Everyone who’s read this blog knows that I’m no friend of the media. I take them to task whenever they screw up (whether I write about it or not). As I pointed out when I decided to end my Stupid Predictions series, I had a better pick percentage than the alleged “professionals” in the MMA media. Apparently, the problem exists in the NFL as well. Granted, in this age of ridiculous parity, it’s tough to predict who’s going to win any given game, but no tougher than predicting the fight game, and I was able to do that about 64% of the time (about 10% better than the best of the “pros”). So, here are some highlights of what your experts predicted for the 2012 NFL season.
The Steelers (8-8) and Chargers (7-9) would win their divisions, and the Bills (6-10), Eagles (4-12), Buccaneers (7-9), and Cowboys (8-8) would make the playoffs. This means that 50% of Barnwell’s picks were not just wrong, but horribly wrong (i.e., those picks didn’t even get to the playoffs).
The Chargers (7-9) and Eagles (4-12) would win their divisions, and the Steelers (8-8), Bears (10-6), and Giants (9-7) would make the playoffs. Of the 12 playoff teams, Brandt got 7 (58%) right. With two of his divisional picks not even making the playoffs, should we consider the 58% only 48%? There’s got to be a reasonable algorithm for adjusting the percentages for dumb picks. Believe me: These aren’t the last dumb picks you’re going to see.
Good news: Chadiha got all of the AFC divisional champs right! Bad news: He picked the Giants (9-7) to win their division, and the Bills (6-10), Steelers (8-8), Bears (10-6), and Lions (4-12) to make the playoffs. Chadiha got 7 of 12 picks right (58%), but picking the Lions to make the playoffs should mandate some form of public humiliation issued by a judge.
Here’s an expert known for his inside information. How’d he do? He picked the Steelers (8-8), Chargers (7-9), and Eagles (4-12) to win their divisions, and he also picked the Bills (6-10), Giants (9-7), and Bears (10-6) to make the playoffs. This represents a 50% pick percentage, with some picks being ridiculous. If that isn’t embarrassing enough, he picked now-unemployed Andy Reid to be coach of the year. It looks like the reason Clayton always breaks stories isn’t because he knows football, but because he has a business card that says ESPN, so people will talk to him on the reputation of his network alone. He obviously doesn’t understand football.
Again, we have someone who picked all of AFC divisional winners, but she also picked the Giants (9-7) to win the NFC East, and the Steelers (8-8), Chiefs (2-14), Eagles (4-12), and Bears (10-6) to make the playoffs. The Chiefs and the Eagles? I really need to come up with a reasonable algorithm to modify her pick percentage (58%) to account for truly reprehensible picks.
The Chiefs (2-14) will win the AFC West? Someone please arrest this man. Where are the cops when you need them? In addition, Graziano picked the Giants (9-7) to win the NFC East, and the Steelers (8-8), Bills (6-10), Eagles (4-12), and Bears (10-6) to make the playoffs, giving him the familiar 58% we’ve seen throughout this article. Graziano should also lose points for making now-unemployed Romeo Crennel his coach-of-the-year pick, and even more points for picking the Eagles considering he specifically covers the NFC East for ESPN.
Nothing could be sweeter than pointing out the stupidity of picking the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl. There was absolutely no justification for that pick. Hensley picked the Steelers (8-8), Cowboys (8-8), and Cardinals (5-11) – that’s right; I said Cardinals – to win their divisions, and the Titans (6-10), Bills (6-10), Eagles (4-12), and Lions (4-12) to make the playoffs. On average, the wild card picks have half the number of victories generally necessary to make the playoffs. This gives Hensley a 42% pick percentage, with the embarrassing Jason-Garrett-will-be-coach-of-the-year pick. Congratulations, Jamison; you’re in last place.
This is getting tiring, but we’re at the last “expert” pick. Joyner had the Chargers (7-9) and Eagles (4-12) winning their divisions, and the Steelers (8-8), Raiders (4-12), Bears (10-6), and Giants (9-7) making the playoffs, bringing us another unimpressive 50% pick percentage.
Someone Should Hire Me
Professionals, indeed. In school, a 58% would be an F, and a 42% would be grounds for academic dismissal. Cheer up, though, ESPN. If you combine all of these picks, you have a decent number of good ones. Where do they find these people?
No so long ago, I went to Las Vegas and got a ticket picking the Carolina Panthers to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl (I have witnesses). If John Fox (coach of the Panthers) didn’t go for two-point conversions twice, I would likely have won that bet (they lost by two points on a last-second field goal despite having all the momentum in that game). I didn’t publish my picks this year, so I can’t back up my claim I did better than this (I picked the Steelers over the Colts, and the Giants and Saints over the Seahawks and Vikings, giving me a 75%), but I’m willing to do so in the future. I’m going to watch as much preseason football as possible next year, then make my picks. We’ll see how I do.
Follow me @MMADork
Follow the NFL @NFL
Follow Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell
Follow Andrew Brandt @adbrandt
Follow Jeffri Chadiha @jeffri_chadiha
Follow John Clayton @ClaytonESPN if you think credentials are more important than substance
Follow Ashley Fox @AshleyFoxESPN
Follow Dan Graziano @espn_nfceast
Follow Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley if you want to know who not to pick
Follow KC Joyner @KCJoynerTFS