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Dec 152013

Judging by how ESPN revised its College Bowl Mania, perhaps the answer is YES.

If you pay attention to the distribution of fans’ picks on College Bowl confidence pool sites, it is obvious that a lot of entrants simply acquiesce to the order of games as they first encounter the slate of games. No matter which team people pick to win each game, a significant number of them don’t bother switching their confidence ranking from the default. As a result, the site’s initial confidence rank is the strongest determinant for the average fan confidence ranks on each game.

I wrote about this in 2010, and that the order chosen by ESPN was OPPOSITE the order a smart webmaster would have chosen. With 35 games, for several years Yahoo has listed its games in reverse chronological order, with the BCS Championship Game listed at 35 points, and the earliest game listed at 1 point. Assuming a bunch of lazy or brain-dead entrants who acquiesce to these default ranks, this makes for more excitement as the bowl season progresses for Yahoo, potentially making for the last game to have a great deal of leverage in determining the group winner. At the time, ESPN listed its games in chronological order, almost ensuring that nobody would need to visit their ESPN group’s page much after New Year’s Day because the eventual champion was already determined.

It looks like ESPN has wised up. Its 2013 College Bowl Mania has the BCS Championship Game listed with 35 points, just like Yahoo.

 Posted by on December 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm