 20 or Cincy at 23) is gonna make someone look really smart.
Worst Pick Someone Else Made: Nate’s picks both baffled and inspired me, and I have nothing but respect for his courage. Special props for picking a three-win WKU team at 48 and grabbing Tulane, Houston, and USF each about two rounds before he had to.
Gary Stephen, Protect Your Unit manager
About My Draft: I’m pretty happy with all of my picks. My strategy was to consider schedules, and avoid picking any teams that play each other; I think I’ve only got two. I was torn between Miami and Texas, and FAU and North Texas, but other than that I knew who I wanted. I may have reached for EMU, but that school is due, and the MAC has no dominant team.
Best Pick Someone Else Made: Vito getting Army at 8, because I was going to take them at 9. Soft schedule and they play a 13th game, even. I liked most of Vito’s picks, really, except:
Worst Pick Someone Else Made: Marshall? C-USA is a crapshoot of good-but-not-great teams, and I would put them a hair behind those. And Penn State went way too early (pick #7). They’re good for 8 or 9 wins, but I don’t see them any higher than that. A lot of better teams went later.
Anthony Vito, Bulluminati Podcast producer
About My Draft: I used a combo of S&P+ and FPI win probabilities with the knowledge that conference championship games and bowl games will also count. I tried to spread out my picks across multiple conferences as much as possible and choose teams with soft non-cons or G5’s that could explode. My favorite pick is OK State in the 7th; they could be really fun. I also defend my pick of Army in the second. The troops broke my rule of “no direct matchups” and “conference championship games” but if they get by Michigan... hoooo buddy. You gonna tell an undefeated Army they can’t make the Playoff?
PS: I fully expect to get kicked in the nards by Michigan, ND, Memphis, and FSU.
Best Pick Someone Else Made: Jamie going Michigan State in the 6th(?!) round. There were some crazy P5 value picks mid-to-late with a bunch of pie in the sky G5’s going off the board early. Auburn being the last pick is another.
Also Ryan’s entire team is my favorite. If only he could combine the worst of all of their fan bases into one Twitter troll account. Heck, I’ll trade him Notre Dame to make it even worse.
Worst Pick Someone Else Made: Nate choosing Houston in Round 3, then Nate choosing USF (sorry) in Round 5, then Nate choosing Tulane in Round 7. Just really early for all of these teams, but knowing his strategy, it could be feast or famine.
Andrew Pina, Canadian correspondent
About My Draft: I focused on teams with easy non-conference schedules. After Round 3 I stuck to leagues with 8 conference games. I only picked two teams with 9 conference games, Penn State and Utah, both with great defenses and fairly easy non-conference schedules. For G5s, I stuck mostly with coaches with steady hands that have been around. Jeff Tedford, Brian Harsin, Lance Leipold, Bill Clark... these guys know what they are doing. In the flat talent pancake that is G5, coaching makes a big difference.
I avoided the AAC because it’s very even this season, especially the West. Same with the Big 12: beyond Oklahoma, who knows? Syracuse and Virginia have the highest letdown potential for me. I’m also mildly worried that Troy has hiccups under their first-year coach, but they do have an easy non-conference.
Best Pick Someone Else Made: I think Ryan and Gary have the best rosters. Ryan’s Hate-Squad is like the Dave Chappelle Player Haters Ball — top to bottom vicious, conniving, and ruthless. I would wager that at least one of those teams will get NCAA infractions within four years. Gary getting TCU at 33 is nice because Gary Patterson has never had two down years in a row. Actually Gary got great value with every pick, except...
Worst Pick Someone Else Made: Eastern Michigan? Maybe a lark in round 10 but round 7? EMU has been to one bowl in 32 years. A blemish on an otherwise stellar roster.