Friday, December 31, 2010

Standings, 1/1

Happy New Year's to everyone.

Yesterday was an absolute bloodbath, with only one contestant, Andy Watson, picking 3 of 4 games correctly. On the flip side, a whole bunch of people went 0 for 4. There wasn't a ton of movement in the standings, but Kyle Seymour did manage to sneak into first place with well-timed Notre Dame-21 and Florida State-32 picks.

Briefly, because I'm tired, the Magnificent Currys are leading Family Time, the Eric(k)s are just slightly ahead of the females, Spike is leading Tom Cowell by 2 points (they're in 42nd and 43rd, respectively), the New School has a commanding lead over the Old School, Kyle Seymour, Shane Ryan, Sean Marshall, Richard Sarver, and Andy Watson have the best records at 13-9, while Dan Mooney is alone on the Schneid at 6-16.

The Health Report, based on points and PPR, and then I'm off to bed.

1. Kyle Seymour. Health: 8.0. CURRENT FAVORITE.
2. Mike Curry. Health: 4.5. Projected: 14th
3. Patricia Curry. Health: 4.0. Projected: 16th
4. Phil Kairalla. Health 7.5. Projected: 2nd
5. Greg Blanco. Health: 7.0. Projected: 4th
6. Alan Shaw. Health: 7.0. Projected: 5th
7. Erik Grell. Health: 5.0. Projected: 13th
8. Shane Ryan. Health: 7.0. Projected: 3rd
9. Dan Ryan. Health: 6.5. Projected: 8th.
10. Sean Marshall. Health: 6.5. Projected: 7th.
11. Richard Sarver. Health: 6.0. Projected: 9th.
12. Brendan Mooney. Health: 7.0. Projected: 6th.
13. Dylan Hulser. Health: 5.5. Projected: 10th.
14. Dave Bragg. Health: 5.5. Projected: 11th.
15. Will Byrum. Health: 4.0. Projected: 17th.

Sleepers: Erik Kallevig, Fred Cacchione, Eric Thomason.

Standings, 12/31

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Standings, Features 12/30

Oh, the horror! I've fallen from 1st to 12th place, and my long-overdue correction came with a disastrous 0-3 Wednesday. Greg Blanco is now our leader with 196 points and a 10-4 record. How quickly things change in this volatile Bowl Season Pool. How quickly hearts are broken.

Feature time.

Assessing the top 15

This is where I use my limited knowledge of statistics and probability to assign a "health rating" to the top 15 players in an attempt to assess their chances of winning the ultimate prize. The main thought behind this is that potential points are good, while actual points are better.

1. Greg Blanco - High points, average PPR (369). Health rating: 7/10
2. Mike Curry - High points, poor PPR (339). Health rating: 4/10
3. Phil Kairalla - High points, poor PPR (354). Health rating: 5/10
4. Alan Shaw - High points, high PPR (394). Health rating: 8/10 CURRENT FAVORITE!
5. Dan Ryan - High points, high PPR (392). Health rating: 8/10
6. Dave Bragg - High points, average PPR (373). Health rating: 6.5/10
7. Richard Sarver - High points, above average PPR (380). Health rating: 7/10.
8. Erik Grell - Above average points, poor PPR (333). Health rating: 3/10
9. Dylan Hulser - Above average points, above average PPR. Health rating: 5.5/10
10. Brendan Mooney - Above average points, high PPR (397). Health rating: 7/10.
11. Kyle Seymour - Above average points, above average PPR (388). Health rating: 6.5/10
12. Shane Ryan - Above average points, extremely high PPR (441). Health rating: 7/10.
13. Patricia Curry - Above average points, awful PPR (313). Health rating: 3/10.
14. Andy Watson - Good points, very high PPR (425). Health rating: 6.5/10.
15. Will Byrum - Good points, above average PPR (386). Health rating: 5/10.

Sleepers: Sean Marshall (23rd), Eric Thomason (29th), Erik Kallevig (34th), Tom Cowell (37th).

The Cream of the Crop

Richard Sarver went 1-2 yesterday, but it was enough to earn him the top spot in the record category. He's now alone at 11-3, a true guru of college football. But 7 others are breathing down his neck at 10-4...

The Schneid Watch

It's thinned out a bit today. 5-9 is the low mark, and it's shared by Emily Radford and Brian Leitten. Well done!

The Day's Biggest Winner

This has to be Andy Watson, who went 3-0 and gained 55 points. With 425 PPR still in the bag, he vaulted up to 14th place.

The Day's Biggest Loser

I didn't actually lose very many points since my priority numbers were all low, but I didn't see anyone else go 0-3 or drop 12 places, so I'll take this one for myself.

Old School v. New School

The New School keeps rolling in 2010. But we'll see who's laughing come January.

Old School Average: 138.4
New School Average: 150.9

Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings

This is the one where we use three contestants to determine whether it's better to make your picks using a coin and a hat, picking by the spread, or relying on random outbursts from teenagers.

In terms of lost points, Helter Skelter probably fared the worst yesterday, dropping a combined 63 on Baylor and Arizona. The random picks giveth, and they taketh away. She's at 7-7, a true coin flipper, while Dave Ryder is at the same mark but with less points. Shouting siblings, meanwhile, continue to tank.

Helter Skelter: 166
Dirty Vegas: 151
Shouting Siblings: 104

Young vs. Old

This is Spike Friedman vs. Tom Cowell, who represent youth and age in the Bowl Pool.

