QB Rankings Week 4 – Rookies and Sophomores

The quarterbacks are:

Andrew Luck, IND
Robert Griffin III, WAS
Ryan Tannehill, MIA
Brandon Weeden, CLE
Russell Wilson, SEA

Cam Newton, CAR
Jake Locker, TEN
Blaine Gabbert, JAC
Christian Ponder, MIN
Andy Dalton, CIN

I used four statistics – NFL Passer Rating, ESPN QBR, Pro Football Reference ANY/A, and Football Outsiders DYAR – and ranked the ten quarterbacks together in each one. The average ranking for each quarterback is what produced the lists below.

Information on the statistics used can be found at nfl.com, espn.go.com, pro-football-reference.com, and footballoutsiders.com

Rookie Ranking
1. Robert Griffin III (4.25)
2. Andrew Luck (5.00)
3. Russell Wilson (7.00)
4. Ryan Tannehill (9.25)
5. Brandon Weeden (9.75)

Sophomore Ranking
1. Andy Dalton (1.75)
2. Christian Ponder (2.00)
3. Jake Locker (3.25)
4. Cam Newton (6.00)
5. Blaine Gabbert (6.75)

As might be expected, the sophomores are currently outperforming the rookies. It’s actually not close. Dalton, Ponder, and Locker all outrank, on average, any rookie. Tannehill and Weeden have been particularly bad.

The biggest surprise is probably Cam Newton, who would rank third among rookies and is seventh overall.


Jay Cutler Ran His Mouth

And is currently sporting a 28.4 rating with 4 interceptions vs. Green Bay tonight.

At the time of Cutler’s trade to Chicago in 2009, I was pleased that a trade to Washington did not happen. I liked Jason Campbell at the time and was not ready to give up on him. Even as the Redskins struggled that year, Campbell had a better year than Cutler statistically.

Now, it’s three years later. And the Redskins have Robert Griffin III. At this moment, at least, I’m really glad the trade didn’t work out.

Question of the Day: Is Cutler is always going to be an underachieving headcase?

Countries of the World Sporcle Guide

The “Countries of the World” quiz at Sporcle is a behemoth. It can be hard to keep track of which countries you have and haven’t named.

Dividing the world into chunks can help. I have broken the quiz down into 15 sets. Keep track of the number at the top of the quiz that tells you your progress. Do not proceed to the next part until the one you are on has been completed.

There are 15 sets here, and the quiz is 15 minutes long. This is a coincidence. Because the sets differ in size, you might not want to use one minute per set, but doing so may give you an idea of your progress.

This guide may not work for everyone. I hope that it does work for you. Feel free to customize it to your liking. Whatever gets the job done! This quiz can be beaten.

I have listed each country the way it should be typed into the answer box (i.e., abbreviations where possible, and the word “and” is ignored). Countries are separated by commas.

This guide is NOT for cheating. Please do not have it open while taking the quiz. Otherwise, I would just have given you a list of every country, which you could have gotten elsewhere, and then you would have another reason for feeling dumb, besides being a cheater.

Let’s go!

Part 1: South America (12)
There are only 12 countries in South America, making this a good place to start. Once you have completed 12/196, you are done here.
Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana

Part 2: Oceania (26)
There are 14 countries in Oceania, so this is not overly difficult to remember, especially if you specifically remember the pairs that start with S, start with T, and start with M, and also Palau/Nauru together. Once your completion reaches 26/196, you can move on.
Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati, Vanuatu

The number in parentheses for each part will now represent your target. Do not proceed from each part until you reach the number given.

Part 3: Mainland North America (36)
Things start to get dicier with North America. Fortunately, it can be separated into two parts: the big 3 countries plus the 7 in Central America, and then the 13 in the Caribbean. We start with the smaller group.
Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama

Part 4: Caribbean North America (49)
For most parts you can go in any order you want, but for the Caribbean I think it would be easiest to memorize this set in the below order. Even easier might be remembering them in the chunks of 1-3-3-2-2-2.
Cuba, St. Lucia, St. Kitts Nevis, St. Vincent, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua Barbuda, Trinidad Tobago, Grenada, Jamaica

Part 5: Two-Continent Countries (52)
This quiz really starts to get tough when you get into Africa and Eurasia. You still have 147 of the 196 answers to go at this point. Since the sets are about to get larger, some might include “anchors,” explained when the first appears below.

Let’s start by getting these three countries out of the way.
Egypt, Russia, Turkey

Part 6: Europe – Small & Scandinavia (67)
Iceland serves as your first “anchor” here, i.e. countries that link two parts of a set. Iceland is both part of Scandinavia, and one of Europe’s microstates. This section will also include “Benelux” and Switzerland. These are the countries that might be easily obscured on the quiz.
Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Monaco, Andorra, Vatican, Malta, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland

Part 7: Europe – West & Slavic (85)
This next set is the largest of the guide at 18 countries. I suggest memorizing these in a 9-3-6 pattern. The middle 3 help the transition from Western Europe (the first 11) to former Yugoslavia (the last 7). Slovakia is the middle of the middle 3 and a second subset “anchor.”
Portugal, Spain, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia

Part 8: Europe – Rest of the East (97)
The last dozen countries in Europe are mostly former Soviet states and satellite nations.
Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Cyprus, Greece

Part 9: Asia – Middle East (110)
This isn’t too tough, relatively. It has its own box on the quiz and this part of the world is always in the news. Lebanon is not in the box, but I still keep it here since it is in the Mideast. I do find Lebanon, and Kuwait, the toughest to remember.
Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait

Part 10: Asia – Russo-Indian Group (126)
Basically, former Soviet states in Asia, which are mostly -stan countries, and then the Indian subcontinent. Afghanistan serves as an “anchor” here; it is not a former Soviet state (per se) but because of the -stan suffix it is a convenient transition.
Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan

Part 11: The Rest of Asia (143)
This set could be broken down even further but I didn’t want to exceed 3 total sets per continent. Try to remember the first 6 here, then the next 5, and then the last 6. Singapore is your anchor between Indochina and the Indies.
Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, East Timor, Philippines, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Mongolia

Part 12: Africa – South Africa Group (161)
Africa might be the hardest continent to break down. There are actually 4 sets here. This next set ties “Europe – West & Slavic” as the longest of the guide. Here I would sort through the island countries (the first 5) and then move on to the South Africa-Lesotho-Swaziland, and then slog through the last 10 however you can.
Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi

Part 13: Africa – Pre-Box States (171)
The “box” of course is the box in the lower left of the quiz which includes 16 countries. First, Parts 13 and 14, the Pre-Box Sets. The first one is pretty much the Magreb, the Sahara, and the horn. Don’t forget Cape Verde.
Morocco, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia

Part 14: Africa – Abbreviation States (180)
Named for the first three countries in this set. It then begins to intermingle with countries in the last set, but keep them separate so you can tackle that all at once at the end. Do not proceed until getting to 180!
CAR, DRC, Rep Congo, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea

Part 15: Africa – The Box (196)
The last 16! You should definitely get to 180 before you proceed to here. Make Guinea your final answer in the previous set, so that you get started here immediately with Guinea-Bissau.
Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal

For reference, your target numbers are:
12, 26, 36, 49, 52, 67, 85, 97, 110, 126, 143, 161, 171, 180, 196