Archive for the Sports category

Mike

ICH Reminder: Preakness Stakes

Sports No Comment

Don’t forget to make your picks for Ice Cream Helmet Horse Racing Picks. The Preakness is on Saturday. Pick the order you think the 13 horses will finish.

Make your picks! (After you log in you will be able to make picks.)

Mike

Horse Racing Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Sports No Comment

The Kentucky Derby is on Saturday so its time again for Horse Racing Picks. Same deal as last year. Pick how you think the entire field will finish and get points based on correct picks and how close you are. Create your own groups and compete against your friends. No friends? I’m sorry, you can still make picks and your score will help your ICH ranking.

Horse Racing Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Mike
Mike

College Basketball Tournament Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Sports No Comment

I realize that most posts recently have been about Ice Cream Helmet. That’s because that’s what I’ve spent a lot of my time working on over the past few weeks.

This time I’m announcing College Basketball Tournament Picks for 2008. This marks 1 year since the launch of Ice Cream Helmet since the 2007 Tournament Picks was the very first game.

Similar to last years game. You can make your ICH picks, which count toward your ICH score. Or you can join or create your own group. Custom groups let you set the scoring for each round. As I found last year, everyone has their own preference.

One change from last year is that I got rid of the idea of Default Picks. It seemed they were too confusing. This year you have to make picks for each group you belong to. However, on the page where you make your picks for each group there is the option to copy your picks from another group. I’ve found people like to do different brackets for different groups. This way lets you do that. If you are like me and always use the same ones, its easy to copy from group to group. If you have a suggestion on how to improve this process, just let me know in the comments.

Join the Borderline Fantastic group. Anyone can join, no password needed.

College Basketball Tournament Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Mike

Baseball Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Sports No Comment

Baseball Picks was my first idea that led to the creation of Ice Cream Helmet. That was last year. Now Baseball Picks is back for its second season. Not much has changed on the surface, I learned quite a bit behind the scenes.

The idea is fairly simple, pick who will win each baseball series during the season. Most series are 3 games, so which ever team wins the majority of those games (2 or 3) wins the series. If you’re curious there are 780 series during the season. I thought series would be a better pick than games, there are 2,430 of those.

Join the Borderline Fantastic group. Anyone can join, no password needed.

Baseball Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Mike

I’m not scared of you Johan

Sports No Comment

I’m trying to keep an open mind when it comes to the Johan Santana trade.

-The Mets had to give up 4 of their Top 10 prospects. This will hurt them down the road. Although I’d be much happier if they threw in Fernando Martinez as well.
-They are going to pay him a ton. Although being in New York and having a new stadium next year, this isn’t an issue.
-Santana only went 15-13 last year. I guess you could argue that the Twins weren’t as good as last year.

Of course I’d want Santana on my team. Problem is, my team is the Phillies. We would never get him. We don’t have the talent in the system to make a trade like that. If we gave him a contract like that we wouldn’t sign anyone else. Then how would we sign guys like Adam Eaton and Pedro Feliz?

Alright, I’m a little scared. Are you ready for the Santana/Hamels rivalry?

Mike

College Football Bowl Pickem on Ice Cream Helmet

Sports No Comment

This week I launched Bowl Pickem on Ice Cream Helmet. The standard game which counts toward your ICH Score uses confidence rankings. Rank all the bowl games 1-32.

If you wish to create your own group confidence rankings can be used or if you wish to use wager points or just straight up 1 point per bowl game.

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl is the first bowl and is on Thursday. Get started on your picks!

College Football Bowl Picks on Ice Cream Helmet

Mike

Versus is Good, I Swear

Sports No Comment

I’ve been slacking on the List posts the past few weeks. This one deserves its own: Versus.

It made The List previously (when it was called Bandwagon Jumping) thanks to a couple of Pac-10 upsets that were on the channel. I also appreciate the channel because ESPN did a terrible job at hockey and really didn’t care about it. The NHL is Versus’ #1 priority. The only thing better would be to have The NHL Network.

This week on Tuesday I happened to flip on Versus and found two shows that I think I’ll be back for next week.

