NFL Week 12: Predicting the Weekend Matchups

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NFL Week 12: Predicting the Weekend Matchups
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
We will see if the Schwami has to tip his cap to my picks

From the time I was 10 (more years--decades, actually--than I want to admit), I have been in an NFL ranking poll.

Unlike those stupid numbers polls that are all based on luck, these allowed for skill. You pick the winner, and ranks them from most to least likely. If you win by one point or 50, you get whatever points you put on that team; if not, you don't.

There were only two problems I ever ran into in a poll like this:

When I saw a good matchup, I put fewer points on my winner than others. Often, that winner would squeak through and they would be awarded their 14 points and I would get only five.

That always frustrated me, as I thought they simply got lucky. But the reality is the rankings were not based on how close the game was, but who would win.

In the mid-80s, the Green Bay Packers would play the Chicago Bears close at home, but the Bears were winners and the Packers were not. No matter how close I knew it was going to be, I should have had 10-plus points on the Bears.

That kind of frustration leads me to the second problem I had with these polls:

My chances of being frustrated greatly outweighed my chances of being happy unless there were too few people in the pool to make it worth winning (not that we played for money or anything...that would be illegal!).

And lax rules ("Sure I'll take you at your word you didn't see the games with this late entry an hour after kickoff...") became necessary when there were Thursday games in order to get enough participation.

I could not live with that or who I became as I watched games for betting interests. But I do miss it, so I am going to outline my picks every week, ranked from most to least likely to win:

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