(DISCLAIMER: This game is for entertainment purposes only. No actual money is being wagered.)
Before we get into the weekly results, we have to lay down the ground rules for the last two weeks of the season. Because bowl season overlaps with Week 16, we have to get a little creative.
First of all, I will enable early betting on AAC bowl games. The Frisco Bowl happens while Week 16 is still going on, and at least one more AAC-contracted bowl game (Central Florida’s Boca Raton Bowl) will happen by Tuesday night. Normally we wait for each week to end before opening the next week’s games for play. But this year, that would give you very little time to bet these AAC bowl games, which you need to do to meet the “2 AAC bowl games” requirement of bowl season. I want to make it easier for everyone to meet it.
Also, I’m going to be lenient about the “1 AAC bet” requirement for Week 16. The Tulsa-Cincinnati conference championship game, or any pre-Christmas AAC bowl game, will fulfill it.
Other than that, bowl season will happen as normal. Now, for the cancellations bet, here is the official list of games for Week 16:
- Clemson-Notre Dame (ACC Championship)
- Florida-Alabama (SEC Championship)
- Oklahoma-Iowa State (Big 12 Championship)
- Northwestern-Ohio State (Big Ten Championship)
- Washington-Southern California (Pac-12 Championship)
- Tulsa-Cincinnati (American Championship)
- Louisiana-Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt Championship)
- Boise State-San Jose State (Mountain West Championship)
- Marshall-Alabama-Birmingham (Conference USA Championship)
- Ball State-Buffalo (MAC Championship)
- Air Force-Army
- Texas A&M-Tennessee
- Mississippi-Louisiana State
- Missouri-Mississippi State
- Florida State-Wake Forest
- 6 Big Ten games TBD
- 5 Pac-12 games TBD
These 28 games are the only ones that will count towards the cancellations bet for Week 16. Note that it does not include the Frisco Bowl, which is played the same Saturday. If that game is cancelled, it will count towards the Week 17 (bowl season) cancellations bet. Georgia Tech-Miami won’t count because it was cancelled earlier.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced before the season they would have all their non-division winners play cross-division games to end the season. These matchups haven’t been determined yet. If any of these are simply not scheduled, they still count as a cancellation
If the of conference championship games change - the Pac-12 already has a plan for this - games will count as cancellations and new games, as fitting the situation.
And we still have to talk about Week 15’s results! It was all about this bet:
|speruche||Over 12.5 points in the COVID-19-Number of Games Cancelled game; Alabama -31.0 points over Arkansas; Brigham Young -16.0 points over San Diego State||718.97|
After BullsOnParade96’s huge haul last week, second-place speruche made this bold all-in move to try and close the gap. If this bet won, it was worth 4313.82 - enough to reach 7197.90, and get within shouting distance of the leader, who started the week at 8744.41.
First, it looked like the Over 12.5 cancellations bet wouldn’t come in. The line increased late in the week from 9.5, and was as low as 7.5. speruche bet the over at its highest point. But it came in, thanks to two unusual last-minute cancellations:
Utah State players refused to play against Colorado State, alleging that USU committed anti-Mormon religious discrimination in its coaching search, by hiring Blake Anderson from Arkansas State over two-time interim head coach Frank Maile. The rules clearly state that a cancellation for any reason counts, so this one did. Elsewhere, Washington State vs California was cancelled two hours before kickoff, due to one game-day positive test that put Cal under the minimum required to play. Those were the last two cancellations that pushed the total to 13, barely hitting the over 12.5.
So the 2020 PYU season could have been decided by a coaching hire, or by one COVID case.
That’s not what happened, though. Alabama easily covered 31 points against Arkansas, leaving only Brigham Young -16 over San Diego State needed to complete the parlay. BYU fell behind 14-7, only taking the lead 17-14 at the half. The Cougars’ first drive of the second half stalled at the SDSU 15-yard line, and they had to settle for a field goal and a 20-14 lead. They would go on to win 28-14, missing the over by two points, and breaking speruche’s big parlay. A touchdown on that drive would likely have made the final score 31-14.
And with that, the likely last challenge to BullsOnParade96’s huge win was probably broken.
