Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Third Annual Pick Six Game

I heard a rumor earlier in the week: the preseason AP poll would be released on Saturday. So Saturday morning I woke up, went to my computer, waited til the 9am release time, checked the teams, and announced:

"The Pick Six is officially ON!" (Oh yeah, there are Viking Kittens.)

For those who played before, welcome back. For newcomers, welcome to the game. Read on:

The rules: The preseason AP poll of teams 1 through 25 is broken up into five quintiles:

A: Southern Cal, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon
B: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, South Carolina, Arkansas
C: West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Clemson, Texas
D: Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, TCU
E: Stanford, Kansas State, Florida, Boise State, Louisville

Pick one team from each grouping. Then pick one unranked team (Group F) ... it can be any team not listed above. That's your six. The goal is to have the highest ranked teams at the end of the season (after all bowls are played). The No. 1 team gets 25 points, No. 2 gets 24, down to No. 25 gets one point. The standings will be posted online so you can follow along. (I will update the standings each week, but only the final poll matters.)

My favorite aspect of the game is that it's so easy, your cat or dog can play. Or baby. Hell, last year we had a fetus (who has since turned into an awesome little dude). Feel free to enter a pickset for any member of your household. If you do, please share how your cat/dog/parakeet/infant made his/her picks. It is usually such fun to read the creativity of our contestants.

Is this a MAC-tastic hint for an "F" pick? 

 How easy is it? Here's last year's winner:

and the runner-up:

So even if you are a casual fan, or you are a child having this read to you by your mom or dad, You Can Do This!

The prize: As you can see, last year's theme was kitsch from a prominent football program, in the spirit of the original game hosted by Notre Dame blog The Blue-Gray Sky. I'm hoping to keep that theme going this year. Exact item will be revealed later in the season.

Note: DO NOT WRITE "OSU" for your Group D team! I don't care if you live in Ohio and you think I know which OSU you're talking about (or if you live in the south and you think I know which OSU you're talking about). Anybody who submits "OSU" will be assigned the Oregon State Beavers and get any points they earn (that particular "OSU" went 3-9 last year, the way). Similarly, but less likely, don't write "OU" for Oklahoma or Oregon. I will assume you mean the Ottawa Braves of Ottawa, Kansas. Please be clear.

The field: We had 22 entries in 2010 and 52 in 2011. The goal this year, in the spirit of that Olympics thing we dominated this summer, is to grow international. If you have a friend or relative outside the US borders, who likes college football and/or can select one of five items at random, send along the info! I'd love to make this the "World Famous" Pick Six Game. Can we break 80 in 2012? Can we get world famous?

A subtle reminder that Notre Dame finished just outside the poll as the 26th team, highest among the "others receiving votes."

The deadline: Email your picks and your pickset name (for returning players, you can keep last year's or pick a new one) to at gmail dot com (to ensure your picks aren't seen early). The deadline is Thursday, August 30, at 5:55 pm Central (five minutes before the first game).

The comment field is open for bragging and taunting. Good luck, and have fun!

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