2019 PB College Football Pick'em Contest Announcement

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Iron Dramatist
It's getting to be that time of year again! I'm happy to lead the effort this year as Commissioner and Grand Poobah of the 2019 College Football Pick'em contest. Welcome one and all to this fun tradition around the PB, which dates in some form back to 2009, when Tim Phillips (Marrow Man) got the crazy idea to start a college game prediction contest. Thanks for the fun, Tim, and I look forward to this year's edition!

As has been my practice in the past when I have served as the Commissioner of these proceedings, I will make my best effort to select a good slate of games which should be reasonably close and interesting matchups. This won't always be possible, of course, especially early in the season - but this is my main guideline. I also seek to spread the games out around the country to a degree, and to mix up the football programs represented, while frequently featuring our favorites. My aim is to make it interesting week in and week out - and if you would rather there be other games selected, then do your best to win the contest and run the show next year. For this year's edition, I'm in charge. :)

The first round of games will be the week whose first games are Thursday, August 29. I will be selecting a couple of games that evening, so I will post the slate of games on Thursday, August 22, to give plenty of time for newcomers to the contest (and everyone else of course).

Contest Format and Rules

The contest will run for fifteen weeks, covering the weekends of August 30 to November 30, and then the following conference championship weekend of December 6-7. Each week’s contest will consist of 15 games to pick – each of the 15 games counts in a player’s total. Week 15 will consist of the 11 FBS conference championship games played on Dec. 6-7 plus four additional games taken from the FCS playoffs round of 16.

After the 15th week is completed, all those who have been weekly winners will be invited to participate in the annual Bowl Bash, whose winner gets the honor of running the show in 2020. Rules for the Bowl Bash will be posted after the slate of Bowl Bash contestants is announced in early December.

All slates of games will be posted in the Sports forum on Monday morning of each week. There will, on occasion, be Thursday or Friday evening games, and if there are, the fact will be clearly noted in the subject line of the week's announcement. Everyone should be aware of this possibility, and pay attention to the announcements made for each weekly contest.

All entries must be posted in the thread for a week's contest before kickoff of the first game in a given slate. Any which come in or are edited after this time will not be included in the competition.

There will be NO Sunday games included in the contest. On rare occasions late Saturday night games may go past midnight in their local time zone - if they do

All games that are postponed due to weather or any other circumstances will be stricken from consideration. If it so happens that this postponed game is the tiebreaker game (see rules below) then the tie will be broken with the first entry posted among the tied contestants winning the week’s contest. If a set of picks is modified during the lead-up to the games, then the modification time will be the time of entry for tiebreak purposes.

A week’s contest winner is the one who has the most correct picks out of the 15 games, total, and will be declared on Monday. This total of 15 does include the special tiebreak game (where contestants must choose the final score) as a regular entry of the 15, in normal scoring. Each week in the announcement, the Wall of Honor including the preceding weeks' winners will be posted, with our traditional :flamingscot: indicating each victory.

Tiebreaking procedures

The following rules apply if two or more contestants have picked the same number of winning games out of these 15. The tiebreaking procedure follows these steps in order until there is one player remaining.

1) Correct winner chosen for the tiebreak game.

Example: If contestants A, B, and C are participating in the tiebreaking round, and only contestant B properly chose the winner of the tiebreak game, then B is the winner. If both A and B got the winner of the tiebreak game correct, then they move on to step 2, and C laments his or her prognosticating abilities.

2) Among those who correctly chose the winner of the tiebreak game, the following straightforward metric is used to choose the winner: the pick which is closest to the actual final score.

The contestant whose pick is closest is the one which most accurately reflects the winner’s score AND the losers’s score. To determine this, we take the simple approach of measuring the “distance” between the prediction and the actual result in the plane of winner’s score vs. loser’s score. This has the virtue of I’ve included the following illustration to help visualize this:
3) In the unlikely event that there remain more than one with exactly the same “distance”, which will usually occur only if both contestants picked exactly the same score, though there are other possibilities, the winner will be the one whose entry was posted earliest. Again as above, if one edits their entry mid-week, the date of posting for tiebreaking purposes is the time of edit.

4) The Grand Poobah reserves the right to determine and rule on all other matters which arise out of unforeseen circumstances.


Puritanboard Brimstone
The illustration really helps, especially the reference to Pythagoras. :lol:

So, I believe this is the 10th year!!! Woo hoo! I hope this is a really good season!


Staff member
Todd, as long as you can figure it out, that's good enough for me. If it were me, I would pick a tie-breaking method easy enough for people to be able to figure it out on their own. Such as: 1. Winning team; 2. Closest winning team's score; 3. Closest losing team's score; 4. Order in which the guesses came in. But that's just me.


Puritanboard Commissioner
I ran the contest several years before I finally understood how the tiebreaker worked. I just "stepped out in faith" like a Baptist construction project.


Iron Dramatist
Todd, as long as you can figure it out, that's good enough for me. If it were me, I would pick a tie-breaking method easy enough for people to be able to figure it out on their own. Such as: 1. Winning team; 2. Closest winning team's score; 3. Closest losing team's score; 4. Order in which the guesses came in. But that's just me.

Unfortunately you've got a physicist here who writes software for his research, so number crunching is what I do :)

I batted around a number of ideas but then went with what I've done every time I have run the game since it seems the fairest. We do agree on first resort (winning team) and last resort (order), though :) I've been in pools where your #2 and #3 are used, and it seemed to me always that if either of those is used as a criterion, you have things like 48-42 games where a 48-7 prediction beats a 46-40 prediction, which just doesn't seem right. Anyway, let's make this a good year (with lots of participants!)


Iron Dramatist
Here's a reminder, friends, of the opportunity to join the little community of College Football fanatics who enjoy studying the frailty of human prognostication ability by picking winners of weekly slates of college football games.

Our contest will begin with games on the weekend of August 29-31, and the first slate of games for picks will be posted August 22. Thereafter, each week, the slate of games for picking will be posted Monday mornings, together with the results of the previous weekend's contest.

Looking forward to building a merry band of brothers and sisters for this endeavor!

PB College Football Pick'Em Grand Poobah
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