2013-01-30

eBay Wins #54

I picked up these half-dozen cards on eBay for a penny each. Neither my record-keeping nor memory is good enough to tell you whether that was one rather random auction, or 6 different ones, though.
1986 Topps #209 Randy Ready
1986 Topps #314 Frank Pastore
1986 Topps #388 Dickie Noles
1986 Topps #433 Chris Codiroli
1990 Topps #638 Jeff Montgomery
1992 Score #626 Mark Leiter
I hope to put together the full 1986 Topps set one day, though it's not at the top of my list. Over the years it's gone from ugly to classic or even iconic in my eyes. I'm definitely no graphic design expert, of course.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2076
Total Spent$39.23
Per Card1.89 cents

2013-01-28

2012 Opening Day Rack Pack #5

My 5th Target Rack Pack of Opening Day was my most Cardinal-heavy to date, with 3 current and 1 former Cardinal among the 21 base cards. That's not bad considering there are only 7 current Cardinals in the whole 220-card set.

2012 Opening Day #60 Adam Wainwright
I cheated and re-used this Waino scan from Pack 3.

2012 Opening Day #64 Dan Haren
I also cheated and re-used the Haren scan from Pack 1. Some might say I'm cheating by counting him among Cardinals, but it's my blog, my collection, my rules. He's a Cardinal!

2012 Opening Day #96 Chris Carpenter
Finally, a fresh card, and it's a Chris Carpenter to boot.

2012 Opening Day #154 Yadier Molina
Arguably even better than Carpenter is Yadier Molina.

2012 Opening Day - Elite Skills #ES-4 Ian Kinsler
At first I scanned this because it was an insert, but then I noticed who's being doubled-up in the play. It's none other than our own Rafael Furcal. I'm counting it as a half, so that's 4 and a half Cardinals in this pack. Oddly enough, this is the very first Rafael Furcal card I've tagged on my blog.

2012 Opening Day - Opening Day Stars #ODS-24 Dustin Pedroia
These 3D cards lose a lot of the effect when they're put in sleeves, but I'm not sure how else to protect them. Presumably pages would have the same problem.

2012 Opening Day - Superstar Celebrations #SC-20 Martin Prado
Didn't we just see this guy? Hopefully another Opening Day collector (are they any among the adults in the blogosphere?) will come along and pluck some of these duplicates from my collection.

As always, the base cards:
9 Chris Young
11 Michael Morse
19 Mat Latos
28 Michael Young
39 Michael Cuddyer
40 Domonic Brown
45 Mark Melancon
46 Chris Sale
60 Adam Wainwright
62 Ervin Santana
64 Dan Haren
69 Tim Lincecum
88 John Axford
91 Jayson Werth
96 Chris Carpenter
138 Russell Martin
141 Drew Storen
149 Adrian Gonzalez
154 Yadier Molina
174 Brian McCann
191 Ivan Nova

2013-01-26

eBay Wins #53

For some reason there were 2 auctions up for 2 copies of each of these cards. It never hurts to have one to trade, I guess, especially since I won these for a grand total of 2 cents.

1998 Upper Deck #279 Adam Riggs
I've noticed that Bowman commons can be had cheaply on eBay after a few years, because the guys who didn't become stars are often not even interesting to any team collectors. I'd guess the same thing is at play with the Riggs card, since he managed just 61 games over 4 seasons, including the 9 in 1997 that likely got him on this card.
1998 Upper Deck #277 David Dellucci
As for why legitimate MLB journeyman David Dellucci's cards were half a cent each, I'd guess it's partially because he was taken by the Diamondbacks for 1998, but shown as an Oriole here. In fact, I didn't notice until writing this post that this is a Diamondbacks card. Kudos for Upper Deck for not trying some ridiculous airbrushing to get him into the purple and turquoise. Purple and Turquoise: Oh, how I miss the 1990s.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2070
Total Spent$39.17
Per Card1.892 cents

2013-01-24

2012 Opening Day Rack Pack #4

I haven't blogged one of these since July, though admittedly I've had a few unopened packs sitting by my monitor for a few weeks. Let's see if I can knock them out before Opening Day 2013 hits the stores.

2012 Opening Day #110 Scott Rolen
No Cardinals this time around, but one former Cardinal in Scott Rolen here.

2012 Opening Day - Elite Skills #ES-25 Elvis Andrus
 Sacrifice Bunt is not nearly as good a title as Barehand the Squibber.

2012 Opening Day - Opening Day Stars #ODS-12 Prince Fielder
Prince is a big boy to put on a 3D card like this. Also those stripes, despite being mostly vertical, are not very slimming.

2012 Opening Day - Superstar Celebrations #SC-20 Martin Prado
Here we have the newest Diamondback, assuming that deal goes through.