Cowell is one the rise, living the high life in 37th place with 120 points and a lot of PPR, while Spike is in dead last without much hope of making any noise. Age before beauty indeed.

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

Eric(k)s: 423
Toms: 392
Females: 344

The Eric(k)s just keep on rolling, and at least two of them are rolling in PPR. The Toms still have a fighting shot at this one, but the females are in rough shape.

Family Time

Mike Curry's big day keeps them at the top, though the Kairallas are on the prowl and the crazy Ryans have jumped all the way up to third.

Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 357
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 340
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 319
Shane Ryan/Ryder (uncle/nephew): 318
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 312
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 294
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 279
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 272
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 226

After today we'll be over halfway through the games. Update later tonight or tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Standings, Features 12/29

The standings are up after the Iowa and N.C. State upset victories. As predicted, Helter Skelter has fallen back to third, and Shane Ryan has re-taken his rightful place atop the leaderboard.

On to the features.

The Cream of the Crop

Shane Ryan and Richard Sarver have the best records at 10-1. Their picks have been identical to date, with both missing the Hawaii-Tulsa game, and both nailing yesterday's upsets. Their first difference of opinion comes this afternoon, with Ryan taking ECU and Sarver opting for the Maryland T(w)erps.

The Schneid Watch

The Schneid is a busy bus today, with 11 occupants at 4-7: Jim "Benny" Bennett, Tom Cacchione, Jeremy Forsythe, Robin Cohen, Dan Mooney, Brian Smith, Brian Leitten, Steve Ryan, Emily Radford, Jordan Glickson, and John Kairalla.

Together, they could form a really bad football team.

The Day's Biggest Winner

Erik Grell knocked it out of the park yesterday with N.C. State-32 and Iowa-24. We ruled him out after he lost his 34 and 35 picks, but all the sudden that crazy SOB is in 11th place, just 20 points out of the money. He's still suffering in the PPR department, but people are starting to believe. Could 2011 be the year of miracles?

The Day's Biggest Loser

Kyle Seymour lost 31 on West Virginia, while Will Byrum took a 34-point hit on Missouri. Is it possible his UNC background led him to make an anti-State pick in anger?

Old School v. New School

The old school took a big hit with yesterday's upsets, while Grell led the new schoolers back to a 10-point margin.

Old School Average: 99.8
New School Average: 109.1

We're just waiting for the New Year, new schoolers. Get ready to feel the cruel whiplash of stings.

Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings

This is the one where we use three contestants to determine whether it's better to make your picks using a coin and a hat, picking by the spread, or relying on random outbursts from teenagers.

Helter Skelter came back down to Earth yesterday, and is now 6-5 with her coin flips. West Virginia, her alma mater, is the one school she didn't pick from a hat. It was a sentimental choice, and it cost her. She's still scored big on her 6 wins, though, and retains the lead. Dave Ryder continues to prove that picking the favorites based on the spread is not an effective strategy, as he finds himself smack dab in the middle of the pack. Favorites were only 16-17 straight up last year, and they're 5-6 thus far in 2010-11. The shouting siblings strategy, meanwhile, is starting to pay off for Emily Radford, who is only 4-7 but has moved from last to 27th.

Helter Skelter: 155
Dirty Vegas: 98
Shouting Siblings: 93

Young vs. Old

This is Spike Friedman vs. Tom Cowell, who represent youth and age in the Bowl Pool. Spike's apathetic approach has landed him in dead last at 59 points, while Tom Cowell's slow meanderings have relegated him to 70 points and 41st place. Which incompetent gambler will blink first? Or, more appropriately, which one will stop blinking over and over?

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

Eric(k)s: 283
Females: 279
Toms: 250

Oh my! The Eric(k)s have taken the lead! I haven't seen anything like this since Samanthas vs. Theodores vs. Ernestines in 1894!

Family Time

The Currys are UNSHAKEABLE!

Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 277
Shane Ryan/Ryder (uncle/nephew): 265
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 255
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 245
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 229
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 211
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 194
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 177
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 165

More updates later...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Standings, Features, 12/27

The worst has happened. The person who flipped a coin to make all her picks is leading the pool.

With an Air Force-21 pick, Patricia Curry pulled ahead of perennial fan favorite Shane Ryan, who was more conservative with Air Force-5. Dan Ryan crept ever closer with Air Force-16, while Dave Bragg kept pace in 4th with the same pick. Richard Sarver and Phil Kairalla are tied for 5th to round out the money watch. Kairalla's Air Force-22 pick rocketed him up the leaderboard, while Sarver hung on with Air Force-1 (Obama was not on board).

The good news for fans of non-random picking: Patricia Curry is 6-3 on the year. If we trust in the averages, she should end up near .500, which means she has nowhere to go but down. And even if we allow for flukey happenings, her PPR is the lowest in the field at 406. We might be seeing Helter Skelter at her absolute peak, and it's a long climb down. But then again, they don't call her Helter Skelter because she's predictable.

Let's get to the features.

The Cream of the Crop

This is the feature formerly known as the "Undefeated Club" where we honor the players with the best record. Today's CotC is only two-deep: Shane Ryan and Richard Sarver, who are alone at 8-1. We are currently drinking expensive champagne in our clubhouse and discussing which traits are most annoying in a butler.

The Schneid Watch

At 3-6, we honor the following Schneiders: Slim Jim Bennett, Robin Cohen, Emily Radford, and Jordan Glickson. They are currently sipping purified gasoline in their trailer home and discussing which traits are most annoying in a probation officer.

The Day's Biggest Winner

Dan Mooney is the big winner today. He took Air Force-29 and laughed all the way to the a fighter plane.

The Day's Biggest Loser

Robin Cohen is the sad recipient of this award, opting for Georgia Tech's one-dimensional offense to the tune of 23 points. She was last seen writing an angry letter to Yellowjacket coach Paul Johnson informing him of the invention of the forward pass.

Old School v. New School

These are the second year players against the newcomers. And let me tell you, it is HEATING UP.

Old School Average: 95.0
New School Average: 97.4

What's that I smell? Is that panic? Are the new-schoolers getting scared? We are sharks, new-schoolers. We've been here before.

Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings

This is the one where we use three contestants to determine whether it's better to make your picks using a coin and a hat, picking by the spread, or relying on random outbursts from teenagers. With Helter Skelter in first place, the leader here should come as no surprise. It is good to flip coins.

Helter Skelter: 155
Dirty Vegas: 98
Shouting Siblings: 79

Young vs. Old

Even though we have a younger competitor, feedback from the fans has indicated that the Spike vs. Tom Cowell rematch is what everybody has come to see. Sorry, Jacob. Spike will represent the youth of America, even if you happen to be youthier.

Fittingly, Spike and Tom Cowell are in 42nd and 43rd place out of 43, respectively. But Spike, who spent Christmas opening expensive presents and scowling at his parents because they expected him to be grateful, has 59, while Tom Cowell, who sleeps with a musket under his pillow, has 55. Youth is ascendant.

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

Two females are on the Schneid with the worst record possible, but somehow their team is still winning. The once-proud Toms and Eric(k)s are now reduced to shame.

Females: 258
Toms: 220
Eric(k)s: 218

Family Time

The Currys are still out on top. When Mike fell down the leaderboard, Patricia picked up his slack. What a supportive couple! And hey, watch out for the Mooneys...they've left the Cacchiones and Cowell/Fisch in the dust, and now they've got their sights set on McLaughlin/Moore.

Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 261
Shane Ryan/Ryder (uncle/nephew): 239
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 230
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 228
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 219
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 202
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 194
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 157
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 147

Fan Favorite

Today's fan favorite is Andy Watson. With a respectable 5-4 record, Andy is nonetheless near the bottom of the leaderboard with only 72 points. However, his PPR is a sky-high 511, meaning there's an awful lot of potential in 36th place. He's kind of like Michael Jordan back when he got cut from his high school team. He may be laid low now, but watch out!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Standings 12/27

Unbelievable game! Toledo scores and goes for a risky two-point conversion to take a 1-point lead over FIU with 1:30 left. On the next drive, FIU faces a 4th and 17 near midfield and converts on a hook-and-ladder play with a controversial spot. They go on to make a field goal as time expired for the win. Incredible.

Shane Ryan maintains his lead, while Helter Skelter, aka Patricia Curry, nails FIU-34 to shoot up to second. The day's biggest loser was Steve Ryan, who had Toledo-27. Erik Grell was the day's other big winner with FIU-33.

The Currys re-took the lead in Family Time, Females now lead Eric(k)s and Toms, Old Men lead Young Men 147-122, and the first-years are beating the second-years with an average of 90-86.

Bowl Season is heating up! More thorough update coming on Tuesday morning.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Standings, 12/25

Quick one today.

-No more undefeateds left. All remaining picked Hawaii.
-Ryan/Ryder still winning Family Time.
-Old school moves to within 3 of the new school, 82-85.
-Biggest loser is Jeremy Forsythe, with 35 on Hawaii.
-Biggest winner is Emily Radford, with 35 on Tulsa.
-Only 7 contestants picked Tulsa.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Standings, 12/24

San Diego State just rolled a mind-numbingly conservative Navy team, so here are the standings on the eve of Christmas Eve day.

I remain your fearless leader, undefeated and unmatched. You'll notice that there's now a 'Max Possible' category, which is the total points each player could score if the rest of his or her picks were perfect. Credit to Dan Ryan for this idea, the insidious uncle who snuck up to 2nd place tonight. I haven't seen an uncle this untrustworthy since Claudius, AM I RIGHT?

Tough crowd. On to the features!

The Undefeated Club

Will Byrum, Kyle Seymour, and Sean Marshall cast their lot with the Naval Academy tonight, and now they're out to sea. (I'm really sorry, but I can't stop making stupid jokes.) The undefeated club now consists of 5 stalwarts:

Shane Ryan (HOO-rah!), Richard 'Sarge' Sarver, Greg Blanco, Dan Ryan, and Fred Cacchione.

The Day's Biggest Winner

This goes to John Kairalla, whose SDSU-31 pick sent him rocketing up to 7th place. I've never met John, but I'm really curious about how to pronounce his last name. The coolest way would be "Kuh-RYE-uh." The second coolest way would be "Kay-RALL-uh." The least cool way? "Farve."

The Day's Biggest Loser

This one goes to the unfortunate Jacob Kresovich, who believed in the Midshipmen to the tune of 33 points. But at least one of us is patriotic.

Old School v. New School

These are the second year players against the newcomers. The old-schoolers took a step in the right direction tonight, but they're still trailing by a significant margin.

