Chutes and Ladders: A season of ups and downs

Posted: September 29, 2010 by Dan Condie in Air Force, BYU, Florida State, NCAA Football, Nevada, Pittsburgh, Utah, Utah State, Washington
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Who didn’t love Chutes and Ladders as a kid? Simplest game of all time. Spin the wheel numbered 1-6, and move your cardboard cut-out game piece along the board in zig-zags from 1-100. But of course, along the way, you stand the chance the of landing on a space at the bottom of a ladder that allows you to skip ahead more squares. You also risk landing on a square at the top of a chute or slide and you’ll fall back a number of spaces.

Seems like BYU has been playing Chutes and Ladders this season as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the Cougars successes and failures thus far.

Here’s the BYU season in Chutes and Ladders terms.

First spin, BYU moves foward 1 space as they trail Washington 17-13 at half.

(BYU takes a deep breath and patiently waits for their next turn)

BYU moves ahead 4 spaces and takes the lead. This square is a ladder allowing BYU to move up 30 spots after the defense shut out Heisman hopeful QB Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies in the second half, sealing the victory.

(BYU is feeling confident, talking trash to the other players; Utah and Utah State. Utah hit a similar ladder having beaten #15 Pittsburgh and Utah State steadily moved forward on spins alone, losing a close game to #10 Oklahoma)

BYU had issues spinning with their right hand and ditched the technique of spinning every other turn, alternating right and left hands, and spun exclusively with the left hand, as the left hand was getting better spin results for the first little bit. That idea went south as every spin for about 3 turns resulted in 3 straight chutes and BYU loses to Air Force for the first time in 7 years 35-14.

(BYU shrugged the round off, claiming they still needed to tweak their spinning method)

Well, BYU still started the next round flicking left and right handed, alternating turns, until a brutally bad spin forced BYU to sit on their left hand, when Riley Nelson threw an INT against Florida State. The right handed method, although better than the left, produced zero forward square movement and BYU ends the round tied with Utah State, who beat Idaho State soundly, on square 20.

(BYU is quiet but visibly irked by this inexplicably disappointing betrayal of them by both of their hands which were expected to spin much more efficently)

BYU starts the round facing, it seems, 10 chutes ahead of them with only a few safe spots here and there. BYU’s friends, who have showed up to support them are thrilled that BYU’s left hand was injured on the previous flicks and would not be an issue. Again, though, they got limited production from their right hand but ended on a good note by moving forward 2 squares, holding Nevada to 27 points. Fewest points for Nevada yet this season by far. Second lowest point total – 49 points.

(BYU has resigned to the fact that they have flicking issues but will work out the kinks. BYU’s friends get distracted by Wii bowling and move across the room)

So now, with Utah on square 75, having landed only on ladders, luckily, BYU and Utah State will battle this Friday. They both have plenty of ladders on their paths and the tools to land on them.

Technically, you can’t move into negative spaces in Chutes and Ladders but anything other than a convincing win up in Logan for BYU is gonna feel like they are stuck on a never-ending chute.

  1. Christopher Condie says:

    Great article! Very clever and fair. Your best article yet!!

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