Here's the up to date (12/27/05, Tuesday evening) figures on the Houston Texan's draft position prospects ... Conventions/Recap - This is based on my understanding and projections. I welcome corrections and comments. - To determine the order for draft selection, compare: (1) the teams' win loss record, and if tied, ... (2) the teams' opponent's winning percentage (wins divided by games played), and if tied ... (3) an NFL conducted coin toss. - When 2 teams tie a single game, as almost happened last week, I don't know how that factors into the formula, please help ... (it could happen). My calculations ignore this possibility. - Ties aside, "Winning Percentage" essential equals the total number of games won since all of a team's opponents have played the exact same number of total games (32 teams have each played 16 games). Hereafter, Opponent's Winning Percentage (or Strength of Schedule) means total number of games won by a team's opponents. Each team plays 3 division teams twice, so those opponent's wins count twice. - Mathematics, learn it. It is your friend. Spelling, fo'get about it! - For the sake of this analysis, when I say that mathematically the best a team can do is (example) "135 wins" (Opponent's Wins - OW), I actually mean that after this Sunday's week 17 games, their opponents will accumulate no fewer than 135 games. The fewer an opoonent's cumulative number of wins for the year, the better for that team with regard to draft selection order. - Under this scenerio, Houston's win will potentially group them with New Orleans (NO), New York Jets (NYJ), Green Bay (GB), and San Francisco (SF) if each of those teams lose their games this 17th week. - Any single one of those teams that win their week 17 game automatically move beyond the 4th pick; beyond the 3rd pick if 2 of those teams win. The Bottom Line - If Houston loses Sunday against SF, they win the 1st selection, period, disregard everything hereafter. Enjoy the draft!! - If Houston wins against SF, open a can of worms (preferably with jalapenos, no nightcrawlers). Houston can still win 1st and the worst we can do is a coin flip for 4th place (details to follow). - New Orleans can win the 1st or 2nd selection, and the worst they can do is a coin flip for 2nd with Houston or NYJ (details to follow). The underlying benefit here of course is the high 2nd round selection for Houston via last year's draft day trade - but, is the order of selection with other 3-13 teams reversed for later rounds(?), please advise. - The best NYJ can hope for is a coin flip for 1st selection with Houston or NO (math to follow). - There is no mathematical chance for GB or SF to win the 1st selection. They can both win the second pick, but it is extremely unlikely. The Details - As of the end of week 16 (after yesterday's Monday Night Football), the five contending teams (those competing with Houston for draft position - we can do no worse than losing a coin toss and "winning" 5th place) have the following OW, according to my calculations .... HOU 128 NO 124 NYJ 128 GB 130 SF 131 - No matter what on Earth happens between now and next Monday sunrise, these teams will have a minimum OW of ... NO 131 HOU 133 NYJ 135 GB 137 SF 136 ...As you can see, in this boiled down possibility, NO will have a better (lower) OW. - Nothing can change those minimums, trust me (if you want the math, let me know). Wins by the following teams (opponents) will adversly affect each contender team OW by one point (except win by Sea affects SF by 2). Translation, a win by any team(s) next to the contending Bush wanna-be team will add another opponent's win to their total, which is not good (for that team). Hou Buf, Pit, Sea, SL, Ind NO NYG, Det, GB, Dal NYJ Jax, Balt, KC, Oak GB Det, Cin, Wash SF Arz, SL, NYG, TB, Ch, Sea(2) ...Underlined teams have adverse affect on 2 teams. - The maximum possible OW these contending teams can have is ... NO 135 HOU 138 NYJ 139 GB 140 SF 143 - Do the math. If Houston wins against SF, we will be hard pressed to tie NO for OW when a win by Pit, Sea, Ind, even Buf adds to our minimum of 133 against NO's minimum 131 - they need 2 wins by NYG, Det, GB, or Dal just to tie our minimum. So, in my estimatioin, if we win against SF, we lose Bush. - We fare better against NYJ, at least for a tie for 2nd pick. I would hope for no more than 4 wins from our 5 pertinent opponents (see above) and I will wish for a late X-mas gift of at least 2 wins from NYJ's 4 opponents in their games. That would result in a coin toss for 2nd pick. - GB only has 3 opponents that can add to their minimum of 137, but our maximum is 138 so predictably, we should win out against them. Still, a coin toss tie is possible, especially if Pit beats Det. - By winning against SL, SF sufferd a self-inflicted screwdriver injury to a body part of Houston's choosing. Why, 'hank you very much. Their minimum OW is 136 where Houston's maximum is 138. Additionally, any two wins by 5 teams, or one win by Seatle results in a best case tie with Houston - the aforementioned possible (but still not likely) coin flip for 4th place. So what matters if you want Bush? - Hope Houston loses to stay at 2 wins total. - Hope NO, NYJ, GB, and SF win to get a total of 4 wins each. - Hope Buf, Pit, Sea, SL, and Ind lose to minimize adverse affect to Houston's OW. - Against NO's OW hope that NYG, Det, GB (again), and Dal win, - Against NYJ's OW hope that Jax, Balt, KC, and Oak win, - Against GB's OW hope that Det, Cin, and Wash win, - Against SF's OW hope that Arz, SL, NYG, TB, Chi, win. Also, Sea counts 2 against. Translation, in order to assure that Houston WINS the first 2006 draft selection, pray in this specific order to the deity of your choice ... Houston loses, New Orleans wins, New York Jets win, Green Bay wins, San Fran wins, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis lose and in the same chant wish that ... New York Giants and Detroit win and, continuing without break ... Dallas wins. Next ... St. Louis loses, Seattle loses, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Oakland win, Cinncinnati and Washington win, and finally that Arizona, Tampa Bay, and Chicago win. Good luck! Go Texans! Or, stop!?