Hello everyone! I’m excited to organize the inaugural STS prediction contest. Each week you will have the chance to predict the scores of select games. At the end of the season, the participant with the most points (scoring system below) will be the winner! Our fearless leader, Brian, tells me that pending approval from the power that be, there may even be some small prizes for the top 3 scorers*.
*Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, but I assume employees of Vox Media will not be eligible. Oh wait, I am a lawyer, but not for this blog, for Vox, or for any of you.
How it works
Each week there will be 5 games for you to predict. In each game, correctly picking the winner will earn you 5 points. Additionally, one bonus point will be rewarded for each team’s score that you predict within 7.5 points, meaning you could earn up to 7 points per game. Please note that you could earn points for a game even if you do not correctly predict the winner by getting close on the score.
Let’s look at an example!
Example: Clemson v. USC
Person 1: Clemson 35 USC 0
Person 2: Clemson 38 USC 21
Person 3: Clemson 14 USC 21
Actual Score: Clemson 42 USC 24
Person 1: Got the winner right (5 points), got the Clemson score within 7.5 points (1 point) for a total of 6 points.
Person 2: Got the winner right (5 points), got the Clemson score within 7.5 points (1 point) and got the USC score within 7.5 points (1 point) for a total of 7 points.
Person 3: Got the USC score within 7.5 points (1 point) for a total of 1 point.
Each week there will be a post recapping the previous week’s results and offering up the current week’s match ups. There will also be a cumulative scoreboard so people can keep track of their progress. I’ll also give me own predictions in each week’s post so you can see just how poorly I do.
You can enter your selections for week 1 here!
As promised, here are my picks and thoughts for this week’s slate of games. All ranks are AP ranks.
1. Clemson (2) at Auburn
Vegas says: Clemson -7.5
Revan says: Clemson 34 Auburn 17
People have scoffed at Clemson’s strength of schedule this year, but it’s not like Clemson isn’t trying. We can’t help that the Gamecocks totally fell apart last year and that Auburn took big steps back after they were scheduled. I’m not really sure how Auburn can compete against Clemson on offense or defense. That said, this is the first game of the season with a new-look and inexperienced defense on the road in a hostile environment. All that said, I think Clemson should win comfortably.
2. Georgia (18) versus UNC (22) (Neutral site)
Vegas says: Georgia -3
Revan says: UGA 24 UNC 17
I don’t like UNC at all, but I do hope they beat Georgia (and that FSU beats Ole Miss) so the talking heads will give the SEC superiority talk a rest for at least a week. Georgia should have success on the ground and should win this game, but it will be close.
3. Ole Miss (11) versus FSU (4) (Technically a neutral site)
Vegas says: FSU -4.5
Revan says: FSU 23 Ole Miss 13
FSU has a vaunted defense although I’m a bit skeptical of the offense outside of Dalvin Cook since I have no clue how their QB will perform. I think Swag Kelly and Ole Miss will struggle against the FSU defense, and that Cook should carry FSU on offense, but then again I also though FSU would beat Houston handily last year, so what do I know?
4. Oklahoma (3) versus Houston (15) (Technically a neutral site)
Vegas says: Oklahoma -11
Revan says: Houston 31 Oklahoma 27
I really want to pick against the Sooners. This is definitely unreasonable bias from watching the Tigers annihilate them two years in a row, but they just don’t seem scary to me. I’m going to go with Houston as an upset special so stay tuned for next week’s post where I’m appropriately embarrassed after Oklahoma blows them out.
5. Alabama (1) versus the Real USC (20) (Neutral site)
Vegas says: Bama -11
Revan says: Alabama 41 USC 20
How can you go against Alabama, right? I can’t see them losing to the Trojans.