Now, just like the other packs, here are the base cards:
7 Mickey Mantle
52 Matt Joyce
82 Phil Hughes
101 Todd Helton
107 Rickie Weeks
110 Scott Rolen
116 Josh Hamilton
135 Josh Reddick
139 Trevor Cahill
146 Ian Desmond
163 Heath Bell
164 Nyjer Morgan
173 Michael Pineda
176 Geovany Soto
178 Desmond Jennings
183 Cliff Lee
189 Mariano Rivera
190 Stephen Strasburg
195 Ike Davis
203 John Danks
211 Ben Revere

2013-01-22

eBay Wins #52

Today's win is another penny card no one else was paying attention to on eBay.

1995 Collector's Choice #52 Dante Bichette
Since Dante played in the AL until the Rockies started play, and my baseball world as a kid consisted of the things that happened in Cardinals games, I only remember him as a Colorado Rockies player. He always seemed to be destroying the Cardinals, although a lot of players were from 1992 to 1995 in retrospect. Still, I remember thinking of him as a future Hall-of-Famer, but that didn't quite pan out. He did get 3 votes on the 2007 ballot, which is better than many guys at the bottom of the ballots can say.

Also - and here's some kid logic for you - his last name allllmost had a naughty word in it, yet I could say it out loud with no fear of retribution, so I almost wonder if that made my friends and I talk about him more than some other guys.

With this addition, I now have 7 of the 670 cards in the 1994 Collector's Choice set, so I've cracked 1%. You've got to celebrate the little things, right?

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2066
Total Spent$39.15
Per Card1.895 cents

2013-01-20

Superbowl XLVII Projection, Championship Week

San Francisco over Baltimore

I gave New England over a 75% chance of winning, but they couldn't knock the Ravens out of the Superbowl 2 years in a row. San Francisco was a 52% favorite, but on the road that small margin could be meaningless. However, they pulled it out against Atlanta even after trailing. Those fans will learn a hard lesson to be loud on defense, even up 17-0. Once again, I was rooting for all the teams that lost, although I did hedge a bit and say in the event of Jim Harbaugh's 49ers winning (which came first), I would at least find John Harbaugh's Ravens as his opponent an interesting story line.

I've got San Francisco as nearly a 2 to 1 favorite to win this game, so place your bets accordingly. Since all my rooting interests keep losing, I'll have to swap alliances again. This time I'll go with the 49ers. At least then, the Rams can say they went 1-0-1 against the eventual Superbowl Champions, right?

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
SF11-4-10.754+++++66.488
BAL10-60.607+++++33.512

First to 10% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 20% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 25% Chance of Superbowl win: New England (Week 17)

First to 80% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 90% Chance of Playoffs: Houston, Atlanta (Week 4, Sunday)
First to 99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 99.9% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 10, Sunday)
First to 99.99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 11, Sunday)
First to 99.999% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 12, Thursday)
First to clinch a playoff berth: New England, Houston, Denver, Atlanta (Week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Atlanta (Week 16, Saturday)

First team eliminated: Kansas City (Week 12, Sunday)

[Week 1]
[Week 2, Thursday]
[Week 2, Sunday]
[Week 2, Final]
[Week 3, Thursday]
[Week 3, Sunday]
[Week 3, Final]
[Week 4, Thursday]
[Week 4, Sunday]
[Week 4, Final]
[Week 5, Thursday]
[Week 5, Sunday]
[Week 5, Final]
[Week 6, Thursday]
[Week 6, Sunday]
[Week 6, Final]
[Week 7, Thursday]
[Week 7, Sunday]
[Week 7, Final]
[Week 8, Thursday]
[Week 8, Sunday]
[Week 8, Final]
[Week 9, Thursday]
[Week 9, Sunday]
[Week 9, Final]
[Week 10, Thursday]
[Week 10, Sunday]
[Week 10, Final]
[Week 11, Thursday]
[Week 11, Sunday]
[Week 11, Final]
[Week 12, Thursday]
[Week 12, Sunday]
[Week 12, Final]
[Week 13, Thursday]
[Week 13, Sunday]
[Week 13, Final]
[Week 14, Thursday]
[Week 14, Sunday]
[Week 14, Final]
[Week 15, Thursday]
[Week 15, Sunday]
[Week 15, Final]
[Week 16, Saturday]
[Week 16, Final]
[Week 17]
[Wildcard Saturday]
[Wildcard Sunday]
[Divisional Saturday]
[Divisional Sunday]

2013-01-19

A Random PWE, Part II

Surprises are always nice, and this one from Jaybarkerfan's Junk was no exception. Here's the other half of what he sent me.

2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH14 Yadier Molina
Now that I see this card, I must have all Cardinal All-Stars from 2009 Updates and Highlights. They look pretty good with that All Star Game logo.

