Friday, October 31, 2008

2008 - Week 9 Shootout Predictions

As we looked at this week's match-ups, we found some games that jumped out at us. The ones that always jump off the page are the games with playoff seeding implications or teams fighting for survival. You will see a couple of those in our selections, but this week we dug deep to find an intriguing game with none of that. Here are our picks for Week 9 games to watch (the rankings below are the Rankings for Week 9):

  • #4 Har-Ber at #9 Fayetteville. The Wildcats will attempt to correct some of the special team problems that led to the loss to FS Southside last week. The defending 7A state champion Purple Bulldogs of Fayetteville are looking to get on a roll before the playoffs start in 2 weeks. We expect to see a lot of points in Fayetteville this Halloween.
  • #8 Central Arkansas Christian at #4 Greenwood. This is the time of year when Greenwood starts priming for its playoff run. The three-time defending 5A state champion is trying to shore up its playoff seed. The CAC Mustangs are looking to redeem themselves after falling short in the last big time match-up with Siloam Springs (Week 7). We think those in the Arkansas River Valley are in for an intriguing game tonight.
  • Waldron at Mena. Why this game? Well, this match-up features 2 teams that have shown a complete inability to stop any offense that they have seen. In addition, both teams have put up quite a few points each week. So, this game is likely to be a high scoring affair between 2 mediocre teams. No one in the stands will mention playoffs and Waldron or Mena in the same sentence, but the offenses on the field will likely make this an entertaining game.
We'll end this week a little different. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Be sure to take plenty of candy for the trick-or-treaters that you will meet on the way to a high school football game.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

2008 - Week 8 Follow Up (Trivia Edition)

We apologize for not having written the past two weeks, so I thought I would play a little trivia with you. I will post questions at the top, and the answers will be provided at the bottom.

Before we begin, I will inform you that there were 204 teams playing in 102 games during Week 8.

Question 1:
What was the highest total scored by a single team in Week 8?

Question 2:
What was the highest combined point total by two teams in a single game in Week 8?

Question 3:
What was the largest margin of victory in Week 8?

Question 4:
What was the most common margin of victory in Week 8?

Question 5:
Of the 102 games, how many were won by 35 or more?

Question 6:
Of the 102 games, how many were won by 7 points or less?

Question 7:
How many games combined for 80 points or more?

Question 8:
How many games combined for 21 points or less?

Question 9:
What was the most common score by one team?

Question 10:
What was the average score by one team?

Question 11:
What was the median score by a single team (same amount above as below)?

Question 12:
What was the average margin of victory?

Question 13:
What was the average combined point total?

1. 77 by Fountain Lake (Fountain Lake scored 88 earlier in Week 3)
2. 119 (England defeated Rose Bud, 64-55)
3. 51 (Des Arc defeated Hughes, 57-6)
4. 35 points decided 6 games (5 games were decided by 7 points, 20 points, and 33 points)
5. 26 games were won by 35 points or more
6. 16 games were decided by 7 points or less
7. 7 games totaled 80 points or more (over 11 TD's)
8. 4 games totaled 21 points or less (3 TD's or less)
9. 21 points (16 teams)
10. 26 points
11. 23 points (101 teams scored more, 101 teams scored less, 2 teams scored 23)
12. 23 points was also the average margin of victory
13. Teams combined to score an average of 52 points.

I hope you enjoyed our trivia. Please leave comments.

Have a good week. We hope to have a Week 9 preview of Shootouts to Watch on Friday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

2008 - Week 7 Shootout of the Week

As we scanned the schedule for our shootout this week, we noticed that this week seems to have several mismatches. Wading through the schedule, we decided on two picks for our Week 7 shootout predictions.

  • If you are in the Ft. Smith area, you probably want to pack a lunch and head out to the game between Springdale and Northside. Springdale put up 52 points last week, but still lost to #2 Ft. Smith Southside by 3. This week they will attempt to take down the #3 Grizzlies. There should be plenty of offense to keep the blood flowing despite the cooler temperatures.

  • If you are in Central Arkansas this weekend, you might want to catch the Siloam Springs Panthers playing at Central Arkansas Christian. The game is for sole possession of 1st placed with only 3 games to play in conference. Both teams have shown the ability to put points on the board and both are ranked in the top 10 by This game has the potential to be a great one.

As we say every week, have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

2008 - Week 6 Shootouts

We were WAY to busy to make any predictions for this week. The best bet for a good game is finding the one closest to you.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week 5 Wrap Up

Well, the rumors were true as NFL films were present at the Pulaski Academy home game versus Camden-Fairview. After a day of interviewing a few players and coaches, the crew filmed at least the fourth downs by Pulaski Academy (they were 4 out of 6) as well as the drop-kicks that the Bruins tried for their first two kickoffs. They also had Head Coach Kevin Kelley mic'd up on the sidelines. The piece is supposed to air in December.

As for the game itself, Pulaski Academy won 41-7. Although it may seem like a one-sided affair, the Bruins held the Cardinals out of the endzone three possessions inside the 6-yard line. So the normally explosive offense of PA was overshadowed by the play of the defense that always seems to receive a bad reputation.

In the other contest that we attended, the results were as expected as the Nashville Scrappers took a 44-0 first half lead on their way to a 57-14 victory.

Friday, October 3, 2008

2008 - Week 5 Shootout of the Week

Well, a persistent rumor is going around about an exciting event that is supposed to happen tonight in Arkansas high school football. Perhaps, you have heard it. The rumor is that NFL films is sending a crew to Little Rock to film Pulaski Academy's home game against Camden Fairview. While this game is likely to be a great football game, that is not the reason for the national attention. The network is rumored to be interested in documenting the "No Punt" philosophy of PA's head coach, Kevin Kelley.

For those of you who don't know, Coach Kelley despises the idea of giving up the football by punting, so it is my opinion that he went looking for an excuse not to do it. He found it in research produced in an unlikely place, the economics department at the University of California-Berkeley. Professor David Romer started looking at whether or not "managers" at business firms optimize by examining the behavior of NFL head coach decisions on 4th down. He published his results in the Journal of Political Economy in August 2006. For those of you who don't want to read the entire paper, here's a summary:
  • Unless your defense is as good at stopping the opponents as the Baltimore Ravens during the best years, then you score more points by going for it on "almost" all 4th down plays.
  • The opposing team does NOT score any more points by going for it on those 4th down plays.
  • Coaches punt for the short term goal of shifting the responsibility for the opposing score from his decision to go for it to the defense's inability to stop the offense. This is a shell game to avoid those annoying post-game questions about the 4th down "failures".
  • You INCREASE your chance of winning by going for it on "almost" all 4th down especially if you have a prolific offense and an average to less than average defense.
I am sold on Coach Kelley's philosophy, but all 4th downs are not equivalent. I think that this is a small flaw in his approach. However, he is getting paid for to make those decisions, not me. In any case, we feel that the rumor itself makes this game our Shootout of the Week for Week 5. Can anyone out there confirm or deny the validity?

One of us will be there at the PA-Camden Fairview match-up while the other gets the pleasure of watching the 3-time defending state champion Nashville Scrappers travel to Mena (a "homecoming" of sorts). We anticipate a big win by Scrappers in Bearcat Stadium tonight. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.