CFB 2021 – Week 6 Expert Picks

The 2021 College Football season is here! Week 5 comes with expert picks from our Baseline Times staff! All season we will be tracking our expert picks with Tallysight.com. Stay tuned for updated rankings week to week! Week 3 is long gone on to CFB 2021 – Week 5 Expert Picks!

New updates to the CFB Expert Picks this week

  • Tallysight will now provide live updates to track how our experts do with EVERY game. Our weekly picks will feature perfomances in Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under picks from our staff
  • Click on a team’s logo and tail the pick on a legal sportsbook (if legal in your state!)

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Week 1 Results

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Week 3 Results

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Week 5 Results


CFB 2021 – Week 4 Expert Picks


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CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks

CFB 2021 – Week 5 Expert Picks

The 2021 College Football season is here! Week 5 comes with expert picks from our Baseline Times staff! All season we will be tracking our expert picks with Tallysight.com. Stay tuned for updated rankings week to week! Week 3 is long gone on to CFB 2021 – Week 5 Expert Picks!

New updates to the CFB Expert Picks this week

  • Tallysight will now provide live updates to track how our experts do with EVERY game. Our weekly picks will feature perfomances in Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under picks from our staff
  • Below we start small with a small feature that shows our Moneyline performance this CFB season so far. Overall a solid 80% from John Glowatz and 80% from Arian Johnston
  • Click on a team’s logo and tail the pick on a legal sportsbook (if legal in your state!)

LIVE CFB 2021 MONEYLINE PERFORMANCE

Week 1 Results

Week 2 Results

Week 3 Results

Week 4 Results


CFB 2021 – Week 4 Expert Picks


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CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks

CFB 2021 – Week 4 Expert Picks

The 2021 College Football season is here! Week 4 comes with expert picks from our Baseline Times staff! All season long we will be tracking our expert picks with Tallysight.com. Stay tuned for updated rankings week to week! Week 3 is long gone so on to CFB 2021 – Week 4 Expert Picks!

New updates to the CFB Expert Picks this week

  • Tallysight will now provide live updates to track how our experts do with EVERY game. Our weekly picks will feature perfomances in Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under picks from our staff
  • Below we start small with a small feature that shows our Moneyline performance this CFB season so far. Overall a solid 81% from John Glowatz and 79% from Arian Johnston
  • Click on a team’s logo and tail the pick on a legal sportsbook (if legal in your state!)

LIVE CFB 2021 MONEYLINE PERFORMANCE

Week 1 Results

Week 2 Results

Week 3 Results


CFB 2021 – Week 4 Expert Picks


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CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks

CFB 2021 – Week 3 Expert Picks

The 2021 College Football season is here! Week 3 comes with expert picks from our Baseline Times staff! All season long we will be tracking our expert picks with Tallysight.com. Stay tuned for updated rankings week to week! Week 2 is long gone but we are CFB 2021 – Week 3 Expert Picks!

New updates to the CFB Expert Picks this week

  • Tallysight will now provide live updates to track how our experts do with EVERY game. Our weekly picks will feature perfomances in Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under picks from our staff
  • Click on a team’s logo and tail the pick on a legal sportsbook (if legal in your state!)

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CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks


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CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks

CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks

The 2021 College Football season is here! Week 1 comes with expert picks from our Baseline Times staff! All season long we will be tracking our expert picks with Tallysight.com. Stay tuned for updated rankings week to week! Week 1 is long gone but we are CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks!

New updates to the CFB Expert Picks this week

  • Tallysight will now provide live updates to track how our experts do with EVERY game. Our weekly picks will feature perfomances in Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under picks from our staff
  • Below we start small with a small feature that shows our Moneyline performance in Week 1. Overall a solid 76% from John Glowatz and 77% from Arian Johnston
  • Click on a team’s logo and tail the pick on a legal sportsbook (if legal in your state!)

