by    in prediction

Ranker Predicts Jacksonville Jaguars to have NFL’s worst record in 2014

Today is the start of the NFL season and building on our success in using crowdsourcing to predict the World Cup, we’d like to release our predictions for the upcoming NFL season.  Using data from our “Which NFL Team Will Have the Worst Record in 2014?” list, which was largely voted on by the community at WalterFootball.com (using a Ranker widget), we would predict the following order of finish, from worst to first.  Unfortunately for fans in Florida, the wisdom of crowds predicts that the Jacksonville Jaguars will finish last this year.

As a point of comparison, I’ll also include predictions from WalterFootball’s Walter Cherepinsky, ESPN (based on power rankings), and Betfair (basted on betting odds for winning the Super Bowl).  Since we are attempting to predict the teams with the worst records in 2014, the worst teams are listed first and the best teams are listed last.

Ranker NFL Worst Team Predictions 2014

The value proposition of Ranker is that we believe that the combined judgments of many individuals is smarter than even the most informed individual experts.  Our predictions were based on over 27,000 votes from 2,900+ fans, taking into account both positive and negative sentiment by combining the raw magnitude of positive votes with the ratio of positive to negative votes.  As research on the wisdom of crowds predicts, the crowd sourced judgments from Ranker should outperform those from the experts.  Of course, there is a lot of luck and randomness that occurs throughout the NFL season, so our results, good or bad, should be taken with a grain of salt.  What is perhaps more interesting is the proposition that crowdsourced data can approximate the results of a betting market like BetFair, for the real value of Ranker data is in predicting things where there is no betting market (e.g. what content should Netflix pursue?).

Stay tuned til the end of the season for results.

– Ravi Iyer

by    in Popular Lists

The List of the Week: September 11, 2011 Edition

Time for another look back at the lists that mattered this week on Ranker.com. Might be a big of a somber post, in light of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Just seems wrong to delve into the usual list of the week round-up style hilarity. (I know, I know, hilarity isn’t even a strong enough word… but I’m trying to be serious here.)

Ranker community members noted the tragic events of 10 years past this week with several compelling lists, from this collection of films looking at the events of 9/11 to a trip through the history of US conspiracy theories, including the arguments that, and I quote, “9/11 was an inside job.”

Also, don’t miss this list of the ways 9/11 changed how we talk, a look at phrases and concepts introduced to daily American life by the events of 9/11. (Including that old favorite, “if _______, then the terrorists will truly have won.”

There were some other happenings this week worthy of Ranker lists.

For one, “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” at long last hit movie screens, and the acclaim was universally absent. In fact, with a current rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 0%, it’s safe to say that the film is the worst-reviewed of 2011. (Really saying something…) Exactly HOW unfortunate and joke-free is “Bucky Larson”? Here’s a sampling from Ranker’s list of The Worst Bucky Larson Reviews:

“You may or may not laugh, but at least you’ll be closer to death and no better for it.” — Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine

Ouch.

In other entertainment news, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” signs off from its 8th season tonight, prompting Ranker users to look back on the best-ever premium cable shows. Curb is currently coming in at #3. Who’s doing better? Check out the list and see, why don’t you?


What? Stop looking at me like that!

Earlier this week, in a surprise move, Google purchased dining guide publishers Zagat for an undisclosed sum. (Our sources say $300 billion, which is why we stopped listening to them a while back.)

This makes over 100 other companies that have been gobbled up by the search giant in the past few years. But what were Google’s best-ever acquisitions? Leading right now? DODGEBALL! No, just kidding. It’s YouTube. And come on… it can’t be that hard to see why…


Awwww, how cute. I’ll give you $300 billion!

Finally this week saw the return of NFL football, when it seemed so close to being called off completely. And what better way to celebrate America’s game to Sunday afternoons than voting on and nominating your picks for the Greatest Running Back of All Time. Come on, give it a try. It’s one of the few times in life you’ll be able to give OJ Simpson a thumbs up and still feel good about yourself.

And with that, we’re signing off from another look back at the Ranker lists of the week. Be safe out there.

by    in Popular Lists, Trends

The List of the Wee-Week

It’s impossible to write a weekly wrap-up post for this past week that DOESN’T acknowledge French actor Gerard Depardieu urinating on a plane. Anderson Cooper is probably still laughing about it. So let’s just get that out of the way here up front…

OK, everyone got the giggles out? Can we get on with the lists that MATTERED this week? Anderson?

No, no, it’s okay, I’ll wait…

OK. Glad we could all get that out of our system, because lots of other stories happened this week, too, and Ranker even had lists that were made about some of them.

Like the FBI detaining a 17-year-old Tampa high school student who had planned to set off a bomb on the first day of school. (The first day! Talk about not having a restful summer vacation…)

A fascinating tidbit from the story was the student mentioning that he had seen a Wifi signal called “FBI_SURVEILLANCE_VAN” in his neighborhood in the days before the arrest. The sheer, breathtaking stupidity of law enforcement agents identifying themselves to a target int his way, inspired Autumn Spragg’s Biggest FBI FAILs collection. Other notable G-man goofs include leaving behind important internal documents while searching a suspect’s home, putting a wire on an informant incorrectly (thus returning no useful information) and investigating the murder of a corpse that turned out to be Trent Reznor making a music video. (Really! That happened!)

He’s not dead. He’s resting.

Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann was in the news this week after making not one but two kind of silly public mistakes. First, she encouraged a crowd at a South Carolina rally to help her celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday on August 16th, which actually – it turns out – is the anniversary of his death. (Hey, nothing a couple peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches can’t fix!)

