CFB PLAYOFF: What the analysts and committee members actually mean when they use the phrase “style points”

CC BY-SA 2.0; Neon Tommy via Flickr

CC BY-SA 2.0; Neon Tommy via Flickr

Ohio State and Baylor were two teams that went into Week 14 needing these so called “style points” to boost their playoff hopes—both won—so what’s the specific criteria… 

At six and five, the college football playoff obviously quarantined Florida weeks ago, but the way the Gators lost to in-state rival Florida State must’ve picked up some serious “style points”. Jameis Winston tossed four interceptions, a career high for a game, and he only threw for 125 yards. A competent offence would’ve given out-going Head Coach Will Muschamp the last laugh, but the Gators were only interested in field goals, two of which were missed in the latter half of the contest – that won’t win you ball games when Delvin Cook is on the other sideline and he was cookin’ ; scootin’ for 144 yards on 24 carries. No touchdowns, but his performance sealed the game.

On the other hand, Winston’s performance was somehow marginally worse than freshman quarterback Treon Harris’ (that shouldn’t have been possible). The aforementioned Harris was 13 of 32 (40.6%) for 169 yards. He went 0 for 6 on the final drive of the game. He should avoid carnival games at all costs.

If you’ve ever seen the 2005 film Miracle, that’s what it would’ve been like had Harris led the Gators to victory. The relieved faces on the Soviet Union players; that’s what Florida State would’ve looked like. Somewhere Rudy would have been quietly chanting: “Harris… Harris”, for the 5-11 quarterback from Miami.

That wasn’t the case, but the University of Florida should be awarded “style points” for the way they did everything possible to not win: picks, missed field goals, going away from the read-option, and dumb penalties, especially from Latroy Pittman. #cmonman

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; photo-gator via Flickr

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; photo-gator via Flickr

Mississippi State was doomed to lose the Egg Bowl: the home team had won the last three meetings. But man, those uniforms… the gold numbers and shoes were #stylepoints.

It truly was a day for the running back. Ole Miss back, Jaylen Walton, went for 148 yard on 14 carries. That’s 10.6 y/c, not to mention styling on the way to the end zone for a 91-yard TD run. The 31-17 scoreline in favour of Ole Miss is generous considering they were 4 for 14 on 3rd down. Miss St wasn’t any better, but when the committee drops them out of contention for the playoff, the Bulldogs deserve to retain some water for their rivalry week uniforms.

The Oregon Ducks are no stranger to style points. In fact, they invented them. Not only did they take care of business against Oregon State, winning 47-19, they did so whilst sporting D2: Mighty Ducks-esque uniforms. They, like Georgia Tech ruined Senior Night Between the Hedges. That has to count for something.

Takeaways: Style points are subjective. According to Criminal Minds, an “X” amount of stab wounds makes it personal; make it personal.

Wisconsin is going to beat Ohio State in the B1G Championship. So too is Georgia Tech. They’re going to unseat Florida State in the ACC. Finally, 9-2 is not the place to be. TCU needs to make it personal against Baylor.

My say: 1 Alabama; 1) Oregon; 3) TCU; 4) Florida State.


FANTASY FOOTBALL: It seemed necessary to use a hashtag in my team name because it’s 2014

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Jim Culp via Flickr

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Jim Culp via Flickr

At 4-4, I thought I was destined for Dallas Cowboys mediocrity ; but I was the 2014/15 Patriots ; #LindseyDukesNewBF had been putting up gigantic numbers, but was losing to teams putting up galactic numbers ; I was a bold drafter, grabbing four rookies – two of which I would drop and one would come back to haunt me.

Fantasy football is a realm of hyperbole, subjective fantasy numbers, and a passers-byer’s arrogance – it is currently a realm my team sits atop like the greats should.

To clear up any confusion: I am not Lindsey Dukes new boyfriend because I would eventually overlook her, completely blinded by my everlasting infatuation for the recently engaged Kim Sears. I drafted my team with the same heart in mind. The likes of Knowshon Moreno for his passionate love of the game and Julian Edelman sat at the top of my draft board – just after the UCLA and Oregon cheerleaders, Shailene Woodley, and Wall-E. I drafted Andrew Luck because he uses words like “vociferous”, “paucity”, and “chutzpah”.

Since Week 1, I’ve made 19 changes, which is sixth most in “Why you So Madden, bro?” … and throughout the process I have built an elite receiving core. I drafted Odell Beckham Jr because he was a beast at LSU and was the winner of the Paul Hornung Award in 2014. I stashed Josh Gordon in Week 3 when he became a car salesman ; I trusted his sell-ability and he’s different level. The rest, more rookies: Kelvin Benjamin, Martavis Bryant.