Hockey Central
Sorry, a few minutes of Barry Melrose on SportsCenter does not satisfy my hockey needs. I also usually miss it because I’ve changed the channel because they are talking about the NFL or something else that I really don’t care to hear any more about. Now Hockey Central is no NHL2Night with John Buccigross. Still its a lot of hockey highlights and hockey talk that I could definitely use more of. Besides the big name players and the Flyers I don’t know all that much. Out of the professional leagues the NHL is only behind baseball in my order of preference. I just know more about the NFL and NBA because you can’t avoid seeing all the news stories about them. They also do live look-ins.

Now I only got to see the last few minutes, but I think I will at the very least add it to my DVR for next week. I can’t really be sure because the Versus site is terrible but it looks like Hockey Central is on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9:30 or 10, depending on the game on before it.

Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller
This show got some press when it was announced. I didn’t really care. Dennis Miller? What was his last show on, CNBC? Whatever it was I tried to watch it once or twice, but couldn’t. I did enjoy Dennis Miller Live, when I did get to see it. I thought he was a good choice for Monday Night Football. I turned out to be wrong.

The show was on after Hockey Central. He opened with an AJ Feeley joke, so I gave him a shot. Turns out he does a whole monologue of sports related jokes. A lot of them are even funny, who knew. He doesn’t go too crazy with his historical references. Well, for me at least. He might go with more sports history, which I don’t really notice. The real history stuff I notice because I will not understand about half of what he is saying.

Its a lot like Dennis Miller Live, he does the monologue and then goes into his rant, which was about all the sports figures getting into trouble. His guests were Michael Irvin and Denny McClain, pretty solid for a show I wasn’t even aware was airing yet and related to the topic very well. After that he does the week in pictures, also right from his old show and still solid. He had on Bob Costas, who wasn’t terrible. He had some guy go try bull riding, seems like he’s going to try stupid things each week. We’ll see about that segment. He ends talking to some guy in Vegas about his picks for the week. Drop that segment right away.

I was at least able to find a half decent show schedule for this one on the site. Tuesdays at 10 or 10:30 are new episodes and the replays run throughout the week. They might be on to something with this show. I can’t think of anything else like it.

Mike

College Football Undefeated/Winless – Week 9

Sports No Comment

South Florida lost @ Rutgers 30-27.
Colorado State won @ UNLV 48-23.

One team fell from the list in each category last week. Colorado State easily handled UNLV. South Florida couldn’t quite take out Rutgers. This week all but one of the undefeated teams plays a 1 or 2 loss team. Things are

Toughest Games for Undefeated Teams: Arizona State (California), Boston College (@ Virginia Tech), Ohio State (@ Penn State)
Best Chance to Stay Undefeated: Hawaii (New Mexico State)
Best Chance at a Win: Marshall (Rice), Utah State (Louisiana Tech)

Undefeated

Arizona State (7-0, 4-0)
Last Week: Off
This Week: California (5-2)
Look out for: California (Saturday, 5-2), @ Oregon (11/3, 6-1), @UCLA (11/10, 5-2), USC (11/22, 6-1)

Boston College (7-0, 3-0)
Last Week: Off
This Week: @ Virginia Tech (6-1) on Thursday
Look out for: @ Virginia Tech (Thursday, 6-1), @ Clemson (11/17, 5-2)

Hawaii (7-0, 4-0)
Last Week: Off
This Week: New Mexico State (4-4)
Look out for: Boise State (6-1)

Kansas (7-0, 3-0)
Last Week: W 19-14 @ Colorado
This Week: @ Texas A&M (6-2)
Look out for: @ Texas A&M (Saturday, 6-2), Missouri (11/24, 6-1)

Ohio State (8-0, 4-0)
Last Week: W 24-17 vs Michigan State
This Week: @ Penn State (6-2)
Look out for: @ Penn State (10/27, 6-2), Wisconsin (11/3, 6-2), @ Michigan (11/17, 6-2)

Winless

Florida International (0-7, 0-3)
Last Week: L 28-14 @ Louisiana-Monroe
This Week: @ Arkansas (4-3)
Best Chance: Louisiana-Lafayette (11/17, 1-7), North Texas (12/1, 1-6)

Marshall (0-7, 0-3)
Last Week: L 33-24 vs Southern Miss
This Week: Rice (1-6)
Best Chance: Rice (Saturday, 1-6), UAB (11/24, 2-5)

Utah State (0-7, 0-3)
Last Week: L 31-28 vs Nevada
This Week: Louisiana Tech (2-5)
Best Chance: Louisiana Tech (Saturday, 2-5), @ Idaho (11/24, 1-7)

Mike

The Computer Polls

Sports No Comment

The individual computer polls don’t seem to get a whole lot of attention. I’ve never been able to figure out why this is. Here are some links of where to find each one. I’ve also included their #1 and where Hawaii is ranked.

