Power Ranking Rankings: Team Estimatable Edition, Part 2

By: IfhBiff (@Gizmo aka Ifhbiff on Discord) 

Welcome to Part 2 of a series that came out of data I accumulated from 19 seasons of BNN Power Rankings.  Last time, we reviewed the Pretty Well Estimated and the Just About Estimated teams. Those were the teams that we at BNN tended to have *some* idea about throughout Power Ranking history. But here… here is where the chaos starts to reign!

HOW TO READ EACH TEAM CHART

The blue bar per season indicates what rank BNN predicted for the team that season.  The red bar indicates how well the team did that season (determined by the total number of Win Objects at the end of the regular season. If a tie-breaker was needed, the lower number of NonWins was used. After that, teams were co-ranked as a tie.  Divine Favor is not used).  A checkmark indicates that BNN correctly estimated the team’s final rank; otherwise, the number shown is the difference between prediction and actual.

NOTE ON DATA COLLECTION: (S19 was treated as if Wins mattered, so the team that genuinely had the most Win Objects at the end is #1; however, because of the Uppy Downy nature of S24, whatever final record that shows on blaseball.com was used.  Because I’m *tired*, people, and math hurts.)

THE ESTIMATED

#12: Dale

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 4.63
Biggest Miss: S23, +14

I can think of no better place to start off the middle of the road with than Miami, for two reasons:

– They truly are in the middle.  Their 4.63 Average Differential is the closest to the league-wide rate of 4.57.
– They are the best example of “Sometimes, all the research doesn’t matter.”  The Dale being ranked 16th was one of the first recurring jokes of the BNN Power Ranking (5 of 6 times, between Season 8 & Season 13), and they would reward us by always being just slightly better than that.  Ranking them 12th in Season 14, BNN was punished for its Hubris by missing by 8… in back-to-back seasons… in opposite directions.  

I’d also just like to take this moment to point out that it took until Season 24 to realize why the Anchor would be a fan of the team represented by a boat. And if you’ve just now got it by reading this, then my work here is done.

#11: Mechanics

Seasons Estimated: 12
Average Differential: 4.83
Biggest Miss: S22, +12

When researching these articles, one of the common comments I heard was how badly BNN ranked the Mechanics for one of their Championship-winning seasons. The funny thing is that depending on who was telling me, which season it varied in their story. The Mechs were the second seed in Season 18… with all four teams from the Wild League having better records than them… and the fourth seed in Season 20, where there was a giant gap between the four playoff teams and the rest of that League. Myth busted, IMO. If anything, the Mechanics let BNN down in between, in Season 19 (though that was also not really their fault, as it was where all of their Election shenanigans began).

#10: Shoe Thieves

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 4.84
Biggest Miss: S24, +14*

It took BNN a while to accept how much Flinch and other issues were affecting the Shoe Thieves. You can see the 4-season gap where we would lower our expectations, and then the Shoe Thieves would trip on those laces and still fall under them. We got it mostly right for a while there, and then instead we chose to ignore how much Charleston’s Fax Machine would pay off. One of the Season 24 asterisk Biggest Miss teams, the next gap is their biggest fall from glory in Season 12.

#9: Firefighters

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 4.89
Biggest Miss: S19, +16

I never understand the Firefighters. Never. If I were to do these charts specifically on my picks, I bet I’d be really far off on estimating the Firefighters. Like, most of the time. Even just now, after I spent many hours calculating this data… I had to stop for a few minutes before doing this blurb because I thought I messed up my data and couldn’t figure out what was up with my data between Season 18 and Season 20. Then I remembered that Season 19 is UnWins. As I pointed out in Part 1, and again in the explanation above, I choose to pretend that didn’t happen. So let’s instead point out the next Biggest Miss is Season 13, a season they initially went into by bringing a rookie into their Lineup (Mags Banananana) and Infusing a dead guy (Joshua Butt). Can you blame BNN for thinking they’d go down instead of up?

#8: Lift

Seasons Estimated: 14
Average Differential: 5.00
Biggest Miss: S24, -18*

The Lift. The “stuck in the middle” team. Had a few seasons before the Expansion teams were in, but got none of the sweet gifts that those teams received. Accurately chosen to be 20th back before we could even choose them to be 24th, and then they decided to go to 23rd anyway.  Since then, it’s like BNN and the Lift can’t decide what floor they’re on. They’re like some sort of… traveling box, up and down, inside the tall building that is the ILB. Someone else is pressing buttons, sending them in both directions, always just bouncing around. Like, someone on an escalator, but only going directly north and south or something. I can’t quite put my finger on it…

#7: Flowers

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 5.21
Biggest Miss: S24, +23*

You may remember me mentioning, in the Wild Wings blurb of Part 1, about some “goofballs.” Well, let’s grow! The Boston Flowers… all over the dang place. How many of you even remembered that the Flowers made it to the Finals in Season 18? ‘Cause I sure didn’t. The funny thing is, if you look at this chart… the Flowers were a really consistent team until that point. A few hills and valleys, sure, but nothing that makes them the seventh least estimatable team in Blaseball, right? The late-era Flowers best represent the unique catastrophes, wimdys, and craziness that define the time.  It felt like every famous player was walking through these doors at the wrong time, in the wrong way, and straight into a rake thwacking them in the face. And on the way out, they prove it by somehow being the best W/L record in the League in Season 24, right before the entire thing gets Nullified. Oh, Flowers, you are such knuckleheads.