Old School Average: 77.1
New School Average: 84.5

The Schneid Watch

Emily Radford is no longer alone! With his Navy pick, Erik Grell joins her at 2-4. Is it any coincidence that their initials are "ER" and "EG," which both sound like noises you make when things aren't going well?


Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings

This is the one where we use three contestants to determine whether it's better to make your picks using a coin and a hat, picking by the spread, or relying on random outbursts from teenagers. It's a tight one, but for the first time all year, fightin' Dave Ryder has taken a lead.

Dirty Vegas: 88
Helter Skelter: 82
Shouting Siblings: 44

Young vs. Old

Crazy news, folks: Spike is not actually the youngest contestant. It came to my attention today that Jacob Kresovich is actually the youngest at 21 years of age. But the Spike (25) vs. Tom Cowell (77) battle has so captured the nation's attention that it can't be abandoned now. Instead, we'll make this a tag-team fight. Spike and Jacob will join forces for the youngsters, and Tom Cowell will join up with the second-oldest contestant. At the moment, I believe that to be Tom Fisch, who is 64. But I could be wrong. If we have anyone who trumps 64, let me know. Until then, this new wrinkle has vaulted the old-timers into first place.

Old: 147
Young: 96

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

Toms: 214
Females: 187
Eric(k)s: 178

The females have struck a mighty blow to the Eric(k)s, and now they have their sights set on the Toms. Caution be damned!

Family Time

Controversy: I've looked deep within my heart, and decided that the bowl pool partnership of me and my girlfriend just wasn't working. It's nothing personal, and I've already explained to her that this should have no bearing on our actual relationship. But I have to look out for my best interests in the bowl pool, and with that in mind I've adopted Dave Ryder, my uncle, to be my new partner in the Family Time feature. This is the hardest part of my job. Thank you all for your support in this difficult time. The fact that our new partnership is immediately in first place somewhat helps to dull the pain of this tough decision.

Shane Ryan/Ryder (uncle/nephew): 215
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 212
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 208
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 204
Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 186
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 165
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 147
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 147
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 129

The Currys have slipped from first to 5th after their disastrous double-Navy pick, while the Ryan brothers and the Kairallas have moved into striking distance of our new leaders.

Fan Favorite

Today's Fan Favorite is Dave "Fort" Bragg. As you may have noticed, I'll now be giving really stupid nicknames to each fan favorite, the annoying kind they've probably heard all their lives and are pretty sick of. It's all part of the game. "Fort" Bragg is today's fan favorite because, after losing his second game of the season and being widely ridiculed in football circles everywhere, he's scratched and clawed his way back to a 5-1 record and third place. Just like the Oregon Ducks, everyone counted him out. But he's back, and he won't be easily defeated. Well done, Fort Bragg.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Standings, 12/23

An incredible 14 people had Boise State as their 35-priority pick, and their instincts were not misplaced. Congrats to Richard, Dan, Kyle, Will, Rob, Tom Cacchione, Tom Fisch, Tom Cowell, Dylan, John, Phil, Robin, Jordan, and Keith for nailing it.

Aside from these guys, a lot of people had the game at 34, and most of those picked Oklahoma over UConn as their 35. Here's how the standings look with Boise St. in the books:

As you see, Shane Ryan is still the leader, and after several hours of research, experts have determined that he'll be nearly impossible to unseat. It might be wise to just pay him the first place money now. We'll take a vote on that shortly.

Feature time.

You Kids Have It Easy

Last year, in a wild and wooly bowl season when favorites were getting treated to hard times by the underdogs on the regular, 16 of 32 entries finished with a record below .500. But so far this year, things are falling out with a bit more predictability. After 5 games, only 4 of 43 entries are below .500. But when the going gets tough, the newcomers better believe we second-years will have an advantage. Surviving that pitiless inaugural year gave us an internal steel you can never match. And believe me, the going will get tough. Speaking of which...

Old School v. New School

I just counted, and there are 21 returning players against 22 newcomers. Let's average it out and see who's got the better form.

Old School Average: 67.9
New School Average: 78.2

That's some typical new school BS. Come out strong, showboat, and play to the crowd. It takes the old schoolers a while to get warm. We'll see what happens when the New Year comes. You know how football teams hold up four fingers when the fourth quarter starts? We hold up a 1 for January 1st.

The Undefeated Club

All 8 members of the undefeated club picked Boise State to win, so the membership remains the same:

Shane Ryan (woo!), Will Byrum, Richard Sarver, Greg Blanco, Dan Ryan, Sean Marshall, Fred Cacchione, and Kyle Seymour.

The Schneid Watch

Poor, poor Emily. She finished last season in 2nd-to-last, and now she's making a run at the Schneid. As one of only two entries to pick Utah (and keep in mind, her picks were actually made by my younger brother and sister who know little of football), she's alone in the basement with a 1-4 record and 25 points.

The "I'm Glad He Already Paid Me" Award

This one goes to Erik Grell. I hate to keep picking on him, but it has not been a great start for Mr. Grell. After losing his 35-priority pick when Ohio fell to Troy, he somewhat inexplicably put 34 points on Utah to beat Boise State. He was the only contestant with knowledge of football to pick Utah to win, and tonight he paid dearly for it. You hate to be negative, but if this was a hospital and you all were the anxious family, I'd be the somber doctor coming out the door. "It doesn't look good."

Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings

This is the one where we use three contestants to determine whether it's better to make your picks using a coin and a hat, picking by the spread, or relying on random outbursts from teenagers. After Boise, the latter took a huge hit.

