Stuart McNair

Almost Perfect Picks Department shows that prejudice is not good

Getting the winners right hasn’t been problem for APP

Here’s one of the problems in having the Almost Perfect Picks Department at made up of a bunch of geeks: looking like a nerd does not make you smart. To be sure, they are smart in many ways, but where they lose focus is thinking they can pass for Vanderbilt students, and thus they have a prejudice for the Commodores in football.


That is a bad mistake. In fact, as was explained to the APP group, it is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Dumb!


We were suspicious when the APP picked Vanderbilt to upset Georgia Tech  by 17-14 in Atlanta last week. How did that work out? Tech 38, Vandy 7. What that gives the APP is a wrong on the winner, a wrong in picking against the line (also known as the point spread, or spread, regarding the number of points by which a team is expected to win or lose) since the Yellow Jackets were favored by 7 1/2, and a wrong insofar as the over-under because the predicted combined number of points to be scored was 43.


Otherwise, the APP was perfect on picking winners – 9-0 in the other games involving Southeastern Conference teams. There were, however, some ups and downs against the spread (only 4-6) and vs. the over-under (6-4).


The APP was spot on with its overall projections in Tennessee vs. Ohio, South Carolina vs. East Carolina, Mississippi State vs. LSU, and Auburn vs.Texas A&M. In those games the APP had the correct winner, beat the spread, and nailed the over-under.


How close can you be? Kentucky defeated New Mexico State by 20. Had it been by 19 that would have been another perfect selection since the Wildcats were favored by 19 ½. The APP had Georgia, favored by 6, winning by 7 against Missouri. The Bulldogs squeeked out a 1-point win.


It’s easy to know that when good SEC teams play cupcakes that the SEC teams are going to win, but hard to know if they’ll want to (or be able to) run it up or if they’ll pull the troops early. Thus, we knew Florida would beat North Texsas and Arkansas would defeat Texas State, but we missed on the spread and the over-under.


In a way, we can’t blame the APP for what happened in Oxford last week. Alabama was a 10 ½ point favorite over Ole Miss and the over-under was 54 ½. The prediction was 34-17. With five minutes to play it looked like the APP would have the winner and beat the spread, but the over-under had been blown. And then the Tide gave up two touchdowns in a span of 8 seconds and all that was left was for Bama to hang on for the win, falling short against the line and the o-u.


Through three weeks, the APP is 30-5 in selecting winners, but only 14-17 against the spread, and 20-11 vs. the over-under.


We’ll be interested to see what the nerds think about Vanderbilt at Western Kentucky.

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