College Football Playoffs FAQ

Kickoff Friday, December 16!

The first bowl game is on Friday, December 16 and you can include all 43 bowl games in the pool and start it on Friday, or you can skip the first few games and give your friends a bit more time to get their picks in. You decide which games to include and when to start the pool.

How does the 4-team playoff work?

The winners of the December 31 Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will play in the National Championship Game on January 09. Here's how the website will work:

For Spreads pools: All 4 playoff teams will be listed in dropdown for the Championship game pick. It will be possible to pick one team to lose against the spread in the playoff and win against the spread in the Championship game.

For Straight Up pools: The Championship game teams won't populate until you pick the playoff games. If you think Georgia will win the Championship, you also have to pick them to win their playoff game.

What options are available for setting the Pick Deadline?
We always get questions about the pick deadline so please read this if you're not certain how it works. The key thing to know is that picks lock at the earlier of the pick deadline and the game time. Once a game locks, the picks for that game show up for everyone to see. Under this system, you can use any pick deadline you like.

Here are a few pick deadline options that people commonly use:
  1. Set it for an early time, like game time for one of the earliest bowl games, and don't change it. This makes it harder to get the Championship game right and limits the amount of time people can research their other picks, or
  2. Set it for the first Playoff game on December 31 (Fiesta Bowl or Peach Bowl), and choose the deadline option to unlock the Championship game. This will allow people to change any pick that hasn't started up until the first semi-final Bowl game. At that time all the picks will lock and show up for everyone to see. Then when all the other games have been completed (Jan 02 if you include the Rose Bowl) the site will open up picks for the Championship game and tiebreaker prediction (if applicable), or
  3. Set it for the Championship game. This will allow people to change their picks for any game that hasn't started and all the picks for every game will remain hidden until kick off.
We at OFP like Option 2, but the other options might suit you better. For example, if you are using confidence points, Option 3 might be better. The above are only a few examples.

Confidence Ranks (confidence pools only)

If you're running a confidence pool, it's going to be difficult to put a confidence number on the final game when you don't know the teams and spread. For that reason, we would recommend using a deadline (option 3 above) so you can shift your ranks around (for the games that haven't started) after the final teams are known. Realize that there are 5 bowl games still to play between the first playoff game on Dec 31 and the final on Jan 9 and so you'll still have 6 ranks (including the National Championship) to shift around once the final teams have been determined.

Otherwise, if you have to have an early pick deadline, then as mentioned above, the pool manager can shift the deadline to open up the picksheet again once the teams are known. If the pool manager opens up the picksheet right after the semi-finals are decided, then you actually have 7 ranks to play with. So when you make your picks before the initial pick deadline, use some strategy and assign a nice spread of ranks on those final 7 games. You will then be able to shift them around to reflect how confident you are in the Championship matchup.

If you want to force everyone to use the same specific rank on the National Championship game write us and we can set a fixed rank for that game.

Key Picks (key pick pools only)

If you're running Key Picks pool, read the above paragraphs on Confidence Ranks as the same issues apply.