2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History #141 Jason Motte
Jason Motte seems to be solidly in our closer role, and 2009's just before I started buying cards again, so this rookie card was a nice addition.

2009 Upper Deck Icons #5 Albert Pujols

2009 Upper Deck Icons #92 Ryan Ludwick
Again, more 2009s to add to my collection, although these two are both gone now. But both provided great memories and plenty of big hits while they were here, Albert more so than Ryan Ludwick of course.

Well that's it. There was only one stamp on the PWE, so you can only fit about 8 cards before getting a big Return to Sender, or even the dreaded Postage Due, not that I'd complain about that on free cards, but someone did that to me on an eBay purchase once. But that's a rant for another day; I just want to say thanks one more time, and of course provide a nice PageRank-boosting link to Jaybarkerfan's Junk. Also, it may not be too late to request your own PWE, so go check out his blog for details.

2013-01-18

A Random PWE, Part I

That's Plain White Envelope for those of you not hip to the collecting lingo. This envelope of cards arrived a week or so ago, but I didn't recognize the name or return address. I thought about it for about a day and remembered that Jaybarkerfan's Junk had requested addresses and favorite teams earlier in the year, and I thought I remembered sending an e-mail over. I still had to do a little digging, but I discovered that was indeed the source of my new cards. Enough about the back story, I'm sure you want to see more Cardinals on this blog. And due to my obsession with tagging the sets and players, you get this post in 2 parts!

1984 Topps #561 Whitey Herzog
Whitey was pretty much the god of baseball in this town until La Russa won two World Series, and some folks still insist he'd have done better. I was sort of surprised to see that this is only the 3rd card of Herzog in my collection, but he did quit managing in 1990, before the explosion of sets, and before I started buying cards.

1985 Topps #447 Jeff Lahti
I always think of 1985 Topps as "Vintage" and maybe even hard to find, but I now have 8 copies of this card. It makes me wonder if all the Cardinals filtered down to my local shops when I was a kid, and I picked them up in "random" lots, or if there is some sort of worldwide glut of '85 Topps. I also kind of wonder what the odds are of someone sending me an octuplet out of just 8 random Cardinals. Maybe I can figure that out one of these days.

1986 Topps Traded #28T Tim Conroy
I must admit I've never heard of Tim Conroy, but it's always nice to get a card from a Traded set. Those seem to be a little harder to find than the flagship counterparts.

1991 Score Rookie/Traded #63T Gerald Perry
Here's another card from a traded set, which is actually my first card from this set. I do remember Gerald Perry pretty well since he played for the Cardinals until 1995. I also heard this week he'll be the Hitting Coach for the USA Baseball team in the World Baseball Classic this year. Good for him. And he'll be working under former Cardinal player and manager, Joe Torre.

Well there's the first half of the cards. Thanks again to Wes at Jaybarkerfan's Junk, and come back tomorrow for Part II.

2013-01-16

eBay Wins #51

Here's another 1 penny card I picked up from the bottom of the eBay barrel. With that name and that mustache, I have to wonder if he's some kind of alter ego for a superhero. With this card, I only have 584 more cards to complete the 1989 Fleer set!
.
1989 Fleer #414 Ron Tingley

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2065
Total Spent$39.14
Per Card1.895 cents

2013-01-14

Superbowl XLVII Projection, Divisional Sunday

New England over San Francisco

At least I can feel good about consistency; the projection didn't change from the one after the first two Divisional Round games. My projections went pretty well overall, with 3 of 4 games being projected correctly and only Baltimore upsetting the apple cart by upsetting Denver. However, of the 4 teams for which I was rooting, all 4 lost. Let's look at the two games next Sunday.

San Francisco at Atlanta
I'll root for Atlanta in this one because I've always liked Tony Gonzalez. I wouldn't mind seeing him get a ring before his career ends.

Baltimore at New England:
I nearly always root against the Patriots, but I think I'll probably root for them instead of the Ravens, unless San Francisco wins the early game, then Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh might be interesting.