LIVE CFB 2021 MONEYLINE PERFORMANCE

Full 2021 – Week 1 Results


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CFB 2021 – Week 2 Expert Picks

CFB 2021 – Week 1 Expert Picks

The 2021 College Football season is here! Week 1 comes with expert picks from our Baseline Times staff! All season long we will be tracking our expert picks with Tallysight.com. Stay tuned for updated rankings week to week!

WEEK 1 MONEYLINE PERFORMANCE



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Conference Realignment Endgame

It seems that we are on decades long conference realignment carousel. Every few years (whenever media deals are soon to expire) the strongest conferences smell blood in the water and gobble up the best schools from whichever conference is on its way out. The Big East (football version) died at the beginning of the 2010s, the Big 12 has started its slow death with the recent news of Texas and Oklahoma departing, and the ACC looks like it will be next unless they can make significant changes before their media deal expires in 2036.

But all of this just seems so trite. Like any moves that are made now temporary. All that really matters is the war to come, the endgame for the control of college sports. This article will attempt to explore the two plausible scenarios in that endgame. First, there are two important things to note about this going forward:

1. Football is King

Football generates the vast majority of revenue for college athletic programs, so all of these realignment decisions are based on football. In making these decisions, no one cares about basketball or any other sport. Sorry college basketball blue bloods, ask UConn how much it mattered to have arguably the second best men’s basketball program of the decade during the last round of realignment (and inarguably the best and most profitable women’s CBB program of all time).

More than that, recent wins and success do not necessarily matter as much as the program’s brand value. These conference decisions are being made based on how much money can be brought by a program into a conference (OU & Texas project to increase the SEC’s annual media payout from a bit under $50 million to roughly $60 million per school). The SEC was happy to add OU for the additional payout while providing a top notch team to compete against, but they are absolutely licking their lips for Texas who is bringing them tens of millions in extra revenue and providing easy wins for the SEC’s upper echelon.

2. Streaming is the Future

The second thing to remember is that traditional TV will be dead and new media/streaming will take its place. In the recent past, conference realignment decisions were largely made around media deals that would bring in more viewership due to media markets (Ex. Rutgers and Maryland bringing the NYC and DC media markets to the BIG). Rutgers and Maryland weren’t the strongest college sporting brands nor did they have massive recent football success but they were ideally geographically positioned. None of these things mattered as they could get the B1G Network on NYC and DC area cable packages and B1G games on NYC and DC area broadcast TV. That will matter less and less in the future.

In a few decades when this conference realignment endgame comes about, location will matter less. Conferences will not care about city media markets quite as much or oversaturating one state with several conference members. Much more paramount will be the total number of fans that a school has and thus the amount of revenue that they bring to the conference.

For these reasons, there is undeniable consensus that there will be a further realignment and consolidation in college sports. There is just too much money involved for this not to come about. The only question is will it be one super league or two mega leagues. Let’s explore both scenarios.

Scenario One: Two 15ish Team Mega League(s)

Take a look at this chart. These are the 30 most valuable athletic departments (relying mostly on football program data) as of the 2018-2019 season. I used data from this year as the Covid shortened 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons were not typical. For the blended value, I calculated the mean of a valuation for the total Athletic Department Revenue (based on 5 times revenue) and the Football Program Value.