What I’ve learnt is, is fantasy football will consume your life in an oddity of ways: the games watched, the amount of times the free agents list gets checked – I even won an medal for going onto the Yahoo Fantasy Football page 10 days in a row.

The Buffalo defence has saved my butt two weeks in a row. I repeat, the Buffalo defence. Trends: #LindseyDukesNewBF has three Kansas City Chiefs players on it. How? Two of my players played in the SEC and three in ACC. Only one hails from THE Ohio State University. Two went to Stanford.

My advice is to not get involved in fantasy sports. It’s social suicide and it will make you emotional.

My arrogance level is bordering on z8_GND_5296. I read the matchup recaps and chuckle at things like: “Did Jacks Sack in Zach pay admission to see the greatest show on turf? #LindseyDukesNewBF” and “The manager of #LindseyDukesNewBF was probably the person who destroyed the curve on every test in school”. My test scores in school were predictable… excellent. I single-handedly reinvented biology. I dominated concert band.

I am 8-4 at Thanksgiving ; top of the league and having a laugh – picked up the t-shirt on the way out.

… with plenty of weeks left to become the Dallas Cowboys.

This programme contains product placement: “We have drawn a line under that”… yet the uncertainty of crossing that line is filled with hesitation

CC BY-SA 2.0; N Chadwick via

CC BY-SA 2.0; N Chadwick via

If anything is to ever be learnt from Made In Chelsea – from Stevie especially – it’s that trying to protect one’s assets or interests, material/monetary and living, will more than likely see said individual end up in the doghouse looking foolish.

Alik Alfus is a smooth talker who knows how to make a lady blush: “Of all the parents that I’ve ever met, you [Louise’s mum] are without question my favourite.”

The boy was scooping ice cream by the tonne at the Oyster Bar, but Andy still likes to stir the sand and it is a great Made In Chelsea scenario: the ex and the current quickly becoming best mates, and Louise disapproves. Perfect.

But it is inevitable that Alik will have to make a choice, as every bit of advice that Andy feeds him isn’t fully without malice. Surely, he’s too enthralled by the essence of Louise to make the wrong choice, the “un-Chelsea” choice.

*Insert Toff face*

Josh has gotten on well with Stephanie and that development has left Stevie in pieces. Like said, it reveals his character in full: the envy, the discomfort, the brash, and the vulnerability. He is papier-mâché. He opens his mouth and words, not the right ones, come out. At the moment, breh, Josh has the last laugh.

Not even going to go anywhere near Tiff and Sam. Just going to let that play out because Sam is in hot water.

And that Illamasqua product placement is heavy as…

Moment of the episode: Victoria Baker-Harber’s little comment to George and Mark Francis after watching the silk girls.

MUSIC: The five types of individuals you will likely encounter at a metal gig, although there are more

CC BY-ND 2.0; BenThereDoneThath via Flickr.

CC BY-ND 2.0; BenThereDoneThath via Flickr.

They find you before you find them. They leave you with more than material memories: threads or an autograph. They go hard so you don’t to have to. They are five types of individuals, not limited, you will likely encounter at a gig.

1) The guys with the backpacks: A gig seems a definite place where one would accomplish very little revision, if any at all. Maybe this collective subspecies are just Einstein studious individuals who hurried to the venue after a hefty day at high school, college, or university and didn’t have time to drop off the books at home. With these dudes about there’s always the potential to get hit by a copy of The Science of Interstellar or Pride and Prejudice. Or maybe they are poetic spirits and tote about volumes of Keats and Plath. It could be a workout and they stack their bags with bricks. Regardless, keep your distance.

2) The girl who looks like she’s mocking the moshers: She only goes into the pit when the danger level is at minus-flower and spring blossom. She proceeds to unleash an arsenal of moves that look like they were learnt from an episode of Sesame Street, giggling uncontrollably. No one has “the huevos” to casually maneuverer into her path out of fear that her 6-6, 280 lbs. father is hidden somewhere in the background, but we are all thinking how ridiculous she looks…

3) The couple that grinds during the set and eats face between it: The Acacia Strain couple springs to mind. It doesn’t matter who sees this duos X-rated moves because they are going to attempt to procreate right there for all to see. Although, kudos for the bold move and progressive mind-set… introducing a style expected at the local sweaty and grim American high school dance into the metal scene.