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
NE12-40.826++++75.43646.768
SF11-4-10.754++++52.77024.235
ATL13-30.733++++47.23020.470
BAL10-60.607++++24.5648.527

First to 10% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 20% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 25% Chance of Superbowl win: New England (Week 17)

First to 80% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 90% Chance of Playoffs: Houston, Atlanta (Week 4, Sunday)
First to 99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 99.9% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 10, Sunday)
First to 99.99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 11, Sunday)
First to 99.999% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 12, Thursday)
First to clinch a playoff berth: New England, Houston, Denver, Atlanta (Week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Atlanta (Week 16, Saturday)

First team eliminated: Kansas City (Week 12, Sunday)

[Week 1]
[Week 2, Thursday]
[Week 2, Sunday]
[Week 2, Final]
[Week 3, Thursday]
[Week 3, Sunday]
[Week 3, Final]
[Week 4, Thursday]
[Week 4, Sunday]
[Week 4, Final]
[Week 5, Thursday]
[Week 5, Sunday]
[Week 5, Final]
[Week 6, Thursday]
[Week 6, Sunday]
[Week 6, Final]
[Week 7, Thursday]
[Week 7, Sunday]
[Week 7, Final]
[Week 8, Thursday]
[Week 8, Sunday]
[Week 8, Final]
[Week 9, Thursday]
[Week 9, Sunday]
[Week 9, Final]
[Week 10, Thursday]
[Week 10, Sunday]
[Week 10, Final]
[Week 11, Thursday]
[Week 11, Sunday]
[Week 11, Final]
[Week 12, Thursday]
[Week 12, Sunday]
[Week 12, Final]
[Week 13, Thursday]
[Week 13, Sunday]
[Week 13, Final]
[Week 14, Thursday]
[Week 14, Sunday]
[Week 14, Final]
[Week 15, Thursday]
[Week 15, Sunday]
[Week 15, Final]
[Week 16, Saturday]
[Week 16, Final]
[Week 17]
[Wildcard Saturday]
[Wildcard Sunday]
[Divisional Saturday]

2013-01-13

Superbowl XLVII Projection, Divisional Saturday

New England over San Francisco

This is kind of an odd point to make the projection, because there are 3 teams left in each conference, so of course the two that play have a harder road than the one that is already in. Although, my projection shows New England winning right now, and they'll still have to win 2 games to make the Superbowl as of this simulation.

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
NE12-40.826+++70.54753.20830.394
SEA11-50.826-++63.29038.41723.440
SF11-4-10.754++++44.26622.595
ATL13-30.733+++36.71017.3178.389
HOU12-40.665+++29.45316.5325.943
BAL10-60.607++++30.2609.240

First to 10% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 20% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 25% Chance of Superbowl win: New England (Week 17)

First to 80% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 90% Chance of Playoffs: Houston, Atlanta (Week 4, Sunday)
First to 99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 99.9% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 10, Sunday)
First to 99.99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 11, Sunday)
First to 99.999% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 12, Thursday)
First to clinch a playoff berth: New England, Houston, Denver, Atlanta (Week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Atlanta (Week 16, Saturday)

First team eliminated: Kansas City (Week 12, Sunday)

[Week 1]
[Week 2, Thursday]
[Week 2, Sunday]
[Week 2, Final]
[Week 3, Thursday]
[Week 3, Sunday]
[Week 3, Final]
[Week 4, Thursday]
[Week 4, Sunday]
[Week 4, Final]
[Week 5, Thursday]
[Week 5, Sunday]
[Week 5, Final]
[Week 6, Thursday]
[Week 6, Sunday]
[Week 6, Final]
[Week 7, Thursday]
[Week 7, Sunday]
[Week 7, Final]
[Week 8, Thursday]
[Week 8, Sunday]
[Week 8, Final]
[Week 9, Thursday]
[Week 9, Sunday]
[Week 9, Final]
[Week 10, Thursday]
[Week 10, Sunday]
[Week 10, Final]
[Week 11, Thursday]
[Week 11, Sunday]
[Week 11, Final]
[Week 12, Thursday]
[Week 12, Sunday]
[Week 12, Final]
[Week 13, Thursday]
[Week 13, Sunday]
[Week 13, Final]
[Week 14, Thursday]
[Week 14, Sunday]
[Week 14, Final]
[Week 15, Thursday]
[Week 15, Sunday]
[Week 15, Final]
[Week 16, Saturday]
[Week 16, Final]
[Week 17]
[Wildcard Saturday]
[Wildcard Sunday]

2013-01-10

Some 2 By 3 Cards

Wait a minute, aren't standard cards 2.5" by 3.5"? 2 by 3 Heroes is a little short each way, but that's OK,  because he gave me free stuff! First, the two from the very complex part of the contest, in which I had to choose the two cards I wanted. I picked two from 2011 Heritage to bring me a little closer to finishing that set.
2011 Topps Heritage - Then and Now #TN-8 Juan Marichal / CC Sabathia

2011 Topps Heritage - #470 Carl Crawford SP
I'm actually showing off two packages at once here, as Jeff also sent me a few cards for being extremely pedantic in the earlier part of his contest. He searched my wantlist and spotted some holes in the Lineage set.
2011 Topps Lineage
#2 Derek Jeter
#24 Tsuyoshi Nishioka
#26 Grady Sizemore
#37 Justin Upton
#107 Chad Billingsley
He also found a Kimball Champions card I was missing. I'm putting together this set extremely slowly, but maybe I'll finish it off one day.
2011 Topps - Kimball Champions #KC-38 Roy Oswalt
And here were some Cardinals thrown in for fun, McGwire and Ozzie, which I always appreciate.
1999 Upper Deck #518 Mark McGwire

