Panel o’ Experts: The experts are winning

Something is amiss in the standings: The smart people have been the best at picking NFL games.

Topics: Football, Peyton Manning,

It’s been a while since we’ve updated the Panel o’ Experts standings, which is your first clue that this column hasn’t been particularly successful.

Not that a tie for 13th place out of 21, just behind the drooling masses and my 5-year-old — formerly a massive drooler himself — doesn’t count as relative success around here. It does.

That goofy computer simulation Accuscore is tied with ESPN’s Chris Mortensen for the lead as we head into the second half of the season. They’re both getting about two-thirds of the games right, which means that so far this has been a pretty typical year for the Panel o’. The average winning percentage in the Panel’s five-year history is .665.

Football smart guys Peter King, Michael Silver and Vinnie Iyer are contending for the lead, meaning that the Panel o’ Experts is not doing its usual duty of showing that any old anyone can pick NFL games as well as the so-called experts. We need some kids, porn stars or me to step up.

In an effort to keep the size of the Panel o’ Experts under control, I’ve … added a participant. The great Web site Football Outsiders picks games each week based on its formulas. Aaron Schatz says the Outsiders began picking games in Week 3, but he was able to go back and apply the formulas to the first two weeks and he says the picks are 80-50. If he’d said 100-30, I wouldn’t have added the Outsiders, but a new entry tied for seventh place is OK with me. The predictions are in the Outsiders premium section.

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Here are the standings, with the year-end prize, as always, dinner at my house — a prize that’s meaningless to 19 percent of the Panel. Fourteen percent if the Accuscore computer eats.

Name W-L Pct.
1. Accuscore 87-43 .669
1. Chris Mortensen, ESPN 87-43 .669
3. Peter King, Sports Illustrated 85-45 .654
4. Michael Silver, Yahoo 84-46 .646
5. Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News 83-47 .638
6. Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today 81-49 .623
7. Eric Allen, ESPN 80-50 .615
7. Football Outsiders 80-50 .615
7. Mark Schlereth, ESPN 80-50 .615
10. Merril Hoge, ESPN 79-51 .608
11. Buster, Obama supporter 78-52 .600
11. Yahoo Users 78-52 .600
13. Jarrett Bell, USA Today 77-53 .592
13. King Kaufman, Salon 77-53 .592
15. Ron Jaworski, ESPN 75-46 .620
15. Mike Golic, ESPN 75-54 .581
15. Curt Siffert, Beatpaths 75-55 .577
18. Larry Weisman, USA Today 74-56 .569
19. Charles Robinson, Yahoo 72-58 .554
20. Daisy, Coinflip Week 68-62 .523
21. Adriana Sage, EroticModelPicks 64-49 .567
King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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