#SchoolCurrent ConferenceAthletic Dept Revenue 2018-20192018-2019 Football Program ValueBlended Total Revenue & Football Value
1TexasBig 12 (Soon to be SEC)$223,879,781$1,100,000,000$1,109,699,453
2Ohio StateBig 10$210,548,239$1,060,000,000$1,056,370,598
3MichiganBig 10$197,820,410$930,000,000$959,551,025
4AlabamaSEC$164,090,889$1,010,000,000$915,227,223
5GeorgiaSEC$174,042,482$890,000,000$880,106,205
6Notre DameIndependent Football/ACC$169,547,625$910,000,000$878,869,063
7OklahomaBig 12 (Soon to be SEC)$163,126,695$890,000,000$852,816,738
8LSUSEC$157,787,782$850,000,000$819,469,455
9AuburnSEC$152,455,416$870,000,000$816,138,540
10Texas A&MSEC$212,748,002$540,000,000$801,870,005
11TennesseeSEC$143,765,903$730,000,000$724,414,758
12FloridaSEC$159,706,937$630,000,000$714,267,343
13Penn StateBig 10$164,529,326$520,000,000$671,323,315
14WisconsinBig 10$157,660,107$470,000,000$629,150,268
15IowaBig 10$151,976,026$460,000,000$609,940,065
16South CarolinaSEC$140,695,659$460,000,000$581,739,148
17NebraskaBig 10$136,233,460$470,000,000$575,583,650
18ArkansasSEC$137,497,788$460,000,000$573,744,470
19WashingtonPac 12$133,792,677$440,000,000$554,481,693
20Florida StateACC$152,757,883$290,000,000$526,894,708
21Michigan StateBig 10$140,010,865$350,000,000$525,027,163
22KentuckySEC$150,435,842$270,000,000$511,089,605
23OregonPac 12$127,508,498$350,000,000$493,771,245
24ClemsonACC$133,861,515$300,000,000$484,653,788
25USCPac 12$118,687,120$330,000,000$461,717,800
26MinnesotaBig 10$130,456,454$270,000,000$461,141,135
27Arizona StatePac 12$121,698,840$300,000,000$454,247,100
28LouisvilleACC$139,955,824$180,000,000$439,889,560
29UCLAPac 12$108,412,967$300,000,000$421,032,418
30MiamiACC$127,170,251$190,000,000$412,925,628

You will note that the majority of these teams are from the B1G and the SEC, thus they will be our two dominant conferences who will destroy the rest.

I am operating under two assumptions: first, both conferences will find a way to cut their dead weight (Sorry to the likes of Vanderbilt, Purdue, Mississippi and the other always a bridesmaid schools). Like Thanos’ snap roughly half of the other teams in these conferences will instantly disappear from the new B1G and SEC (or some other entity that they create).

Second, the B1G will find away to expand or do away with their academic alliance. I know that a lot of stock is put into the B1G’s research partnerships and finances that come along with such, but again there is just too much money at stake both athletically and academically for them to keep it as is. They will find a way to keep both the athletic money and academic money in the future.

How Endgame Conference Realignment Scenario One Goes Down

The ACC teams start feeling froggy a few years before their aforementioned media deal expires, lets say in the year 2033. None of the schools want to be left out in the cold in realignment so the B1G-ACC-Pac 12 alliance quickly goes out the window faster than the Soviet-Nazi non-agression pact. It really doesn’t matter who makes the first call: the SEC, B1G, or some of the ACC member schools, but the SEC and B1G will be carving up the ACC like it is Poland. It is clear that the top schools like Clemson and Florida State can bring more money into each conference. And the alternative is essentially death, so it is a no brainer.

The SEC essentially pilfers Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville selling them on SEC continuity, existing in-state rivalries, and of course all that sweet, sweet cash. The B1G is able to grab Miami and finally makes Notre Dame bend the knee due to sheer $$ value (Hundreds of millions in media payouts over a few years).

A few years thereafter, the B1G reaches out to Washington, Oregon, USC, UCLA, and Arizona State. The convince them that a la Dr Strange that they’ve analyzed the 14 million possible outcomes and the only way they can defeat the SEC is to join the B1G. These Pac schools reluctantly agree to leave their former conference mates knowing that the difference in media money is approaching 50 millions dollars per year at this point and recruiting will be impossible otherwise. Take a look at the the future B1G and the future SEC.

As much as this would destroy college sports for the other schools across the country and would be an indisputable travesty, this would be kind of sweet in a way (lol). The Southern power football teams would essentially be unified from Texas to Florida (except for Miami who has rivalries with Notre Dame and Nebraska and has many fans from elsewhere in the county). The B1G also has a ton of history with the Pac, as the SEC does with the former Big 12 Schools. The B1G could play their conference championship as the Rose Bowl and the SEC could do theirs as the Sugar Bowl.