Helter Skelter: 82
Dirty Vegas: 79
Shouting Siblings: 25

Young vs. Old

Now we pit the youngest contestant, Spike Friedman (25), against the oldest, Tom Cowell (77).

Spike widened his lead slightly with a 34-priority pick of Boise, while Cowell kept pace with a 30 Boise pick. After the victory, Spike showed his youthful disdain for America when he couldn't identify the state where Boise is located. When asked the same question, Cowell responded, "trick question. It's not in a's in the Idaho territory."

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

There's three of each. You know how it works. After Emily and Erik both picked Utah, it's no surprise to learn that the Toms are dining out. But it's neck and neck for second.

Toms: 192
Eric(k)s: 169
Females: 168

Family Time

This is where we see how the pairs of kin are holding up. With two 35-Boise picks, John and Phil Kairalla made a huge move up to a tie for second place. The Currys are holding on by a thread.

Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 186
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 182
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 182
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 176
Shane Ryan/Radford (couple): 140
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 137
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 137
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 125
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 122

Fan Favorite

Today, the fan favorite is none other than Will Byrum. He's yet to surge to first place, but he's hanging steady in second like a persistent biker drafting off the leaders. The man is experiencing no wind resistance, and woe to us when he makes his move.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Standings, 12/22

Here are the updated standings for Wednesday, 12/22. Not that you care, but I've now completely edited the spreadsheet so formulas do most of the work. The chance of human error on calculating records or anything like that should be greatly reduced. I HAVE BECOME A COMPUTER. 1010101111000111!

Note: PPR stands for Potential Points Remaining.

Let's get down to some features.

The Undefeated Club

We're down to 8! Mike Curry, Alan Shaw, and Brendan Mooney were all tempted by the mighty Golden Eagles of Southern Miss, so the list of perfect humans is down to the following:

Shane Ryan (woo!), Will Byrum, Richard Sarver, Greg Blanco, Dan Ryan, Sean Marshall, Fred Cacchione, and Kyle Seymour.

The Schneid Watch

This is where we track the lowest of the low; the folks who clearly don't know the difference between a forward pass and a punt. One contestant close to the Schneid, Tom Cowell, is actually old enough that he still considers the forward pass "showboating." The following folks are pulling up the rear at 1-3:

Emily Radford, Dan Mooney, Jeremy Forsythe

Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings

In this feature, we have a three-way race between three novelty acts:

1) Patricia Curry, aka Helter Skelter, who makes her picks by flipping a coin and chose her priority numbers by picking them from a hat.

2) Dave Ryder, aka Dirty Vegas, who, contrary to what I said in the last post, actually did pick every favorite and assign priority based on the spread.

3) Emily Radford, aka Shouting Siblings, who didn't make her picks on time but begged me to make them anyway, which I did by having my less-than-knowledgeable younger siblings shout out team names and numbers at random.

Here's how it stands:

Helter Skelter: 56
Dirty Vegas: 45
Shouting Siblings: 25

Young vs. Old

Here's where we pit the youngest contestant, Spike Friedman (25), against the oldest, Tom Cowell (77).

After four games, Spike has disrespected his elders and cared only about himself and his fancy clothes to the tune of 17 points (4th-to-last), while a doddering Tom Cowell has mustered only 14 (dead last). Rumor has it that Cowell is still upset that Army's Doc Blanchard was screwed out of another Heisman.

At the moment, youth trumps experience.

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

Pretty self-explanatory. There's three of each, not counting Patricia and her coin-flipping theatrics.

Eric(k)s: 114
Females: 93
Toms: 92

The Eric(k)s hold steady at the top, but the females have made a dramatic move to steal second place from the Toms. They're upsetting the tea cart, folks! The feminist movement lives!

Family Time

We have a new entry I forgot last time, Rob Zehringer and Richard Sarver, who are father/son-in-laws. And they're in second! In related news, my girlfriend is really bringing me down. But the Curry's maintain a big lead with 144, while the Mooneys, huge forces last year, are stuck in the cellar with a tiny window and a daily ration of 8 bread crumbs.

Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 144
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 112
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 112
Shane Ryan/Radford (couple): 109
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 107
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 73
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 68
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 60
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 55

Fan Favorite

This one goes to Phil Kairalla, who is only 2-2 but has already nailed his 32 and 34 picks. That puts him in 7th place, just barely out of the money. He's a little like a baseball player who hits .210, but bashes home runs left and right. Phil doesn't need to hit for average; everyone's still scared of him, and fans love it. They call him Phil the Thrill, and his devil-may-care free-swinging strategy might just be crazy enough to work.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bowl Season, Year 2!

Here we are, my friends, in year 2 of the Bowl Season Pool. The participation numbers have increased from 35 to 43, a stunning 22% growth rate in the span of a single year. If we were a business, we'd be talking about hiring new employees and going public.

A lot of old faces are back this year, and we welcome some new blood as well. Day 1 of Bowl Season is officially in the books, so let's take a look at the first standings of the year:

Now, in the grand tradition of Bowl Season, let's break out the features.

The Undefeated Club

This is a feature that's destined to last only a few days, but we'll ride with it while we can. The undefeated club will exist only as long as at least one contestant has picked each winner correctly. After Saturday's games, the membership of the undefeated club is as follows:

Mike Curry, Shane Ryan, Will Byrum, Greg Blanco, Alan Shaw, Dan Ryan, Sean Marshall, Richard Sarver, Brendan Mooney, Fred Cacchione, and Kyle Seymour.

