Archive for February 2011


Determining the “Most Deserving”

February 18th, 2011 — 8:17pm

With football season over, I will turn my focus to one of my favorite times of the year: March Madness. I’ll continue to post some football research during the off-season, but the next month or so will be heavy on college hoops.

I had been planning on continuing on the theme of my last couple posts, the difference between “predictive” and “descriptive” measurements. I wanted my first college basketball post to discuss the difference between the “best team” and “teams that have played the best”. Earlier today, John Gasaway at Basketball Prospectus wrote an article advocating the use of scoring margin in determining inclusion and placement in the NCAA Tournament, providing an opportunity for me to debate my point of view. Continue reading »

6 comments » | College Basketball, descriptive, March Madness, predictive

What has more influence: Offense or Defense?

February 5th, 2011 — 7:03pm

With the Super Bowl less than a day away, there is no shortage of information, opinions, and statistics floating around pertaining to the big game.¬†You’ll certainly hear about how Pittsburgh’s pass defense needs to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ passing attack or how Green Bay needs to find a way to get the running game going against the Steelers’ league-leading rush defense. But which unit is most likely to dictate which phases of the game?

This is not the first study of the influence of Offense versus Defense. Recently, Brian Burke at Advanced NFL Stats found that offenses have a wider distribution than defenses. I’m going to dig a bit deeper and look at which statistics are more influenced by the offense and which are dictated by the defense, and whether this influence holds in actual matchups. Instead of simply looking at the standard deviation of team stats, I’ll look at what actually happened when a top offense faced a top defense or an average offense faced a poor defense. Continue reading »

5 comments » | Football, offense versus defense, predictive

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