CFB '23 - Week 10 Recap

Balances, death count stay flat from a week prior, as the contestant field refuses to stop playing with its food

CFB '23 - Week 10 Recap

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

Balances, Death Count Stay Flat From Week 9

  • Only 5 Died Last Week, Only 5 Died This Week

  • Balances Traded Flat Last Week, Balances Traded Flat This Week

  • McCombs, Bertolina Recreate In The Clouds, Swap 1st and 2nd

  • Olsen’s 9K All-In Win Launches Him From 3rd To… 3rd

Your Top 10

:: Quick Programming Notes::

  • We will continue with Part 2 of the Michigan Sign Stealing and Sports Betting Data deep dive this coming week as part of our Week 11 Preview.
  • The card will feature 11 games this coming week and 10 games the final three weeks. The last week of this competition is conference championship weekend.

Stop Playing With Your Food

That, there, up top is Spirit the Montana State Bobcat tapping his imaginary wristwatch.

He’s telling you it’s time to get on your horse.

There are a select (chronicled) few of you that have stuck to balance maintenance all year. But to the majority of you reading this, when balance maintenance would have been useful, you instead chose to do with said balance the equivalent of streaking naked through a corn field firing your great grandfather’s antique revolver in the sky after nine Red Bulls.

Now that pre-final-weeks tentativeness is creeping in, suddenly everyone’s jonesing for a pillow fight.

I see you, three-800-Onion-bets-a-week people. I appreciate you.

I see you, Kayla Bloxham and Shawn Andreason, seeing others’ tentativeness and trying to do a more-than-50%-of-my-balance-on-one-team-in-the-perfect-spot type move on Texas. (In doing so you broke the first rule of Onions which is never fade Kansas State, and the right answer was Arizona, but I appreciate the tactical aplomb).

But these are the minority examples. By and large it’s still little nibbles here, little nibbles there. As a whole you made more individual bets per Onioner (ABO) than any week since Week 4 and yet you racked up the lowest %OIC of the entire competition.

I’d show you the graphs but you don’t want to see the graphs. They tell a story of overcompensatory impotency and self-loathing.  

In short, some of you are overcorrecting, diversifying too much. And I get it. It’s not not smart. But where was all of this in the first half of the competition?

Well, Commish, the contest is free. So, for a long time, there, people felt like they could make huge risky bets and not truly “risk” anything if they lost.

Nah. It’s still free. You’re just sniffing a little potential victory. You’re sensing that some proverbial skin is in the proverbial game. You’re hooked on that Sweet, Sweet Oniony sensation.

You’re respecting the contest.

And God bless you for it no matter how long it took you to get there.

But after preaching moderation to deaf ears  all year, I now trumpet this: to anyone sub-20th place, let’s get a move on before the Commish slides a firecracker in your whoopie cushion.

To all my sub-20s: You’re going to need to roll over four in a row.

Let’s assume at least one of Bertolina (20,377), McCombs (20,016) and now Olsen (17,585) more or less maintains their current balance for the next four weeks. (What we’re really assuming in this scenario is that we think it will take a balance of around 20,000 to win).

If you’re 21st-place Payden Tanner (1,521), for example, how do you get to 20,000? You go all-in each of the next four weeks and win each time. It comes out to 20,242.  

Easy, right?

We asked in the previous Sunday recap at what point the chase, aka the Holiday Rush, would begin. If now is the period when people jockey in the peloton for a little bit better positioning before the final sprint, then when is the final sprint?

Our guess was Week 12.

For the top half of the standings, that is likely still true. But for the bottom half of the standings, it starts right now.

Notable Notes

Look at you. You’ve reduced the Commish to a “News and Notes” style, bullet-point list.

But I paint with the materials I’m given, and in terms of contest intrigue you all have handed me dried guano the last two weeks, and the obit pen is rustier than the two defenses in Washington-USC.

