The Super Bowl bye week is the worst. No (real) football and limited gambling options make for a boring January weekend. I don’t hate myself enough to bet on the Pro Bowl, and I don’t know anybody willing to take the North in the Senior Bowl. The best way for you to put some money at risk this weekend to start up a Puppy Bowl Pool.

Dozens of shelter puppies will take place in eighth installment of Animal Planet’s Super Bowl counterprogramming. The starting lineup features 20 of the dogs we’ll see, and once again, there’s not a bulldog or corgi to be seen. Much less the elusive bullcorgi (we’re getting so close), the Britishest of all potential hybrid dog brees. However, there are a some pretty chill puppies.

I’m suggesting that people find three friends willing to put up an entrance fee to draft a team of five dogs. Whoever’s dog wins the Puppy Bowl MVP gets half of the money. The other half goes to the owner of the viewer’s choice. Draft well, and you can go for the scoop. Last year one dog did all of the work by himself.

/checks math

I don’t know why the website doesn’t reveal all of the dogs that participated back when they filmed this thing, but oh well. Let’s just assume that the winner will come from the starting lineup. After all, nobody is going to vote for the John Beck of puppies.

Continue after the jump for some puppies to target in your draft.

Abilene the Australian Shepherd

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

Calvin the Dachshund

Calvin? No no no. I will call you Hidaldo. Also, that’s not a dachshund. Pretty awesome whiskers though.

Eurika the Chihuahua/Terrier Mix

It’s always wise to have at least one scruffy puppy on your roster. Eurika is scruffy and approachable, as opposed to Leroy Brown, who looks like he slept in a dumpster last night.

Hunter the Boxer

Boxer puppies tend to be playful and outgoing, plus they never have any idea how much stronger they are than smaller dogs. I really hope Hunter fucks up some rat terrier’s whole day in there.

Lucie the Pit Bull/Collie Mix

Oh, Lucie. You’ll never win this thing because people are biased against pit bulls, but you’ve won me over. I don’t know why, but I have an overwhelming desire to get you stoned.

***CRITICAL UPDATE***

Thanks to Jim U for alerting me to the expanded starting lineup that features an additional 16 dogs. This changes everything. They did in fact add a corgi mix. Of course they also added two more rat terriers, bringing the total to four. Please people, spay or neuter your rat terrier immediately. We do not need any more of these dog-like things running around. Keep an eye out for York the Basset Hound mix, Portia the Corgi mix, Montana the Rottweiler/Collie mix, and my new overwhelming favorite…

Salem the Boxer/Lab mix. Andrew Luck has nothing on Salem.