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NFL Playoff Contest

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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 06:49PM Jan 11, 2014

[EDITED OUT THIS POST TO EXPLAIN IT BETTER BELOW ON THIS PAGE]

---This message was edited on 07:06PM Feb 4, 2014---

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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mocha613Aus

Posts: 360

new Posted: 06:59PM Jan 11, 2014

That is an interesting idea, but too late to use this year, the Saints are already out. (Go Seahawks!!!)

"Wir müssen wissen, und wir werden wissen." -David Hilbert
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  Post from eighsse deleted on 07:08PM Feb 4, 2014.
eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 07:05PM Feb 4, 2014

Preface: This is going to be explained very clearly, starting at the very fundamentals and upwards from there, so my apologies if it sounds like I'm talking to a kindergartener at some times. And yes, there are a lot of numbers and terms, but just bear with me and it should make a lot of sense.

PART I. THE NFL PLAYOFFS

The National Football League (that's American football, not soccer, of course), consists of 32 teams. The league is divided into two conferences. 16 of the teams are in the American Football Conference (AFC, typically designated by the color red and the letter "A"), and the other 16 teams make up the National Football Conference (NFC, typically designated by the color blue and the letter "N").

These 32 teams play pre-scheduled games through a 17 week period known as the regular season. After that, based on wins and losses, 12 of the 32 teams proceed to the final tournament known as the Playoffs. 6 of these teams come from the AFC, and 6 from the NFC. The 6 teams in the AFC essentially play a tournament separate from the NFC tournament, with the winner of the 6 AFC teams playing against the winner of the 6 NFC teams in the Super Bowl. (It's considered just one tournament with 12 teams, but they are partitioned to two opposite sides in the way I just stated.)

The teams in each conference tournament are numbered 1-6 based upon how they finished in their divisions (I'll get into divisions later) and in the conference overall. #1 is the "best" team in the tournament from that conference, and #6 is the "worst." This numbering is called seeding. Here's how each of the two conference tournaments goes (this is actually somewhat important for the contest):

- It is a single-elimination tournament, meaning that the loser of each game is immediately and completely eliminated. Therefore, it will take precisely 5 games to narrow down each of the two conferences to one team, and the Super Bowl is the 11th and final game.

- #1 and #2 get rewarded for doing the best in the regular season, by not having to play in the first round. This advantage is called a first-round bye.

- #6 plays #3 in #3's home stadium (having home field generally gives a decent advantage to the team).

- #5 plays #4 in #4's home stadium.

- At this point, two teams have been eliminated, and the teams remaining are #1, #2, [#3 or #6], [#4 or #5].

- #1 hosts at their home stadium the lowest seeded winner from the first two games
(So, if #3 and #4 win the games against #6 and #5... #4 will then go to #1's home to play them, and #3 will go to #2's home. But, if #6 wins over #3, the matchups get switched because #6 will be the lowest and have to go to #1. But anyway...)

- At this point, 4 of the 6 teams from the conference have been eliminated, leaving only 2 teams. Of course these two teams play each other at the higher seed's home. This game is called the Conference Championsip -- more specifically, either the AFC Championship Game or the NFC Chapmionship Game.

- And of course, the winners of those two Conference Championship Games are the only two teams remamining in the Playoffs, and these two teams face each other in the Super Bowl.

PART II. MY NFL PLAYOFF SQUARES CONTEST

Now that you have a decent understanding of how the Playoff tournament works, here is how my contest works. The contestants make picks (after the 12 Playoff teams are known, but before the games begin) from a board of 144 squares until all of the squares have been taken. These 144 squares cover every outcome that can possibly occur through the Playoffs, according to certain criteria.
The criteria are:

* Which of the 6 AFC teams will win the AFC Championship (and therefore go to the Super Bowl).
* Which of the 6 NFC teams will win the NFC Championship (and go to the Super Bowl as well).
* Whether the AFC team or the NFC team will win the Super Bowl.
* Whether the Super Bowl will be won by 7 or more points, or 6 or fewer points.
(So, if the score of the Super Bowl is 20-17, then the margin of victory is 3 points, which falls under the 6 or fewer points selection.)

For example, this year the Denver Broncos won the AFC Championship, and the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship. In the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks won 43-8. This is a margin of victory of 35 points, so of course that falls under 7 or more. So to sum it up, the winning pick from the board of 144 squares was the one that represented Seahawks over Broncos by more than 7.