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0; Sebastien Camelot via Flickr

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0; Sebastien Camelot via Flickr

4) The out of place looking individual: Jamie T might be next door and it looks like they should be there instead: deep-v tee, silver link chain, fake tan, and flame tattoos. Is he distant cousins with Pauly D? Their presence is actually refreshing in comparison to this list, so welcome to the club, Pauly D look-a-like. It’s nice to see an individual put some thought into their gig attire before leaving the house.

5) The guy who crowd surfs or stage dives at gigs where the median age is trimester two: Lately, 14-plusers, or turn of the century babies, have dominated crowds with their Pulp tees, skinny jeans, and vans. Not trying to hate, but Little Sally with her blue hair and pencil arms isn’t going to support your frame. And she, nor her Mickey Mouse Club mates are most likely not going to try, so enjoy falling face first into the ground. There is also a chance of busting your coccyx into a thousand pieces (see 5b).

5b) NEW: The guy who tries to take a selfie with the band whilst crowd surfing: This has danger written all over it. It also has hilarious written all over it. The individual participating throws all awareness and caution to the wind, and, let’s be honest: the big guy in the sky wants to see a tremendous fail like the rest of us. Also, Little Sally with the blue hair and pencil arms is far too wrapped up in taking her own selfies and blurry iPhone photos to notice you until you crush her poor body. Hope you bought insurance for that phone.

This programme contains product placement: Does anyone else find it difficult to not stare at everyone’s eyebrows on Made In Chelsea?

CC BY-SA 2.0; Robin Stones via

CC BY-SA 2.0; Robin Sones via

Alik Alfus made it clear he was both livid and destroyed by news that his beloved couldn’t recall if she had cheated on him or not.

Don’t blame him. But that situation couldn’t have gotten any Chelsea-er. As lame as it may sound, the filming crew does so well capturing his character, that sensitivity and desire to pursue any avenue to make his relationship work with Louise. That’s commendable, yet it’s agreeable that he’s a bit of a mug as Andy says. Keep in mind all he gave up to move to England. Their ordeal has clearly not resolved and it’s merely been moved to the back burner for the sake of both their sanity.

On a happier/sour note, gents… buy a dog. Chivalry may be dead, but using a dog to get a date, and a second one, is still barking. Again, as lame as it sounds, Josh Shepherd’s intense eyes sapped all the confidence right out of close friend Stevie at the dinner party. Whilst it revealed how unsettled Stevie is by the constant threat that Stephanie might walk out of his life, it is a reminder that his swagger is artificial. In the grand scheme of things, it’d be good for his well being to let her go, but the programme isn’t predicated on common sense.

Toff has quickly become the show’s premier antagonist. She’s nosey, patronising, likes to meddle, and plain annoying, and it’s perfect. She’s so worried about her perception within the group that she’s willing to stoke the flames of another’s drama to find out. Judging by the previews of next week, poor Sam reminds us why the Watson’s are a smartly guarded pair.

Lastly, Mark Francis would play a posh Lucius Malfoy in a posh Harry Potter spin-off.

 Moment of the episode: A tie between Francis’, “If my eyes could have biceps…” line and Alik’s, “Way to bring this guy…” Had to leave it to the American to get the snarky remark in against Binky — go on lad.

CFB Playoff: Somewhere in Mulga, AL, one can only hope that Phyllis has a gigantic smirk on her face and is quoting her most infamous words: “Kiss my butt, Roll Tide”

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Phillip Hendon via Flickr

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Phillip Hendon via Flickr

Alabama has won five-straight games since her call to Paul Finebaum to set the record straight that the Tuscaloosa team are still a dominant powerhouse— 

…and it’s hard to disagree that Bama may well be the best team in college football with an unguardable wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

The Crimson Tide held off a pesky Arkansas team that is better than their record suggests following the loss at Ole Miss, proceeded to destroy a Texas A&M team that stood no Hill in chance, rode Cooper’s 9/224/2 game past Rocky Top, beat a resurgent—now dormant, again—LSU team in Baton Rouge, and has most recently held on to beat a No. 1 Mississippi State with a Heisman candidate quarterback.

Nick Saban’s offence didn’t get any flashier under the direction of OC Lane Kiffin, although it didn’t need to. The Crimson Tide is 24th in yards per game with 472 per, averaging 274.2 through the air and 197.9 on the ground, which is good for 30th and 37th in the FBS, respectively. But they are 7th in offensive efficiency and 1st in overall team efficiency.

In fact, all seven SEC West teams rank within the top 25 of overall team efficiency.

