The Regular Season is Done!
The first thing on my list was to see how my Ranking System would do over a full season. It’s a system a decade in the making that all came together in the fall of 2013. I suddenly saw how things connected and a simple way to piece together several of my ideas and theories into a grand unification system that I named The Ranking System. I used it for about 50% of the 2013 season, working as a test in a limited fashion in the second half of the season. It did great. I worked very hard in the off season, spending countless hours developing the ideas into a massive spreadsheet to track games. Then I created another massive spreadsheet to calculate the picks. I thought I was ready but I severely underestimated how much time it would take me per week. The system was to start in week 5. Before the week could be done I had to get rid of 75% of what I wanted to do because of time constraints. I was so disappointed that there was no way I could come close to using it at its full potential. Even at just 25% of what I wanted to do, the first time through took me about 15 hours. Week 6 was quicker as I knew what to expect and had time to think of short cuts. By week 8 I had the time down to about 9 hours a week. Still, it was taking too much time. At that point I had to make a choice. I had given it my best shot but it was overwhelming me. I gave up doing another 75% of the system. While I was now only using less than 10% of what I wanted to do, that part I was doing was the very heart of the system, very similar to what I had used in the prior season. The results exceeded expectations.
So why was my record so bad this season? The answer is rather embarrassing, because it took me so long to realize it. While friends and family were begging and pleading with me to just use the systems picks, I continued to use my own. My reasoning was that The Ranking System was an experiment in progress and I didn’t want to follow it blindly and after all, my track record has been very good throughout the years. So even after the system was winning every week for the first 6 weeks, weeks 5-10, I overruled it and in some cases went against it for best bets. I finally realized around week 13 that because I was spending so much time working with the system, that I wasn’t putting any time into my picks. I was not doing the work and just going with my gut. That, to say the least, didn’t work out.
The worst thing that happened this year to me was myself, the human element. I crashed and burned, while the system soared. I got so burned out from the work that I still haven’t calculated week 16 or 17’s picks yet, even as the playoffs are starting. I have the information ready to go, I just have to force myself to get the picks. I’ll have them within 2-3 weeks. Then I’ll have a full report of how the system did. As long as it doesn’t do horribly in the last 2 weeks, the season as a whole will be as good as I could have ever dreamed. It’s a strange feeling that I’m so burned out right now yet I can’t wait for next season. And yet, there remains a problem. The truth is I can’t do this again. Not in this form.
After I gather the picks for weeks 16 and 17, compile the records and compare them to what I got from last year, I’ll have a clearer picture of things. In the offseason I’m going to attempt to write a program to get rid of the spreadsheets. The problem is that, while I’ve programmed before, the last time being over a decade ago, I’m self-taught and rather slow at it. Plus this will be a huge undertaking. If I can’t do it, I’ll have to find someone to write it for me. I just know that there is no way I can do everything I want by hand on the spreadsheet. I could just do the very basics, which did very well, but even that takes me about 3 hours a week. It’s just so tedious.
Be sure and check back for progress reports. The best is yet to come.