Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Top Ten of 2012

Honorable Mentions

Predicting My Own Death

Relationship Advice

Illini Go 10-0

True Story

Non-Sports Brackets







10. Mark Fever
Mark came to town.

9. Lyrical Analysis of Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Baseball coverage!

8. Fantasy Football and Advanced Probability
I had to break out some real maths for this one.

7. Revamped NFL Logos
Collected a bunch of interesting logos.

6. Essay: Miracle That Almost Wasn't
Short piece about the Miracle on Ice

5. Curling Championship Run
Our 4-0 season capped off by losing on the last shot.

4. Fixing NHL Math
I have lots of good ideas.

3. Avalanche OT Winner In Person
I'm Landeskoging right now.

2. Fixing the Electoral College
I seriously have too many good ideas.


...and what defined 2012 more than any other blog post...?
Number One

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fantasy Football Trophies

We've been handing out fantasy football trophies for six years now. But it's not the same trophy every year. Each trophy you win, you level up. Let me show you.


LEVEL 1


















This is the first trophy you collect. 5" Runner Male on white base.

Owners:
Mark 2006
Dave 2007
Harlan 2010
Mac 2014

LEVEL 2




















After that you get the 5 1/2" Receiver on white base.


Owners:
Dave 2008*
Mark 2009

*= earned but never ordered, so I don't actually own this. 

LEVEL 3




















Now we're in rare territory. The 5" Jr. Runner on white base.


Owners:
Mark 2011


Here's a picture of levels 1-3, the highest in-hand to date.






LEVEL 4

Unprecedented. We ran out of white base trophies. So now it's...



















The 5" runner on black marble. Holy shit.


Owners:
Mark 2012

At this rate, Mark will complete level 6 before anyone else gets to level 2. And that's a problem because I don't know what level 7 is, but I'm guessing it starts getting more expensive.



Here are the links for future reference:

White Marble Trophies

Black Marble Trophies

Thursday, December 27, 2012

BCS 2012-2013: 2-team, 4-team, 8 team playoffs


Actual 2012-2013 BCS Schedule
Rose: Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs Stanford (Pac-12)
Orange: Northern Illinois (non-AQ) vs Florida State (ACC)
Sugar: Louisville (Big East) vs Florida (At-Large)
Fiesta: K-State (Big 12) vs Oregon (At-Large)
Championship: #1 Notre Dame (indy) vs #2 Alabama (SEC)

4-Team Playoff
The new system won't be based on computer rankings but rather an independent committee. So I can't presume to know what they would pick. However, I found this interesting article from SI that mocked the process. And although they went against the rankings in not having K-State in their top 8 under consideration, their final four went exactly as the BCS has them:

Semifinal #1: Notre Dame (1) vs Oregon (4)
Semifinal #2: Alabama (2) vs Florida (3)
Championship: tbd

8-Team Playoff 

This is my Fymbo Formula 1.1a, based on BCS rankings, restricting each conference to maximum two teams, and including at least one non-BCS team if they are in the top 12.

January 1st
Fiesta: #1 Notre Dame (indy) vs #8 Florida State (ACC)
Sugar: #2 Alabama (SEC) vs #7 Oklahoma (At-Large)
Orange: #3 Florida (At-Large) vs #6 Stanford (At-Large)
Rose: #4 Oregon (Pac-12) vs #5 Kansas State (Big 12)

January 12th

Semifinal #1: Notre Dame vs Oregon/K-State
Semifinal #2: Alabama vs Florida/Stanford

Championship: tbd


- - -

Is the 4-team an improvement from the current schedule? I say yes. Perhaps a small one, but I think it's better. It's certainly not a downgrade. I think there are enough doubters about ND, that forcing them to play Oregon is a good thing. And Alabama and Florida both had one loss. So why not let them duke it out?

What about the 8-team? It's pretty similar to the 4-team. Though because the BCS rankings are so SEC-heavy, I had to dig down deep to find Oklahoma and Florida State--they probably don't deserve a shot at the title. But if we assume they lose, now it's a 6 team field with a chance for Stanford and K-State to prove they belong. Not a bad thing in my book.

In the end I'm happy that the 4-team playoff will be coming our way and I'm not too sad about the 8-team being too impractical for now.

Embracing the 4-Team Playoff

I looked at this last year, but I think that I was too hung up on not getting an 8-team playoff that I wasn't as excited as I should have been about getting a 4-team playoff.

Of the previous 8 years, only once was it a downgrade from the current system (2005). And overall it was a big help, usually adding that third team that was left out.

And when you factor in the reality that conferences aren't about to cut games (money makers) and an 8-team playoff would ask a SEC team to possibly play 16 games, this 4-team playoff might in fact be the perfect situation. At least for now.

Now then, let's a take a look at this year's schedule and what could or should have been... (to be continued)

sports vacation / bowl schedule

Aside from Illinois basketball, I've sort of taken a sports vacation.

I couldn't tell you who's secured an NFL playoff spot without checking my Calcutta shortcut.
I have no idea what bowl games have been played and for a second I thought that I had missed New Year's Day already.
Hockey is in a coma.

I watched the Illinois-Missouri game. That was a bummer. But at least competitive. We were up 3 with under seven minutes to play. Sure you'd like to close that out, but it's better than being down ten the entire second half.

Other than that, I couldn't tell you what's going on.

The NFL Playoffs will be easy enough to jump into, especially with our Calcutta teams on the line.

So I figured I'd look at the bowl games and see if there's anything interesting.

- - -

A quick scan here and it seems as I haven't missed anything big yet. 

Here are the games that I could see myself watching:

Jan. 1 - 11am MST: Georgia/Nebraska: Capital One Bowl on ABC
Jan. 4 - 6pm MST: Texas A&M/Oklahoma: Cotton Bowl on FOX

I would turn on the Rose Bowl (Stanford/Wisconsin) or Fiesta Bowl (K-State/Oregon) but I don't have ESPN.

However, I plan on heading over to the in-laws to watch the title game on ESPN.

Monday, Jan. 7th at 6:30pm MST.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the last sandwich we built on the podcast

Capers
Thick Layer Of Cream Cheese
Olives
Swiss
Dill Pickles
Gouda
Grilled Onions
Colby
Lettuce
Asiago
Tomato
Provolone
Turkey
Pepper Jack
Spicy Mustard
Ham
Cheddar
Brownberry Oatnut Bread

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Book: Milestone

I have completed the rough draft of all thirty essays. (If you don't know what I'm talking about.)

The editing process should not be overlooked, so it's hard to say exactly when it will be published. But it's safe to say that at the absolute latest, it will be November 2013.

Aside from editing, I still need to decide on a title and create the cover. Also there will be significant formatting for both an e-book and paperback.

But hey, the rough draft is the hardest part. It's currently clocking in at almost 43,000 words which is about 80% as long as Autopilot.

As a sneak peek for loyal HC readers, here is the working titles and order of the individual essays.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Top Ten, 10-0

Worth it for the block:



Worth it for the celebration:

Thursday, December 06, 2012