I have no idea who is still around FN, but we do have at least 1 bit of unfinished business - the little issue of the side bet started in May concerning predicting the finish of the Big 10 teams.
You can go here to refresh your mind and check your picks.
The gods were merciful and I didn't have to go past tie breaker #1 - heads up play. The Big 10 teams had some other ideas as to how they would finish and nobody had predictions to brag about. In all honesty, had anyone predicted the conference top to bottom correctly, we would have spent the entire off season laughing at them.
The scoring was easy - Your prediction of how the teams would finish was subtracted from how the teams actually finished (converted to positive number). The lowest score won. In the event of a tie (there was a tie) the earlier prediction was the tie breaker.
The Prize was that each looser must append a message chosen by the winner to their screen name (tag) within days after the Big 10 conference season is over until 1 week past the NC game.
Here is how the teams actually finished:
1. PSU - so that's the spread HD
2. OSU - can't win every year
3. MSU - not your Big Brother's Spartans
4. NW - perhaps the biggest surprise
5. Iowa - some tough losses and big wins
6. Wisconsin - perhaps the only really big negative surprise
7. Minnesota - so much for years of rebuilding
8. Illinois - so close to the bowls with 2 losses by a TD or less
9. Purdue - not the best exit for the innovative Tiller
10. Michigan - everybody knew the transition would take some time
11. Indiana - there are no words
Here is what your predictions were, from last to 1st place (the number is how you predicted them to finish).
scarletbuckeye avg misdreavus79 buck-i-girl
PSU 5 3 1 5
OSU 1 1 2 1
MSU 4 5 4 3
NW 9 10 10 10
Iowa 10 6.5 9 6
Wisc 2 2 3 2
Minn 11 11 11 11
Illini 3 4 5 4
Purd 7 8 7 8
Mich 6 6.5 6 7
Indi 8 9 8 9
Score 38 31 30 30
ScarletBuckeye suffered against the other prediction for underestimating Iowa and overestimating Illinois (over ?? of his total score)
As a group, our average was nothing to write home about, scoring next to last.
Misdreavus actually had some good picks (notice his top 1/3 of the conference) but the surprise performance of Northwestern accounted for 1/5 of his score.
Buck-I-Girl did equally well, being 1 of only 2 people to predict the success of Michigan State. Like Misdreavus, Northwestern created a scoring hole she could not climb out of.
SI badgerfan07 Steveo secretsquirrel AE xxx84xxx
PSU 5 3 3 3 1 4
OSU 1 1 1 1 2 1
MSU 6 5 4 5 5 3
NW 7 9 10 9 10 9
Iowa 4 6 6 7 7 7
Wisc 2 2 2 4 3 2
Minn 11 11 11 10 11 11
Illini 3 4 5 2 4 5
Purd 9 7 8 6 9 8
Mich 8 10 7 8 6 6
Indi 10 8 9 11 8 10
Score 28 28 28 28 28 28
I predicted that the Sports Illustrated "Professional" sportswriters wouldn't do much better than most of us. I had no idea as 5 people (half) tied them at 28 points.
Badgerfan, after all the grief for his U of M pick, turned out to be the only person to properly pick just how far Michigan would fall.
SteveO did quite well predicting the top and bottom 4, but dropped 18 points to his middle of the conference picks.
Secret Squirrel (aka SS- the Swiss Magician) (where did that come from?) did well, with 7 of his picks within 2 spots of where the teams finally finished. He was also the only person who saw the spark that would be a spectacular reversal for Minnesota.
Anthony E picked 3 teams correctly (more than anyone).
xxx84xxx was 1 of 2 people to see the rise of Michigan State. Unfortunately, he didn't see much else of what transpired in the conference.
...this leaves us with...
Prove It INC SOC
PSU 2 2
OSU 1 1
MSU 5 4
NW 8 9
Iowa 6 7
Wisc 3 3
Minn 11 11
Illini 4 5
Purd 10 6
Mich 7 8
Indi 9 10
Score 26 26
By less than 12 hours in the time I posted, I edged out INC SOC in the tie breaker. By tying, INC SOC does not need to change his tag.
This leaves Prove It to do his happy dance around the coffee room (a disgusting display that resembles the Snoopy happy dance periodically interrupted with the robot and a crude version of the moon walk, and usually results in a need to buy new lamps).
Then reality sets in that 7 of the 10 side betters were separated by 2 points - the difference in a tie breaker - and 9 were separated by 4 points - 2 tie breakers... so congrats to all!
I have also decided to change my tag to...
"Kiss Big 10 Arse"
Why the change?
For a change we aren't getting bowl match-ups like ACC #2 Boston College vs. Big10 #8 Michigan State, SEC #2 Tennessee vs. Big10 #4 Wisconsin, and similar mismatches. In 2007 the Big 10 had numerous "Close but no cigar" games in lopsided match ups where they should have been outgunned. Stepping up 1 team closer, even if it is still a mismatch, might be all that is needed.
In 2007, 2 teams that finished higher in the Big 10 missed bowl eligibility because of out of conference upsets. In 2008, the conference ranking matches the overall record. There are no teams passed over. There will be no Big 10 9th and 10th place team in the bowls.
Michigan... well, not the best bowl record. Illinois could have done well in the bowls but will be haunted by 2 losses of a TD or less.
If the Big 10 gets 2 teams in the BCS, most of he match ups will be even. If the Big 10 gets only 1 BCS slot, they will be playing even matches or get to play teams that finished lower in other conferences for a change.
Need more? Except for the OSU-USC fiasco (which resulted in a revamp of the OSU roster) the teams from the Big 10 that will be playing in the bowls lost only 2 more games by 7 and 1 point, both on the road against teams from the major 6 conferences, and both against teams that look to finish about the same or higher in their conference than their Big 10 opponent.
If, like me, you have grown tired of people discussing how the Big 10 has a lousy bowl record or seem to be just barely winning or getting clobbered because nobody realizes the Big 10 is playing higher teams in almost every bowl, this is the chance to see all of that reversed.
All of this could be a great spring board into the 2009 season.
Thanks for playing, good luck in the bowls, and
GO BIG 10!
Friendly Reminder - This is a Prove It blog, not a bastion of free speech. As a courtesy to my 6 readers, leave an idiot comment and I will zap it, trash you with facts, or both as the mood hits - either way, you aren't playing on an even field.