That we probably ought to address is the length of time the draft seems to take.
So far we have 10 solid players, 1 probable player and 4 players (Stunnedmonkey, JM, HoosierBacker, and TheBigLebowski)) that we have not heard from yet. I think Kevin Doyle (Stunned) is leaning towards not playing this year.
If we wind up with 14 or 15 players and we go 10 rounds, thats as many as 150 picks. If we put that on a strict clock, even a tight "five minutes per pick" rule, we'd still be faced with over 12 hours of drafting. Obviously there is almost no way to avoid the draft taking 2 days short of putting all the players in a room together at the same time, and even then it would take a solid day.
So the first thing should be: "I know the draft takes a while... get used to it".
The fact is that unlike Fantasy Football or Baseball or Cricket or whatever, this Roto is essentially over as far as any strategy goes after the last pick, except for following the scores of Boise State and Central Michigan every other day in the paper or on the web. We really can't do any manipulation once the draft is over. We've thought about ways to do that, but nothing seems to work. So basically the whole game is really the lead-up to the draft and the draft itself... its then basically a three-month exercise in seeing who was smartest or luckiest. So the draft probably SHOULD take a while.
However, I think we can do something, hopefully, about those seemingly unavoidable and fairly frequent long breaks where the person on the clock suddenly disappears for an hour or more, and holds up the draft, while the rest of us are all ready to pounce on Cleveland State and Baylor with our next picks... that is frustrating.
We could move the draft.... Its always been held in the first few days of December during the day... daytime drafts have the advantage of people being on line, but that pesky work-thingy seems to get in the way. Of course we could all take the day off... but I don't think that would really work. An evening draft has been suggested, thereby taking the work thing out of the equation (well, except for Ashton and Terry, who, I understand, work the evening custodial and drive-through shifts now respectively).... An evening draft is actually worse for me personally, as I actually have an easier time drafting and tracking at work than I do when I'm at home with my kids and my wife, who regards most of you as either imaginary or as vaguely like a pack of axe-murdering child-predators ("How do you KNOW these people? You're so weird!").
I think an easier solution, though not perfect, would be to "mandate" that everyone do a "draft list" and give it to a proxy. Then, if you're on the clock and your 5 or 10 minutes is up or we haven't heard from you, your proxy will draft for you off your list. If everyone does this, theoretically we'll eliminate or cut down on the breaks in the action. I've seen two styles of draft lists... one is to set up a list of 10-or-so teams in rank order... the proxy simply takes the highest remaining team on the list that is still in an open conference for that player... simple.... But putting that list together gets to be a pain in the rumpus after about 30 or 40 picks. The other is to set up a list with all the teams in ranked order in each conference, and then give the proxy an order of conferences to draft from... the proxy takes the highest remaining team in whatever conference is next on the list... that seems to be a tad easier, but it is not as pure. The other issue is, at least in my experience, after about 3 rounds, my lsit falls apart, and I start moving teams around and re-doing my list... and in the final few rounds my list is usually utterly worthless and I'm picking by gut.
A better solution might be to simply pay attention... If you know you're picking in 12 more picks, but you're going to be off-line for the next three hours, do a short and dirty list of 36 teams, in order, and get it to your proxy... and if you're brave, give the proxy some leeway to pick for you off that list. That way the proxy can make the next pick or two for you while you're away. Obviously, if your going to be gone all day, you have to do it the hard way.
1) We keep the At-large 2) we mandate some sort of proxy list... either a "five round" list of 75 teams, or a shorter list if you're goign to be gone only a short time. 3) we start in the morning and go into the evening.
Posted on 10/18 9:01 AM | IP: 184.108.40.206
Can't speak for Satch of course, but day or evening draft works for me, aside from that key 6-8:30 family time when I have to chain the young-uns in the cellar for the night. However, I'd guess daytime would generally work better for the group.
I teach on Monday morning and for large parts of Wednesday; the rest of the time is basically World of Warcraft and flower arranging. Did I mention I got tenure this summer?
