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How to succeed at OBNUG Bowl Pick 'Em

Ethan Miller

1. Sign up to play OBNUG Bowl Pick 'Em at the ESPN website. It's free and easy, and no one will make you read a Rick Reilly column. Promise.

Click here to join.

2. Come up with a witty name for your entry. Puns, rhymes, and snark are encouraged. Some options:

  • Harsin on my vibe <-- TAKEN by me, sorry
  • Get your Hedrick in the game
  • Bowling for churros
  • Jingle Corey Bells
  • Chris Purplesen
  • Bowl cut

A good entry name is like wearing a new suit to work: If you feel good, you play good. Now go pick Alabama to beat Oklahoma, you Dapper Dan.

3. Get to know confidence points. Here's how these weirdos work: You pick a winner of each bowl game, and then you assign each game a point value based on your supreme arrogance at being right. For instance, if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Fresno State will lose to USC, then you would assign 35 confidence points (the max) to your Vegas Bowl pick. And so on and so forth, organized in a chronological decline from certainty to waffles.

Confidence points are the single biggest difference between winning and losing. It also helps to know something about college football.

4. Follow the opposite of whatever strategy I employ. For five years running, I have bombed spectacularly in bowl pick 'em, despite an honest attempt at correctly picking the games. My hot tips for this year that you should definitely avoid:

  • Put maximum confidence points into Boise State winning the Hawaii Bowl.
  • Choose upsets by the non-BCS teams you recognize, believing that your recognizing them is some indicator of talent or success. (It's not, you're a fool.)
  • Choose the favorites in every other game.
  • When in doubt, make bowl picks that you feel good rooting for. This is the single worst bit of advice I can give you and also the defining principle in how I fill out my picks.

5. Go big or go home. Be bold with your confidence point picks, and yes, I see the irony in my giving you advice after telling you not to take any of my advice.

6. Do whatever you want. And have fun doing it.

I'll be looking up at you from my lounge in the standings basement.