#6: Pies

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 5.3
Biggest Miss: S12, +16

The Pies won the first two Championships in Blaseball history. They were the #1 team for Season 18 and Season 19, and BNN knew it. They were also the surprise top seed for the Mild league in Season 12, where they were upset by the Wild Card Shoe Thieves. So much potential, baked in a Pie. And people still wonder why BNN doesn’t do well with this prediction thing…

Also, in researching this article, I’d like to credit the Pies as the first team (that I can find) to specifically ask people not to “Estimate” them. If not for them, I’d be running with a whole different bunch of jokes and puns. So, they’ve got that going for them.

THE MILDLY (AT BEST) ESTIMATED

#5: Steaks

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 5.58
Biggest Miss: S21, -11

We enter the Top 5, and the Mildly (At Best) Estimated teams, with the Dallas Steaks. It’s tough to predict when good-quality beef is done. But BNN took our tenderloin lumps and our mignon misses for the first half of the Power Rankings and turned it into some solid predictions, nailing the moist, delicious flavors of the Steaks in Season 15 and Season 16, as the Steaks finally got over that hurdle and won the Championship. But since then… we were remembering too fondly. The butcher knife had come and carved up the Steaks, never to be the same again.  

#4: Georgias

Seasons Estimated: 12
Average Differential: 5.92
Biggest Miss: S21, -11

All this bad estimating in such a short window of time! Far from their Breach brethren, BNN could rarely get the pulse of this team. Maybe it’s because they have a pulse in a different place, being Underwater and all that. We didn’t start off too badly, perfectly predicting two of the first five seasons. It always felt like the Georgias were a step slower in their rise compared to the Worms or Mechanics. But then, they blasted unexpectedly near the top in Season 22, and BNN said “Wow, that’s a good team!” Whoops. The bends had taken over, they dropped like a stone in Season 23, and you have the biggest two-season gap in BNN Power Ranking history.  

#3: Lovers

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 6.21
Biggest Miss: S8, -16

All those big blue gaps, starting with the Biggest Miss in Season 8. Sure, a couple of times the Lovers surprised BNN, but for the most part… the Lovers were just never really the consistent powerhouse we thought they’d be after the start of Power Rankings. Another result that really surprised me: I have memories of so many good Lovers players at the same time, yet they never could quite put it all together. And also another team that got really bouncy towards the end. Remember this theme at the end, folks.

#2: Jazz Hands

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 6.26
Biggest Miss: S24, +19*

I’m not on the board for BNN, but I am the most frequent contributor to BNN Power Rankings (I have submitted rankings 11 of the 19 seasons, and BNN only really opened it up to other writers after Season 11). So I feel somewhat OK in my position to be the one to say this:

“Jazz Hands, the BNN Power Rankings would like to apologize for disrespecting you more than any other team in Blaseball history.”

All those red bars!  Over the 19 seasons, BNN was off for the Jazz Hands a grand total of 119 places.  But 86 of those 119 places (+72%) are off because we placed them LOWER than they’d end up.  Even worse, we managed to do this with the Jazz Hands only being the 2nd best record once (in Season 24, no less), as well as having finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th once each. The Jazz were never a true powerhouse. They’ve only been in the Finals once, losing to the Firefighters in Season 5. After the longest consecutive playoff appearances at the start of Blaseball (Season 1 – Season 7), they were only in the playoffs three times since then (Seasons 12, 20, 21). Really, if we just guessed 12th most of the time, we’d be pretty close.

And yet, BNN still regularly misses by underestimating them.  We’re sorry, Jazz Hands.  You deserve better than us.

But the Jazz Hands are still only the second least Estimatable team in Blaseball history!  How can that be?  Who could be that elusive, that confusing, that… unestimatable?  Well, if you’ve been keeping track, you could figure it out. But even if you haven’t, I imagine that a few of you out there have guessed correctly because there truly is only one team in Blaseball that is:

GROSSLY ESTIMATED

#1: Breath Mints

Seasons Estimated: 19
Average Differential: 7.32
Biggest Miss: S23, -16

Remember the bouncy theme from #3, the Lovers?  The Breath Mints, especially since Season 19 or so, have been bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy… but certainly not fun, fun, fun, fun, fun for BNN to try to estimate. The Breath Mints certainly are the only one.  All this even with the DNF (Did Not Finish) in Season 24, effectively giving them a miss rate of zero for the season!  For the first half, the Breath Mints could have held a claim to the Jazz Hands’ “disrespected” title.  From Season 6 to Season 15, we ranked them higher than 12th once.  The Breath Mints responded to that by being 16th in Season 11.  Every other time, they played better than predicted.  We went up to 8th… so they made it to 6th.  We doubled down on 8th… and the Breath Mints outfoxed us by having the bottom fall out in Season 17. We put them 9th in Season 19 and they have the best record in the League. Two seasons later, we reward them with a #1… and they finish 2nd.  I’m pretty sure it was just to spite BNN. At this point, the bouncing was in full circus tent trampoline mode.  

Personally, I think it all started going weird when they Revoked Pudge.  It feels like consequences follow behind Pudge like the waft of yesterday’s overly garlic-covered pizza.  Or maybe… maybe it’s just that no team embraces the weirdness, the chaos, the sheer nihilism of Blaseball like the Kansas City Breath Mints. 

Congratulations, Kansas City; you’ve confounded me once again.

You can read Part 1 of IfhBiff’s analysis here.

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