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WhatIfSports.com passes ChatRoulette and MySpace for worst website on the Internet

A reader brought a horrendous piece of online technology to my attention this morning when he sent me a link to WhatIfSports.com’s National Championship simulator. The Fox Sports website ranks all of college basketball’s champs since 1985 and simulates games between each team and this year’s winner, the Louisville Cardinals.

Before I even get to the steaming pile of horse sh-t that is the 2011-12 Kentucky versus 2012-13 Louisville simulation, let’s just take a quick look at the incredibly inaccurate rankings based on the simulated matchups:

ah-bullshit2

The 2011-12 Kentucky team, believed to be one of the best teams ever assembled, is ranked No. 19 on the list. Nineteen, folks. WhatIfSports.com and its faulty equipment determined that Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the boys are the 19th-best title team in the last 29 years.

Oh, it gets worse.

In the only two simulations I could tolerate, the 2012-13 Louisville team beat the 2011-12 Kentucky team 85-66 and 63-55.

ah-bullshit

I think it’s time someone at WhatIfSports.com goes back and double-checks the source code. Something is off, clearly.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

46 Comments for WhatIfSports.com passes ChatRoulette and MySpace for worst website on the Internet



  1. blueaville
    12:03 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    and the obsession with the school down the road continues. let’s move on



  2. bigabes4uk
    12:06 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    SO many things wrong with that list. NONE of those teams should be ahead of 96. 2001 Duke at #1 is laughable. 2012 UK is top 5 in last 30 years. UL from last season should be wayyyyy down this list as there was no great teams last year. They managed to win one on the most watered down year in college ball I can remember. To even place them anywhere close to 2012 UK is ridiculous. They would win maybe 5 outa 100- maybe. DUMB!



  3. Biloxi77
    12:07 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    You don’t need to simulate the game. The two teams actually played eachother. TWICE!!!



  4. ruppsrunt
    12:10 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    the 2012/13 smell team did NOT average 78.4ppg this past season. The ncaa site shows smell scored at 74.4ppg for the 40 game season–a full 4ppg less than presented by the bogus site.

    here is the link to all 2012/12 div 1 scoring averages–only 2 teams averaged at least 80ppg–Iona(80.4) and Northwestern St(80.0). college b’ball scoring is a travesty.

    http://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1/current/team/145

    rr



  5. Merlin's
    12:12 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Not really that tough to believe. The 2011 UK team would have more pro’s and length at the skill positions but if you remember when we played U-ave-L in the final four they tied the ball game with like 6minutes left and made us play our A game to finish out. That Louisville team was great defwnsively but needed a scorer and a little more depth. This yr they were essentially the same team but with more scoring ability at at least three different positions and were statistically a errrr defensive team, the best actually some kenpom has been keeping the Adjusted stats. So, all homerism aside, it is not unthinkable that the 2013 Louisville team could ever beat the 2011 UK team. Stats don’t lie



  6. Sayeth
    12:13 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    The simulation is obviously screwed up. It’s predicting that if 2013 UofL played 2013 UofL, then one team would win 48.7% of the time. If a simulated team plays its simulated self, that number should be much closer to 50.



  7. JackB
    12:19 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    If team A plays team A, doesn’t team A win 100% of the games?



  8. Jason
    12:20 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    98 cats ranked high too…..I loved that team but to have them ranked that much higher than 2012 cats is ridiculous



  9. Jamaal Wall
    12:22 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Congrats to Kentucky Sports Radio for reposting every news story from Cats Illustrated.



  10. JackB
    12:24 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    I think last year’s UK team is way underrated on the list. I also think the 05-06 Florida team is overrated. While the 07 team dominated, the first team that returned its best players for the back-to-back were not that dominate and were not a favorite to win the title. They were more like UL in ’12 than UL in ’13.

    The Maryland team and the KU team that best Cal are also overrated I think.



  11. ukfaninohio
    12:24 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    #5.And we played louisville this year and it took all they had to beat us gotta look at more than one game.Uk had a way better record than louisville who won there title in a down year in college basketball.



  12. JackB
    12:25 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with you #8 – that ’98 Cats team lost only 4 games but it was a 2 seed that year – probably rightfully so. And they were known as the Comeback Cats for a reason – they were behind double digits in each of the last 3 games.