Anderson & Hester
#1 Arizona State
Hawaii: #31
On the main page of this site there is a quote: “The most accurate computer rankings.” Who made this bold statement? It’s credited to the Pac-10 Conference. Yes, the whole conference. I wonder why?
I like the bullets on the ranking page. The best team an undefeated team has played? Purdue, who is ranked #28 on these rankings. They also justify Hawaii’s ranking, since their schedule is ranked #119.

Richard Billingsley

#1 Ohio State
Hawaii: #33
Based on the information given in the rankings it looks like this one accounts for the current ranks when teams play each other. I have no idea if that’s true, but why else would it be included on the list.

Colley Matrix
#1 LSU
Hawaii: #29
I’m not sure how I feel about a team with a loss being #1. Actually I do, I don’t like it.

Kenneth Massey
#1 Boston College
Hawaii: #68
First, there is a list, but no rank identified. I can to count.
It points out that margin of victory does not count, I like that.
Down the page there are some interesting stats: Best Conferences, Least Likely Outcomes, Largest Margin of Victory, Most Total Points, and least Total Points in a game. If you’re curious the most unlikely 1A game: Wyoming beating Virginia. The list includes all divisions so that one is #4 overall, the App St game is #8.

Jeff Sagarin
#1 Boston College
Hawaii: #52
I’ve been checking out Sagarin’s rankings for a long time. He has them for just about every sport. He has two rankings: with and without margin of victory. The one he sends to the BCS is without margin of victory.

Peter Wolfe
#1 Boston College
Hawaii: #17
This one also has conference rankings and biggest upsets. #1 upset is App St over Michigan, Notre Dame over UCLA is #2, and the perviously mentioned Wyoming over Virginia isn’t in the top 10.

I’d like to follow these throughout the year and find out a little more about each one.

Mike

Rankings: Humans vs Computers

Sports No Comment

I was looking at the Complete BCS Rankings on ESPN and started looking how the computer rankings were looking. If I’m reading this correctly these would be the computer only rankings from the BCS. Overall BCS Ranking in parenthesis.

1. Boston College (2)
2. LSU (3)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Arizona State (4)
5. South Florida (10)
6. Virginia (15)
7. Kansas (9)
8. Virginia Tech (8)
9. Oregon (5)
10. West Virginia (7)
10. Florida (11)
12. Kentucky (14)
13. Missouri (13)
14. Oklahoma (6)
15. South Carolina (16)
16. Auburn (22)
16. Connecticut (23)
18. ???
19. Michigan (20)
20. Georgia (18)
21. USC (12)
22. Alabama (24)
23. ???
24. ???
25. ???

27. California (21)
29. Penn State (25)
Not Ranked: Hawaii (17), Texas (19)
The empty spots are teams that were not in the BCS Top 25.

I always side with the computer polls because they shouldn’t have any bias. Looking at these, there is some bias toward mid-majors. Hawaii is undefeated, that should qualify for being in the Top 25 of more than one computer poll. If they saw undefeated that would include a win over Boise State. With other teams losing along the way that has to climb them up into the Top 12.

Here are the large disparities between the Computer and Final BCS rankings. Note that the computer is a third of that BCS score.

Computers have them 5 spots or more better:
South Florida
Virginia
Auburn
Connecticut

Humans have them 5 spots or more better:
Oklahoma
USC
California
Hawaii
Texas

What jumps out is that all but one team that the computers like better is not a very big name (Auburn) and all but one (Hawaii) that the humans like better are consistent powerhouses. This is exactly why the human polls need to be cut out of the process or given a little guidance. The point needs to be driven home that what a team has done in any other year previous to the current one doesn’t matter. There should not be any preseason rankings released from any of the major polls. All they do is screw up the polls the rest of the year. If the fans are desperate to see some preseason rankings then pick up one of the hundreds of magazines put out each year or find some new sites to read on the web.