Monday, October 22, 2012

New football rankings and Athens sectional recap

Few things went according to plan with last weekend’s trip to Athens, at least according to the plan in place on Friday morning. Even the other plans that were made as the weekend went along were often changed. Playing 2 sessions of bridge Saturday was the one thing that did. Ironically, that was clearly the worst part of the weekend. Winter, however, got to spent that time having tons of fun with our new friends and I was able to join them after bridge.

If you don’t play bridge, skip this paragraph. Bridge was easy Friday night. We won with ease as everyone was in a gift-giving mood. Saturday was kind of terrible. Twice I attempted to duck smoothly when declarer finessed into my K (behind the ace) to save my entry, cut him off from dummy later, or something like that. In neither case did I score my K later and the plays were costly.  The hand that still baffles me the most is when my partner held Qxx, void, KQxxx, KJTxx. I opened 1H, he responded 1NT, and I rebid 3H. He raised this to 4H. What the heck does it take to bid 3NT? I mean, yes, ideally, the spades would be a tad better but this falls well within the expected spade length/strength for this bidding. Then my LHO doubles 4H and partner still doesn’t bid NT. Obviously now our 6-0 trump fit is getting s 5-2 trump split or worse and you have TWO good sources of tricks outside hearts! 1H-1NT-3H is not like 1H-2C-3H: the latter shows a self sufficient suit because 2H is still forcing with 6+ hearts. In the former (the auction that actually happened), 3H is the only bid you have available to show some extras with 6 hearts so you can’t expect it to be self-sufficient. It could be and if so I may well bid 4H over 3NT.

Non-bridge players who are football fans: start reading again. In other news, college football rankings through week 8 are out. Notre Dame is #1 and UGA is way down at #22 in my computer. Somehow, my algorithms don’t love the SEC as much as usual and certainly not as much as the voters. Here are the top 25 in the Asbury computer followed by some computer predictions for next week.

 Rank    Prev  BCS     W     LTeam   Str. of Sch.       Rating
11570NOTRE DAME1493.881
44760OREGON STATE3489.829
55370KANSAS STATE4487.974
871461TEXAS TECH2678.863
98    NE80OHIO STATE7577.413
1361952WEST VIRGINIA1773.090
14141170Mississippi State11571.423
15201271FLORIDA STATE9970.399
16132161BOISE STATE10170.251
17121362SOUTH CAROLINA2470.159
1892052TEXAS A&M2269.980

This seems odd: my computer has its top-ranked Fighting Irish losing 28-20 to Oklahoma (-9). Then again, it does try to account for home field and momentum from recent games and even adjusts a bit if a team is at the end of a particularly tough stretch of games. Other scores to expect (with the point spreads in parentheses taken from
BYU 28 (+2),              @Georgia Tech 24
Florida 33 (-3.5),         Georgia 20
@South Carolina 35 (-14), Tennessee 24
Clemson 37 (-16),   @Wake Forest 24
@Florida State 36 (-26), Duke 24
@Alabama 30 (-24),   Mississippi State 21
@Kansas State 37 (-8), Texas Tech 28
Here’s another anomaly: @Vanderbilt 161, Massachusetts -114. This is undoubtedly because Massachusetts has a negative rating of -2.902 and apparently that throws the prediction algorithm out of whack. Geez, I need to add some home state bias to this program. This business of predicting GT to lose when they're officially the favorite is not cool. Neither is predicting UGA to lose by 13 when they're only 3.5 point underdogs.

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