Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Only Connect - Grand Final Preview

I'm not going to sit on the fence. I have a strong gut feeling about the final. I stress here and now that I do NOT already know the outcome, but as I say , I have a strong feeling that The Gamblers will be just too strong and too good for the plucky Strategists. Still, as always, there are factors to be taken into consideration. Lets start with the bare statistics of how each team have performed taking the series as a whole.

Here are the average scores of both of the teams in each of the four different rounds, and also their average total scores.Yes I know that the totals are a little higher than if you add up all the averages of each of the 4 rounds, but that average is based on the winning scores of each round. Trust me.

TeamWhat's the Connection –R.1What comes 4th – r. 2Connecting Walls – r. 3Missing Vowels - r. 4Match Total

OK – this is not an exact science of course, but on paper it looks as if the contest is actually much closer than I think it is. Statistically the Gamblers have a clear advantage on rounds one and two, which points up the fact that I think its fair to say that they have a superior general knowledge. There is virtually nothing to choose between them on their wall performances, while the Strategists , particularly in the shape of the excellent Chris Cummins, have an advantage in the missing vowels. So the stats seem to suggest that it will be closer than I think it will.Let me pay tribute to the Strategists. They have never looked in trouble throughout the whole series, and have proven themselves to be a very good outfit. Yet it just doesn't alter my gut feeling.

Where does my gut feeling come from ? (My gut ? D'Oh !) Well, look at this way. The semis have been harder than the earlier rounds. Its not unreasonable to suggest that the final will be harder again. I think that the Gamblers’ superior general knowledge may well give them a decisive lead going into the missing vowels round. The Gamblers have shown that they will be better able to take advantage of anything the Strategists can't answer than the Hitchhikers were. I don’t think that the Strategists will be able to get much out of what the Gamblers can't answer. Even regarding the Missing Vowels round, just think for a minute whom each team have faced before. In their semi final the honours were even between the Gamblers and the Archers Admirers- the Archers having consistently been one of the very best teams we have seen on the missing vowels. Even if the Strategists were to go into the round level with the Gamblers there is no guarantee that they would match them for speed on the buzzer.

So I’m sorry Strategists, but I’m sticking with the Gamblers. Still, as you’ve seen in the Gamblers last match, my Only Connect tips are unreliable. Best of luck to both teams.


Anonymous said...

Hi David. Thanks for your analysis, which I always enjoy reading.

Scoring more highly in the first two rounds doesn't necessarily involve answering more questions correctly; it could be just a greater confidence to risk answering sooner, rather than playing it safe with an additional clue. In other words, possibly the teams have equal general knowledge but the Gamblers are more willing to, um, gamble.

Anybody want to do the analysis breaking the teams' scores down into 5-, 3-, 2-, and 1-point answers?

For the missing vowels round a higher score could just indicate a longer round: any team with a 2½ min round is likely to outscore a team with a round lasting just 1½ min.

(Though the round is longer when the quiz has progressed swiftly to that point, which suggests many earlier questions have been answered correctly and quickly. So merely being in a long missing vowels round may be an indication of a high-scoring team overall.)

Does anybody have the data on how long each of the teams' missing vowels rounds have been, such that a meaningful average can be calculated?

Andrew B. said...

Neither team got any 5-points answers (has anyone this series?) Breaking the scores down as number of 3/2/1/0 point answers:

Gamblers Rnd 1: 2/2/3/2
Gamblers Rnd 2: 3/3/0/3
Gamblers Total: 5/5/3/5

Strategs Rnd 1: 1/2/0/6
Strategs Rnd 2: 1/4/0/4
Strategs Total: 2/6/0/10

On top of this, the Gamblers have scored 7/10 on bonuses (3/4 + 4/6); the Strategists have scored 4/11 on bonuses (3/6 + 1/5)

(Out of personal interest, I worked out the figures for the Archers Admirers:
Admirers Rnd 1: 2/1/1/5
Admirers Rnd 2: 2/3/0/4
Admirers Total: 4/4/1/9
Plus 5/10 on bonuses: 2/4 + 3/6)

Andrew B. said...

Rough lengths of round 4:
Strategists: 2:40/1:35/1:40
Gamblers: 2:25/2:30/1:35

(The first match for the Strategists included a longish pause while one of their opponents answers was disallowed).