Alabama’s famed defence held Miss St, a team that had been averaging 37.8 points per game, to just 20 total and only three first half points—a late field before halftime. The defence is ranked sixth nationally, allowing an average of 291 yards. That is the highest rank of any top 10 ten and better than any team currently in the playoff.

So is it possible for Alabama to leap frog from fifth to first in the College Football Playoff rankings after their latest win?

(Mississippi State will of course lose their top spot.)

Oregon were on an open week, but have consistently racked up points against their opposition. They average 46 points per game, which is only bested by Marshall and Baylor. Oregon’s bid to occupy the committee’s top ranking all depends on how they view an open week against Bama’s win over Miss St. Although, naturally, the Ducks spirit team already occupies the top spot week-to-week. Puddles the Duck is currently looking for love on Tinder. The Ducks face a 0-7 Colorado team next Saturday.

Florida State has become synonymous with “comeback” in recent weeks. Jameis Winston’s 12 interceptions are the most by a starting quarterback in the committee’s latest playoff bracket, whilst his 18 touchdowns are last out of the four. Yes, the Seminoles did overcome and 16-point deficit to beat in-state rival Miami, but are continually comebacks enough to stay ahead of Alabama? Florida State’s best chance to quiet the last of the naysayers will be against Georgia Tech in a potential ACC Championship game, as games against Boston College and Florida will do little to better their stock.

TCU narrowly escaped Lawrence, KA with a win. For almost an entire three quarters it was basketball season in Memorial Stadium, where the Jayhawks were coming off their first conference win of the season—a storm the field kind of win over Iowa State. A 21-point third quarter by the Horned Frogs propelled them to a 34-30 win. TCU fell short of their normal 542 yards per game, but still racked up a total of 463 yards. In the eyes of the CFP, the Horned Frogs win suggest stagnancy, leaving the door open for Alabama to potentially leap frog them when they committee releases their latest rankings on Tuesday.

Teams in the hunt (again): Baylor, Ohio State, UCLA, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech.

Teams likely out: Auburn, Arizona State, LSU, and Notre Dame.

My say: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, TCU.

CBB: A look at the Frosh crop in Chapel Hill ahead of NC Central

CC by-NC 2.0; Eric Mills

CC by-NC 2.0; Eric Mills

North Carolina’s Head Coach, Roy Williams, signed three McDonald’s All-American in his 2014 class and the trio have Tar Heel fans excited for 2014/15, and for good reason. 

Justin Jackson: The Texan is a versatile forward/guard, who has already shown the ability to both run the floor in the up-tempo Tar Heel offence as well as follow the play up the court. He gives Williams a scoring threat at either the 2 or 3 spot, as Jackson is an efficient scorer that can spot up and shoot from distance or attack the basketball off the bounce. Jackson has showcased a floater in the lane. The newcomer led all-scorers in the “Late Night With Roy” Blue-White scrimmage, as well in as exhibition games against Fayetteville State and Belmont Abbey. His basketball IQ is something that will earn the freshman valuable minutes in an experienced squad that includes nine upperclassmen.

Theo Pinson: Greensboro product Theo Pinson is another guard/small forward option at Coach William’s disposal, but with a different skill set to his 2014 classmate. He differs from Jackson in two main areas. For one, he is a pass-first guard. He likes to create for others and is swagger on the ball allows for smooth passes. Second, he likes to explode to the basket and at 6-6 and190 lbs., if he polishes his frame at Carolina, he will be able to go against any ACC big in the lane. At Wesleyan Christian, he was a highlight reel for dunks and blocks, which is similar to the style of Junior J.P. Tokoto. Pinson wanted to punish defenders and that offensive assertiveness will light up faces in the Dean Dome. Think Vince Carter.

Joel Berry II: He earned MVP honours and a second-straight FHSAA title with Lake Highland Prep in 2013/14. He is a proven winner. In the tournament run, Berry posted numbers of 22.4 points per and 6.6 rebounds per. With the return of both starting point-guard Marcus Paige and backup Nate Britt, it is unlikely that Berry will have an immediate impact like the above two. But Williams is playing it safe by overloading at the point as injuries at the position derailed tournament runs in the past. The Floridian is most dangerous in half-court sets as defenders rarely match his first step.

The three newcomers bring back a sense of toughness that has often been thought of as missing at Chapel Thrill in recent years, at least since the days of Tyler Hansbrough and co. That is not a slight to recent teams, but fans were critical of James Michael McAdoo’s tenacity around the rim. Post players, like sophomores Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks, who will be taking on larger roles in 2014/15 will help build ferocity within the Carolina roster.

Carolina opens their regular season 14 November at home against NC Central at 7pm on ESPNU.