  13. MrWildcat
    12:26 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Pretty sure the 2012 UK team smacked the almost identical 2013 UofL team twice



  14. Thinkaboutit
    12:31 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Who cares if Cats Illustrated posted it first. I think most would agree that they could take everything from Cats Illustrated and everybody would still come to this site to read it. Get over it.



  15. The Truth
    12:33 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    The Truth is that if you are going to be this upset about how low the 2012 UK team is and argue these are “incredibly inaccurate rankings” what does that mean for 96 UK (#2) and 98 UK (#6)?



  16. Han
    12:40 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Davis and Friends beat essentially the same Louisville team twice. The ’96 team would never lose to last year’s Louisville team. Also, the ’96 team as less likely to beat Louisville than the ’01 Blue Devils? Really?

    Seems like one of those simulations where they only factor in things that confirm their hypothesis.

    1) It’s called relevant news, just as any news about Tubby or BCG is news because they coached here, or any news about any of our rivals.

    9) Yes, because Illustrated originates everything ever posted on any sports site. Also, it’s premium, so you know owe somebody $10.



  17. R Hall
    12:43 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Why would KSR even put something so crazy on their website.



  18. Mr. Roboto
    12:46 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Here’s the problem. These types of stats are not really comparable year to year as both computer and human rankings as well as schedule strength etc. are not comparable year to year. Put a different way, the top teams in 2012 were a heck of a lot better than the top teams were in 2013. Unfortunately, Louisville gets the same amount of credit (or even more if the margin of victory was larger) for beating the #5 team this year as KY did for beating a stronger #5 team least year. And, before anyone says “these stats are not based on human rankings …they are based on computer rankings of efficiency etc.,” remember that yearly efficiency rankings are still a product of (and only relevant for/relative to) the characteristics of the sample they are based on (i.e., 2012 teams vs. other 2012 teams as compared to 2013 teams vs. other 2013 teams). So, yes, you can compare the efficiency statistics, shooting %, etc. of last year’s teams to the efficiency statistics of this year’s teams….but it is a faulty comparison. With regard to cross-year comparisons, efficiency statistics are confounded by the relative quality of the teams on a year to year basis. Some programs can attempt to weight estimates based on this. However, these weights are themselves based, to some extent, on the same sets of numbers. And, Louisville fans, before you say…”well….our UL team this year would have beaten our UL team last year,” the same could be said for most of last year’s top teams. The reason that this year’s top teams were so weak (relatively speaking), is that a ton of talent left college basketball last year. This statement can be easily by an examination of the relative strength and depth of last year’s draft as compared to this year’s draft.

    So, in conclusion, what this UK-UL simulation really proves is that this year’s top 25 teams were weaker than last year’s top 25 teams. And, since none of last year’s teams can play any of this year’s teams, there is no way to effectively compare teams across the two years. Interestingly enough, however, this year’s Louisville team was essentially intact from the team that lost to UK twice last year. This is actually more telling from a comparison standpoint than the computer simulation. And, Louisville fans, before you say…”well….our team got a lot better over the off-season and would have beaten last year’s UK team”…. just imagine freaky good UK would have been this year with Davis, Gilchrest, Jones, Teague, etc. back after that same off-season. I will save you the trouble. The answer is that Louisville would have lost twice and by the same margins. 🙂



  19. J in Orlando
    12:49 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    5 If they played 10x UK wins 9 minimum…they were clearly better…if last years UL team played in almost any other season, they are not a top 10 team…they simply reaped the benefits of a season relatively devoid of top talent…they won, congrats and all, but they would not beat any team on that list more than 3 out of 10 games



  20. mj7juice
    12:49 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Another great piece of journalism from Drew Franklin….yawn



  21. NYCWildcat
    12:50 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Any list that doesn’t have the ’09-’10 Duke team near or exactly at the bottom of the list is flawed. Worst champions ever.

    Obviously last year’s UK team is better than this year’s UL team. Not only were the individual players better but the team as a whole was far superior. Look at the records or the head-to-head or the tournament play etc. Do we need to get the kids from the AT & T tourney commercials to explain it?