In the real-life version of this contest, I charge $10 per person and distribute the entire pot of money to the people who own the 4 squares that are the correct matchup, paying more money to the most accurate of the 4 picks. Specifically:
There were 22 people in the contest, for a pot of $220.
#1 square; Seahawks over Broncos by 7 or more; paid $110
#2 square; Seahawks over Broncos by 6 or fewer; paid $55
#3 square; Broncos over Seahawks by 7 or more; paid $33
#3 square; Broncos over Seahawks by 6 or fewer; paid $22

I plan to hold this contest here on the Braingle Games Forum next year when the Playoffs come around, around the turn of the year. However, I can't really give a graduated scale of prizes here, unless I gave a Premium and a Basic subscription; but that would be going overboard since it's coming from my pocket instead of a pool from everyone. So there will be only one prize, a Premium Subscription to the #1 square that gets everything correct.


---This message was edited on 07:08PM Feb 4, 2014---

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 07:21PM Feb 4, 2014

Here is a picture of the board of 144 squares, from this season's Playoffs which just wrapped up on Sunday. As you can see, each of the four quadrants of the board contains 36 squares, representing the 36 possible matchups of AFC (6 possible teams) x NFC (6 possible teams). But the left half of the board (72 squares) represents the AFC team (red) winning the Super Bowl, and the right half represents the NFC team (blue) winning it all. Likewise, the upper half represents a decisive victory (margin of victory is 7 or more point), while the lower half represents a close game (margin of victory is 6 or fewer points).
And this one has already been decided. Since the Broncos and Seahawks played in the Super Bowl, you can see that the 4 winning squares in the money contest were the 4 corners, Squares #1, #12, #133, and #144. Since The Seahawks won by more than 7 points, Square #12 was the first-place winner. #12 is the square that would have won the Premium Subscription, for example, if I had done this on Braingle this year.


The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 07:44PM Feb 4, 2014

General strategy: For those who don't know what to pick, generally, anything close the corners (far from the center) is best, because the "best" teams (higher seeds) are toward the edges.
MOST importantly, The 16 squares that are colored the darkest shade of gray in this diagram (four 2x2 blocks of squares, one block in each corner, equals 16 total squares) are the very best, because they involve TWO teams going up against each other that each have an automatic pass into the second round. No matter how good a team is, a first-round bye is always very important for the overall odds, because even a heavily favored team always has a chance to lose.
Also, The 3 & 4 seeded teams get to be at home in the first week, while the 5 & 6 seeds have to play away from home, so that's a little bit of an automatic advantage.
I've generally shaded all of the squares with the lighter squares being less desirable and the darker ones more desirable.

Optional Tip (don't worry about it if it's confusing): One thing to be aware of though, is that there is a North, South, East and, West division (each with 4 teams) that make up each of the two conferences. The 4 division winners (best win/loss record) from a conference get to be the #1, #2, #3, and #4 seeds automatically, in order of their win/loss records. The #5 and #6 seeds are called wild-card teams, and they are the two teams with the next best win/loss records after the four division winners, out of the remaining 12 teams in the conference that did not win their respective divisions. My point being, that a #5 or #6 team, in certain cases, can be a much better team than a #3 or #4 team.
For instance, imagine one division of 4 teams has the following win/loss records: 7 wins/9 losses, 7 wins/9 losses, 5 wins/11 losses, 2 wins/14 losses. This is a very weak division, the "best" team did not even win 50% of its games.
Then imagine another division in that same conference with these records: 14 wins/2 losses, 13 wins/3 losses, 8 wins/8 losses, 5 wins/11 losses. This division is extremely strong, specifically the top two teams. It's so strong in fact, that a team that won over 80% of its games does not even get to be a division winner, and has to be a wild-card.
So, this would be an extreme case, and a very rare one. But, if this were to happen, the 7-9 division winner would have to been seeded #2-#4 (most definitely #4) while the 13-3 team would be #5 or #6 (most definitely #5). In any case, the 7-9 team gets seeded higher than the 13-3 team. But the 13-3 team would most likely be a great, great favorite against the 7-9 team, even on the 7-9 team's home field. So don't always take the seeding strictly, but in most cases, it is an accurate depiction of the order of the teams by strength.


The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 08:08PM Feb 4, 2014

Okay, this makes MUCH more sense. I'll play next year, considering I'm still here!

Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 08:21PM Feb 4, 2014

Glad it makes sense. Let's hope the others agree

I still have a lot to figure out. Especially, how will I do the square-picking thing on Braingle when everyone is not online at the same time... it could take a lot time when it gets stuck because of someone not being online for a long time. And there is only a span of about 5 days that the picking can take place. I've thought of many ideas, but still thinking about it and trying to decide.

The basic idea would be, just have everyone pick in order, and if there someone takes longer than a specified time limit, then it goes on to the next person in the order, and the person gets their pick back when they come back to the thread, even if it's many picks later. But that could get unfair because not everyone can be online at the same hours, people have their own lives, and a lot of people could suddenly make theirs picks leading up to you, and you think you still have hours until it's going to be your pick, then suddenly it's your turn and you don't even realize it until it's too late.

