Second Half Predictions

Valley of Puebla and Popocateptl (LCP,

First, I’m back. It was a good vacation, but now I’m back and you will be seeing a lot of me around these parts over the coming weeks. If I slip accidentally into Spanish, please forgive me. It’s going to be a rough transition to not saying “oye guey que pedo” every time I see someone. (Above is a picture of Puebla, where I was)

Secondly, it’s time to get to know your Second Half predictions. I previously posted the competition rules and now that I’m reunited with my lovely laptop, I will be tracking how well everyone is doing throughout the rest of the season.

Interesting facts:

  • All but one entry had Barcelona winning the second half of the season, choosing Real Madrid instead as the top pick.
  • Only one person chose a team other than Xerez for the bottom spot, going with Sporting Gijon instead.
  • No one had the same set of predictions as anyone else.
  • Zaragoza is currently at the top of the table after one match–tied with RM. That is awesome. Xerez is above Barça because I’m weighting GF more than a lack of GA (meaning 2-1 is better than 0-1, in this case because 2 is greater than 1 and they both have the same GD). That is crazy.
  • If the standings were final today, the winner would have 15 points and one player would have negative points. I would not be the person with 15 points nor the person with -1.

My predictions are not predictions, per se. I didn’t actually guess as to what was going to happen. Instead, I had good old Microsoft do the math for me to see if the rational minds out there in BFB-landia were able to beat a computer program. I naturally used my newly enhanced Pythagorean Expectation table (thanks Jose61!) that uses an exponent of 1.36 to calculate the expected returns.

I fed in the data from the first half of the season (GF and GA) and then assumed the same expected points-earned percentage for the second half. This was the result, in descending order: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Mallorca, Sevilla, Depor, Villarreal, Getafe, Ath. Bilbao, Atl. Madrid, Sporting Gijon, Osasuna, Rac. Santander, Malaga, Valladolid, Almeria, Espanyol, Zaragoza, Tenerife, Xerez.

That is currently worth a blistering 6 points in our prediction game. Naturally, it will be worth far more later on in the competition, but so will everyone else’s predictions. Xerez is already screwing things up by having won a match when PE said they would earn only 6 points throughout the entire half season.

I will be updating you most weeks with Second Half Prediction facts of interest and will be publishing that week’s current table as well. This week’s table:

If anyone knows a reliable website to keep track of this table for me, that’d be quite helpful. As it is, I’m keeping track of it all myself, which is fun, but not as fun as you’d think. If any of you had distinctive ways of making your own predictions, let us know in the comments.

Much more tomorrow, I promise.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. February 2, 2010

    I actually prefer to start with the “que pedo” just to get it out of the way, before moving onto “no mames” and other useful and topical conversation fillers.

    • February 2, 2010

      Fair enough, carnal. Gotta keep everyone on their toes, eh? I already miss the gorditas in the morning.

  2. ElShowDeJason
    February 3, 2010

    I was tempted to put Real Madrid first, and then Barcelona because naturally, I thought, that Barcelona would, after being crowned Champions, begin to drop points, Hence, Madrid, or some other team, could earn more points, while Barcelona still win the title.

    Then I realized that once Barcelona win the title, and stop lining up their best 11, why would Madrid line their best 11 up?

    Finally, after for a minute considering putting Madrid ahead of Barcelona in anything, i slapped myself to snap into logical thinking.

  3. Helge
    February 3, 2010

    Haha, you wanna know who is that lonesome traitor?
    It’s me 🙂

    But as Jason said, Barca can be Champion without winning the second half 😉

  4. February 3, 2010

    off topic again.. I tweaked this a lil.

    It is just before the Barcelona v Real Madrid match. Ronaldinho goes into the Barca changing room to find all his teammates looking a bit glum.

    “What’s up?” he asks.

    “Well, we’re having trouble getting motivated for this game. We know it’s important but it’s only Real Madrid. They’re sh*te and we can’t be bothered”.

    Ronaldinho looks at them and says “Well, I reckon I can beat them by myself, you lads go down the pub.”

    So Ronaldinho goes out to play the EE by himself and the rest of the Barca team go off for a few jars.

    After a few pints they wonder how the game is going, so they get the landlord to put the teletext on. A big cheer goes up as the screen reads

    “Barca 1 – Real Madrid 0 (Ronaldinho 10minutes)”. He is beating EE all by himself!

    Anyway, a few pints later and the game is forgotten until someone remembers “It must be full time now, let’s see how he got on”. They put the teletext on.

    “Result from the Stadium “Barca 1 (Ronaldinho 10 minutes) – EE 1 (Ronaldo 89 minutes)”.

    They can’t believe it; he has single handedly got a draw against EE!!

    They rush back to the Stadium to congratulate Ronaldinho. They find him in the dressing room, still in his gear, sitting with his head in his hands.

    >He refuses to look at them. “I’ve let you down, I’ve let you down.”

    “Don’t be daft! You got a draw against EE, all by yourself. And they only scored at the very, very end!”

    “No, No, I have! I’ve let you down………..I got sent off after 12 minutes”


    • February 3, 2010

      Ha, ha, ha..that joke is probably 50 years old but I never heard it Thanks! I’d tweak it somemore and put Valdez in the hero slot.

  5. majatt (Maximus)
    February 3, 2010

    When you say ‘keep track of it’ what do you mean exactly?

    If you want an easy way to share/update you can use google docs so multiple (authorized) people can help you maintain it.

  6. Unknown
    February 3, 2010

    So many people fail to see what ibra is doing with barca. when he is not scoring he is breaking the defence. what happen when ibra stopped scoring for a while, messi goes hatrick + + 3. Ibras positioning is almost perfekt. and his size/skill makes it even worse for the defenders, i only played soccer att div 2 and still see this. so many people that dont understand soccer. just media followers.

    • Kxevin
      February 3, 2010

      Note in my news post preceding this one, that Cruijff said the same thing about Ibrahimovic and Henry. And I think he’s right.

  7. vicsoc8
    February 3, 2010

    I have to disagree somewhat about Ibra. He adds a lot to the team without doubt, and I don’t think his lack of goals is an issue when you look at his contribution to the team as a whole.

    However I still don’t think he knows when to make specific runs and create space. Too often he closes another players space by running too close to them, and sometimes he clogs our midfield etc. This is not even considering he has no idea how to make the diagonal defense splitting runs Eto’o used to make.

    He still needs time. He is a fantastic footballer, but he has seemed disjointed in our system of late and only with a good attitude and work ethic can he overcome this.

  8. Lumi
    February 3, 2010

    Vicsoc, unknown is right. I think another thing Ibra is doing is, making it a topmost priority that someone scores. He does not really fight for a goal like a striker does instead he allows the goal to come to him. If it comes good, but if not he makes sure someone scores.

  9. Lumi
    February 3, 2010

    Either by his assist or by his movements

  10. Blow-Granite
    February 3, 2010

    Regarding the website that can keep track of all entries: Isaiah please try the online spreadsheet at You can share the document with others in read only mode and you can still be the administrator.

    • February 3, 2010

      yeah, I want to track my amazing progress ( I hope I’m not at -1)

    • Phil
      February 3, 2010

      Pretty sure he meant that he wanted a website that would update the entries of the spreadsheet for him instead of him having to update wins/losses/draws and GF/GA etc himself. I don’t know of one that tracks the 2nd half of the season exclusively.

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