That's all it took out of a possible score of 20 to win the 2010 version of "Twenty Questions," the popular annual draft contest here on Buccaneers.com. No offense to the winner, a well-informed Tom Slawinski of Lake City, Florida, but eight probably won't cut it in 2011.
Since it debuted in the spring of 2005, the Twenty Questions contest has annually drawn thousands of entrants – last year, Slawinski's winning submission was the only one of 1,029 to score eight points – and it rarely has taken a better showing than seven or eight accurate predictions to come out on top. Here's a prediction for 2011, however: The winner is going to have to hit double digits.
The good news: Twenty Questions is back, and once again you can win valuable prizes such as regular-season Buccaneers game tickets. It's still easy to play and you can still submit up to five entries.
(Click here if you're already prepared to visit the contest page and begin working on your predictions. Read on if you want to know more about the Twenty Questions competition.)
The better news: While this year's contest isn't easier, per se, than previous versions, there is opportunity for higher scores. We've replaced some of the more "random guess" questions (e.g. "Which team will be the first to trade down?") with ones that will more directly test your predictive ability. For instance, this year we want to know who you think will be drafted first overall. And second. And third. We also want to know if you think the Buccaneers are likely to trade out of their early slots, and what position groups the team isn't going to consider on draft weekend.
Predicting the NFL Draft has always been and will always be an inexact science, as even the most well-known experts demonstrate each spring. On the other hand, there is more information – and there are many more opinions – about the draft made available every year. NFL fans devour it all, to the point that the NFL's big offseason event is as popular as any sport actually in season at the time.
And now you can put all that information to work for you in our draft contest. Think you've got a good feel for what the Carolina Panthers are planning for that top spot? Prove it. While you're at it, tell us what the Falcons and Saints are going to do, too, and whether or not defense is going to dominate the top of the first round.
If you've entered the Twenty Questions contest in any of the six previous springs, you know how the game works. It's a simple-to-play but hard-to-master contest in which we ask you to prove your draft acumen by predicting the answers to 20 questions related to the Great Seven Rounds. Each question is paired with a pull-down list of possible answers. Once you've selected an answer to each question, you submit your response and wait for the draft to prove you right or wrong. Each prediction that proves accurate is worth a point, and the highest overall point total wins. The full contest rules are on the page linked above.
Part of the contest, as always, is predicting the Buccaneers' first pick, which is more difficult this year with the team moving down from its number-three slot last year to 20th in 2011. Last year, 65.5% of the entrants correctly predicted the Buccaneers' selection of Gerald McCoy; matching that success rate will be very difficult this time around. We're also wondering what positions Tampa Bay will target in the second and third rounds, and which team will pull the trigger on enigmatic Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
There is one small change to this year's contest, prompted by the greater emphasis on predicting the early picks: Entries will now only be accepted up until the end of the Monday of draft week, rather than the evening before Round One. That still gives you several weeks to craft your predictions.
The prizes, on the other hand, remain the same, which is more good news. Here's what the winners of this year's Twenty Questions contest will receive from the Buccaneers:
- The Grand Prize winner will receive four tickets to the 2010 Buccaneers home game of his or her choice.
- The First Runner-Up will receive two tickets to the 2010 Buccaneers home game of his or her choice.
- The Second Runner-Up will receive an official Buccaneers t-shirt and hat.
All for simply making 20 predictions about this year's draft. Study it for days, if you wish, and submit your entry in the next few weeks. Or just whip through the contest, go with your gut and take your chances…after all, even the best draft analysts miss with their predictions far more than they hit. Or try both methods; remember, you can enter up to five times.
Maybe you can beat Slawinski's 2010 score. You'll probably have to in order to walk away with some free tickets, if our above prediction is correct.
Click here to enter the Twenty Questions draft contest and prove us right.