That's 11 of 43 contestants, for a perfection rate of 25.5%. If we had a computer randomly select winners of each game, we'd expect it to be perfect over a 3-game stretch exactly 12.5% of the time. Which means that our group is twice as smart as a computer. If that's not inspirational, then I don't want to be inspired.

The Schneid Watch

This is the opposite of being undefeated. Here, we track the worst records in the game. While I'm happy to report that nobody went winless after the first three games, we did have several contestants finish at 1-2. They are the current occupants of...The Schneid:

Phil Kairalla, Dylan Hulser, Adam Hammerschmidt, Emily Radford, Dan Mooney, Jeremy Forsythe, Robin Cohen, and Tom Cowell

Congrats to these 8 contenders, but know this: only one can truly rule The Schneid. Emily Radford is the early favorite, having finished second-to-last in 2009-10.

Helter Skelter vs. Shouting Siblings

Last year, Patricia "Helter Skelter" Curry thrilled and delighted audiences all across America by deciding each winner with a flip of a coin, and choosing her priority numbers by picking slips of paper from a hat. This year, the coin and hat were back in action.

Last time, we compared her random tactics to the strategy of Dave Ryder, who picked the favorite in each game and assigned priority based on the spread; higher spread got a higher priority. When all was said and done, Helter Skelter finished 7th and Dave, with his by-the-numbers approach, finished 14th.

This year Dave has learned his lesson, so we can't compare. However, Emily Radford contacted me about ten minutes before picks were due, wanting desperately to be in the pool but lacking the time to fill out a sheet. The obvious solution was to have my brother and sister on the couch behind me shout the winners based on an extremely limited knowledge of college football, and then have them yell "Stop!" as I scrolled up and down the columns, randomly assigning priority numbers one by one.

Long story short: in this section, we'll scientifically determine which strategy is more successful. Is it better to flip a coin, or seek the advice of ignorant children? Here's how it looks early on:

Helter Skelter: 56
Shouting Siblings: 25

Young vs. Old

Last year, Spike Friedman, all of 25, matched up against Tom Cowell, the wily old veteran who boasts 70+ years of existence. Spike held the lead for most of the way, never suspecting that the old codger was playing possum. After trailing for most of the bowl season, Cowell loaded up on metamucil and unleashed a stunning come-from-behind victory after New Year's.

Spike has been spending the last year weeping in his bedroom and writing emo poetry. Now he's back as the youngest competitor, ready to take on Cowell in a no-holds-barred rematch. Did he learn his lesson from last time, or will Cowell outfox him with tricks he learned during the Great Depression? So far, Spike's leading in a nailbiter, 13-12. As with 2009-10, their picks are both very poor.

Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females

In this pool, there are three people named Eric or Erik (Grell, Kallevig, Thomason), three named Tom (Fisch, Cowell, Cacchione), and three females (Megan, Robin, and Emily). It's important to know who wins this strange, vicious battle.

(Note: Patricia is also a female, but since she already has her own feature and since she uses the robot coin flip picking method, we'll rule her out for this one.)

Here's how they stand now:

Eric(k)s: 99
Toms: 87
Females: 65

The ladies have some catching up to do!

The Shane Ryan Memorial Award for the Person Who Lost their 35 Priority Pick on the First Day

This goes to Erik Grell, who wagered 35 on Ohio of all teams. He took a big hit when Troy came through, just like I took a hit when Fresno State took a dive last year. It's a tough world, Erik. Keep on smiling.

Family Time

Certain families or couples are represented more than once, and what could be more fun than pitting them against each other? This one's for pride:

Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 134
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 90
Ryan/Radford (couple): 85
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 80
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 73
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 55
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 65
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 45

Fan Favorite

This one will change day by day. Today's fan favorite is Kyle Seymour. Despite going 3-0 in his first picks, Seymour is dead last in the pool with 6 points. That's because he assigned the lowest possible priority numbers to each. In these economic hard times, the country can appreciate a man who plays it cautious and puts an emphasis on savings. He's a symbol of the new penny-pinching nation, and an icon for the hard times to come.

That is all for today. Next update comes Wednesday after the Louisville-Southern Miss game is in the books.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Final Standings

See you next year!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1/7: We Have a Winner!

Ladies and gentleman of the bowl pool, please rise as one to congratulate the Prince of Predictions, the Swami of the Spreads, the August King of Auguring, the Sultan of Selection, the Pope of Prognostication, the Caliph of Conjecture, and Reigning Poobah of Pigskin Prophecy....Herman "H-Rod" Rodriguez!!!!

(We have no picture of Herman on file, so we're using archival material from the 2009 Yankee World Series celebration.)

Tonight's Alabama-Texas game will be purely cermonial, much like the final Paris stage of the Tour de France, which seems to parallel our pool exactly. Appropriately, Herman will also finish tied for the best record in the pool. This double victory feat shall be henceforth known as "Double Bagging." Tomorrow morning, British urchins will be selling newspapers on the street, yelling out "ey guv, read it 'ere, 'Erman Rodriguez got him the double bag!"

Let's take a glance at some of the other drama around the league.

