Friday, September 2, 2011

The 2011-2012 Tempo-Free Gridiron

Normally around this time I'd be writing a post about the changes I've made to my system over the last year and how those will affect the rankings and predictions for the coming year. I say "normally" because even though I've done that periodically over the last two years, generally the TFG predictor has done well enough to stay just ahead of Eddie's RBA system. With success comes a degree of complacency, but that complacency has allowed me to go through and automate a lot of the day-to-day running of the blog by generating the predictions, rankings, and projections, and uploading that to the blog for the final tweaks.

Besides, it's fun to watch Eddie fume and rage about trying to wipe the grin off my face.

Instead during the off-season I spent most of my efforts trying to support the massive amount of content we're planning to churn out this coming season. A basic overhaul of the blog, better weekly projections, more informative rankings, complete per-conference projections, integration with our Twitter feed, improved game selection for our not one but two pick'ems (both for TotalFark members and for the public at large), an upcoming countdown of the best BCS champions of the last decade, a regular look at the remaining undefeated teams (as opposed to the occasional glance last year), and more behind-the-scenes work on making it easier for us to get this information to you.

So while I've been busy contributing to the common good here, Eddie's been focused on himself and flailing around trying to catch up to me. I'm not worried just yet, and probably won't be until near the end of the year. After all, last year he started out strong, only to flag down the home stretch.

Maybe in the meantime I can start putting together predictions for that other football league.


  1. I've been browsing through your site for the last few days, reading a bunch of the older posts. Just to make sure I'm clear, the two of y'all are making game predictions based solely on straight-up win or lose, not against a point spread, correct?

  2. Correct. All our statistics are straight up. We do provide scores, so you can compare that against a spread if you feel compelled. I'd recommend looking at to see a collection of algorithms if you're interested in seeing how they do against the spread. In general, Vegas has all those glitzy buildings for a reason and has financial incentive to invest in better algorithms than a couple of hobbyist software engineers can provide.

    That said, there may indeed be cases where our algorithms provide more favorable statistics against the spread than others. We just haven't investigated them because we do this for fun rather than making money.

  3. It might be interesting to add "The Line" as a sort of unofficial third contestant. College teams designated as favorites by the point spread have won straight-up somewhere in the neighborhood of 76%-77% over the last five years, by my quick calculations. Topping that figure would be tough, and a stiff challenge.

  4. The opening and updated lines are participants in the Prediction Tracker link above. In general, Justin and I have a personal preference to keep gambling out of Tempo-Free Gridiron.

    Out of curiosity, are you considering the FBS v. FCS matchups in that calculation? Neither we or Prediction Tracker consider those. Last year, Justin beat the opening line 74.2% to 74.0%. (I tanked late season down to 72.8%.) The final line is tough. Only two computers beat its 75.3%.