Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Big Mike Blog

I want to thank all the loyal readers of The SSN. I have made some changes. As some of you know, I have been writing several different blogs. I have decided to combine them all in a new blog with a new name. This blog will stay here with all the old archived articles but all new posts will be on the new blog.

The new blog will still feature lots of posts about sports simulations. I have lots of different sports simulation project ideas that are in the works. I will also be posting about MLB and my beloved Red Sox, my beloved Gamecocks, sports gambling, and some pop culture things. Please join me over at The Big Mike Blog. Thanks again for your loyalty

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cam Newton Breaks Foot, Panthers Sign Tebow

The 2013 season for the Panthers may be finished before it has even started with news that Cam Newton suffered a broken foot in the second to last preseason game.

The Panthers wasted no time bringing in another quarterback as they signed Tim Tebow to a free agent deal. Tebow will compete for the starting job with Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen.

The Panthers open the season at home against the Seattle Seahawks.

Auburn #1 in Both Preseason Polls

The AP and Coaches Poll were released and the Auburn Tigers found themselves #1 in both. The Tigers are loaded this year led by Senior 5 star QB Roy Cruz and 5 star RB Jim Lee.

Auburn will take on Pittsburgh in Week 1

The marquee match-up in Week 1 is #17 Notre Dame hosting #3 Southern Cal.

Here is the complete Top 25 preseason poll:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Out of the Park Baseball Predicts the World Series

The fine folks at Out of the Park Baseball simulated the World Series between the Royals and the Mets to see who would have the edge. Click here for the results.

Out of the Park Baseball has also launched their biggest World Series special discount ever: Out of the Park Baseball 16 for PC/Mac is 75% off, so it’s just $9.99 though Nov. 4, regardless of how long the World Series lasts.  In addition, MLB Manager 2015 for iOS/Android is just 99 cents.

Finally, they're giving away a $100 MLB.com Shop gift certificate as part of their World Series special. To enter, their fans need to retweet and/or share their tweet and/or Facebook post about the sale. (Limit of two entries per person; they must be following one or both accounts to be eligible to win.) They will choose a winner on Nov. 5. Here is their twitter link and here is their Facebook link.

For full details on all that is going on with Out of the Park Baseball, check out their newsletter

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2005 Texas Longhorns vs 2010 Auburn Tigers

The national champions of 2005 against the national champions from 2010. Let's face it, it is really Cam Newton vs Vince Young. Who wins? Well we went to the football simulator and placed the game in The Rose Bowl. What we got was a classic.

Monday, March 23, 2015

1994 Season Replay: Reviewing Out of the Park Baseball 16

Very seldom does anything live up to the hype, Out of the Park Baseball 16 did that and then some. I had Brad Cook of Out of the Park Developments on The Big Mike Podcast a couple weeks back and we discussed the new features of OOTP 16. The new feature list was impressive but now it was time to try them out.

To try out some of the new features, I went ahead and simulated the 1994 season. Here are the things that I really liked a lot.

The first thing that caught my attention are the new player pages. Below is Tony Gwynn. What stood out to me is after his height and weight it has symbols for Gold Gloves, All Star Appearances and Silver Slugger Awards. If you hover over one of the symbols it will give you the year in which it was accomplished. I love it. Speaking of awards, there are new ones this year. The Cy Young Award(Best Pitcher Award) is back but now you have an actual MVP award. There is also an option that lets you decide if a pitcher should be eligible to win the MVP award. You also have the Silver Slugger Award for each position. Really nicely done.

As we progress through the season you will notice other great changes. The All Star voting system is one of the cool changes. The game starts giving you All Star voting updates and as a manager you also have your own ballot to submit.

Then we get to the Pennant Chase. Brad Cook mentioned that in this version there would be more emphasis on the pennant chase. The pennant chase screen becomes active with 30 days left in the season. This is how it looks:

You will also notice the logos that are historically accurate for 1994. This happens automatically when you start a league thanks to the new license with MLB

You can see all the logos here as we look at the final standings:

As you can see, Frank Thomas had a monster year and broke the homerun record of Roger Maris. It wasn't good enough to get the White Sox into the playoffs. The Mariners got a horrible break as Randy Johnson made only 22 starts until he got hurt and was lost for the season.

The Yankees had an unreal season and the Kansas City Royals just had everything go right led by all people Bob Hamelin.

Remember, 1994 was supposed to be the first year with the wildcard and the extra round of playoffs.

Another new feature is naming a playoff series MVP. The Yankees would sweep the Indians and Wade Boggs would be named series MVP

The Yankees and the Braves would have the best records in this alternate 1994 but it would not lead to the pennant for either of them.

The Reds would win it all and you have to love this next screen with the trophy and the official MLB logo. Nicely done.

One of the other features that was added was the all time playoff leaderboard. Really sweet. It keeps both individual postseasons and career postseason numbers. You can see what a historic postseason Bob Hamelin of the Royals had in this new 1994.

Is that it? Not close. We now move into the Hall of Fame. Once again, another feature which is much more interactive. All active managers get their own HOF ballot and just like real life, a player must get 75% of the vote to gain induction and get at least 5% to stay on the ballot.

Curious as to the results? Here they are, not only for the current year but for all the years. Once again, nicely done!

You also get the full voting results

That is not the best part, the actual Hall of Fame and the way it looks might be my favorite feature. Check it out

Amazing! These are not even all the features. Because I did a quick simulation of a replay season the new coaching, managing and GM modes were not utilized. Trust me, those are also very cool. I will post about them next. Enjoy Out of the Park Baseball 16! Markus and staff have outdone themselves again.

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