15 teams also allow for three pods of five each, giving a schedule that would allow for rivalry games and buy games outside of these leagues. I’m sure things wouldn’t work out exactly this way, but I am counting on each conference making moves to try to counteract each other. For example, The B1G usually wouldn’t be caught dead with a school of Arizona State’s academic stature but in a potential merger situation like this the other Pac schools might help put in a good word and it doesn’t hurt that ASU’s blended value is more than the likes of Louisville, Miami, and UCLA. As I mentioned before, I think the endgame will involve the academic alliances being modified or destroyed to allow for both academic and athletic funds to flow freely.

The Rest of the Power Teams in Scenario One

#Big 12Huge MidwestACCPAC 12Big East #
1VanderbiltIllinoisDukeArizonaProvidence1
2Oklahoma StatePurdueMarylandUtahSt Johns2
3BaylorNorthwesternGeorgia TechColoradoSeton Hall3
4TCUIowa StateUVACalVillanova4
5Texas Tech IndianaRutgersOregon StateGeorgetown5
6Miss StateMissouriUConnWashington StateXavier6
7Ole MissKansas StateSyracuseStanfordDePaul7
8HoustonKansasNC StateBoise StateMarquette8
9UCFCincinnatiUNCColorado StateButler9
10MemphisPittVirginia TechSan Diego StateCreighton10
11USFWVUWakeUNLVTemple11
12SMUBoston CollegeGonzaga (Hoops Only) 12
13  Air Force (Football Only)  13

The rest of these teams make moves to try to regain some relevancy in this realignment scenario. As mentioned previously, being in new media markets is no longer paramount. This allows these conferences to realign with a mix of old rivalries and closer geographic proximity. The media payouts will not be nearly as big as the new SEC and B1G conglomerates but these will be fun conferences and someone will rise to the top of each. Teams from these conferences will be able to regularly compete for the college football playoff (expanded 12 seed format) and will get at least 4 or 5 teams into the NCAA basketball tournament on a yearly basis.

Big 12- The leftovers of the Big 12, Vanderbilt, Mississippi schools, and the top of the AAC unite under the Big 12 banner. Geographically this is a pretty good fit for all involved aside from UCF & USF but they are at least familiar traveling partners. The Mississippi schools are pretty bummed to be Thanos’ed out of the SEC after so many years and accept the Big 12 invite as a consolation prize. Vanderbilt flirted with the idea of joining the ACC but ultimately decided to stick with the SEC leftovers.

Huge Midwest Conference – (Who says that the only adjective that a conference can use is “Big”) The cast-offs from the B1G join up with a couple of strong academic Big 8 schools that have been wandering the desert in Kansas, Missouri (via the SEC), Iowa State and Kansas State. Kansas and Missouri get their primary rivalry back and the rest of the schools are a pretty good geographic fit as well. Pitt and WVU see an opportunity to jump to a stronger football conference and reignite old rivalries with each other as well. Cincinnati is happy to be along for the ride.

ACC – After losing their top football schools, the ACC decides to double down on basketball and bring in a few former Big East mates in Rutgers and UConn to be the top basketball conference in the country. They also get Maryland back and correct a wrong that never should have happened in the first place in Maryland’s departure to the B1G.

Pac 12 – The Pac gets a little desperate with the lack of super-strong athletic programs west of the Rockies and they essentially merge with the top of the Mountain West. UNLV gives them a presence in Las Vegas that they have long coveted (CFB and MBB championships are there every year) and they regain Southern California with SDSU after losing USC and UCLA. In time they hope that Gonzaga and Air Force can become more than one-trick ponies in basketball and football respectively.