Heck, let's just automate the draft. Rank order your favorite 300 teams, submit them electronically to my DeathStar 6000 Server, and database code developed by my crack team of Russian coders will do the rest.
It will be only coincidence if I somehow end up with 18 of the nation's top 25 teams, right?
Posted on 10/18 10:17 AM | IP: 220.127.116.11
Well... maybe not the ONE thing, but one of the things it lacks is the creative and highly socially unacceptable and politically incorrect team-names.... Male Whores would be a good starting point... Flexable male whores might be better...
I just did a really quick skim of the at-large possibilities.... This should be a GREAT year to have the at-large picks because there are basically no obvious slam-dunk picks I can see... Outside of Gonzaga and Davidson and maybe Western Kentucky, no one looks primed to run away and hide in one of those silly little conferences this year... should make for some interesting picking...
Posted on 10/18 10:37 AM | IP: 18.104.22.168
Mostly because it'd be more work, and work usually doesn't get in the way for me. It'd interfere with my scientific dart throwing method as well.
Posted on 10/18 10:46 AM | IP: 22.214.171.124
Why do you hate America?
Posted on 10/18 11:57 AM | IP: 126.96.36.199
That's one of the things I really enjoy about the roto forum - it's an outlet for great insults and frankly questionable behavior. Lord knows what Rivals thinks about subject headings like this one.
I'll trust you on the at-large thing. Last year there seemed to be a couple of no-brainer options atop the pile - of course I got none of them, but did end up with what seemed like a nearly-no-brainer in Robert Morris, which I figured was good for at least 16 wins. Oops.
I figure in another 5 years we'll be roto-ing NAIA teams. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'll just have to urge my crack Russian coders on to greater effort: 'so Ivan, I notice that academic visa expires next month, eh? It'd sure be... nice to see a careful analysis of Azusa Pacific's chances vis a vis Lewis-Clark State by then.'
Posted on 10/18 1:47 PM | IP: 188.8.131.52
on some of these at-large picks I'm looking at right now (I couldn't resist the topic heading)...
I think I can see the obvious top 3 picks overall... haven't really gotten past that, but I'm pretty comfortable knowing where I'd go with the top 3 picks at least.
Posted on 10/18 2:18 PM | IP: 184.108.40.206
and take just a minute to stretch those little legs of yours. Flexible male whores need to stay limber and nimble.
Posted on 10/18 7:03 PM | IP: 220.127.116.11
I burned my mouth... stupid coffee
"little legs"?.... that was cold.
Posted on 10/19 8:00 AM | IP: 18.104.22.168
I'm in again. I sent Satch a reply the day he sent out the original email.
As for suggestions on speeding up the draft I don't think there are any great solutions out there. Me personally, I couldn't do a list draft as much of my selection strategy is fluid depending on what the actual picks are and what conferences I feel have the highest value at the time of my pick. Of course that said I always juggle my schedule to ensure I'm around as much as possible for the draft to avoid any problems!!! Sadly I derive far too much enjoyment out of this thing and college hoops in general.
Posted on 10/22 12:56 PM | IP: 22.214.171.124
But not until today. You should have rec'd an out-of-office notice from me.
I had a family emergency and left shortly after I sent the mass email on Wednesday, and didn't return until today.
I think I made a pick or 2 for you last year from a list you provided. Amazingly there ended up being no problem with that, considering we drafted right next to each other.
Posted on 10/22 2:05 PM | IP: 126.96.36.199
I can do a list for a pick or two when my selection isn't too far away. By then I can narrow the choices down to the top 4-5 picks or whatever. But an all encompassing list would be impossible for my stratgery on this thing. Of course I've not won the thing yet so maybe a new strategy wouldn't be such a bad thing!!! (not to sound too bitter or anything) Of course I should have won 2 years ago.
Posted on 10/22 2:30 PM | IP: 188.8.131.52
In year 1 of roto, I pretty much had to miss entirely rounds 6 thru 10. So I gave CJ a big list to draft from those rounds.
I'm usually bad in the late rounds, but those picks that year were horrible even for my low standards. I ended up with something like 6, 5 2, 3 and 2 wins rescpectively for my 6th thru 10th picks.