2005 Upper Deck All Star Classics - #94 Ozzie Smith

1995 Upper Deck - Electric Diamond #60 Ozzie Smith

1996 Leaf Preferred - #31 Ozzie Smith
Thanks again to Jeff at 2 by 3 Heroes for the contests.

2013-01-08

NCAA Football Power Rankings, Final

Well that's it, the SEC finishes off the #1-vs-#2 era of the BCS with 7 championships in a row, and 9 total out of the 14 awarded in 15 years, since we're pretending nothing happened in 2004. I've got Alabama as a legitimate #1, too, although Stanford or Oregon probably could have beaten Notre Dame to earn my #1 rank too. That's why I like the direction we're going next year, with the 4-team playoff.

Based on this year's final standings but a 4-team tournament, the BCS would have had #1 Notre Dame against #4 Oregon, and #2 Alabama against #3 Florida before the final. Using my rankings would have resulted in a similar tournament, except Stanford was #4 at the end of the season. Notre Dame beat them once, but barely, so I think we might have easily seen an Oregon/Stanford vs Alabama title game in that case.

As I've said before, I started these rankings for fun when I felt Mizzou was being under-ranked in the past, but now it's fun to see the differences between my objective rankings and the BCS, which is part objective, part voting. All that really matters in the end is the #1 I guess, so this year, everyone's on the same page.

1Alabama13-1
2Notre Dame12-1
3Stanford12-2
4Oregon12-1
5Georgia12-2
6Ohio State12-0
7Florida11-2
8Texas A&M11-2
9Florida State12-2
10South Carolina11-2
11Kansas State11-2
12Clemson11-2
13Northern Illinois12-2
14San Jose State11-2
15Oklahoma10-3
16Louisville11-2
17LSU10-3
18Utah State11-2
19Nebraska10-4
20Kent State11-3
21Tulsa11-3
22Boise State11-2
23Cincinnati10-3
24Northwestern10-3
25Arkansas State10-3
26Texas9-4
27Oregon State9-4
28UCLA9-5
29UCF10-4
30Baylor8-5
31Toledo9-4
32Ball State9-4
33Rutgers9-4
34Vanderbilt9-4
35Arizona8-5
36Oklahoma State8-5
37Syracuse8-5
38San Diego State9-4
39Fresno State9-4
40Michigan8-5
41Louisiana-Lafayette9-4
42Wisconsin8-6
43Louisiana Tech9-3
44Penn State8-4
45Texas Tech8-5
46Mississippi State8-5
47Arizona State8-5
48Ohio9-4
49North Carolina8-4
50Brigham Young8-5
51Michigan State7-6
52Middle Tennessee8-4
53Navy8-5
54West Virginia7-6
55Miami (FL)7-5
56Ole Miss7-6
57East Carolina8-5
58USC7-6
59Louisiana-Monroe8-5
60TCU7-6
61Washington7-6
62Virginia Tech7-6
63Bowling Green8-5
64Georgia Tech7-7
65Iowa State6-7
66North Carolina State7-6
67Southern Methodist7-6
68Duke6-7
69Western Kentucky7-6
70Central Michigan7-6
71Pittsburgh6-7
72Purdue6-7
73Missouri5-7
74Minnesota6-7
75Nevada7-6
76Rice7-6
77Utah5-7
78Tennessee5-7
79Wake Forest5-7
80Arkansas4-8
81Air Force6-7
82Connecticut5-7
83Iowa4-8
84Houston5-7
85Troy5-7
86Marshall5-7
87Virginia4-8
88Temple4-7
89Indiana4-8
90Miami (OH)4-8
91Buffalo4-8
92Wyoming4-8
93North Texas4-8
94Auburn3-9
95Maryland4-8
96Colorado State4-8
97California3-9
98Memphis4-8
99Western Michigan4-8
100South Florida3-9
101Washington State3-9
102Florida Atlantic3-9
103New Mexico4-9
104Kentucky2-10
105Florida International3-9
106UTEP3-9
107UAB3-9
108Eastern Michigan2-10
109Hawaii3-9
110Illinois2-10
111Boston College2-10
112Army2-10
113Kansas1-11
114Tulane2-10
115Colorado1-11
116UNLV2-11
117Idaho1-11
118Akron1-11
119New Mexico State1-11
120Southern Miss0-12

2012 History

2013-01-07

Superbowl XLVII Projection, Wildcard Sunday

Seattle over Denver

All 4 of my picks came up on Wildcard weekend. I really like how the NFL has structured the playoffs, although I did miss having a Sunday night game last night. If Roger Goodell gets his way and the playoffs expand to 14, maybe that can happen in Wildcard weekend next year. Next up is Divisional weekend, with 4 more games. I've got the road teams picked to lose in 3 of the 4 again, and again, the outlier is Seattle. I'm not sure they can realistically go into Atlanta after the Falcons had a bye week, something my model doesn't take into account. But, you can see my picks from the table below, let's see who I'm rooting for.