  22. Axe Cop
    12:50 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Search KSR for whatifsports and you’ll see this site has written several posts referencing data from that site. Can’t have it both ways.



  23. TimeFor9
    1:06 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    22 and every post except 2 were by Stuart Hammer. One was by BTI and the other by Schuette (however you spell his name). None of them were by Drew. It’s okay if Drew disagrees with the other writers on this site.



  24. eppityepps
    1:08 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    this is some liberal bs, frank



  25. Please stop Stuart Hammer
    1:10 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Axe Cop…if you’ll notice, the majority of the posts that use Whatifsports were “written” by Stuart Hammer. I think most reasonable people will agree that any simulation that is not 50/50 when a team ‘plays’ itself either hasn’t been run enough times to be significant or, more likely, is inherently flawed. It should not be surprising that a good writer for KSR, Drew Franklin, just called the main source that the worst writer on KSR, Stuart Hammer, uses for his football posts the “worst website on the internet.” Not surprising a d-level writer would use a d-level website as crutch for his posts.



  26. wubwub
    1:14 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Louisville’s pythag is .9753. 2011-2012 Kentucky’s is .9679. Hence the reason for Louisville being higher. Obviously Kentucky was 3 games better than Louisville, but Kenpom at least places that on luck (the cats were 84th, this year’s Louisville was 229th) which is expected wins vs actual wins. Whether or not you buy that is to your discretion, those numbers certainly aren’t the be all end all of analysis like some think, and a difference of 3 games is pretty big to just discount by “luck”.



  27. Catsantonio
    1:19 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Whatifsports = Damn Liberal Socialists



  28. evan
    1:20 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    of course if it goes against UK’s interest it must be wrong and downright stupid. smh.



  29. wildcatnux
    1:29 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the guy that invented that sim engine, built whatifsports to a company sold it to Fox and move on to his next endeavor. At the core, I disagree with the findings and rankings they came up with. That being said, you have to understand that the site cannot be 100% accurate and doesn’t take every possible factor into account, and it is far better than any other options available out there. I think a large portion of the KSR fanbase could enjoy a great deal of free entertainment if they played around on that site for a while. But we have to take into consideration that formulation of their rankings includes a level of subjectivity, so it would be ridiculous to consider those results fact.



  30. Biglaw Dawgin'
    2:08 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    You know it’s bogus if it has that team scoring in the 50’s and 60’s.



  31. Blueneck
    2:15 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    This is what happens when numbers are applied without logic. This shows the fallacies of using things like the Pythagorean Win %, scoring margin etc. it doesn’t take into account strength of schedule – which would be hard to compare from different years.
    How many times did you hear someone say I wonder if those Cards could beat an NBA team? Yeah, no one said it. Though it is wondered if any Cards could make it in the NBA.
    Though the Cards were the best team this year it doesn’t take into account they had the EASIEST PATH TO CHAMPIONSHIP SINCE GOING TO 64 TEAMS.
    Had they included the undefeated IU team it would have crashed their computer.

    I did my thesis using simulation and the one thing I can tell you is: garbage in, garbage out.



  32. jeff
    2:20 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    i play the college basketball product offered by whatifsports.com, and there are some pretty major inaccuracies in the engine, which is essentially the same engine they use to simulate “real” matchups. the #1 flaw in the sim engine is arguably the inability to correctly factor in the impact of elite big men, on both ends of the court. actually, big man scoring is really messed up, top to bottom, and many of us there compensate by basically not letting our big men touch the ball, ever. so when i see a team with Anthony Davis being undervalued by the engine, i don’t bat an eye. actually i saw this list when it came out on the website and it was basically par for the course, i remember last year in the playoffs (or was it 2 years ago) when chris bosh got injured, WIS published an article like this about how the heat actually statistically fared BETTER in the series without the option to play him. umm… yeah.



  33. Alamo_CatFan
    2:23 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    26 – those number are against current year competition. Most reasonable folks will agree that 11-12 competition was much stiffer than 12-13 competition. So, without some magic weighting it impossible to tell exactly what 11-12’s .9679 would be against 12-13 competition…my guess is that it would be MUCH higher. On the other hand, UL’s 12-13 pythag would probably be much lower against 11-12 competition.



