Gang, Brendan Mooney just keeps on winning. It's kind of disheartening, if you really hate Brendan Mooney the way I do. Haha! Just kidding! I've only met him once and he seemed nice.*
*But seriously, I hate that guy.
Quick features today since I'm finally back at home and tired from plane travel.
The Health Report
As I've said before, points on the board are better than potential points, but it's kind of fun to take a look at the top 10 in the "Max Potential" category. That score reflects what each player would get if their last 4 picks play out perfectly. Here's the top 10:
1. Brendan Mooney - 522 - Actual place #1
2. Eric Thomason - 453 - Actual place #14
3. Greg Blanco - 447 - Actual place #2
4. Dan Ryan - 443 - Actual place #3
5. Phil Kairalla - 441 - Actual place #7
6. Shane Ryan - 440 - Actual place #21
7. Fred Cacchione - 432 - Actual place #15
8. Megan Tateishi - 424 - Actual place #12
9. Jeremy Forsythe - 422 - Actual place #20
10. Andy Watson - 420 - Actual place #16
Other than the top 3 in the real pool, who are also in the top 4 here, the two top 10s look pretty different. We can still expect a lot of movement, and hopefully some of it comes from me. If I win the rest of my games, I'll roar from 21st place to 2nd and laugh all the way to the bank.
That being said, the second highest PPR, belonging to Eric Thomason, is only 27 points above Brendan Mooney's actual score. Which means, at the risk of ruining any drama, that Brendan's LSU-29 pick in Friday night's Cotton Bowl could put him over the threshold and seal the deal. And even if they don't win, it will take a miracle for anyone to unseat him. In fact, I bet if we looked at a process of elimination type thing with point differential between his picks and the other leaders, we could find that he's already clinched, but I'm just not going to do that kind of leg work. For all intents and purposes, though, the race for $300 cold cash is over.
That has to be satisfying for Mooney, who came a Texas win away from finishing 3rd and in the money last year, and also saw a Family Time (called 'Battle of the Brothers back then) victory slip away at the last moment as well. More on that later.
Luckily, the race for the money spots, #2-#5, is still fairly wide open.
The Cream of the Crop
The best record in the game still belongs to Dan Ryan at 21-10. Hot on his trail at 20-11 are Brendan Mooney, Mike Curry, Andy Watson, and Shane Ryan.
The Schneid Watch
Robin Cohen is holding on to the lead at 11-20, but Dan Mooney has crept to within one game at 12-19. Emily Radford, who finished second-to-last a year ago, is currently dead last points and close to Robin at 13-18 overall.
Old School v. New School
New school all the way.
Old School Average: 306.2
New School Average: 322.1
Helter Skelter vs. Dirty Vegas vs. Shouting Siblings
DAYYYSSSSS GO BY, AND STILL HE DREAMS OF YOU...DAYSSSS WHEN HE COULDN'T LIVE HIS LIFE WITHOUT YOUUUU....
(Nobody will get this reference.)
Dirty Vegas: 333
Helter Skelter: 292
Shouting Siblings: 205
Young vs. Old
Spike's not out of this one yet! Youth is hope!
Tom Cowell: 249
Spike Friedman: 244
Eric(k)s vs. Toms vs. Females
The Eric(k)s creep closer...
The Ryan Brothers, last year's Family Time winners, have moved all the way up to 2nd! The Mooneys CANNOT like to see that! And this calls to mind some interesting history. Last year, these same two pairs of brothers were battling for supremacy. The Mooneys had a slight lead going into the final game, Texas vs. Alabama. Both Ryans picked Alabama, but Brendan Mooney went out on a limb and took Texas. The Tide victory put the Ryans over the top, and the Mooneys have been bitter ever since. Dan Mooney clearly has not recovered from the emotional shock, going 12-19 this year, but Brendan Mooney set out to work harder than ever and is carrying their team to a possible title. Can he finish strong, or will he choke it away again? Can his brother Dan ever forgive him for last year?
And uh-oh, who's that lurking in 4th? Shane and his new partner, Dave! Looks like dropping my girlfriend might have paid off after all. This is still anyone's game.
Mooney (Brendan & Dan, brothers): 695
Ryan (Dan & Steve, brothers): 670
Kairalla (John & Phil, father/son): 660
Shane Ryan/Ryder (uncle/nephew): 651
Cacchione (Fred & Tom, father/son): 650
Curry (Mike & Patricia, husband/wife): 643
Zehringer/Sarver (father/son-in-law): 638
McLaughlin/Moore (cousins): 616
Cowell/Fisch (father/son-in-law): 584
Last Year vs. This Year
We're evolving, albeit slowly, as a bowl picking civilization.
Last year: 51.4% picking success rate, 54.1% point conversion rate
This year: 53.0% picking success rate, 56.3% point conversion rate
More updates tomorrow after LSU-A&M.