Meet Tad and Homer.
They are brothers. They love football, and they love history. They were brought up together, and they see football similarly.
While they agree on most everything, they occasionally disagree. This shows every week during the football season, when Tad and Homer go through Wyoming’s high school football schedule and try to predict the winners.
Tad thinks linearly. Figuring that the best predictor of the future is the past, Tad likes to look at series records and see which team has the better record against the other. And then he picks the program that leads the series.
Homer goes a step beyond his brother. Homer figures that home-field advantage plays into a game, too, so when he looks at series records, he also takes location into play. He bases his pick for that game on the series record in that location instead of the overall series record.
Tad and Homer’s problem? They don’t get out much.
They can’t tell you who is quarterbacking Cheyenne Central or coaching Lander. They like looking at the past and predicting the future, but they don’t have much use for the present.
In preparation for the 2015 season, I sought out Tad and Homer, who volunteered to make some weekly picks for the blog. Seeing as their picks are based solely on series records and nothing that actually happens during the season (remember how I said they don’t get out much?), they made their picks for every game way back in, like, February. In cases where series are tied, or where there has not been a game played in the series or a game in the series played at a certain location, Tad and Homer both opted to give the advantage, and their picks, to the home teams.
As I post my weekly picks throughout the season, I will also post Tad’s picks and Homer’s picks. In doing so, I hope to put the brothers’ differences to rest.
A big philosophical reason why I started wyoming-football.com in 2004 was to use the past to help explain the present and predict the future. I hoped that by finding patterns in past games, we could understand why the game is organized and played the way it is and why games come out the way they do. In short, this site and its 23,000-plus results are a search for understanding.
In the meantime, the 2015 season will act as a test of three competing theories. We shall see what works best: Tad’s approach of picking the team with the best history in the series, Homer’s approach of picking the team with the best history in the series at that location, or my approach actually trying to find value in the present and picking the team with the better chance of winning.