Frequently Asked Questions

Herculean Football Association




Frequently Asked Questions, Tips and Advice

Q: What are the ways I could participate?

A: Because of the scope and size of the HFA, there are a number of ways that one could be involved:

  • Franchise Owner - They essentially control all 5 teams (1 professional and 4 collegiate) as much as they want. Franchise Owners may "hire" coaches or coach/GMs for any of their teams to relieve the burden of having to coach 5 games a week. (I am open to other ideas to alleviate the need to coach 5 games a week … like different auto-play options).  Most participants are Franchise Owners.
  • Owner/GM/Coach - They run the ship for any given team.  People may Own/GM/Coach only 1 team per conference/league.  Ex:  Owner A may Own/GM/Coach Hawaii (in the Tri-Range Conference) and North Carolina (in the Colonial Conference).  Owner B may Own/GM/Coach the Rivendell Fighting Elves (in the HPFL) and Wisconsin (in the Big Midwest Conference). Owner C may take only South Carolina (in the Tri-Range Conference).
  • Coach - they are hired by the "Franchise Owner" and come in and just play the games.
  • Drafting/Guest GM - because we have 'computer run' teams, I want them to be more attractive to potential owners.  So these participants show up for the draft and that's it.  Who doesn't love to draft?!?


Q: What are the 'retro' leagues?

A: In short, it's a historical draft league that moves backwards chronologically through time (starting in 2004).

I've always been fascinated by the idea of historical draft leagues.  The main problem with that idea?  You have to start at a given season.  1969, 1974, 1980, 1984 ... no matter where you start, you're starting in the middle or end of some player's career and what about the players that played before that season you start?  I'm a big football historian and I want to be able to play every player and every season and no matter where it would start, there would be players with abreviated careers or players I would miss out on.  Start with 1957?  Sure, you get to play Jim Brown's whole career, but what about Lenny Moore, Alan Ameche, Johnny Unitas and players from earlier in the decade?

I found the best way to fix this problem is to have the HPFL moving forward from 2005 and then backwards with the HPFL-retro.

HCAA-retro is a similar idea, if I decide to finish the pre-2004 college football seasons for SOM.

Q: In the college game, is there a way to project ratings?

A: Here are tips that I've figured out over the years that SOM has been making the CFB game:

1 – Players are not individually rated.  It’s a team game.  Teams get a base rating based on rushing offense/defense, pass rush and pass protection.  Example:  2008 North Carolina defenders were a base rating of 4.  2008 USC defenders were a base rating of 5 (the highest base rating).  The 2007 Tennesee OL gave up less than 10 sacks all season, the base pass block rating was 7.

2 – The difference between the base rating and players rated lower is the number of games played.  Find guys that missed no more than 1 or 2 games and you’ll have a player that SHOULD have the base rating. 

3 – Players that are listed on an All-American list will be 6’s.  MOST DL & LB’s will be 6-11 (some are 6-10), all DB’s will be 6’s and all OL will be 6-7’s.

4 – Players listed as 1st or 2nd team All-Conference, All-Soph and All-Frosh teams will get a ratings bump.  3rd teamers and Honorable Mentions may get a ratings bump if they appear on more than one list.

Ex:  2009 Michigan defense will have a base rating of 4.  I have Brandon Graham, Donovan Warren and Obi Ezeh.  Graham was on numerous All-American lists, so he’ll be a 6-11.  Warren was an All-Big Ten player and will be a 5 CB.  I had hoped Obi Ezeh would be All-Big Ten, but I don’t remember seeing him on any lists, so he’ll probably be a 4 (update: it panned out that way)

5 – All SOM’s stats come from the NCAA website:

Q: Any advice on how to build a team?

A: From the Commish -

1 – Get a QB!  There is such a difference between a top QB and a middle of the road starter … it’s SICK!  Last year, Pat took Sam Bradford with the top pick and turned his team around with one pick.  Granted, he surrounded him with some better players … but Bradford was THE key to becoming a threat to upset in the National Championship Tourney.  Take a look at the 2008 cards of Bradford, Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell and Chase Daniel (Pioneer Conf), then look at the 2008 card of Chase Holbrook (NM St).  You can see that difference.  The GREAT QB’s can simply take over a game like NOTHING I’ve ever seen in the pro game.  I’ve not figured out the key to projecting the QB’s, so there’s little I can tell you that you probably wouldn’t guess on your own.  Example:  2 years ago I drafted Riley Skinner (Wake Forest) VERY high, thinking his 70+% completion percentage would make him an ELITE QB.  MUCH later in the draft I drafted Tyler Sheehan (Bowling Green) …. Sheehan’s card was pretty decent, while Skinner was a MAJOR disappointment.

2 – Once you’re competitive, field goal kickers are VERY important.  The difference between the best and what’s available in the 10th round is DRASTIC.  Don’t hesitate to spend a 3rd on the top kicker in the draft (OR spend a lot of time looking at the next year’s stats to get a jump on next year’s top kicker(s)).  BTW:  Distances do not appear to be split in college.

3 – (for SOM rookies), Defense isn’t as important as offense (IMO).  The impact that the QB, RB, WR/TE have on a game is SIGNIFICANTLY more than the chances that the defender’s roll comes up.  IMO, OL is SLIGHTLY more important than most defenders (you can choose where you’re running the ball … defense can make calls to try to force your hand, but ultimately they’re at your mercy).

4 – Utilize every slot on your roster.  If a player doesn't have any immediate value as a starter or immediate backup or future value as a pro prospect ... trade or cut him!  I've been most successful by planning ahead and utilizing every spot on my roster.  Those players that aren't starters, immediate backups, projected to be starters/key backups or future HPFL call-ups?  I trade them for something or cut my losses.  The main point is EVERY spot on each of my rosters has a purpose.

5 – Build primarily through the draft, but don't hesitate trading draft picks for legit NFL prospects.  A lot can happen between a player's freshman year and the NFL.  The HCAA is littered with 1st round selections that were the "Top Prep" in their class (DeMarcus Granger, Terrelle Pryor, Marcus Forston, Xavier Fulton, Max Hall, Glen Coffee, Knowledge Timmons to name a few) that turned out to be collossal busts (in college, pros or both).


Q: Where can I places I can go to start the research?

A: A great place to start is looking at the Top Prep lists at Rivals, Scout, 247sports and ESPN.  There are a few good NFL Draft websites that are worth checking out, like Draft Countdown and Great Blue North Draft Report.  Check out all the links I've got listed at the bottom of the Links & Downloads page.

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