The Battle of Brothers

This is sort of like doubles tennis; important but not quite so illustrious. And it's still not decided! Let's start from the bottom. The Thomasons had a rough beginning and a respectable ending, but they never had enough steam to make a real run at the top. Ditto for the Forsythes, who also salvaged something from a rough start. The Fisch Brothers, early leaders, fell by the wayside when Joe Fisch stopped carrying his weight and sank down the leaderboard. That leaves two: the Mooneys and the Ryans. Here are the current standings:

The Mooney Brothers: 665 points, average: 332.5
The Ryan Brothers: 649 points, average: 324.5
The Fisch Brothers: 567 points, average: 283.5
The Thomason Brothers: 547 points, average: 273.5
The Forsythe Brothers: 273 points, average: 273

As you can see, the Mooneys have a slight lead. But Brendan "Looney" Mooney went out on a limb and picked Texas to win the title game. With both Ryans having selected Alabama, a Crimson Tide victory would put them over the top. There's still some drama left!

Victory Laps

To Helter Skelter, Patricia Curry, who lost her chance at a title with last night's Central Michigan OT victory, but who won the duel with Mr. By-the-Numbers and can still finish second overall with a Texas victory.

To Tom Cowell, the champion of Old vs. Young. He struck a blow for old-timers everywhere by finishing 23rd in the pool compared to Spike Friedman's 27th. His victory lap will be the sweetest...and slowest.

To Charles Rosen, the Schneid King. Showing his usual flair for incompetence, Charles picked Troy in last night's game, dropping his league worst record to 10-22. Emily Radford, previously in last, vaulted ahead with her CMU selection, and Charles has now officially clinched the cellar.

To my extended gene pool, who now hold spots 4,6,7,8,12,16,23,28,29, and 30 in the rankings, for an overall rating of "average."

To Noah Davis, whose prediction of "America" as the winner of the Central Michigan-Troy game came brilliantly true, earning him a controversial six points and the Fan Favorite title in perpetuity.

In The Money: How It'll Play Out

If Alabama wins...

1) Herman Rodriguez $210
2) Joey Keppel $80
3) Steve Ryan $40

If Texas wins...

1) Herman Rodriguez $210
2) Patricia Curry $80
3) Brendan Mooney $40

Check out the standings below, and thank you to everyone for playing! Roll Tide!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Standings, 1/6

And here we are, ladies and gentlemen, two days away from the end of the first annual College Football Bowl Pool. And what a ride it's been! The standings have sorted themselves out, and we're down to two possible winners. Please give a warm round of applause to:

1) Herman Rodriguez. If Central Michigan wins tonight, first place is his alone. Failing that, he'll still take the whole kit and caboodle with an Alabama win on Thursday.

2) Helter Friggin' Skelter. Who knew? Patricia Curry, the old coin tosser, keeps hanging around, and her wild randomizing tactics gave her Troy-28 and Texas-26 over the next two days. If both of those come true, she'll be flipping hundred dollar bills instead of coins.

On to the long-lost features!

Fan Favorite:

This one goes to Steve Ryan and Tom Fisch. Steve started 0-5 and couldn't even show his face in public without little kids making up mean rhymes about him, but since then he's reeled off an impressive 20-6 streak to surge into sixth place. Now he can't show his face in public because he gets hit with too many flowers and gifts. If Central Michigan and Texas win, he even has a shot at finishing in the money. Tom Fisch held the lead for a long time, and even though he didn't quite have the juice to hang on, the fans appreciate his quiet dignity as he staggers to the end. It's a little bit like Tom Watson in this year's British Open. A great, improbable run that ends with him looking around a bit befuddled and out of place, but the entire effort will be vigorously applauded by appreciative crowds. And then he'll have to run to the bathroom really, really fast.

The Showdown: Helter Skelter vs. Mr-By-The-Numbers

Was there every any doubt? The guy wearing a monocle and a cumberbun who brings an abacus to parties against the wild child kicking open the saloon doors and firing her six-shooters into the air? YOU GOTTA LIVE CRAZY, WORLD. Patricia Curry has an 18-13 record (which, let's be honest, is pretty friggin' fortunate when you're flipping a coin) with 330 points, while Dave Ryder is 14-17 (meaning underdogs are a ridiculous 17-14 straight up, hugely unlucky for someone picking the money line) with 278. This one is officially in the books. But it leaves some lingering questions...what kind of coin did she use? Was heads or tails more effective? Was it truly and completely random? Isn't it very suspicious that she picked her alma mater, West Virginia, as her 32 priority game???? The controversy won't end! Historians will be discussing this one for decades!

The Schneid Watch

At some point about four days ago, the lovely Emily Radford decided that she wanted to be last place. Give her the fame and shame of ignominy over anonymity, she said, six days a week and twice on Sunday. She's fished her wish so far, at least halfway; at 167 points, she's the lowest rung on the standings ladder. But Charles Rosen, not to be outdone, owns the worst record at 10-21, and has a fighting chance to finish last in both categories. If Central Michigan wins tonight, he'll have an iron grip on the Schneid Trophy, which will be named after its first owner.

The Over .500 Club

Herman Rodriguez and Steve Ryan own the best records at 20-11. Joe Keppel and Kyle Seymour sit just below at 19-12. 18-13: Tom Fisch, Patricia Curry. 17-14: Dan Mooney, Gordon Dupuis, Billy M., and Joe Fisch (who deserves special credit for scoring almost none of his high picks. 17-14 and only 230 points? You win the anomaly award!). 16-15 and on the bubble: Jordan Glickson, Jake Berkowitz, Julio McLaughlin, Tim Reale. 15-16 and just outside the front gate, shouting for entrance: Brendan Mooney, Dan Ryan, Jeff Hawkins, Adam Hammerschmidt, Noah Davis, Justin Fisch.