I don't think anyone has come even close to torpedoing so many late round picks as I did in year 1 of the roto.
Posted on 10/22 4:01 PM | IP: 184.108.40.206
I'm less in favor of a proxy list for the same reasons that some others have mentioned - largely because I change my picks based on where things are at the time that my turn comes around. Well, that and I don't want to be laughed at for my potential picks by the lucky person who drafts for me! (The actual selections get enough laughs as it is.)
The evening would work well for me, but I see that it wouldn't be great for a couple of hours for some of us. Or I can work to keep most of my days free enough to draft without too much of a delay, as long as we don't have any emergency issues come up in the office. Once we know when we'll draft, I'll also be able to put some measures in place to hold a bit of time open. I'm sure that I can find a way not to be too obvious about it. I'll call an emergency meeting and only invite myself...
Posted on 10/22 6:26 PM | IP: 220.127.116.11
to put together long contingency lists. We could leave it to an honor system, if you know you're going to be away from the computer at a crucial time, and then assume we're all considerate enough to supply a few picks to a proxy to pick from. Seems to that might be a better way to go.
Posted on 10/23 9:11 AM | IP: 18.104.22.168
have always hated passing along lists of teams because in my arrogance I think somebody might get wind of one of my sleeper teams and or get some another viewpoint to help make a decision. Like if they are undecided between Pitt and Marquette and see I have Pitt much higher on my list and decide then on the Panthers.
But on the other hand if you are going to be out for an hour or more and your turn is fast approaching, you really should try to provide a list to a logical person like someone not drafting before your next pick.
Be creative if you are going to be offline for a while. One year I had Terry text me the picks for a round. Not sure if I texted him a choice but that is certainly an option if you are offline and can take a few minutes wherever you are at.
Posted on 10/23 10:39 AM | IP: 22.214.171.124
You gave me Michigan St as a team on your short list a few years ago. They were on my short too and I ended up drafting them.
I think I would have drafted them regardless, but am not 100% sure. Having them on your short list was like a little extra endorsement that pushed them over the edge for me.
We were drafting far enough apart that I doubt if they would have worked their way back to you, but you never know. As it turned out they only ended up being an average value, so you weren't hurt. You probably ended up with someone better.
Posted on 10/23 11:49 AM | IP: 126.96.36.199
with his Capitan Queeg routine "Strawberries! I know they want to steal my strawberries!"...
fine... I guess we'll just keep doing it the way we've been doing it... just be aware and kind to the rest of us if you're going to be out of the loop for a while.
Posted on 10/23 1:20 PM | IP: 188.8.131.52
Although we seem to have several long, unexpected gaps on draft days that are pretty frustrating, the bottom line for me is that I love draft day. It's a blast. Every year. When the draft is done, I don't think to myself, "That was painful, we need to figure out a better way to do it next year,", I think to myself, "Wahooo! I wish I didn't have to wait a year to do this again!"
So, basically, I think we should avoid any major changes to how we do the draft. I think everyone should have a list of teams available and if they know they are going to be a bottleneck, they should send that list to someone and have them draft for them -- because it's polite and we'll say nasty things about you if you don't. Peer pressure. I don't think we need a mandate, personally. Of course, it's easy for me to say that because my schedule is even more flexible than before... in my new job I work from home almost 100% of the time.
I like daytime drafts but it doesn't really matter to me. I like weekday drafts and it matters to me - a weekend draft would throw all my beautiful flexibility out the window.
I think we should have an expectation that people will make their pick within five minutes of the previous pick. I think people tend to do that anyway, unless they are held up with real life. Again, I don't think we need to mandate this - everyone will do their best to pick fast, I think.
I really like the at-large teams. It essentially replaces that last, crap team with a potentially good team. Following teams that win is more fun. And even with the at-large, I'm still lost the last couple rounds.
And I like doing the draft in early December as usual. Any later and there are too many league games happening. And earlier and we might as well do it before the season starts. Looking at the calendar, I guess we'd start on Monday, December 3rd (we started on the 4th last year).