great podcast, added new site features, and added new contributors. But there was one feature that has been in the works until now.
In partnership with the New York Times, I'm pleased to unveil the bane of every football coach in America--The 4th Down Bot. At its heart, it is a real-time application of the 4th Down Calculator feature here at ANS. It uses both the Expected Points model and the Win Probability model to estimate the best option for every 4th down as a game is in progress.
As always, the models' estimates are league-average baselines, and local factors do matter. The recommendations are starting points of analysis, not the end of the discussion. Still, this should be a fun and entertaining way to spread the word about the capabilities of analytics.
It's been five years since I began applying both the WP and EP models to in-game decisions and strategy, and four since the 4th down heard round the world. But the 4th down issue remains the lowest hanging fruit on the analytics tree. Even I'm tired of analyzing 4th downs, so it's nice to be able to delegate the task to a Twitter feed.
My thanks to visualization and interactive multimedia pro Kevin Quealy for his hard work putting the project together. Well, that's it. I better get back to work. These football stats aren't going to crunch themselv...never mind.