By LetsRun.com
November 16, 2011

The fourth week of November is almost here. And that means one thing! Thanksgiving. NCAA Cross-Country Nationals.

Just in time, our world-famous prediction contest is back. Tbanks to Puma and its new Faas line we've got some cool prizes. Our contest really is two contests in one - a team prediction contest and an individual prediction contest.

The contest is quite simple.

Your goal is to pick the top 10 teams and individuals in the correct order of finish. The contest heavily rewards you for picking the top 5 individuals and teams correctly in the exact order and penalizes you for incorrect picks in your top 10.

The Team Prediction Contests
You will be given points for making correct picks and will have points subtracted off for making incorrect picks.

You get the most points for picking the top 5 teams in the country in order.

Pick the 1st 5 teams in order correctly: 300 points
Pick the 1-4 in order correctly: 270 points
Pick 1-3 in order correctly: 230 points
Pick 1-2 correctly: 180 points
Pick 1st: 120 points

You also get 20 points for each team you pick in the top 5 that actually finishes in the top 5 but that are not in the correct order. So if you pick 1st correctly and then have 3 more teams in the top 5, but not in the right order, you'll get 120 points for picking first right (see above) + 20 x 3 (teams in the top 5) = 180 total points.

You will get 10 points for each team you pick in places 6-10 that finish anywhere in the top 10.

You also will be penalized for how far off your picks are. For each team you pick in the top 5 which isn't in the spot you pick them, you will lose 4 points for every spot they are off. So if you pick LetsRun.com University to finish 1st, and they finish 21st, you're off by 20 places. Thus, you would lose 20 places x 4 points = -80 points. For teams that you pick in spots 6 through 10, you will lose 2 points for each place you are off. So you pick a team 6th and they finish 10th (or 2nd), you are off by 4 spots and lose 4 places x 2 points = -8 points.

Team Tie Breaker (tie breakers will only be used to determine the winner of the contest): The first tie breaker is who picked the most amount of teams that finished in the top 10 in their top 10. After that, the tie breaker is to draw from a hat.

The Individual Prediction Contest

The individual scoring will be similar to the team scoring but it will be explained slightly differently (as two different people came up with the scoring for the teams and for the individuals). You will be asked to pick the top 10 individuals (don't worry; we give you a list of 70+ to choose from). For each of your picks in that finishes in the top 5, regardless of where you have them picked, you will receive 50 points. For each of your picks, regardless of were you have them picked, that finishes in the top 10, you will receive 25 points. Thus, if all of your top 10 picks finish in the top 10 but in the wrong order, you would receive 5 x 50 + 5 x 25, which is 375 points before we subtract points for not picking them in the correct position exactly.

Now, we will penalize you for not being accurate in your picks. Since the individual picking is harder than the team picking, you will only lose one point for each spot that one of your picks is off. Additionally, the most points you can lose on any one pick is limited to 25. So if someone drops out or runs really horribly, your losses will be capped at 25 points on them. Miss a few picks by a lot in the individual scoring contest and you are looking at having negative points pretty quickly.

But the key to the contest is the bonus points you get for picking the top 5 dead on. The bonus is as follows:

1st place correct: 200 point bonus (250 total points as you'll get 50 for being in top 5 as well)
1-2 in order correctly: 300 point bonus (400 total points as you'll get 50 for each in the top 5 as well, thus it's 100 extra for nailing 2nd right)
1-3 in order correctly: 375 point bonus (525 total points as you'll get 50 for each in the top 5 as well, thus it's 75 extra for nailing 3rd)
1-4 in order correctly: 425 point bonus (625 total points as you'll get 50 for each in the top 5 as well, thus it's 50 extra for nailing 4th)
1-5 in order correctly: 450 point bonus (700 total points as you'll get 50 for each in the top 5 as well, thus it's 25 extra for nailing 5th)

We do not let you pick from all the individuals in the race. We let you choose from the top 10 finishers in each regional this year. If a person you want to select is not on our list, you should select "Other" to pick them.

Individual Tie Breaker (tie breakers will only be used to determine the winner of the contest): The first tie breaker is who picked the order of finish correctly the farthest. So if you picked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th correctly while the person you tied for 1st with only picked 1st and 2nd correctly, you would win.

The second tie breaker is how many runners that you had being anywhere in your top 10 actually finished in the top 10. So if you have 6 runners who actually finished in the top 10 on your list and the person you tied with only had 5, you will win.

And the third tie breaker is a random draw from a hat.

All you need is a letsrun.com login (if you have participated in a contest in the past, you already have one or if you have registered a name on our message boards, you have one as well) to vote.

Prizes
\$200,010 Perfect Individual Ballot - Pick the top ten men AND women individuals perfectly correctly and we'll give you \$200,010 in twenty payments of \$10,000.50. Only one winner possible, so if there is more than one, we'll draw from a hat.
\$20,010 Perfect Team Ballot - We're generous people. Pick the men's AND the women's top 10 teams perfectly correctly and we'll give you \$20,010. Only one winner possible, so if there is more than one, we'll draw from a hat.
1st Place Prizes - A pair of Puma Faas shoes and a \$100 Puma Gift Certificate. (To prove the Puma Faas line is made for the hard core LetsRun.com runner, Puma is giving away 100 pairs of Faas shoes to LetsRun.com visitors. If you haven't taken the Puma Faas challenge click here).
2nd Place- Pair of Puma Faas Shoes
3rd-5th Place LetsRun.com Puma Tshirt

Oh yeah, only one entry per person. No computerized/mechanical entries. I'm sure we should have a bunch of legal stuff here. How about this: your picks and your login name are not private and may be displayed on our website. And we're not responsible if the free contest gets cancelled for any reason, including if our database crashes. We'll do our best to keep everything running smoothly. The top 10 in any event are final when we determine them at the end of the meet and this may not be the ultimate final top 10 (mainly due to something like drug busts or eligibility issues in the future). Additionally, this contest is obviously void where prohibited by law, which states those are - we don't know. No purchase necessary. And yes, we can win our own contest. If we beat you, you'll hear about it for sure. This contest is not affiliated with the NCAA in any way. Also we are not responsible for misspellings or errors including the fact that some of the people listed in the individual contest won't run and some of the people listed may run for a different school than the one listed as we used last year's results to come up with most of the entries.