Friday, March 28, 2014

my favorite bands in order

80. All Time Low
79. Anything But Joey
78. Spring Heeled Jack
77. The Audition
76. Hot Hot Heat
75. Metro Station
74. Something Corporate
73. Cute Is What We Aim For
72. The Red Hot Valentines
71. Nerf Herder
70. Lucky Boys Confusion
69. Ultimate Fakebook
68. American Hi-Fi
67. The Pixies
66. Explosions In The Sky
65. Fatboy Slim
64. Air
63. Just Surrender
62. Bracket
61. Against Me!
60. The Urge
59. Denison Witmer
58. Pedro The Lion
57. The Promise Ring
56. Strike
55. Hit The Lights
54. The Killers
53. My Chemical Romance
52. The All-American Rejects
51. The Strokes
50. Goldfinger
49. Green Day
48. Foo Fighters
47. Tenacious D
46. Reggie & The Full Effect
45. Phoenix
44. Passion Pit
43. Wires In The Walls
42. Eve 6
41. Taking Back Sunday
40. Fountains Of Wayne
39. Less Than Jake
38. Fall Out Boy
37. Sum 41
36. Blink 182
35. Incubus
34. Cartel
33. Forever The Sickest Kids
32. Childish Gambino
31. Beastie Boys
30. Zebrahead
29. The Starting Line
28. Hey Mercedes
27. New Found Glory
26. Third Eye Blind
25. Reel Big Fish
24. Unwritten Law
23. Jack Johnson
22. Midtown
21. Saves The Day
20. The Anniversary
19. Sugarcult
18. The Juliana Theory
17. Flickerstick
16. Jimmy Eat World
15. Weezer
14. The Get Up Kids
13. The Impossibles
12. The National
11. The Stereo
10. Vampire Weekend
9. Sublime
8. Panic at the Disco
7. Brand New
6. Ozma
5. The Hold Steady
4. Motion City Soundtrack
3. Alkaline Trio
2. Dashboard Confessional
1. 311

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It would be good for me to listen to more music. And write more.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Trying to fix the SuperBracket

I really like the idea of the SuperBracket...but it's not right yet. At the moment, here's where we're at:

On the top we have the values I originally created. By Friday I had identified some problems and wrote about them. I tried a band-aid fix by creating alternate values. I think it's in improvement, but the whole thing is still screwed up.

I had an idea that I thought might help...which is each round is worth points, plus you get a bonus for seed differential versus chalk. The first round is obvious. A good exmaple of what I mean is this year's Tennessee-Mercer game. Penciling in a 11seed Tennessee to get to the Sweet 16 is bold. You shouldn't get punished that Mercer beat Duke. So it would consider Tennessee round of 32 game to be a 11-3, for an 8-point differential.

The problem with this is still that the relative values are messed up. 12 over 5 is way over valued, especially compared to 13 over 4.

The more I thought about it, the current system really kills the value of a 1 seed. Is it really worth three times more to advance a 3 to the Sweet 16 than a 1?

Then I had another thought, borrowing from NFL Calcutta...

What if instead of using the actual numbers of the seeds, what if I grouped them into seed values.

Thinking out loud here...

1-4 is worth 1pt
5-8 is worth 3pts
9-12 is worth 5pts
13-14 is worth 7 pts
15-16 is worth 10pts

Something like that.

Even if the values aren't perfect, it's making more sense to me. But...I see a problem already. Picking a 8/9 to make the Sweet 16 should be worth 5 times as much as picking a 1. But picking the 8/9 first game shouldn't be worth that much.

To get really precise, you would need to arrange seed values that are based on round...

This is getting out of hand.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I already have a problem with the SuperBracket

Yes, I undervalued the later rounds compared to the first...but that's not the big problem.

The big problem is that right now in the first round, it's just as valuable to get two 7 seeds correctly (going all chalk) as it is to get a 14 seed correct (massive, bold upset). 

So...for next year...maybe the first round uses seed differential...and rounds 2-6 use seed scoring?

Update: the problem with that is that now 12 over 5 is overvalued as it's very common, while 14 over 3 or 15 over 2 is undervalued. I had no problem picking every 12 because there's little risk of screwing up your later round scoring (because 5's don't consistently reach the later rounds) while picking all 14s is super-risky because 3's often go deep.

Now this gets complicated. Because you almost need a bonus for picking 13-16 seed to advance. Seed differential doesn't do it by itself. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Introducing the Hoagie Central SuperBracket

I wanted to come up with an alternate bracket scoring system that rewards picking underdogs.

(For the complete super-long math backstory, you can click here.)

My proposal for year one is simple:

Each game is worth: Seed X Value

Here are the Values per round:
Round of 64 games: 1
Round of 32 games: 2
Sweet 16 games: 3
Elite 8 games: 5
Final Four games: 10
Championship game: 20

We'll see how it goes.

The latest in March Madness innovation

So you've got your standard bracket. Classic.

