Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jan 2006

Yet More FO Back-Patting

Each year, King Kaufman of Salon.com tracks the preseason picks of all the pundits he can find, including all the ESPN and SI guys and the big preseason magazines like Street & Smith's and Athlon Sports. This year, the most accurate preseason predictions belonged to ... ME! Yay! (And people say this stat stuff doesn't work for football!) This is the second straight year that Football Outsiders has delivered the most accurate preseason predictions in football, sort of. Why sort of? King includes in the contest both my personal picks and the the Football Outsiders staff consensus. Last year, the FO consensus won the contest, and personally I was third. This year, I won the contest, and the FO consensus was third. Both the consensus and I were more accurate than Len Pasquarelli, Peter King, Dr. Z, Pete Prisco, John Clayton, and even our beloved Ron Jaworski. As King details in this article, this was the worst year for preseason picks in the three years he has tracked them. The average expert on the panel chose just 2.3 correct division champions. I chose five; the only others to choose four were Steve Young and Street and Smith's. Not one expert chose the Bears to make the playoffs at all, only Joe Theismann chose the Redskins, and I was one of just two experts to choose the Bucs. (Column free after reading Salon.com advertisement.) NOTE: If you click on the comments, I've added some information about which teams were completely ignored by the experts, and which teams the experts mistakenly thought would make the postseason.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 06 Jan 2006

17 comments, Last at 08 Jan 2006, 6:32pm by admin


by BillWallace (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 8:52pm

Great work

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 9:37pm


I'd love to read the article. However, after about 30 times watching the stupid ad and not being able to advance to reading the article, I've come to hate Salon.com.

Worst. Website. Ever.

by Sara (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:16pm

You should forward this to Bill Simmons.

by someone (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:36pm

well done.

by Paul (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:06pm

Well, I'm stumped. I can't figure out how, with your obvious anti- Seahawk, Falcon, Bear, Colt, Bronco and Redskin biases you managed to do so well....

by Ryguy (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:10pm

"Contacted by e-mail, Schatz said, 'I rule!' "

Very humble about it too.. Good job though on the picks.

by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:00am

Kaufmann's playoff picks are a bit generic. He picks the home team to win 10 of 11 (Carolina being the only road winner).

by admin :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:08am

You know I was just being goofy, right Ryguy? Did you see the article on Paraag Marathe where I was quoted as saying, "Uh"? I'm kinda goofy in e-mails.

by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:26am

Yeah I know, I'm not gonna lie I'd probably say the same thing if I beat so many known sportswriters at something too.

by J-Diddy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 4:30am

Well on Kaufman's score... I scored a 9. I was one of the few who picked Cincy for the playoffs, but I picked Baltimore to win the division.

In other stupid news, I picked Minnesota to win the NFC North, and Detroit and New Orleans as my 2 NFL Wildcards.

I wll now go light myself on fire and bet $50 on the Bengals. (Go Bengals!)

by J-Diddy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 4:31am

Oh yeah, and I picked the Eagles to win the Super Bowl

by JoeGibbsIsSexy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 11:39am

more proof that the entirety of the media hates the redskins! Anyone who doesn't pick the skins to win the superbowl now is obviously a fat moron!

by Proud Kevin Jones Owner (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:08pm

Congrats! Now about those fantasy forecasts...

by Talion (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 1:27pm

Nice job, Aaron, but you're lucky you didn't get docked for picking the Redskins to be last in the league.

by Ryan H (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 3:06pm

I'm confused.

by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 6:07pm

What do I get for the following bit of brilliant pre-season analysis on the NFC North: (Click my name to see I'm not just making this up)

I just asked a random number generator what the order of finish would be in this horrible division. Its answer was:

1. CHI
2. MIN
3. DET
4. GB

I’m guessing that will do better than just about 50% of all y’all’s prognostications, professional or otherwise.

by admin :: Sun, 01/08/2006 - 6:32pm

Hey all. King said it was cool for me to share this info with you.

You can find the preseason prediction standings for the season by clicking on my name, but here are a few choice names. 2 points for correct choice of division winner or wild card, 1 point for choosing division winner as wild card or vice versa. Division winners in parentheses.

1. Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders -- 14 (5)
2. Street & Smith's -- 12 (4)
3. Athlon Sports -- 10 (3)
3. Football Outsiders consensus -- 10 (3)

9. Steve Young, ESPN -- 8 (4)
9. Len Pasquarelli, ESPN -- 8 (2)
9. Experts consensus -- 8* (2)
20. Dr. Z, Sports Illustrated -- 6 (2)
20. SI (magazine) -- 6 (2)
20. Peter King, Sports Illustrated -- 6 (1)

Although it wasn't included in the contest, the DVOA projections would have finished second behind me, at 13 (4).

King also wrote to me: "I gave two points to each team for every expert that picked them to win a division, one for each pick as a wild card. There were 27 experts (the 28th entry was the consensus), and not one picked the Bears for anything. The Vikings got 26 votes to win the North. Tampa Bay got 3 points, which I think was one pick to win the division and one wild card. Washington got 1 point, the Giants 5, the Bengals and Jaguars 8, the Broncos 9. Meanwhile, the Falcons and Ravens got 33, the Rams 30, the Eagles 48! The Jets got 19 points while the Dolphins got 0. The Seahawks got 16."