Big East – As for the basketball-centric power conference, the Big East remains largely unchanged aside from replacing UConn with Temple. Temple being neighbors with Nova is not such a big deal in the world of streaming as they bring in enough revenue. The Owls will, however, have to go independent in football unless some new G5 equivalent conference forms. If one of the A10 schools or a school like Loyola Chicago goes on a Gonzaga-like run over the next decade or two they might also get an invite to round the conference to 12 members. But, that’s the thing about realignment, its all about timing.

What About the Basketball Blue Bloods in Scenario One?

#SchoolCurrent ConferenceAthletic Dept Revenue 2018-20192018-2019 Football ValueBlended Value
1IndianaBig 10$127,832,628$180,000,000$409,581,570
2KansasBig 12$121,553,307$210,000,000$408,883,268
3North CarolinaACC$107,812,619$160,000,000$349,531,548
6DukeACC$116,021,513$68,000,000$324,053,783

The verdict

As you can see, these basketball schools just do not add a ton of value compared to the football powers. Indiana and Kansas are very close to the bottom of the top 30 and there is a chance the B1G and SEC would take them, but right now they fall just outside. Any scenario in which they improve their value involves their football programs taking giant leaps forward. Indiana and UNC are competitive right now but they need to prove that they can sustain that success after a single head coach (Tom Allen and Mack Brown respectively) moves along to greener pastures or retires. Kansas’ football value is actually already more than both Miami and Louisville with the lack of success that they’ve had. If they were able to have a modicum of sustained success in football they would get a B1G invite for sure but the clock might be running out for them to put it together with the demise of the Big 12. So, Kansas, Indiana, and UNC are on the outside looking in as things sit right now but they could improve enough to punch a ticket into the SEC or BIG for the endgame. The only school here who has absolutely no shot to make it into one of the two power leagues is Duke. I would say that I feel bad for the Blue Devils, but I really don’t at all.

Scenario Two: A Single Super League – AKA The $600 Million Club

In this is scenario the SEC becomes the College Super League. The B1G is unable to act swiftly or decisively enough and ends up not only failing to bring in enough top ACC and PAC teams but loses its own top members to the SEC. The SEC again jettisons off lower revenue members and also brings in Notre Dame and Clemson from the ACC. Using the above chart, this includes the only 15 teams that have a blended 2018 valuation of $600 million or more. Note that I’m slotting Clemson in for that last position as I am projecting that over the next few decades they will overtake the other schools ahead of them in revenue at the right time. Again, they’ll need to prove they can do this after Dabo leaves but I think that Clemson has enough football pedigree that they can pull this off.

This will give the Super League about 16 teams so they can do two divisions of eight or four pods and have a championship unto themselves. They will have no need for the NCAA and might just break away from it altogether if they desire.

Anyway, the super league will look like this:

This is basically a Dirty South and Northern Midwest league which makes sense as these are the regions of the country that really care about college sports. I think that even in the world of streaming that the lack of presence in the rest of the country will matter long term but will not be enough to prevent something like this from happening if the B1G is unable to counteract the SEC or the aforementioned B1G-PAC-ACC alliance falls.

That would mean the rest of the “power” conferences look something like this:

#Big 12B1GACCPac 12Old BE LeftoversBig East#
1TennesseeMichigan StVirginiaArizonaWVUProvidence1
2South CarolinaNebraskaNorth CarolinaArizona StateTempleSt John’s2
3VanderbiltMinnesotaDukeCaliforniaRutgersButler3
4LouisvilleIndianaMiamiColoradoUConnGeorgetown4
5KentuckyNorthwesternGeorgia TechOregonCincinnatiSeton Hall5
6Oklahoma StateIllinoisMarylandOregon StateUCFVillanova6
7BaylorPurdueVirginia TechStanfordUSFXavier7
8TCUKansasSyracuseUCLAArmy (Football Only)Marquette8
9Texas TechIowa StateNC StateUSCNavy (Football Only)DePaul9
10Florida StateMissouriPittsburghUtahAir Force (Football Only)Creighton10
11Miss StateKansas StateWakeWashingtonMemphisGonzaga (Hoops Only)11
12Ole MissBoston CollegeWashington StateECU12
13Houston   13
14Arkansas   14

Big 12 – Essentially becomes the poor man’s SEC and a reunion of the SWC. They manage to wrangle Florida State and Louisville away from the ACC, who hope to fill the power void left by the super league powers at this level.

