The Contrarian wants to challenge you to beat the consensus.
Is it better to run with the pack or venture out on your own?
On the one hand how could the consensus be wrong (or not so wrong) versus the other hand with a mind set of "nothing ventured nothing gained". You could be leading the pack or you could be the stray weakling that gets left behind.
Where does the consensus end up?
In an attempt to answer this question I will be conducting a free contest for the members of this site.
It is quite simple. You pick, in order, who you think will be the top 50 NHL players next season ranked by points. You do not predict how many points they will earn.
Your rankings will be compared to the true NHL rankings and your entry will be scored based on how many missed opportunity points you earn. The fewer missed opportunity points the better.
What is a missed opportunity point?
I will illustrate this with a small example.
Assume that I predicted a player order of:
1. Guy Lafleur
2. Marcel Dionne
3. Phil Esposito
Assume the result at the end of the season was:
1. Phil Esposito (115 points)
2. Bobby Clarke (103 points)
3. Marcel Dionne (103 points)
4. Guy Lafleur (99 points)
So I was wrong with my order of prediction. Guy Lafleur was not the best player. The best player earned 115 points and Lafleur got 99. The missed opportunity is 16 points.
Marcel Dionne is ranked third in the final standings but he was tied for second with 103 points. In essence there was no missed opportunity.
Finally, Phil Esposito surpassed my expectations and did better than my predicted third place finish. He earned 115 points where the real third place player tallied 103 points. A difference of 12 missed opportunity points. The fact that Esposito did better than I expected should not benefit my score.
Add up all the missed opportunities, 16 + 0 + 12 = 28, would be my score. If I had gotten the order perfectly correct my score would have been zero.
Now this was just a hypothetical outcome simply to illustrate the scoring mechanism, but I have a system already in place that can handle who you predict to be the NHL's top 50 players this season.
If there is a tie between several member scores, then the first and only tie breaker will be the date and time of entry where older entries will be ranked higher than newer ones. If you can predict the outcome accurately and earlier than everyone else then you deserve a better rank.
You can enter your top 50 list at any point in time between now and October 7th, 2014 11:59pm.
Do not enter by commenting to this article because as Dobber pointed out to me the comments can be lost. Click here to enter by replying to the Top 50 Contest thread found under the FREE Dobber Sports Challenges forum.
Please enter the rank beside the full player name. Example, 50 - Brad Richards is good but 50 - Richards is not good because I will not know if you mean Brad or Mike Richards.
You may change or edit your list but the date and time of edit becomes the submission entry date and time.
One entry per member.
The winner will receive an autographed 8 x 10 picture of Cam Neely. It is worth is probably somewhere between $50 to $75. I received it as a gift several years ago and I am willing to part with it as a prize.
After the deadline passes, I will determine what the consensus top 50 player order is. The first factor will be the total number of top 50 entries a player receives, then the average rank they are predicted for, then in case of a tie between players, their rank last season as determined by the NHL 2013-14 final standings.
Not only will I evaluate the consensus picks and where they end up as compared to everyone else but I will also compare where last season's top 50 list ends up too.
One assumption that I am making is that every member entry is trying to strive for perfection. Even if an entry seems off I hope that the lure of winning the prize is enough to keep everything meaningful. After all, if someone last year said that Steven Stamkos would not be in the list of top 50 players most people would have thought that to be ridiculous yet that person would have been right.
This is entirely the reason why I am running this free contest. I want to find out where the consensus gets us and how many individuals can surpass it.
I am hoping that you will want to participate.