Seattle at Atlanta
I'm a little ambivalent about this one. Somehow, deep down, I sort of like the Seahawks, at least once the Rams are eliminated.

Green Bay at San Francisco
I'll root for Green Bay in this one, I've liked the Packers going back to the Brett Favre days.

Baltimore at Denver
I like Manning, I don't like Ray Lewis. Denver all the way.

Houston at New England
I guess I'll root for Houston, but this game is a team I don't like versus one I'm pretty neutral towards. So, go Houston, beat New England!

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
NE12-40.826+++70.53340.21023.350
SEA11-50.825-++63.28140.56222.096
DEN13-30.821+++74.78641.33623.669
SF11-4-10.754+++58.94326.06611.480
ATL13-30.733+++36.71918.6987.735
GB11-50.681+++41.05714.6745.233
HOU12-40.664+++29.46710.8214.022
BAL10-60.607+++25.2147.6332.414

First to 10% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 20% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 25% Chance of Superbowl win: New England (Week 17)

First to 80% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 90% Chance of Playoffs: Houston, Atlanta (Week 4, Sunday)
First to 99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 99.9% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 10, Sunday)
First to 99.99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 11, Sunday)
First to 99.999% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 12, Thursday)
First to clinch a playoff berth: New England, Houston, Denver, Atlanta (Week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Atlanta (Week 16, Saturday)

First team eliminated: Kansas City (Week 12, Sunday)

[Week 1]
[Week 2, Thursday]
[Week 2, Sunday]
[Week 2, Final]
[Week 3, Thursday]
[Week 3, Sunday]
[Week 3, Final]
[Week 4, Thursday]
[Week 4, Sunday]
[Week 4, Final]
[Week 5, Thursday]
[Week 5, Sunday]
[Week 5, Final]
[Week 6, Thursday]
[Week 6, Sunday]
[Week 6, Final]
[Week 7, Thursday]
[Week 7, Sunday]
[Week 7, Final]
[Week 8, Thursday]
[Week 8, Sunday]
[Week 8, Final]
[Week 9, Thursday]
[Week 9, Sunday]
[Week 9, Final]
[Week 10, Thursday]
[Week 10, Sunday]
[Week 10, Final]
[Week 11, Thursday]
[Week 11, Sunday]
[Week 11, Final]
[Week 12, Thursday]
[Week 12, Sunday]
[Week 12, Final]
[Week 13, Thursday]
[Week 13, Sunday]
[Week 13, Final]
[Week 14, Thursday]
[Week 14, Sunday]
[Week 14, Final]
[Week 15, Thursday]
[Week 15, Sunday]
[Week 15, Final]
[Week 16, Saturday]
[Week 16, Final]
[Week 17]
[Wildcard Saturday]

2013-01-06

Superbowl XLVII Projection, Wildcard Saturday

Seattle over Denver

The two most likely Superbowl winners at this point are Denver and New England, but since Seattle is most likely to win the NFC, and Denver is most likely to win the AFC, and Seattle is stronger than Denver, I've listed the projection as Seattle over Denver.

Like I said last time, I'll be rooting for Indianapolis today, but on paper they certainly look overmatched against Baltimore.

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
NE12-40.826+++70.50339.92923.851
SEA11-50.825-+76.95248.69231.19616.889
DEN13-30.821+++78.35143.30825.552
SF11-4-10.754+++58.94127.97212.211
ATL13-30.733+++43.45422.1439.081
GB11-50.681+++41.05915.9425.635
HOU12-40.664+++29.49710.7934.182
BAL10-60.607++66.30316.7135.0601.675
WAS10-60.586++23.0487.8542.7470.738
IND11-50.440-+33.6974.9350.9110.185

First to 10% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 20% Chance of Superbowl win: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 25% Chance of Superbowl win: New England (Week 17)

First to 80% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 2, Sunday)
First to 90% Chance of Playoffs: Houston, Atlanta (Week 4, Sunday)
First to 99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 7, Sunday)
First to 99.9% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 10, Sunday)
First to 99.99% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 11, Sunday)
First to 99.999% Chance of Playoffs: Houston (Week 12, Thursday)
First to clinch a playoff berth: New England, Houston, Denver, Atlanta (Week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Atlanta (Week 16, Saturday)