B1G – Reeling from their defeat at the hands of the, SEC the B1G invites in some of their other high academic ranking Midwestern brethren and becomes a fairly solid, homogeneous, and continuous conference.

ACC – Minus their football powers but with Maryland back in the fold this is the way the ACC should be. Ideally, we would get former Big East teams Cuse, BC, Pitt, and Virginia Tech back into the Big East (football version) but they would be foolish to leave the ACC at this point.

Pac 12 – Remains the same as the present day.

Old Big East Leftovers – Former Big East teams (Temple, UConn, WVU, Rutgers, Cincinnati, USF) and eastern AAC teams (UCF, Navy, Memphis, ECU) look around the bar after the last call and join up with each other. They pull in the other service academies for their football prowess (which would require a special dispensation for the Army-Navy game). A school like Buffalo or UMass could also get an invite if they make a leap over the next few decades.

New Big East – The Big East loses UConn once again but decides to bring in Gonzaga for hoops only. With the realignment train going wild the Zags decide that the time is ripe to hop to a stronger basketball conference. Again if an A10 or similar school makes a name for itself it could see Big East invite.

This might be shocking if you’re one of the stronger SEC or B1G teams left out in the cold but I feel like it wouldn’t quite the doomsday scenario that it might appear. If you’re a team like Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, etc. you won’t like being left out of the SEC Super League but you’ll have the chance to try to emerge as one of the big dogs of the conference rather than being an “also-ran” to Bama and Ohio State. One or two of these schools will go from being Hawkeye or Black Widow in the B1G/SEC to Thor or Iron Man in their respective conferences. These conferences are clearly inferior to the SEC Super League but they all have an identity aside from the Big East leftovers.

In any case, thanks for reading along with me. The realignment will never stop completely – just like for the Avengers there will always be more battles to fight for college sports. Here’s to hoping that we can put the conference realignment business behind us at some point after the endgame. I just hope don’t lose too much about the game(s) we love in the process.


Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Hub

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are underway! Stay up-to-date with us at Baseline Times!

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Baseline Times Olympic Leaderboard

The Baseline Times has developed its own rubric for scoring each country’s performance at the Olympic Games by weighing each medal based criteria like competitiveness, number of athletes, medal value, etc. Follow along all throughout the Games to see who is truly winning the Olympics! See here for the rules and logic behind this medal tracker.

CountryGoldSilverBronzeBT Points
USA141711224
China18911192
ROC (Russia)101410175
Japan1746165
Top performing countries will be filled in as medals are awarded

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Everything to Know About the 2021 FCS Spring Playoffs

An event never before dared nor even dreamed – a 16 team College Football Playoff in the Spring! Ok, it is the FCS Playoffs but this is a high-quality football gift wrapped to us sports junkies neatly between March Madness and the NBA playoffs. COVID lingers on like the world’s worst houseguest but having Spring FCS Playoffs is a small silver lining!

I don’t proclaim to be an expert on the FCS, in fact most years I only get a chance to watch a game or 2 due to competition with FBS games. But this is not most years and I have attempted to put together a page that I think should give people like me, new, or casual FCS fans the information they need if they want to get into the playoffs this year. So cheers to more college football!

