Over the past few years, we have given the subscribers of Footballguys.com some help in playing office pools, one of the most popular methods to follow the NFL aside from fantasy football leagues. For the past few seasons, the staff members have done the Staff Confidence Pool Challenge, where numerous staffers try and pick the winners each week with a confidence ranking, and Jeff Pasquino’s “For The Win” column where Jeff attempts to pick each and every NFL game against the Las Vegas spread. Both of these have been very popular features, so this year Footballguys is adding a combination of the two called the “Against the Spread” Challenge and also the Eliminator Challenge, where staffers have to pick a team to win each week. Just one? That sounds easy, but here is the catch – you can only pick the team you choose in a given week once all season long. Many contests and pools out there get pretty big, so an Eliminator (or Survivor) Pool can go 16 or 17 weeks.
Jeff Pasquino has provided some insight into this kind of contest with two pre-season articles, first one that describes this kind of contest along with some advice on how to pick a team each week:
The second article is rather interesting, which describes Jeff’s preseason plan to get all the way through 17 weeks. Will it work? We are about to find out.
This pool will run all season long, but to keep participation up, the pool will crown the staffer with the best W-L record for the season (which means that everyone in the pool will continue to make picks every week).
THIS WEEK'S PICK SUMMARY
Here are the picks for this week, along with last week's results:
Who else hates the Giants after last week? Or should our hatred be steered more at the Chiefs for not showing up last Sunday? On the surface it looks like I should not be bitter, but I went with Kansas City in another pool, which was a huge mistake. While I got by unscathed here, 50% of the staff (10 of 20) took a loss in Week 11 due to the Chiefs' overtime loss (which hurt twice as much after they came back to force overtime). That puts the staff at 58 total losses on the season, or about six a week. That's not so great, and odds are it will get a little worse as there are fewer and fewer options to take each week. The good news is that bye weeks are over, but with 11 selections made already, the variety is sure to increase.
As we head into Week 12, there is a TON of variety in the picks this week. Whether it is due to the short week for Thanksgiving or that many good teams have already been chosen, we have a record number of teams I believe with 10 different franchises in just 18 selections (two stragglers this week). Cincinnati (4) leads the way as the Bengals host the Browns, which is probably more a vote against Cleveland than for Cincinnati, even though the Bengals just beat Denver on the road. New England (3) is next as the Patriots are favored at home by more than two touchdowns against Miami, but it is a divisional game and the Patriots are claiming to be tired after their trip to Mexico. Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia all received two votes as they are all home favorites by a touchdown or more. Five unique votes came in for Atlanta (home against Tampa Bay), Carolina (at the Jets), Baltimore (home against Houston), Kansas City (hosting Buffalo) and Oakland (hosting Denver). Needless to say, but this could be a big shakeup week in the standings.
Please note a few things: We will be doing these picks every week, win or lose, to keep it entertaining all season long. Normally a Survivor / Eliminator pool would end once all but one player lost once, but to provide our subscribers with more perspectives, everyone will pick every week even if they lose. That said, we will still try and honor the spirit of an Eliminator / Survivor Pool, trying to win every week and not re-use any teams during the year.
Each week, contestants are invited to submit any comments that they might have about their picks. If they submit them early enough, we post them with the article. If not, the comments will be within the section below.
Jeff Pasquino: I wish I had used Jacksonville across the board, as that made much more sense than looking at Kansas City on the road in a windy MetLife Stadium. Oh well, on to Week 12. I decided to scrap my preseason plan of Arizona over Jacksonville for obvious reasons (I was wrong about the Jaguars and Arizona is a mess). With the Chiefs still available to me and at home facing a Buffalo team that cannot play defense right now, I decided to go with Kansas City and save a few other bigger favorites for later in December.
The Pick: Kansas City
Good luck this weekend!
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org