First team eliminated: Kansas City (Week 12, Sunday)

[Week 1]
[Week 2, Thursday]
[Week 2, Sunday]
[Week 2, Final]
[Week 3, Thursday]
[Week 3, Sunday]
[Week 3, Final]
[Week 4, Thursday]
[Week 4, Sunday]
[Week 4, Final]
[Week 5, Thursday]
[Week 5, Sunday]
[Week 5, Final]
[Week 6, Thursday]
[Week 6, Sunday]
[Week 6, Final]
[Week 7, Thursday]
[Week 7, Sunday]
[Week 7, Final]
[Week 8, Thursday]
[Week 8, Sunday]
[Week 8, Final]
[Week 9, Thursday]
[Week 9, Sunday]
[Week 9, Final]
[Week 10, Thursday]
[Week 10, Sunday]
[Week 10, Final]
[Week 11, Thursday]
[Week 11, Sunday]
[Week 11, Final]
[Week 12, Thursday]
[Week 12, Sunday]
[Week 12, Final]
[Week 13, Thursday]
[Week 13, Sunday]
[Week 13, Final]
[Week 14, Thursday]
[Week 14, Sunday]
[Week 14, Final]
[Week 15, Thursday]
[Week 15, Sunday]
[Week 15, Final]
[Week 16, Saturday]
[Week 16, Final]
[Week 17]

2013-01-05

NCAA Football Power Rankings, Week 19

This week saw 14 more bowl games, as well as the Division I-AA Championship. Congrats to North Dakota State. The most notable change this week is that Alabama is now all the way down at #6, (#5 if you disregard ineligible Ohio State). The winner of the title game on Monday will still be #1 in my rankings, but Alabama may finish at #6 if they lose. Notre Dame should finish #1 or #2 either way.

Also, go Mizzou, the SEC bowl wins put them back up to #73

1Notre Dame12-0
2Stanford12-2
3Oregon12-1
4Georgia12-2
5Ohio State12-0
6Alabama12-1
7Florida11-2
8Texas A&M11-2
9Florida State12-2
10South Carolina11-2
11Kansas State11-2
12Clemson11-2
13Northern Illinois12-2
14San Jose State11-2
15Oklahoma10-3
16Louisville11-2
17LSU10-3
18Utah State11-2
19Kent State11-2
20Nebraska10-4
21Tulsa11-3
22Boise State11-2
23Cincinnati10-3
24Northwestern10-3
25Texas9-4
26Oregon State9-4
27UCLA9-5
28UCF10-4
29Baylor8-5
30Toledo9-4
31Ball State9-4
32Rutgers9-4
33Arkansas State9-3
34Vanderbilt9-4
35Arizona8-5
36Oklahoma State8-5
37Syracuse8-5
38San Diego State9-4
39Fresno State9-4
40Michigan8-5
41Wisconsin8-6
42Louisiana Tech9-3
43Louisiana-Lafayette9-4
44Penn State8-4
45Texas Tech8-5
46Mississippi State8-5
47Arizona State8-5
48Ohio9-4
49North Carolina8-4
50Brigham Young8-5
51Michigan State7-6
52Navy8-5
53West Virginia7-6
54Middle Tennessee8-4
55Miami (FL)7-5
56Ole Miss7-6
57East Carolina8-5
58USC7-6
59TCU7-6
60Louisiana-Monroe8-5
61Washington7-6
62Virginia Tech7-6
63Bowling Green8-5
64Georgia Tech7-7
65Iowa State6-7
66North Carolina State7-6
67Southern Methodist7-6
68Duke6-7
69Central Michigan7-6
70Pittsburgh6-7
71Western Kentucky7-6
72Purdue6-7
73Missouri5-7
74Minnesota6-7
75Nevada7-6
76Rice7-6
77Utah5-7
78Wake Forest5-7
79Tennessee5-7
80Arkansas4-8
81Air Force6-7
82Connecticut5-7
83Iowa4-8
84Houston5-7
85Marshall5-7
86Troy5-7
87Virginia4-8
88Temple4-7
89Indiana4-8
90Miami (OH)4-8
91Buffalo4-8
92Wyoming4-8
93North Texas4-8
94Auburn3-9
95Maryland4-8
96Colorado State4-8
97California3-9
98Western Michigan4-8
99Memphis4-8
100South Florida3-9
101Washington State3-9
102Florida Atlantic3-9
103New Mexico4-9
104Kentucky2-10
105Florida International3-9
106UTEP3-9
107UAB3-9
108Eastern Michigan2-10
109Hawaii3-9
110Illinois2-10
111Boston College2-10
112Army2-10
113Kansas1-11
114Tulane2-10
115Colorado1-11
116UNLV2-11
117Idaho1-11
118Akron1-11
119New Mexico State1-11
120Southern Miss0-12

2013-01-02

Make Your Superbowl Picks

No, not here, over at Collector's Crack. You can enter the Almost The Easiest Superbowl Contest on the Web III. I've already put in my pick of the Patriots over the Seahawks based on my questionable projections, but you can pick a different point total or number of turnovers to edge me out in the tiebreaker.