Who is Playing (FCS Playoff Bracket):

  • The official NCAA FCS Playoff Bracket can be found here.
  • The NCAA only ranks the top 4 seeds, which are:
    1. South Dakota State
    2. Sam Houston State
    3. James Madison
    4. Jacksonville State
  • Due to the pandemic, teams played vastly different schedules. Some teams in the playoffs only played 3 or 4 games, others played games in the Fall as well as the Spring. These games seemingly both count (Jacksonville State) and don’t count (NDSU) as part of their records for some reason .
  • Thus, the unofficial bracket looks something like this with each teams’ record and Sagarin advanced metrics ratings included:
Thanks to Bracket HQ for this free bracket generator!
  • A few thoughts, given these additional details. Looks like the seeding is pretty solid given all of the difficult circumstances this year.
  • It seems like the teams that really got hosed were North Dakota State and Monmouth. NDSU has a tough first round draw in Eastern Washington and then they potentially face the #2 seed Sam Houston State. I suppose the committee wants the Bison to prove themselves as an at-large team.
  • Monmouth’s advanced metric numbers are better than every team “seeded” higher than them until you get to #8 seed Weber State. However, Monmouth only played 3 games so the sample size is small. Tough luck for the Big South Champion Hawks (despite being in NJ, lol).
  • Delaware looks like it might have a favorable path to the Semifinal. Sacred Heart and Davidson are 2 of the lower ranked advanced metric teams in the field and Jacksonville State’s advanced metrics paint them as overrated (not saying this is true per se) I hope we get to see them against likely title favorite South Dakota State.
  • The championship game will be in Frisco, less than a 3 hour drive from Sam Houston State’s campus. If they can make it that far, that’s worth a couple points in the Sam Houston State Bearkats favor.

When are the Games & Where to Watch (ESPN3):

The first round is Saturday, April 24th. All games EDT and on ESPN3, here is the first round schedule:

Who is Not Playing:

  • 43 of 127 FCS teams opted out prior to or during the Spring season including entire conferences like the Ivy League and MEAC (though some teams played modified schedules).
  • This, of course, left 84 teams eligible for the FCS Playoffs.
  • A few FCS contenders opted out of the Spring season, some like Montana played a modified and shortened schedule but were ultimately not selected for the Playoffs.
  • Several top players opted out of the Spring season to focus on the NFL Draft like WR Cade Johnson of South Dakota St, who would be playing in these playoffs otherwise.
  • North Dakota State alone has 3 players expected to be drafted in the top 50 in the 2021 NFL draft who would likely be playing in these playoffs were they to take place in the 2020 Fall: QB Trey Lance, OT Dillon Radunz, & LB Jabril Cox (Cox transferred to LSU for the 2020 fall season in part due to the pandemic).

FCS Playoff Storylines:

  • North Dakota State University – The Bison have been THE dominant team in FCS football for the last decade. They have won 8 of the last 9 FCS championships and put dozens of players in the NFL and on practice squads during that time span. This year, however, they are not in the driver’s seat. As mentioned, 3 of NDSU’s top players are not playing in the playoffs (and haven’t played with them all Spring). There is also a current QB controversy between veteran Zeb Noland and freshman Cam Miller. The presently constituted team went 5-2, with a loss in the MVC championship to rival South Dakota St. If there is any year for NDSU to relinquish control of the FCS this is it.
  • How the contenders got here:
    • South Dakota State went 5-1 and won the MVC. The loss was to North Dakota early in the season 28-17, in which the Jackrabbits outgained the Fighting Hawks. They gutted out close wins in the toughest conference in FCS over UNI and Youngstown St.
    • Delaware went 5-0 and won the CAA. The Blue Hens mostly demolished their competition, their closest game being last week’s 27-20 victory over Villanova. They did not receive a “seed” despite being undefeated and being CAA champs, more on that in the James Madison section.
    • Jacksonville State went 9-2 and won the Ohio Valley Conference. In addition to the FSU loss, they lost to a not super great Austin Peay team in a game which JSU’s starting QB threw 4 INTs and had just 111 passing yds but wasn’t benched. They have mostly dominated otherwise with just 2 of their 7 wins being 1 score games.
    • James Madison went 5-0 and received an at-large bid. There may be some sour grapes for the Dukes as they went undefeated but the CAA championship was awarded to Delaware (as mentioned above). They have the stingiest defense in the FCS playoffs and their only close game was over Elon.
    • North Dakota went 4-1 and received an at-large bid. Their only loss was against NDSU and they boast a win over the #1 seed.
    • Weber State went 5-0 and won the Big Sky Conference. They didn’t play fellow Big Sky playoff participant E Washington this year due to COVID and 4 of their 5 wins were within a score.
    • North Dakota State went 5-2 and received an at-large bid. We mentioned their loss to the Jackrabbits and their other loss was to Southern Illinois by 24. This are some holes in this Bison team that haven’t been around for a decade or more, but like a wounded bison they are still dangerous.
    • Sam Houston State went 6-0 and was the Southland champion. They dismantled competition behind a prolific offense, scoring 43, 71, 62, and 42 points in games this year. Their closest game was strangely to a 1-6 Northwestern State team in which Sam Houston’s offense was held to 24 points.

