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Weekly game probabilities for week 9 are now up at Sports on Earth. Probabilities are purely based on current-season stats including core efficiency rates, turnover rates, penalty rates, and are adjusted for opponent strength to-date.
Please remember that the projected scores are not to be taken terribly seriously. Do not bet the mortgage on them as they are not intended to graded against the spread. They are simply a "maximum-plausibility" estimate given respective team scoring tendencies.
Alok Pattani of ESPN Stats and Info rejoins the podcast to break down the new college football playoffs process. Alok explains the statistics he and his colleagues at ESPN developed to frame the on-air debate over which teams are the “best” vs. which teams “deserve” to be selected by the playoff committee. Dave and Alok analyze the first set of rankings released this week while Alok shares takeaways from his conversations with committee representatives and makes his probabilistic predictions for which teams will make the “Football Final Four”.Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher
The relative merit of passing and running has been an ongoing debate for generations. Early attempts to quantify the risks and rewards of the two general tactics did what they could using yards as a measure of effectiveness, but they could never fully account for the all the situational factors and outcome variables. How to account for down, distance, field position, sacks, turnovers, penalties, first down conversions, and so on made the problem too complex. And that’s before we even start to think about score and time.
Since 2008, EPA and WPA has allowed us to account for all the primary situational factors while boiling all the outcomes into a single measure. We can also measure variance, an important consideration in game strategy. This analysis produced a complex result in which it appears offenses run too often in most situations but pass too often in others.
But those models can only answer questions within the box of what teams already do. They can’t consider what would happen when a team operates outside the boundaries of what has already happened in the past, at least not directly. For example, we could never estimate how often a hypothetical team would win by always passing and never running, which is probably something a team like the 2014 San Diego Chargers should at least consider.
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