by Greg Akers
Knowledge Bowl, Match 2: Bartlett Panthers vs. West Memphis Christian Black Knights. Aired November 7th, 2009.
West Memphis Christian:
Timothy (Captain), Senior
Round One: Bartlett 130, WMC 30
Round Two: Bartlett 110, WMC 65
Round Three (Lightning Round): Bartlett: 10, WMC 10
Final: Bartlett 250, WMC 105
The Game: The only real tense moments in what was ultimately a pretty dominating game was about halfway through the second round. With the answer “Quadratic,” by West Memphis Christian’s Timothy, the Black Knights pulled the score to 130-100. Then Bartlett answered the next five correct toss-ups (and three bonuses) and put it out of reach for good.
Some might say there was a conspiracy afoot. West Memphis Christian reduces to WMC — the call letters for a TV rival to News Channel 3. Well, that was the kind of thing I thought about while scrawling out my voluminous notes for this first round match. I took two-and-a-half pages of notes, including every correct, incorrect, and bonus answer. I may not do that again, but I wasn’t sure at the time what info I might need for promised statistics. (See more, below.)
For the Record: I picked West Memphis Christian. Instead, Bartlett advances to play Houston in the second round. (Woo-hoo, second round matchup already set!)
The Kids Are Alright: WMC is sending two students to Harding University, in Searcy, Arkansas — Braden and Michael. Timothy is headed to the University of Memphis, though Tommy West’s ouster came after the show’s taping, so who can say if that’ll stick. Shea says he’s headed to the U. of Texas. He also wore a black shirt and tie, striking out on his own amid his team of white-shirt-and-tie guys.
Bartlett didn’t say where they were headed to college. May I be so bold as to request that all teams in the future say where their team members are going to matriculate? It doesn’t even have to be true. Just say “Rhodes” if you don’t know yet.
What we did find out about the Bartlett students is that Casey, Davis, and Chris all play guitar, and Macy is a poet. I can only hope the team moonlights as a Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doors mashup cover band. “Father, yes son, this bird you cannot change.”
Best Jim Jaggers question: To Casey: “What martial arts do you mix?”
Sponsors: There was two new spots recorded this week: Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center (CEO/Prez Meri Armour speaking) and the Memphis Chapter of The Links, Inc. (Jozelle Booker speaking). More on these folks in a future post.
Malaprostagisms (words that didn’t come out of Jaggers the way they should have): Anatomy, Syndromes, Parabolas, Tripartite Pact, DWI, Scalia
Dr. Richard Ranta, Renaissance Man: After we get to know the kids, Jaggers and Knowledge Bowl judge Ranta hold brief palaver where Ranta tells about some other nonprofit/initiative/community effort he’s involved in. It’s quite funny, en masse, getting a handle on all of the things Ranta participates in.
This week we learned that Ranta is on the Citizens Advisory Board at Memphis Light, Gas & Water. Also, did I hear correctly that he has a golden retriever named Sugar? The audio pops a little, so it’s hard to tell for sure, despite many times re-listening to it. I’m just gonna assume Sugar is named after this tale of a Dominican baseball player trying to make it in America.
Metric System: A lot of commenters have requested some sort of point system for determining individual player values. I’ve been thinking about it all week, and I’ve come up with something. I’d appreciate feedback on my solution. This is just version one of what will one day be a dominant way of measuring performance (without humiliating any of the competitors).
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Knowledge Bowl Quotient (KBQ). Affectionately known in the future as “the Q,” “the BQ,” or, for Bowl contestants, as “MyQ.”
I’ve modeled the KBQ after the NFL’s passer rating. This satisfies my desire to not have to invent math, and also to come up with a statistic that kinda means something but also doesn’t really mean anything. Another benefit: It co-opts grunt-y/brawny athletics data for the smart kids. Let this be a lesson to the children: Beat your enemies with their own tools, and tell them you want fries with that. And also: The KBQ lets us compare the kids relative to each other without demeaning any of them unduly.
Again, this is a work in progress. I’d love your thoughts.
Here’s the KBQ version 1.0 formula: KBQ.pdf
(Check out Wikipedia to see where I stole it from.):
Here it is in prose:
First, you’ve got the component for correct-answer Buzzer Question percentage, Z, as calculated Buzzer Correct Over Buzzer Guesses Times 100 Minus 30, and all of that over 20.
Next you’ve got the component for correct-answer Bonus Question percentage, S, as calculated Bonus Correct Over Bonus Opportunities Times 10, Minus 3, all of that Times 1 Over 4. Everybody on each team gets the same S score.
Then you’ve got the component for correct-answer Lightning Round Question percentage, L, as calculated as Lightning Correct Over Lightning Guesses, all of that Times 20
Last, you’ve got the component for premature-buzz-in Incorrect Guesses, P, calculated as 2.375 Minus total of Premature Incorrect Guesses Over total Premature Guesses Times 25.
Then you put all those components together like it’s the smartest freaking soufflé anyone’s ever made: Z + S + L + P Over 6, all of that Times 100.
That gives you the KBQ version 1.0.
Here it is in action. Consider Bartlett Captain Casey.
Casey got 10 correct out of 13 guesses in the first two rounds. His (rounded-off) Z score is 2.346
Bartlett got an S score of 0.5. (Six bonuses correct out of 12 total)
Casey got an L score of 6.667. (Two correct lightning round answers out of six guesses)
Casey got a P score of -2.625. (He rang in early five times and misses one). Bump him up to P score of zero (see below).
So Casey’s KBQ score for the match is 158.550.
In working it all up, I realized the P value is a little too harsh. It penalizes too heavily ringing in early and missing, even if you only do it once (with negative result). In the case of Macy, under the original formula provided, Macy ends up with a negative P value, which makes her entire KBQ a negative score. That despite the fact she was 3 for 3 in the first two rounds. That’s not gonna work. For this week, I decided for the P value to take the higher of zero or a positive result. Macy’s adjusted KBQ score reflects more accurately her contributions to the team.
I also realized the L is WAY too heavily weighted. Shea went 1 for 1 in the lightning round, which is great, but his KBQ skyrocketed because of it versus Casey, who got two lightning round answers correct, but missed four and thus his overall KBQ was distant in the final reckoning.
I could break it down this much for everyone, or you could do it, if you like. Let’s cut to the point: here are the KBQ v. 1.0 values for match #2.
Well, the only thing you can really say about KBQ version 1.0 is that it measures efficiency fairly well while completely missing the boat on volume. Back to the drawing board…
Tune in next week: Saturday, November 14th, 9 a.m. First Assembly Christian School Crusaders vs. Wooddale Cardinals.