FCS Stats Leaders in the Playoffs:

  • Sam Houston State QB Eric Schmid leads the FCS in yards per pass attempt with 10.1 and is 8th in passing yards per game with ~337.
  • Other QBs in the Playoffs in the top 10 in yards per pass attempt with roughly 9 ypa each:
    • Tony Muskett, Monmouth (#5)
    • Seth Morgan, VMI (#6)
    • Cole Johnson, JMU (#7)
  • Several WRs in the FCS Playoffs are at the top of the leaderboard, averaging over 100 receiving yards per game:
    • Talolo Limu-Jones, E Washington (#1 – 120 ypg)
    • Jakob Herres, VMI (#3 – 115 ypg)
    • Terrance Greene Jr. (#5 – 110 ypg)
    • Jequez Ezzard (#8 – 101 ypg)
  • Several RBs in the FCS Playoffs are at the top of the leaderboard, averaging over 100 rushing yards per game:
    • Julius Chestnut, Sacred Heart (#1 – 179 ypg)
    • Juwon Farri, Monmouth (#2 – 141 ypg)
    • Otis Weah, North Dakota (#5 – 114 ypg)
  • Teams in the top 10 in scoring defense:
    • James Madison (#2 – 9.8 ppg allowed)
    • Delaware (#3 – 11.6 ppg allowed)
    • Holy Cross (#4 – 12.3 ppg allowed)
    • South Dakota St (#9 – 15.8 ppg allowed)
  • Teams in top 10 in FCS scoring offense:
    • Sam Houston St (#3 – 44.8 ppg)
    • Monmouth (#5 – 41.7 ppg)
    • E Washington (#6 – 40.7 ppg)

2020-21 College Football Playoff Championship Expert Picks

All CFB season our Experts picked winners, spreads, and over/under. Atlas, the College Football Playoff Championship is here and we have our expert picks! We are partnered with Tallysight.com where our very own Experts are ranked in the top 10! On to this week for College Football Playoff Championship expert picks!

Ohio State Collection at HOMAGE

  • Baseline Times currently ranks 16th overall (after 17 Weeks of CFB) among industry experts. The overall score reflects a combined Straight Up, Over/Under, and Spread picks.
  • Our experts rank fourth place overall for Straight Up picks. We’ve been at least 72% this year for CFB. (You might want to follow along below for the best chance when placing those bets!)
  • Our Expert John Glowatz currently ranks 4th among industry experts for Straight up picks. John currently has picked 493 games this season (before this week) and 74% of them have been correct!


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More NCAAF coverage from Baseline Times

In case you’re also curious about what to expect in the restart of most College Basketball programs we’ve got you covered! Our NCAAB expert Cody Guinn has you covered. Check out our NCAAB Conference previews. Cody has you covered all season long!

Baseline Times is partnered with Tallysight.com which tracks expert picks throughout the entire CFB season this year. Tallysight helps track our experts up against top industry experts and other platforms. Check out Tallysight.com for more information!