Recently I listened to an episode of Freakonomics Radio where they talked about specialization in the NFL. Specifically, they were talking about how the long snapper position has become something that NFL teams specifically draft for and pay upwards of $1 million a year to have on their 53-man roster. This got me wondering: what … Continue reading Why Don’t NFL Teams Pay NBA Players to Block Kicks?
After the 2020 season, I wrote an article about third down conversion rates after adjusting for how many yards the team had to earn on that third down. The reason for this was because too often on broadcasts a team's third down conversion rate is shown without any regard for how many yards the team … Continue reading 2021 Update: Third Down Conversion Rate by Distance to Go
This year, we've been participating in the CollegeFootballData.com prediction contest, where each week you predict the actual spread of the game. You're judged on a variety of factors like your outright picks, picks against the spread, absolute and mean-squared error. Two areas that we are performing very well (1st and 2nd, respectively), are MSE and … Continue reading StatRdays: The Easiest Model You’ll Ever Make
A few weeks ago, we started tweeting out the post-game win probability plots for every FBS college football game. They were a nice addition to our Saturdays, but there were some issues. Namely, we'd get a lot of plots like this: Now, to be fair, this was a back-and-forth game that ended 70-56 in favor … Continue reading Tuning an In-Game Win Probability Model Using xgboost
This is an excerpt from a recent edition of the Staturdays newsletter. Subscribe to get weekly content like this in your inbox. One glaring aspect of Elo is its stark contrast to the traditional AP Poll rankings. Just look at the two top 25’s: the first from the AP Poll and the second based on … Continue reading How Accurate is the AP Poll?
I'm here to tell you how college football quarterbacks handle adversity. Which ones crawl under a rock to hide after throwing an interception, and which ones brush it off and get back out there. Basically, which QBs play better after throwing an interception—learning from their mistake—and which ones sink into a depression and lose all … Continue reading Quarterback Play After an Interception
Using our Elo ratings, which serve as a measure of each team’s strength and update after each game, we simulated the remaining college football season 10,000 times. This was done for every matchup for every team across the sport, and we've separated out the result for each Power 5 conference below. Using our Elo ratings, we … Continue reading Season Simulations for all Power 5 Conference Teams: 9/7/2021
It's finally here: the 2021 College Football season. We've been waiting for a long 7 months for the return to a full schedule, and hopefully a sense of normalcy with fans back in the stands. And a new season means the return of our Elo ratings, a point-based rating system originating from chess and now … Continue reading 2021 Preseason Elo Ratings
Using our Elo ratings, which serve as a measure of each team’s strength and update after each game, we simulated the upcoming college football season 10,000 times. This was done for every matchup for every team across the sport, and we've separated out the result for each Power 5 conference below. Using our Elo ratings, we … Continue reading Season Simulations for all Power 5 Conference Teams
The 2021 Big Ten season kicks off this Saturday with Nebraska vs. Illinois at 1 p.m. Eastern. This will be the first Big 10 game of the year, and the first game in over a year that will resemble what we are used to imagining Big 10 football to look like as the Big 10 … Continue reading Big 10 Conference Preview: Simulating the Season