Advanced Football Analytics

Categories

Football

Archives

2016
January

2015
December
November
October
September
August
April
February
January

2014
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
February
January

2013
December
November
October
September

October 2013
S M T W T F S
     
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Syndication

Joining the show this week is Virgil Carter, the man many consider to be the founding father of advanced football statistics. Dave, Brian and Virgil look back at the Virgil's playing days when he was suiting up at quarterback for the Bears while studying for his MBA at Northwestern during the off-season. It was there at Northwestern that he published his first paper, Operations Research on Football. That paper introduced the idea of expected point value based on game situation, an idea that is still at the core of advanced football analysis. Virgil also talks about what it was like to play under head coach Paul Brown, and why if it weren't for him,  Bill Walsh might have never needed to create his "west coast" style passing offense.

Direct download: 007_AdvNFLStats.VirgilCarter.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

Ben Alamar, author of Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers and Other Decision Makers is on the show this week to discuss his new book. Ben is a professor of sports management at Menlo College, and works as a consultant to a variety of NBA and NFL teams.

The episode begins with Ben describing his background in economics and why he saw a need to found the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, the only peer-reviewed journal solely for papers on sports economics. They then discuss his work with Michael Lewis for the book Moneyball, and how he approached the question of analyzing the success of offensive linemen.

Ben then discusses his new book, and breaks down some of the experiences he’s had working to build the analytics programs of professional sports organizations. Finally, the episode ends with his thoughts on the recent NFL season by continuing the now weekly tradition of praising Peyton Manning for his otherworldly statistical year.

Direct download: 006_AdvNFLStats_BenAlamar.FINAL.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Brian Burke is back for another episode of the Advanced NFL Stats podcast. This week, Dave dives into Brian’s most recent articles. First up is a study analyzing when defenses should decline penalties after a loss. This piece uses expected points to determine the break even yardage required for a defensive coach to opt for a loss of down over a loss of yardage.

The second part of the episode is dedicated to the Baltimore Ravens and their mediocre rushing attack. Inspired by his favorite team’s recent offensive woes, Brian looked at which teams might be better off if they abandoned the run completely as part of their offensive game plan.

The show concludes with a discussion based on a comment from the Brian’s previous podcast appearance. Dave asks Brian to justify his claim that most NFL coaches are relatively interchangeable, and that at the highest (NFL) level, there is little discernible difference different head coaches.

Direct download: 005_AdvNFLStats_BrianBurke.FINAL.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Dean Oliver, Director of Analytics at ESPN Stats and Info, joins the show to discuss ESPN’s quarterback measurement tool, QBR. Dean led the development of QBR, and has shepherded its development since its release in 2011.

Dave and Dean begin the show with a trip back in time to Dean’s childhood in Hawaii, where he explains how he first became interested in statistics and developed his own baseball simulation dice games to play with friends.

They then discuss QBR in depth, looking specifically at the types of questions it is designed to answer. Dean explains how QBR’s component parts work together to describe a Quarterback’s contributions to his team’s success. He also discusses why certain QBs may surprise people with their ratings, and why we’ll be talking about Andrew Luck for years to come. Finally, they end the episode by covering how the stat has changed and improved since its inception, and look at how the college version of QBR differs from its professional counterpart.

Direct download: 004_AdvNFLStats_DeanOliver.PODCAST.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Chase Stuart, founder of Football Perspective and a regular contributor to the New York Times, calls in to the show from his home in New York City. Dave and Chase begin by discussing two point conversions, and how expected value and variance come into play when coaches make the call to go for two. Chase goes on to discuss his own metric for looking at in-game point differential, called Game Scripts. He explains how Game Scripts can be used in conjunction with run/pass ratio to contextualize a team's general tendencies over the course of a season. The episode ends with a check-in on season win projections for the five remaining undefeated teams, along with some well-deserved gushing about Peyton Manning's unbelievable season.

Direct download: 003_AdvNFLStats_ChaseStuart.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

1