Monday, December 08, 2014

2014-15 College Football Bowl Pool

You've all been waiting very patiently for me to update my annual college football bowl pool spreadsheets, and here they are!

There were all sorts of changes this year. Five all new bowl games, one discontinued bowl game, and a few renames. Plus, we're in our first year of the College Football Playoff era! That's right, we've got one game in the list for which we won't even know the teams playing until later on.

Here's the new bowl games:

  • The Camellia Bowl. This one will be played in Montgomery, Alabama between a Sun Belt Conference and Mid-American Conference teams. The bowl is owned by ESPN Regional Television.
  • The Miami Beach Bowl. This one will be played in Miami in Marlins Park. We always need more Florida bowl games, right?
  • The Boca Raton Bowl. This one will be played at Florida Atlantic University stadium in Boca Raton. It's also owned by ESPN Events, and features Mid-American conference teams until 2019.
  • The Popeyes Bowl. Officially the Popeye's Bahamas Bowl for its sponsor Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen, this one will be played in Nassau Bahamas and features Mid-American conference teams through 2016. This will be the first game played outside the U.S. since 2010 International Bowl in Toronto.
  • The Quick Lane Bowl. This bowl will be replacing the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. This isn't merely a renaming, though. It's a whole new bowl organization. The Little Caesars Bowl is no more (for now).
Here's the renamess:
  • The former Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is now called the Foster Farms Bowl.
  • The former Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is now called the Cactus Bowl.
  • The former BBVA Compass Bowl is now called the Birmingham Bowl.
  • The BCS National Championship is now called the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, as we enter the CFP era. Bye bye, BCS.
Here are the files:

For those unfamiliar with the two-file system, the idea is that pool managers can distribute the 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: Since I wasn't sure how you folks would be dealing with the fact that we don't currently know which teams will be playing in the CFP Championship, I've made it so that you can easily edit those teams later. Some of you may prefer to have everyone pick a winner for that game upfront, filling in the teams playing with their two picks for the initial two playoff games. Some of you may opt to have folks send in their picks for that game later, once the teams are known. It's up to you, I guess.

Another note: I don't have the final record for the Navy team, since they play 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.

Finally, I don't yet have my personal picks completed, but will add them, as well as those for my wife (MRS. EXCEL_GEEK) and son (EXCEL_GEEK, JR.) and update the files once we're ready. Some of you have voiced a preference to have those picks included, to give you a benchmark for your own picks (and to see me lose each year to my wife.)

Enjoy, everyone!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014-15 NFL Pick 'Em Pool

For those of you who've been eagerly anticipating this year's rendition of my NFL Pick 'Em Pool, it's ready to roll!

I've baked in a few notable enhancements:

  • I've rearranged some things to make it easier to copy-paste from the picks area of the sheet or to select large ranges and delete to clear out picks. Before I had some hidden and protected columns in between each of the game columns that made this not possible.
  • I added in conditional formatting that automatically formats the top Home and Visitor team cells to match the team colors of the teams. Snazzy! I got this idea from a past user of my spreadsheet who'd implemented the color schemes himself, though not with the conditional formatting.
  • I've also included a companion worksheet to the one that the pool administrators will use -- one that participants can simply pick the week, and then make their picks, and then send them to the administrator, who can now copy and paste them easily into the "master" sheet.
Here are links to the two files:

Pool Administrator "Master" sheet

Pool Participant "Weekly Picks" sheet

Enjoy everyone!


Monday, July 07, 2014

Updated Again: Parse Google Search Results for First URL

This is pretty much a regurgitation of my post from back in February of 2011. Google slightly changed how they build their search results pages again sometime between then and now, and I had a new Insiders subscriber sign-up looking for that very solution. When I checked to see if the file still worked, it did not, so I made a few tweaks to get it running again.

Here's a copy-paste of the last post on this topic:

Those of you who've been following me for some time may know that I've done quite a few projects related to parsing Google search results for various data -- URLs, number of results, etc. Those of you using the code likely know that some time ago Google apparently made some changes to how they put together their site causing my stuff to stop working. Well, recently one of the requesters of one of these projects - one that returns the first non-paid URL returned - came back and had me update it to work with how Google's site currently displays search results.

This time I made it into a user-defined function. You simply enter the function...

=getFirstGoogleResultURL(A2), where the value of cell A2 is the search term.

It works pretty slick, but know that Google will not allow this sort of thing to be used on large volumes of searches. I'm pretty sure they'd much rather have you using their APIs for this sort of usage.

Excel_Geek Insiders subscribers, your copy of this file is on its way.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2014 March Madness Bracket -- can you wait a week?

Beloved readers,

You've loyally come back to year after year to get what's become probably my most widely circulated spreadsheets -- the March Madness brackets.

I have bad news, folks. Well, bad news for you, mostly. You see, I'll be -- shall we say -- unable to connect to the Internet due to being unplugged in a beautiful place over Selection Sunday this year. I won't be staying up late that Sunday, adding in this year's teams and accounting for the NCAA's maddening random placement of the so-called play-in games to deliver you a fresh, clean, all-ready-to-go set of spreadsheets.

I'm sorry.

I'll be back, though, and I do plan to deliver my files, albeit only after some games will have been played, however. So....if you'd like to have your pool participants deliver their picks to you in some other format, and then have them resubmit later, once you've got my handy files, I will have them posted when I'm back.

Again, many apologies for my untimely absence from the Internet.