But before we get to the standings, there’s another result to talk about.
|undercoverbull||Army -7.0 points over Navy; Under 50.5 points in the Oklahoma State-Baylor game; Southern California -2.5 points over UCLA||250.00|
Army beat Navy 15-0 early in the day. Oklahoma State met the low by stifling Baylor’s offense, 42-3. But UCLA took a 38-36 lead with 52 seconds to go. Even if USC did rally to win, it would probably be on a field goal, leaving Undercoverbull short of the 2.5 points needed to cover. Here’s what happened instead:
A huge kickoff return, followed by a 35-yard completion, got the ball to UCLA’s 8-yard line with 16 seconds to go. Rather than spike and/or center the ball and kick an easy field goal, the Trojans took one shot at the end zone, and ended up winning by 5. That gave Undercoverbull a 1500-unit win. Combined with speruche’s lost parlay, it vaulted him all the way into second place:
While other players were making huge bets to try and catch up, BullsOnParade96 dialed back his aggression, betting the minimum 5% of his stack. Which is a sensible move given the size of his lead. If we had that win probability statistic that college football games have nowadays, it would probably be over 99.9%.
Also, keep in mind that this is a tournament, not a cash game. PYU’s units have no value beyond finishing first. speruche started Week 16 at 2883.88, which is a very successful total for someone who started the season with 1000. But in an artificial competition like this one, where only the biggest total matters, it’s good strategy to make a bet like he did, even if it loses. Keep this mind, in case any of you fancy ever trying the real thing. It’ll only be you and your bankroll.
There’s one more parlay I want to focus on, and it’s a delightful bad beat story. ElliotMoore had Western Michigan +3 as the only non-cancelled bet in a parlay. WMU trailed 30-27 late, making the parlay a push. But watch this insane last play:
The “flag” graphic gives away the ending, but WMU’s touchdown was nullified on a forward lateral. ElliotMoore would have won 80 units, instead of breaking even, had that play succeeded. It would have moved into third place, and dropped speruche all the way to fourth.
By the way, this play decided the MAC Western Division! Ball State will play in the MAC Championship Game over Western Michigan, who would have gone if that play had succeeded. Or if they didn’t blow a 27-13 lead.
Big winning bets this week, other than those already mentioned:
|bullsonparade96||Army -5.0 points over Navy; Under 43.0 points in the Navy-Army game (WIN,WIN)||Army 15-0; Army 15-0||86.10||WIN||223.86|
|ElliotMoore||Over 41.0 points in the Florida Atlantic-Southern Mississippi game; Over 53.0 points in the Pittsburgh-Georgia Tech game (WIN,WIN)||Southern Mississippi 45-31; Pittsburgh 34-20||80.00||WIN||208.00|
|ULhothot||North Carolina +4.0 points over Miami (FL); Purdue +13.0 points over Indiana; Iowa -3.0 points over Wisconsin (WIN,VOID,WIN)||North Carolina 62-26; Indiana 0-0; Iowa 28-7||80.00||WIN||208.00|
|E-dogg42||Over 41.0 points in the Florida Atlantic-Southern Mississippi game; Pittsburgh -6.5 points over Georgia Tech (WIN,WIN)||Southern Mississippi 45-31; Pittsburgh 34-20||40.00||WIN||104.00|
|E-dogg42||Louisiana State +23.5 points over Florida; Auburn -6.5 points over Mississippi State; Virginia Tech -2.5 points over Virginia (WIN,WIN,WIN)||Louisiana State 37-34; Auburn 24-10; Virginia Tech 33-15||15.00||WIN||90.00|
|ULhothot||Pittsburgh -7.0 points over Georgia Tech; Purdue +13.0 points over Indiana; Iowa -3.0 points over Wisconsin (WIN,VOID,WIN)||Pittsburgh 34-20; Indiana 0-0; Iowa 28-7||30.00||WIN||78.00|
Only Undercoverbull (1500), ULhothot (146), and AnthonyVito (14.93) finished with a profit this week. Leader BullsOnParade96 lost 176.14, but with such a huge lead, that doesn’t change things much.
I have been using PYU Twitter (@protectyouru) to post the many rule changes, cancellations, and updates for the season, as well as the usual running commentary. I’ll post everything newsworthy in the weekly Picks and Results threads, but keep an eye on that for more frequent news updates.