UPDATE as of 12/14/2015: Initially, I left off one of this year's now 42 bowl games -- actually the very first one: the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, featuring Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T. Thank you, readers "Anonymous" and Tron Guy, for setting me straight. For some reason this bowl doesn't appear on the NCAA's website, nor on Wikipedia. And none of the betting line service websites I looked at to get odds shows it. Odd. This has been corrected in both files now.
UPDATE as of 12/28/2015: I've now got a version of the summary file out there with the aforementioned scenario analysis built in. I'm using the betting lines (point spreads) to determine the probabilities of the favorites winning, and then running 1,000 random scenarios, where the outcomes are weighted accordingly. Then I apply the winning teams from each scenario to each participant's picks and points, and see who wins each scenario. Then I calculate each participant's overall odds of winning the pool, based on that sample of 1,000 scenarios. Finally, I do some analysis for each participant to highlight which games are of particular importance to each person. For example, it might be that for a given participant, 100% of the scenarios for which they win the pool involve California beating Air Force in the Armed Forces bowl. It'd be handy for everyone to know that. It's worth noting that running these 1,000 scenarios on my PC -- which is a decent Dell Latitude E6520 (2.40 GHz Intel i7 CPU with 8 GB of RAM) -- takes a touch over a minute. I do think that only running 1,000 scenarios is likely way under-sampling things, particularly when there are 20+ games remaining, which means there are over a million and up to 4.4 trillion possible outcomes! Given that, I could build out an option to run 10,000, 20,000, or even more scenarios. It's just that run time for such an option will go up in a linear fashion as you add more scenarios, meaning for 20,000 scenarios it could be half an hour or longer probably, and I don't know that folks really want to wait that long for what still amounts to a sampling of potential outcomes. Also, I don't know that the overall precision of the estimated odds to win for each participant will become that much better.
At long last, here are this year's college football bowl pool management files:
- NEW 2015-16_Bowl_Pool_Summary_Scenarios.xlsm
For those unfamiliar with the two-file system, the idea is that pool managers can distribute the simple, single person Entry Form version to those in their pool to make their picks and assign confidence points. The participants them email back that file, and the manager can simply copy, paste special... values those picks and points into the Summary file, which is where they manage everything.
Note: Here's how I dealt with the playoff semi-finals and championship: I've used formulas to automatically fill in the two winners of the semifinals for the left part of the summary file. For each person's picks, they'll have the two teams they selected to win those semi-finals to pick from in the championship. Let me know if that doesn't work well or if you're confused by it. It does make the Individual Chart for the championship game a bit odd if a participant picked a team to win that game that didn't even play in it, but the points system still works fine.
Another note: I don't have the final record for the Navy team, since they're currently playing in the annual Army-Navy game this weekend. I've also left that cell unprotected so you can easily update the record for the Midshipmen if you want to.
Finally, I'm planning on working in a new feature that I'll release in a few days that will enable the pool manager to run a series of simulated scenarios to see which Participants, given their picks and points vs. games that have already been played vs. point spreads, have the greatest chances of winning the pool. It should be a neat feature.