I love safeties. They're one of the most exciting and interesting plays in football. But keep in mind they're not actually worth 2 points.
Jim Glass at the Community site: What clutch victories mean for a team and its coach.
Tyler Cowen on the economics of Moneyball. Phil Birnbaum's take.
An update to Michael Beouy's betting market power rankings.
Some interesting numbers on Denver's Tebow offense.
Here's an interesting article from The New Yorker on Jon Gruden, and stats are a part of the story:
But Gruden abhors the “stats sluts” who try to replace the judgments of a trained eye with mathematical formulas. He says, “You know what I hate, man? Guys that you know haven’t seen the film: they just quote a bunch of statistical bullshit.” Of course, there’s something absurd about a man who loves data railing against “statistical bullshit.” As Gruden demonstrates every Monday night, it’s not possible to assess football without statistics.
...Gruden energetically upholds the illusion, essential to fandom, that sports is a test of character—that every play, every game, really matters.
QBs who hold on to the ball too long tend to get sacked. That's fine, if not obvious. But isn't there a selection problem here? By definition, if we only look at plays in which the QB was sacked, we're looking at the handful of times they weren't able to throw the ball or scamble to the LOS. Aren't we really seeing which QBs can survive the longest before getting sacked? When a QB does throw the ball, there was a future potential sack that would have occurred at some point had they not thrown, which we'll never know and would never be included in the data.
The Sports Skeptic takes a look at one of Gregg Easterbrook's tenets. Does a reliance on undrafted players help teams win? Here's my take: The undrafted players we do see on Sunday's are the ones who are truly extraordinary. The teams that are least wedded to 'draft round' and status, and most wed to actual measured performance, will be the ones that are generally successful. And they're the ones who are likely to have a substantial number of undrafted players on their rosters. Unfortunately, the numbers don't back up the story.
Dispell your illusions.
Many football fans aren't aware of this, but the #1 college team in the land is playing the #3 team this afternoon--well, at least if you only count actual amateur scholar-athlete teams.