Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

College football league provides fun for the entire season

Football can be a series of bitter disappointments, going back as far as 1965.
It was the previous year that the Browns won an undisputed title.
Since then, not much to cheer about when the season ended.
But college football, for some reason, doesn’t elicit that same sour emotion. Maybe it’s because there are so many good teams we can follow. I was a close follower of Ohio State this season and that loyalty, such as it is, rewarded me handsomely – in good cheer, if not monetarily.
I will leave the gambling to others. I follow teams for the fun of it.
One of the college teams I do not follow is my alma mater, Kent State, because to do so would be something less than rewarding. The Flashes have sent some outstanding players into the National Football League, but none of them played at Kent in large enough groupings to sustain a team with a decent record.
I have written previously about the Lake County Football Prognosticators, a group of 10 young (or reasonably young) men who make it a sport to select four college teams and follow them throughout the season. Three are “regular” choices and there’s one “bonus” pick. We do pony up a modest amount of money, and I must say I had a pretty good season.
I won $1.50 (that’s a dollar and fifty cents) at the season-ending “payoff” meeting. In addition, I was the only player whose bonus team was undefeated, so I laid claim to the entire “bonus pool.”
Several people have asked me just who these Prognosticators are. Fortunately, I have been given permission to tell you. This came at our payoff meeting the other day, at which I threatened to expose them whether they liked it or not. So nobody put up a squawk.
But first, this is how our selection process goes. And by the way, this is not a secret society. Its boundaries are not limited, so anyone who seeks admission will probably be considered, although there are no guarantees, because I am not authorized to speak for the others. For all I know, they may limit membership to 10.
At our August selection meeting, Dave Clair writes 10 numbers on pieces of paper and places them in a hat, or some other receptacle that is suitable. Each player selects a number. But this is not the order of the draft. It is just the order in which we select the second number, from one to 10. That is the real order of the draft. Got it?
Then we begin the draft. Once a team is selected, it is gone, so to speak. The second player must pick from the remaining college teams. And so it goes until all players have chosen four teams.
John Trebets drew No. 1, and he chose Mount Union, as he did last year, when he also selected at the No. 1 spot. He is very lucky at choosing first, because he always gets Mount Union, and it never loses in the regular season (playoff games don’t count).
Just the last 10 games of the regular season are used in our final accounting, otherwise there would be hell to pay in summing things up. So I had a perfect season with my first pick, Ohio State, because the Buckeyes won their last 10 regular season games, and that upsetting loss early in the season to Virginia Tech did not matter in our standings.
Rick Stenger, picking in the No. 2 spot, chose Wisconsin Whitewater, always a coveted team because it seldom loses.
Geoff Weaver drafted next, and took Alabama, except the Tide lost a game and finished 9-1.
Choosing next, Rich Collins took Northwest Missouri State, and that was also a good choice, because it was also 9-1.
Parenthetically, some of our players have titles such as “judge” preceding their names, but I am not including them in this narrative because it really doesn’t matter. They get the same amount of respect as the other players, which is minimal.
But I digress.
Next up was John Hurley, and he took Oregon, which also was 9-1.
Next was Clair, and he took Mary Hardin Baylor, which, as expected, went  10-0. How I love that team. I would draft it every year if it were still available.
Choosing next was Vince Culotta, and he took Grand View of Iowa, which was 9-1. Then Marty Parks chose Florida State, which posted a 10-0 record.
I was next with my Ohio State pick, then choosing last was Dale Fellows, and he took Lenoir Rhyne, which finished 10-0.
Here is where the element of fairness comes in – in the second round, Dale chose first and John Trebets last. The choices are in reverse order.
We subtract losses from wins, so in the final accounting, Fellows led the pack with 28 points, Culotta was next with 26, then Trebets with 23, Weaver with 22, Parks and me with 20, Stenger with 18, Hurley with 14, Clair with 14 and Collins with 12.
Those numbers do not reflect whole dollars. They are merely fractions of dollars.
The bonus pool went in its entirety to me, because I chose Minnesota State Mankato, which lost nary a game. Correct, it was 10-0.
And why wasn’t Mankato chosen in the first three rounds? Just dumb luck, I guess. Who would know the team would have an undefeated season?
Dale and Vince did well because their other teams were New Hampshire and Morningside (Iowa), along with North Dakota State and Minnesota Duluth.
I hate to have to report this, but the team with the poorest record among the 40 drafted was Clair’s pick of Cumberlands, Ky. Last year was great. This year, at 3-7, not so good.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home