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UKFF Football Predictions League 2011-12

Fog Dude

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I started last year's sign-up thread before the end of June because I was off to Spain, and it felt way too early. Unfortunately for the second July running, I've had trouble getting online, so with the SPL starting this coming weekend, this season's thread seems belated by comparison. Don't worry though, the FPL won't be starting with Week 1's card for another 16 days, so there shouldn't be too much of a rush getting everything organised.


If you've played before, you know how this works. Just bump this thread declaring your interest in participating (a simple "in" will do) and PM me three D2D team choices. If you're a noob at this or a returning player from 5+ years ago, the first part of those instructions should be straightforward but the second part requires some explanation.


First, the fundamentals: most weeks consist of one set of ten matches, everybody posts their picks in the thread and you can earn 3 points for an exact score, and 1 point for any other game where you got the correct result. This should mean you can score a maximum of 30 points. In practice, double figures is considered pretty damn good. And besides, there are 'double' and 'bumper' rounds along the way with more than ten matches to pick. As well as all that, there are various way of earning bonus points, of which D2D has become the main one over the past few seasons.


Basically Dare2Disagree (D2D for short) was Seph's idea when he ran this, but apparently he's given up on taking part so I'll have to remember the rules for myself from now on. Roughly every other week, depending on the number of players, it'll be someone's turn to bet on 'their' team - ideally the club you support, but this obviously isn't possible for the very top teams. That's why you need to send me at least 3 picks as possible D2D teams. And that's all done via PM only so we don't know whose team is whose, or which week they'll be called on to make their guess.


The game in question will be one of the usual 10, so the prediction will be visible to everyone else and ideally made as early as possible so they can decide if they'll agree or disagree with the person whose turn it is. If the D2Der is correct, he gets 2 bonus points for everyone who disagreed with him. The incentive for other players to disagree is that if he (or she, I suppose) is wrong, everyone who disagreed gets 2 bonus points instead. The twist is that there are of course 3 possible outcomes to a game, so if the D2Der goes for a home win and the actual result is a draw, anyone who went for an away win will still get 2 bonuses even though they scored 0 from the match as an ordinary fixture.


Gah, I've made that sound a lot more complex than it is turns out to be once the season gets going. I'd appreciate it if someone could explain it more succinctly so as not to put off potential new players. I've never set restrictions on what D2D teams people can ask for before, but after 2 fusses last year I think it's necessary. BushwhackerDel got lumbered with a German game that was a routine home victory, so nobody disagreed with him, while Rory had Ardeer Thistle among his choices, and it's hard to find accurate up-to-date fixtures for them (I tried the same with the reformed Gretna a while back and ended up having to void that game). In Del's case IIRC he only chose international teams, but I can't keep every PM over the 3 seasons I've been running this, so I could be wrong.


Anyway, that means there are ground rules for D2D teams. Your three or more choices may consist of the following:


No more than 2 international teams (i.e. at least one club side), who must be either European or African;

Any EPL, FL or Blue Square League (National/North/South) club;

Any SPL, SFL or Highland League club, or another Scottish club that is definitely in the Scottish Cup;

Any club from the top 3 tiers of the French, German or Italian system;

Any club from the top 2 divisions of any other European league; and

Any top-flight club from the rest of the world (yep, that means no River Plate!).


Women's teams are not allowed.


To stop this thread being a succession of two-letter posts, FPL veterans and people who skim the weekly threads but are never tempted to join in are invited to give their input. What do you think of the regular balance of Prem/lower division/foreign games? Are you not bothered about early and late finishes or do you prefer as many Saturday 3 o'clock matches as possible?


In addition, there are a few specific issues about this season I'd like feedback on. For example, the start date has been decided, but depending on the end date we could end up with a 41-week competition. Are you comfortable with an odd number of rounds or should we finish early, or try to drag it out one more week? For the first time in 14 years, the 1st round of the FA Cup clashes with the Euro 2012 play-off weekend - so should international rounds perhaps become 'bumper' weeks with 12-15 games?


After Man City broke the top 3 and finished level on points with Chelsea at the end of last season, is there a big 3 or 4 anymore? If so, which teams does it consist of? I ask because the Big 3/4 Gamble hasn't always been successful, thanks to the weather and also NO always being the right way to bet. Should we just forget about it? Lastly, the SPL has decided to schedule a round of games for Christmas Eve, just because it falls on a Saturday this year. With the English still not playing until Boxing Day as per usual, do we have a very long double round or overlap between a single and a double?? It's a scheduling hiccup no doubt.


I didn't get any offers after last season's write-up to take over the running of this, so I guess I'm in charge for another year. I should have my current connectivity problems sorted before the season starts, and I'm meant to have wireless in halls when I go to Austria at the end of September. Week 9's card might have to be posted by a generous volunteer, since that's when I travel. That said, from the end of January onward I'm going back to Galicia but I don't yet know where I'll be staying or how good the connection will be there, so the offer's still open for anybody to organise this, even if it means starting from partway though the campaign.


All right, even though this is already stupidly long, it feels like I've forgotten something, but I'd better stop rambling anyway. You know the drill...

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I'm in again - PM soon to be sent.


I like the balance of having around 6-9 games per week as it feels like my accumulater. I don't think we'd need bumper weeks of 15 odd games. Also, there is definately a top 5 now, so maybe people should pick how many of those 5 will win that week?


Anyway, I look forward to another top 10 finish and maybe snatching a European place.

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Good to see a few familiar names so soon. I'll admit that a smaller number of games to make the cards resemble a real-life betting slip hadn't crossed my mind, but I'm not sold on the idea unless more people come forward saying they don't like the doubles and other massive weeks. Speaking of top-5 finishes, here's a reminder of how it all ended up last season.


I've already got the first 2 PMs so TUFCFan and TildeGuy's 2nd and 3rd choices are immaterial, but interesting all the same. Of course one of the things I forgot was another way to get bonuses: fluking a point when someone else gets 4 or more exact scores in an ordinary week. That kind of performance is said to 'yield' a point each to the rest of the field to step one player getting too far ahead. Doesn't always work like that though. Again, one of Seph's innovations, so don't blame me. And if you want it scrapped, say so!


BTW, club D2D teams are generally allocated on a first come, first served basis so there's no need to beg if you've sent your PM already. National teams are more awkward because there are only 3 international weekends in the calendar, which is why I've only allowed a maximum of 2 among the 3 choices.

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Personally I like the 10 game format and don't mind the odd bumper week. I prefer it when there's no Friday fixtures or obscenely early ones on a Saturday as it's almost part of my routine to do my predictions on a Saturday morning before going to the bookies and the Ardeer game.

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