In 2007, I came up with a bracket contest where you only pick one team from each seed and get seed*round scoring.

In 2009, we started doing Calcutta. Still doing it because it's so great.

In 2010, we tried the Eliminator.

Let's try something new.

It's your classic bracket contest but with custom scoring that rewards underdogs.

But how to do it...

I thought of 5 ways off the top of my head:

Seed X Round
Seed X increasing value per round
Seed X Round + Constant Points
Seed X Round + Increasing Points
Seed + Increasing Points

Warning, this about to get a little hairy.

- - -

To do this I'm going to look at 1st round games, Sweet 16 games, and the Championship. (1st, 3rd, 6th round)

Hypothesis #1: Picking all 15s to win and getting one right should be worth more than picking all 2s to win and getting 3 right.

So these are first round games. So round multiplier is 1. Getting one 15 right at the very least gets you 15 points.

Getting your three of the 2s right, could get you 6. 15 to 6 seems like a not bad ratio for this simple matchup. Let's come back to this one.

Hypothesis #2: Picking a 6-seed to win a Sweet 16 game means knocking off a potential 3 and 2. Lets compare the value of picking all 6s to win vs picking all 2s.

This is a 3rd round game. If we're just doing seed x round, (and only one comes through) that's 18 points for that. If you picked 2s (and got three right) it's also 18 points.

Let's come back.

Hypothesis #3: Correctly picking a 3 to win it all should be worth more than picking a 1. But picking a 1 correctly to win it all should be worth about as much as correctly picking a 15-over-2 first round game.

This is where seed*round falls apart. 1*6 isn't enough reward for getting the championship right.

- - -

I found this guy saying he uses Seed X Round + Increasing Points , with the Fibonacci sequence to determine the increasing points as such: 2-3-5-8-13-21.

Let's try this with our numbers.

Getting one 15 gets you 17 points. Getting three 2s gets you 12 points.

Getting one 6 gets you 23 points. Getting three 2s gets you 33 points.

Getting the 3 in the title gets you 39 points. Getting a 1 in the title gets you 27 points.

I'm not in love with this either. The championship is fine, but it rewards chalk too much in earlier rounds.

- - -

What if it was just Seed + Fibonacci points?

Getting one 15 gets you 17 points. Getting three 2s gets you 12 points.

Getting one 6 gets you 11 points. Getting three 2s gets you 21 points.

Getting the 3 in the title gets you 24 points. Getting a 1 in the title gets you 22 points.

- - -

Let's try Seed X Value per round. For starters, I'll use 1-2-3-5-10-20.

Getting one 15 gets you 15 points. Getting three 2s gets you 6 points.

Getting one 6 gets you 18 points. Getting three 2s gets you 18 points.

Getting the 3 in the title gets you 60 points. Getting a 1 in the title gets you 20 points.

That's pretty good. It certainly incentivizes people not to pick chalk...let's keep going. I'll call this Model A.

- - -

Let's go back to seed x round + increasing points, but change the sequence to 1-1-2-4-8-16.

Getting one 15 gets you 15 points. Getting three 2s gets you 6 points.

Getting one 6 gets you 20 points. Getting three 2s gets you 24 points.

Getting the 3 in the title gets you 34 points. Getting a 1 in the title gets you 22 points.

That's not bad either. I'll call this Model B. 

- - -

Let's try out the system that Drew Magary proposed yesterday, with a new wrinkle (seed differential)

Getting one 15 gets you 14 points. Getting three 2s gets you 3 points.

Getting one 6 gets you 10 points. Getting three 2s gets you 18 points.

Getting the 3 in the title gets you 17 points. Getting a 1 in the title gets you 15 points.

This system really reward first-round upsets. Which is interesting because going for them could compromise your later picks. Though a 12 over a 5, would become probably too valuable. Also, if you pick a 12 to advance to the sweet 16, but they beat a 13 seed in the second round, you don't get any bonus for that. I think seed scoring is better than seed differential.

- - -

So I have Model A and Model B. Let's introduce two new tests.

Test #1. Comparing the relative value of getting a 13 to win a 2nd round game.

Model A: The 13 seed winning their second game gets you 26 points. (If you had correctly picked three 4s to advance you'd get 24 points.)

Model B: 27 points for the 13 seed. Three 4s gets you 27 points.

Test #1 outcome is basically the same.

Test #2. And getting a 4 to win a 4th round game.

Model A: Getting a 4 to win their 4th game gets you 20 points.

Model B: Getting a 4 to win their 4th game gets you 24 points.

- - -


All things considered, Model A and Model B are both good.

But I prefer Model A. It's simpler which is more important than you might think. And it encourages even more boldness.

Of course, we'll have to try it out. And then refine if we like it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Most Hideous Thing on Amazon

Mrs. Hoagie Central was looking for Illinois Alumni shirts. Here's the description of one she found:

My favorite part is that it's "fancy." Here's what it looks like:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

this does not please me

I really hope Vince Young gets on ESPN and calls them a Dream Team.