Last year, no one picked the Giants, so when it came to tiebreakers, I was just 5 TDs away from the win. That's sort of close. Everyone around me during the game was wondering why I was screaming for both teams to throw the long ball and just score already.

See? This contest can make the game fun, even when it has 2 teams I don't really care about. And, being a Rams fan, I may have to deal with that for awhile longer. So go enter, good luck, and enjoy the playoffs.

(And of course, promote it on your blog like I have, for a bonus chance at the door prize.)

2013-01-01

Collecting Resolutions for 2013

Yes, everyone is writing one of these, and I resisted last year, but I think picking an arbitrary interval at which to examine one's progress is actually a wise idea. So here's a short list of where I hope to be on December 31 against where I am today.
  1. Enter all my non-blog-queue cards into a database. I'm currently using Zistle, though the site seems a little abandoned by its moderators, so I'll keep my options open. Right now, everything I have from the 1950s through 1992 that isn't sitting in a "To-Blog" pile has been cataloged. That's just 20 years worth of stuff to go, with a sparse number of cards from 2000-2009 when I didn't really collect. I like to do this because I want to instantly and definitively know if I have a card, instead of checking multiple boxes, binders, and stray piles.
  2. Update my want list and trade list every 30 days, or when they change, whichever comes later. Too many times I've been sent cards from my list after already having traded for them or bought them, sometimes weeks prior. Also, I accidentally sent off both copies of a few cards in trades last year, creating new holes in a set I was working on completing.
  3. Make 6 trades. That sounds paltry to many of you, but that'd be an increase for me. I never seem to find the time to look around for what I can send others.
  4. Keep my To-Blog pile, mentioned above, to a minimum, by...
  5. Building up a blog buffer. I like to post something every few days, but when I get busy, I wind up frantically scanning and posting cards to meet a completely artificial deadline, and the result is a poor post anyway. If I can keep even 2-3 completed posts in draft, that aren't time-sensitive, I'll feel less pressured to write on a deadline.
  6. Get Healthy.
If we were playing "One of these things is not like the others", the last one would certainly stand out as the one. I don't think the hobby has impacted my health negatively, though there have probably been a few times I could have come home from work and exercised instead of writing or sorting baseball cards. But the reason I list is here is that I had a vague idea mid-year, and a version of it showed up on Lifehacker.com a few days ago. Essentially, my card budget will be based on some health metrics I've set up for myself. I have a scale that also measures body fat, and a Nike+ Fuelband, which can measure steps like a pedometer, estimate calories burned, and also wraps that all up into a proprietary measure called NikeFuel.

So what's the plan? I'll set a max budget each week, which is an amount of money I can afford to spend on cards. Each week, that will go into a jar/envelope/spreadsheet as money I can spend on cards. However, the amount will also be reduced each week if I'm not at my goal. After some thought, the target budget will be $40 per week, because I won't be getting it all at first, and also, that should be doable if I skip out on some of the junk food habit I've developed. To keep it simple, I'll have just 2 components.

  • Pounds of Body Fat
  • NikeFuel
As I poke around the internet, the top of the ideal range for a 6-foot tall 30-year-old man seems to be about 17% body fat, and weight as high as 180 lbs. So let's say that my goal for pounds of body fat is 30.6. I'm currently at 80.332, which is a bit sobering to realize, since I was right around that high-ideal range 7 years ago. But luckily (at least mathematically) the difference is right around 50, so I'll set the penalty at 1% per pound of body fat above my goal, meaning that to start off, I'm losing nearly half my budget each week on this measure.

For NikeFuel, I'll set a daily goal, and allow myself the other 50% of my budget if I meet the goal each day on average, that is, I reach 7x the daily goal for the week. I've found 2500 to be a challenging daily goal, and 1700 or so almost automatic if I don't sleep in and get lazy watching football all day, so really it's about the motivating myself to earn the extra 800 a day, or 5600 a week. So I'll say every point I'm short of my weekly goal causes me to lose 0.01% of my budget. That means that a 5k shortfall would wipe out half.

I'll measure both components on Saturday mornings, and probably even update my progress on the blog every month or so.

Number 6 on my list is definitely #1 on my mind, and hopefully my little public declaration, and ensuing risk of embarrassing failure, will give me the nudge I need to make it happen.