That Battle of the Brothers

Wow, it's been a while! This one of the most exciting features going, as the Mooneys, Dan and Brendan, have an incredibly narrow 4-point edge on the Fightin' Ryans, Steve and Dan. Nothing is decided yet, folks!

Mooney Brothers: 628 points, average: 314
Ryan Brothers: 624 points, average: 312
Fisch Brothers: 562 points, average: 286
Forsythes: 267 points, average: 267
Thomason Brothers: 524 points, average: 262

Young vs. Old

He's done it, folks! Tom Cowell, the valiant senior citizen who wouldn't be kept down, has defeated resident whippersnapper Spike Friedman. Using elbow grease and old-fashioned know-how, he taught a hard lesson to the the head-banging, sub-woofing, blatant society-disrespecting punk who thought the world owed him a favor. When asked about his plans for celebration, Cowell vowed to sleep for four days straight and then tell the three-hour version of his story to family members and complete strangers every day for the rest of his life. At press time, an angst-ridden Spike could be found spray-painting obscenities and anarchy symbols on the underpass of a local bridge.

The Relative Game

Rankings, 1/6: 3,4,6,8,11,16,22,27,28,30
Strength of the gene pool: Very slightly above average!!

That's it for today. See you all tomorrow after Central Michigan-Troy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Standings, 1/5

Friends of the pool,

Sorry for the late update again. The good news is that all internet connectivity problems are resolved, and we're back in business. Starting tomorrow, I'll be updating until Friday with the full roster of features and standings. Today, just standings, which should be fascinating enough.

Herman Rodriguez is our new leader, narrowly edging out Kyle Seymour with a brilliant Boise State-23 pick. One Keppel-bomb was dodged by TCU losing, but he's still very much in the hunt. And guess who's back? HELTER-SKELTER! If Iowa happens to win tonight, she's right back in winner's mix. Except, there's CONTROVERSY! On her prediction sheet, she listed "Iowa St." as the winner of tonight's game. As we know, Iowa St. is not playing. Should we give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she meant Iowa, or should we take the hard line and give her nothing regardless of the outcome??

George: I'm sorry. The card says "Moops."
Bubble Boy: It doesn't matter. It's the Moors. There's no "Moops."
George: It's "Moops."
Bubble Boy: Moors.
George: "Moops!"
Bubble Boy: Moors.

See you all tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Standings, 1/4

Hello, my friends. Apologies for the lateness, but there have been some internet issues at home which prevent me from easily e-mailing myself the various spreadsheets. The standings today will not look as pretty as in the past, and will not include PPR, but I'm hoping those issues will be resolved by tomorrow. So, here's how it played out after that Michigan State - Texas Tech game:

Kyle Seymour 339
Tom Fisch 332
Brendan 328
Herman 322
Joe Keppel 313
Dan Ryan 302
Dan Mooney 300
Jordan Glickson 298
Kevin Francke 286
Jeff Hawkins 279
Eric Thomason 279
Steve Ryan 278
Dave Ryder 278
Adam Hammerschmidt 272
Gordon Dupuis 268
Patricia Curry 267
Julio McLaughlin 265
Forsythes 260
Tim Reale 250
Billy M. 246
Jake Berkowitz 245
Brian Leitten 241
Justin Fisch 231
Tom Cowell 229
Noah Davis 220
Nick Thomason 220
Joe Fisch 217
Spike Friedman 216
Nate Purinton 210
Me 191
Charles Rosen 176
Emily Radford 167

The big news, as you can see, is that Kyle Seymour is our new leader. Unfortunately, it will be very, very difficult for him to hang on to this position over the last four games. The fan favorite and the odds-on winner at this point is, believe it or not, Joe Keppel. Although he's only in fifth place, he has over 100 PPR in his last four games. If the results go as expected (TCU, Central Michigan, Alabama), it will be tough for anyone to hold him off. If the year of the upset continues, though, it's anybody's game!

Back to the features and everything tomorrow when the internet stuff is sorted out. Welcome back to the world of work, bowlers. Boise State - TCU tonight.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Standings 1/2: All but Mich. St. - Texas Tech

Title says it all, that last game is not yet in the books. Tom Fisch is hanging on to a narrow lead while Kyle Seymour absolutely storms up the leaderboard. It's anyone's game!

Update tomorrow with end-of-weekend standings.

Standings, 1/2

This is after the South Florida and UConn wins. Does NOT take into account the Ole Miss win yet, nor the two night games. Tightening up! Kyle Seymour surging! Jordan Glickson will not go away! Herman Rodriguez has PPR to spare! Tom Fisch holding the lone wolf faltering????

Friday, January 1, 2010

Standings 1/1: All Games Completed

I'm assuming a Florida win here, even though it's only halftime. If Cincy comes back, I officially cancel the pool because it'll be too hard to correct the points.

Brendan Mooney coming on strong! Tom Fisch maintains his big lead, though. See you tomorrow.

Standings 1/1: Pre-Rose Bowl

This doesn't take into account the Rose Bowl or Florida-Cincinnati. Tom Fisch continues to run away with the thing!

Standings 1/1

These are prior to any New Year's Day games. Will try to update at different points today. Happy 2009!