B/R Vs. ESPN: Handicapping the Hidden Battle In Atlanta

Eric BrownAnalyst IDecember 4, 2008

You've probably heard every contrasting angle from the upcoming SEC Championship Game by now. 
Beauty vs. The Beast.  Thunder vs. Lightning.  The Butterfly vs. The Tootsie Roll.  It's all been done.  But what you didn't know is that there has been an even bigger battle raging all season long and its coming to its conclusion this weekend.
Bleacher Report vs. ESPN
That's right, Senior Writer Tim Pollock is putting his reputation on the line against heavyweights like Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Holtz, May, and Cowherd.  By doing what, you ask? 
By picking football game winners.  Let me explain.    
Over the summer I decided to take some time off from writing articles on Bleacher Report in order to create a website of my own called The Sports Recorders.  It was a total experiment in web design that I now hope to never take on again.  It was, umm, a lot of work.     
The basic intent was to keep track of the predictions that these on-air personalities make throughout the season and come up with a scoring system to rank them against their peers, as well as against some not-so-well-paid sports lovers (Yours truly, my brother, Mr. Pollock, and a coin).

I couldn't stand to let Herbie and Corso rattle off winners on College Gameday every week without knowing if they were doing well or not.  Who was worth listening to and who was simply spouting off bad info?  I had to know.  And it was important that I didn't include no-brainer games, so even if everyone felt inclined to tell us how badly USC would beat Notre Dame, they'd get no points from me for doing so. 
The site was also supposed to feature weekly blogging, predictions for upcoming games, and detailed pick analysis.  But that stuff takes a lot more time than I thought, so around mid-season I decided to focus on the numbers and picks. 
It's a fledgling site that kind of reminds me of a cute little baby bird with a noticeable limp and ADHD.  It could get better one day.  Might even become a bald eagle.  But right now it limps and produces no music.
However, the content is there.  The scoring is accurate.  And as we speak, Kirk Herbstreit leads the overall money list and has been the most consistent prognosticator all year.  Believe it or not, the man knows his stuff. 
Lou Holtz leads in the Earnings Per Game rankings, which is essentially a way to factor your return on investment if you bet the money line exactly as these guys predicted.  Please realize that my 401(k) has LOST about 10% since August, but had I put all of my money on Lou's picks I'd be enjoying a 28% positive return.  Scary.     
Mr. Pollock, who's been kind enough to keep up his pick column throughout the season, is the king of the SEC.  Boasting a 26-5 record in SEC match-ups, he has shown a knack for these particular games unlike in any other conference (hint: don't ask him about the ACC game in Tampa). 
So ladies and gentlemen, Gator and Tide fans, you've got some options: 

You can take Lou Holtz' pick to the bank, though I'd bet against whatever he says since this is an SEC game and he's under .500 in those games by my method. 

You can take Herbstreit's prediction at face value and hope it's the opposite of the Corso's, who is due for a bad week. 

Or you can click here to read Tim Pollock's breakdown and game score prediction.  There's an 84% chance he'll be right and a 100% chance that you'll want to start drinking immediately afterwards, for various reasons.

May the best sports analysts win.