  34. 9-asty
    2:24 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    Who knows, maybe the 12-13 UL team would have beaten the 11-12 Wildcats, but there is no way that the 11-12 Wildcats are beaten that bad by any college team.



  35. CATandMONKEY
    2:43 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    What if:
    Cal had started Long, Malone, Polson,Vargas and Hood.



  36. Simple
    2:45 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    #5–Take your “attempt to sound like a level-headed UK fan” approach and go back an celebrate your precious third title on your own board.

    These simulations are garbage. No, UK isn’t God’s-gift to basketball, and yes, other teams are capable of beating even our championship teams (the best team rarely wins the title IMHO), but zero chance UL beats the 2012 UK champs by 20 points. GTFO.

    And our 96 team should be #1, with 2012 #3 or #4 at worst.



  37. Merlin's
    2:57 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    #36 Stats bro. We can have a conversation and include our own opinions without being hostile to one another right?



  38. jpgott2
    3:00 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    All I am going to say is that UL was down by as much as twelve in the Final-4 and NC game. They also had a much easier road to the NC game than UK. Oh, and they lost 5 games over the season, including a 3 game losing streak.

    They depended on Russ Smith to get them out of funks. UK was way more balanced, and destroyed it in the NCAA tournament.



  39. Bman
    3:05 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    The 2012 UK team beat the 2013 Lil sister team twice. Enough said



  40. Internet Tax Bill
    3:23 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    It’s all meaningless speculation, but I get paid for every hit. Keep the nonsense going, and don’t forget to link your vital opinion to your Facebook page. I’ve got bills to pay.



  41. KT
    3:37 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    I was always taught in my statistics courses that crap in = crap out and I’m pretty sure that’s what we are looking at. Based on his ludicrous top ten teams I had to see what in the heck this site’s criteria were and couldn’t find even a vague description of what information they looked at in these head-to-head match-ups. To not even list basic criteria used or rank which criteria was more important is a big red flag. I googled and found an article on the site’s founder: Tarek Kamil who created the site as a baseball simulator initially. He admitted that the College basketball match-up was by far the weakest simulator on his site. No offense to our ’98 Comeback Cats but the fact that they were ranked above last year’s team proves he has some kinks left to work out.



  42. jimlowe7
    8:46 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    The site AUTOMATICALLY has Louisville set as the HOME TEAM. Even if you select “Neutral Site” they win most of the games. BUT when you “reset” it to UK as the HOME TEAM and Louisville as the AWAY team then UK wins 5 of the first 6 (and 2 of the first 3 at “Neutral Site”). I agree that the statistics used are ENTIRELY skewed toward offensive stats and IGNORES defense. But you need to READ THE RULES and set up the game to YOUR LIKING before putting it down as you do!



  43. jeff
    9:59 pm April 30, 2013 Permalink

    41 – you are correct that tarek created the game, but Fox has owned it for a long time (since like, 2004?), and since then, basically nothing has been done to improve the sim engine, so its old and outdated. you also have to understand the context when evaluating a piece of work – the context of those articles is simply to provide some minor amusement/distractions to the paying customer base, and also, to create some “fresh” content to try to show up in some google searches. 42 – ive never heard anyone who works there claim that they actually BELIEVE that stuff. whatifsports provides college dynasty games, sort of like a coach mode in madden. those articles they write are not their core competency, not where they make money, and trying to make them accurate is probably not a priority. at all. the site is not in very good shape, and FOX basically steals all their programmers to work on fantasy sports, so even their core games have received VERY little attention lately (lately meaning the last 7-10 years)



  44. justin
    5:07 am May 1, 2013 Permalink

    didnt UL only win like… most of their games against below average schools by about 3-5 points each time?



  45. papasmurf
    10:59 am May 2, 2013 Permalink

    UK got beat by Vandy in their conference championship and only had a margin of victory of something close to 11 pts average. They were not as dominate as BBN thinks. UL dominated from overtime ND game moving forward and one of the greatest defensive teams of all time.

  46. Kentucky Sports Radio » Blog Archive » WhatIfSports.com passes ChatRoulette and MySpace for worst website on the Internet