I could also have people optionally give me guidelines to go by for how they want their picks to go, in case they are not online when their turn comes. For instance: "Give me whatever is the closest space to a corner every time," or "Go for the Broncos."

There's even the option that I could have everyone put every single space in order of how much they want them, and then have the picks take place automatically, picking the highest pick from each contestant's list that is left unpicked. But that would take a long time, for contestants AND for me, lol.

There's also the option that all of the squares are assigned randomly. But that's just so much less fun. Not interactive, and no one could be 100% certain that I'm doing it fairly, though I always do.


The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 08:32PM Feb 4, 2014

There's probably a logical reason why this can't happen but.... Why doesn't everyone just post here what square they want, during that 5 day period? Basically first come, first serve, with whoever posts first getting first pick. Then, you can cross out the squares as the get chosen.

Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 08:44PM Feb 4, 2014

I like the idea of first come first serve, I thought that too, because that way I don't have to randomly determine the order, so there's no concern about shady goings-down. But, how do we determine when the round ends and people can start picking their second square? Would it be a predetermined list of players? Or would it just be open to anyone but only the first [insert number here] are entered into the contest, and then after [that same number] everyone can immediately pick again, again being first come first serve? Or maybe... Like, 6PM Monday is the beginning of "ROUND 1" which lasts until 6PM Tuesday, then "ROUND 2" begins and lasts another 24 hours until 6PM Wednesday, which begins "ROUND 3" lasting until 6PM Thursday, beginning "ROUND 4" which lasts until 6PM on Friday, and then "ROUND 5" lasts until 1PM on Saturday when the first Playoff game begins. And within each of those rounds, it's a complete first-come-first-serve free-for-all, as many people as want to join in (possibly with a requirement that they be a so-many-month member, just to make sure someone doesn't make a bunch of fake accounts... except, well, they could just read this and make fake accounts now xD so... I dunno about that part). I would like to make it more rounds than that, but I wanted the rounds to start at reasonable times... Maybe I could double the rounds by starting them at 6PM AND 6AM..?

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 08:48PM Feb 4, 2014

I like the round idea, though I would only do 5 rounds, for the 5 available days.
I think that there needs to be a list of predetermined players; during the regular season or whatever, people are free to sign up, and only those who have signed up can get squares.


Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 08:56PM Feb 4, 2014

Should there be a limit on number of players? I mean, there can't be 100. Maybe 24, so that everyone would get 6 picks? Or up to 36, for 4 picks a piece? I dunno. Just so many different ways to do it.

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 09:22PM Feb 4, 2014

24 would be good. I dunno if you'd even get that many people (considering only one person posted here before!) Or, if you get more than 24, you could always switch it to 36 in the middle. I'm sure we could get a bunch of people from various talkboxes to join, though!

Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 09:24PM Feb 4, 2014

Yeah, I mean before I didn't advertise it at all, just quietly made the thread to see what people would think of it. If I talked it up everywhere I think we could get a lot. Maybe.

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 09:28PM Feb 4, 2014

Well, how many people regularly participated in your name game? 10? They, assuming they're all still on, will probably all join, and surely we'll pick up some others as well. New people will join within the next year as well!

Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 09:33PM Feb 4, 2014

Yeah if we give it enough time we can get plenty. The only thing is... people on Braingle come and go for long periods sometimes, as expected really. So it could get awkward when we're approaching time to start the picking and half the people have not been online for the last 13 days.

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 09:39PM Feb 4, 2014

That's true. Maybe say that if you aren't on for 10 consecutive days, you will be removed from the list? Then, if somebody comes back and has a good excuse, you could let them back aboard.
Yeah, it's sad really. People will just randomly leave with no reason... Well, that's sort of what I did, so I'd be a hypocrite saying that. (But I came back, and that's all that matters!) So, we can't expect that everyone from now will be on then either.


Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 09:45PM Feb 4, 2014

Funny, because I was thinking of almost the same thing.

I was thinking, you can sign up at any time from now until it starts, 11 months from now, but if it reaches 24 people then it's filled up. HOWEVER, if anyone else wants in, they can watch for someone already on the list to be inactive, and if they find someone inactive for 10 days, they can bump them off the list and replace them. That way I don't have to go clicking 24 different names everyday checking for inactives


The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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dangerouspie101tus

Deepy the Soul Mushroom
Posts: 4208


new Posted: 09:49PM Feb 4, 2014

That's a good idea! But, people could maybe notify you if they know they're going to be inactive a certain amount of time. Say, I go on vacation for two weeks, and am unable to get online. If I told you, you could 'protect' my spot or whatever.
Maybe you could put these rules in a new post.


Also, I lit your fridge on fire. It was upsetting me.
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eighsseAus

King Eighsse
Posts: 6882


new Posted: 09:58PM Feb 4, 2014

Yes very good, that works. Let's keep thinking, we'll work out all the kinks ahead of time

The first is the only to ever have been the only.
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