  • While there wasn’t much change amongst the top three positions (although Jordan Olsen left the kids’ table and is right on Bertolina and McCombs LLP’s proverbial ass), Nos. 4-6 had plenty of volatility.
  • No. 4 Mark Winters bought in at the absolute wrong time on Oklahoma -5 in Bedlam, who were vanquished by a Cowboys’ fourth-down stop, while Andreason and Bloxham as mentioned above tumbled way down on the back of Texas -4 blowing a 20-point lead at home to Kansas State, only to win in overtime by stopping the Wildcats on fourth-down inside the five.
  • Your new No. 4 and No. 6 are names that haven’t gotten much airtime. Thomas Hone got there with an all-in on Kansas, which took zero real-world money this week yet won outright as a dog, and Marc Monohan got there with an all-in on Washington, who broke up what would have been “push” with a TD with two-mins left.
  • The most notable ascent of the tournament might be that of newly 8th-place Shane Foster. If anyone wants the blueprint, just look at the man’s ascent. This is chiseling dedication. Respect.
    • Week 3 - 84th - 955
    • Week 4 - 75th - 1,037
    • Week 5 - 65th - 1,119
    • Week 6 - 41st - 1,392
    • Week 7 - 38th - 1,374
    • Week 8 - 19th - 1,738
    • Week 9 - 13th - 2,735
    • Week 10 - 8th - 3,285
  • The address for the House of Goss continues to be 555 Leaderboard Drive. Chelsea sits in 5th now on the back of big wins on Penn State and Arizona. Meanwhile, other-half Tyson is in 9th place for the fourth-straight week, despite his balance being close to others around him, and despite losing coin every week since he got there. Relentless dedication to 9th. You love to see it.
  • Ohio State-Rutgers was an eerie redo of the Ohio State-Maryland game earlier this year. In both instances the Buckeyes were 20-point favorites (as they also were against Purdue in Week 7). In both instances the underdog got out to a short lead and the game was a low-scoring slugfest effectively tied at halftime. They outscored the Terps 27-7 in the second half and pushed the 20. They outscored the Scarlet Knights 28-7 in the second half and was short of a cover by 1-point.
  • Shout out to the Arkansas Razorbacks, who were not on the card, but who basically fired their entire staff, then won in dramatic fashion to snap a six-game losing streak and beat Florida in Gainesville for the first time ever. Not even sure how that’s possible. Gators might not even make a bowl…
  • We did not have Purdue-Michigan on the card, saving our emphasis on the Wolverines for this week’s preview email, and the team’s giant showdown against Penn State. Plus, we try not to feature games with spreads larger than 800. But if we had, the Fade Michigan train would have gotten its cake on what some would have cheered as a karmic Boilermaker backdoor cover with seconds remaining….

Week 10 Vital Signs

Onions In Circulation Going In To The Week: 122,001

Onions In Circulation Coming Out Of The Week: 119,165

Total Wagered By All Onioners: 63,774 (52.7%)

Average Wagered Per Onioner: 1,772

Average Individual Wager Size: 750

  • Total Collective Onioner Win or (Loss): (740) (0.6%)

  • Average Win or (Loss) Per Onioner: (21)

Games With Highest Handle:

  • LSU @ Alabama -3 — 11,371 (96% on Alabama)

  • Kansas State @ Texas -4 — 10,761 (80% on Texas)

  • Oklahoma -5 @ Oklahoma State — 10,759 (72% on Oklahoma)

Biggest Win or (Loss) Either Way For Onioners: 9,497 on Alabama -3


We entered the week with 38 of you and left with 33 of you.

Two of you missed the submission deadline this week.

Deadline Deadbeats

  • (38th) Michael “Seymour” Hirshenson - Maybe it’s the ex-ink-stained wretch in the Commish who hears “Hirshenson” and thinks of an old Vietnam journo. The invoked reporter is known for witnessing and reporting on the horrors of the My Lai Massacre. In Week 9, Michael witnessed the horrors of going quasi-all-in on James Madison when their program’s price was at an all-time high. Like many who have come before him, he couldn’t bring himself to even revisit the game afterward. Too scarring. Adieu, Michael.
  • (37th) Brigham “Five-Dollar” Beckstead - The man has several distinctions. He made one of the quickest and least generous donations to the competition. He is named after one of the foundational teams of this competition. And with reckless abandon he abandoned his respectable and well-funded post of 21st place. His 1,908 Onions could have been used for something good, right alongside those of his brother (dad? cousin? son? help) Taylor Beckstead, who we note was able to submit the entry form this week and who sat right above Brigham in 20th like a guardian angel. Instead, the 1,908 will be left to the dust of history.

Those Of You Who Were Wrong Multiple Times:

Of the six of you who went multi-bet all-in this past week, none of you bombed out. Cheers.

And Now, The Dearly Departed:

  • (36th) Ben “That Route Looks A Little” Hilley - It does look quite Hilley when one sits at the very bottom of Mt. Onion, just 25 little vegetables in their pocket, and they have to try to pedal like mad to respectability. And to do so on a Georgia team that always seems to be favored by exactly -14.5, that always seems to win but also always seems to struggle to cover? You made it harder and harder on yourself, Ben (not to mention getting to the point of 25 Onions left in the first place via that 2,000 on Oregon State -3 fiasco in Week 9 when they were on the road at Arizona). Shift down into a lower gear for chrissakes. Make it easier on yourself.
  • (35th) Mark “The Ombudsman” Osborne - You might have to strain to believe this, but the Commissioner isn’t perfect. Far from it, in fact. Once, for example, I poured and served cabernet sauvignon in a chardonnay glass and I wanted to curl up from the shame of it all. So, too, am I imperfect in our little hand-grading mechanism here with this game. And so it was that I made an error on Georgia a few weeks back that Mark was first to catch, just as an Ombudsman would (thank you again, all was corrected). It is truly fitting that Mark would then bomb out courtesy of the same team he corrected an error on, since Georgia didn’t cover the 14.5 against Missouri. Your services will be welcomed for college basketball onions, too, good sir.
  • (34th) Mark “Those Long, Cold” Winters - Those are all he has to look forward to, now, since he decided to cook with Oklahoma -5. Those ingredients were expensive and going out of season. And you put your entire grocery budget on them. Get that fire crackling in the fireplace, Mark, so you can get toasty while watching the final weeks’ drama play out from the sidelines.

Your Leaderboard Heading Into Week 11