Playing with Pythagorean Wins

I’m sort of falling in love with football’s Pythagorean Wins Theorem.

Before we get into that data, there are two questions worth answering quickly:

1) How accurate are Pythagorean Wins in college football? – This concept works very well in the NFL but there’s some debate, or at least there was a few years back based on Google searches, over how well it applies to the college game. Based on my numbers, the football formula predicted win totals within one game of the actual win totals nearly two-thirds (63.07%) of the time between 2007 and 2012. The formula projected 35.96% of the teams within a half game of the actual win totals over the same span. It’s reasonably accurate.

2) How predictive is it? – Pythagorean Wins does a pretty good job of identifying teams that drastically over or underperformed. Over the last five seasons, teams that were +/- 1.5 or more wins typically played to their actual form the next season, particularly the underperforming teams. Between 2007 and 2012, 64.8% of teams that were 1.5 games or more below their expected win total improved their win total the next season, while just 14.8% got worse. On the other end of the spectrum, teams that were 1.5 games or more above their expected win total saw their win total decline 62.2% of the time the following season, while 31.1% improved.

Read the entire thing over at HailVarsity.com.

Tagged , , ,

Big Ten Media Days

Read all of my stories from Big Ten media days here.

Tagged ,

A Cap Collection: 1986-99

Bears_edited-1

I’m enjoying the Medium.com format so far. It’s got the cleanest writing interface I’ve ever used — the em-dashes look like em-dashes! — and the community there is quite active when it comes to commenting and collaboration.

I wrote my second thing over there and it’s on a project I’ve been thinking about for a while: documenting my childhood baseball cap collection.

You can see the full collection over on my Flickr page, and read the story, “The Sad and Rapid Decline of the Ball Cap,” at Medium.

Tagged ,

I Only Want to Read Reviews Written by Lou Reed

tumblr_moeemsn8u01sti978o1_1280

…Eventually I left, went to college, moved to the East Coast for grad school. I went to the world I’d been reading about and the reading became less vital. Read music reviews—or anything for that matter—long enough and you’ll start to notice the patterns, the same turns of phrase, the common syntax, the shortcuts taken to meet expectations of how a music review should read.

Once you notice these things, there’s no forgetting. Every album review started to sound the same. Reading them became unbearable. Despite the carefully wrangled and wrought efforts of reviewers trying to describe a sound—“gone are the cheap garage guitars of Band X’s debut album, traded in for a synthesizer and a Swollen Pickle resulting in a sweaty stew of New Gaze/Shoe Wave anthems”—the discussion of music didn’t resemble the experience of listening to music at all.

Until Lou Reed decided to write about Yeezus. Allow me to be the 10,000th person in the past two days to tell you to go read it.

Read the rest at Medium.com.

(Image via yeezygraffiti.com)

Tagged , ,

What do champions have in common?

Stretching the limits of my statistical prowess here, but I decided to use standard deviation to examine what modern day national champions in college football have in common. A short excerpt below:

If we were to write out those results in plain English, the profile of a national champion over the past six years would read something like this: The last six national champions have consistently ran the ball well (rushing YPG and YPC), pressured the quarterback (sacks/g), stopped the run (rushing YPG and YPC allowed), scored enough points to rank in the top 25 (PPG) because they get to the red zone frequently (red zone attempts) and convert those attempts (red zone scoring percentage), had a merely adequate passing game (passing YPG), and got off the field on third down (opponent third down conversion percentage).

You can read the whole thing at HailVarsity.com.

Tagged ,

Nori, 10 months

DSC_0055

This is my niece and this photo makes me happy.

(Photo via her mom.)

 

The Cost of Being Cool

IMG_0342

You can buy selvage denim at J.C. Penney now. The jeans cost $35.

Pick them up and they feel a little light but that’s what you get for the nearly $100 price difference from most competitors. Roll up the cuff and there’s the telltale self-edge–where the jeans get their name–running up the outside seam. Turn them over and that same red and white seam is on the top of the back pocket, an ugly and extraneous bit of adornment. But, in this case, it serves a purpose.

It says: Look at the damn miracle we’ve created. You can now buy the jeans denim-heads covet in the same place where your father once bought a poly-blend suit and a clip-on tie for special occasions. Never mind that the traditional Penney customer never knew he wanted selvage jeans, much less the difference between those and regular jeans. The point seems to be that it can be done.

So maybe it’s not a miracle, but rather an experiment. An experiment that’s failing.

Read the rest of the entry over at COOP

Before/After

April ’12

 

March ’13

 

Sorta changes the look of Memorial Stadium a bit, no?

Tagged ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.