Then, two days later, Bachmann said that Americans are concerned about the rise of the Soviet Union. Which, considering that it hasn’t existed in about 2 decades, is not really all that great of a concern. It’s fair to say that Americans as of this week were genuinely more concerned about the rise of the Planet of the Apes than the Soviet Union.

OK, so I may not have known much about Russia just because it’s geographically close to part of Alaska, but at least I know it’s not still the Soviet Union. Now who’s dangerously under-qualified?

These flubs were added to Ranker user PilgrimsProgressive’s ongoing list of Michele Bachmann Slip-Ups and Errors. Two date, it has 9 entries, most of them from some point in the 2011 campaign thus far.

And finally, the NFL’s pre-season games have started this week, kicking off anticipation not only for the 2011-2012 football season but also the forthcoming update to the long-running “Madden NFL” franchise from EA Games. The new edition – “Madden NFL 12” – comes out August 30th, and will feature running back Peyton Hillis of the Cleveland Browns on the cover.

At Ranker HQ, we discussed the validity of the long-rumored “Madden NFL cover curse,” alleging that players featured on the cover would incur a run of bad luck afterwards, most frequently occurring in the same season that they appeared on the game.

Does this theory actually hold any water? I’d tell you if I knew anything at all about football, other than that the term “pigskin” is sometimes substituted for football, which is extremely unpleasant. But you can test it out for yourself by checking out Arthur Roderick’s guide to All the Madden NFL Cover Athletes. It even includes the franchise’s namesake, John Madden, who is on the cover not in his original “football player” incarnation but his more recent “TV presenter constantly doodling like a 4th grader all over the screen” persona.

They told me to stand here holding this football looking like I was explaining something and BOOM!, this is what I came up with.

by    in Popular Lists

On Any Given List of the Week

Well, it’s Sunday afternoon again, and you all know what that means… time to get WASTED. But first, I’ve got to put up this post of all the great lists that went up on Ranker this week. What a drag, right? I mean, yes, Ranker has a ton of relevant, newsworthy lists that get built by users pretty much every day, sure, and it’s my job to feature and help draw attention to them. But Sundays are for relaxing poolside with the tequila and margarita mix I stole from the CEO’s wet bar when he invited us over for a BBQ last Friday.

Hang on, I think I may have gotten this intro swapped with my daily LiveJournal post. Oh well, no time to edit, ON TO THE LISTS!

Football Returns!

Well, not yet. That would be a really long season. Some of those guys probably wouldn’t make it. But it WILL return soon, because the players and owners have finally come to an agreement about raising the debt ceiling. (I’m pretty sure I have that right.)

Where do you think he got that tan? 3 hours of daily footwork and tackling drills.

And Ranker users were getting PUMPED, especially with all the last-minute deals and trades being announced every day. FrankieFrank threw together a collection of the most promising teams going into the new 2011 season. Hardtack contributed a ranking of the 25 Best All-Time Quarterbacks. And finally, it wouldn’t be an football off-season without a few dozen NFL player arrests. And thankfully, the temporary NFL Lockout was no different. I mean, what do you expect when you invite all your rowdy friends over on a Monday? Someone’s going to jail!

Late Summer Movies! Those Are Always Good!

The summer movie season kept right on rolling with a bunch of big new releases.

Included was an adaptation of the graphic novel “Cowboys & Aliens” from Jon Favreau, director of “Iron Man,” “Elf” and the underseen “Made,” in which Vince Vaughn plays perhaps the most irritating character in any contemporary comedy. The film was a relative disappointment at the box office this weekend, perhaps because once you’ve heard the title, you’ve basically seen the movie already.

OK, so this comic Western didn’t work out, but that shouldn’t stop Hollywood from moving forward with “Three Amigos 2,” right? Who’s with me??!?

Also opening this weekend, the big screen adaptation of another group of charming comic book characters. Of course, I’m talking about “The Smurfs,” whose story was finally brought to the screen by the esteemed director of “Scooby Doo,” “Home Alone 3” and, of course, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” Raja Gosnell. Presumably, he managed to squeeze in the production of the film between punching Orson Welles’ corpse and defecating on the last remaining master print of Buster Keaton’s “Steamboat Bill Jr.” Smurfy.

VidCon!

Not all con-ned out after Nerdy Gras last weekend? Then perhaps you took in the YouTube conference, VidCon, that just wrapped up in Los Angeles. The event featured panels and performances from YouTube’s best and brightest, including special effects wizard Freddie Wong, remix masters The Gregory Brothers and the gangsta gourmands of Epic Meal Time.

Needs more Jag Daggniels if you ask me

For more YouTube awesomeness, I recommend these lists of Disney mash-up legend Pogo’s greatest hits and everyone’s favorite cat-made-of-Pop Tarts moments on our Nyan Cat roundup.

Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week

Yes, another Shark Week is upon us, which means night after night of documentaries in which people foolishly climb into cages next to sharks, for fun, because we all know that taunting wild animals with 18 rows of teeth can’t possibly end poorly for anyone.

The list inspired – naturally – a collection of the 20 Best Pop Culture Sharks of all time. (Yes, yes, before you get all excited… Sharktopus made the list… What is this, amateur hour?)

Oh my goodness sorry I totally didn’t see you sunbathing there! This is really awkward now. I guess I should probably just eat you.

Also included? The shark that Fonzie famously jumped, giving rise to the phrase “jumping the shark,” for when a TV show wears out its welcome. Or a blog post, for that matter. I can take a hint.