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December 2015
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Syndication

On this special college bowl edition of the Advanced Football Analytics podcast, Sharon Katz of ESPN Stats & Info joins the show to break down the upcoming New Year's Eve and New Year's Day bowl games.  Sharon begins by breaking down the predictive performance of ESPN’s College Football FPI statistic this season and describes some of the tweaks her team at ESPN made to the metric to better predict unique bowl scenarios.

Dave and Sharon then go in-depth into each of the new year's day bowls and provide analysis of the Outback, Citrus, Fiesta, Rose and Sugar bowls. They then preview the New Year’s Eve College Football Playoffs at the Cotton and Orange Bowls and make some predictions for this year’s eventual champion. They wrap up the episode with a look at a list Sharon compiled of the top ten biggest plays from the last decade in terms of win probability swings.

Direct download: 061_AFAPodcast.Sharon.Katz.12.30.15.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 11:04am PDT

This week, we go back into the AFA Podcast archives to revisit an interview with Jeff Sagarin and Wayne Winston, two longtime friends that have made a lasting impact on the field of sports analytics.

Dave talks with Jeff Sagarin and Wayne Winston about their four decades of work in the field of sports statistics. Wayne and Jeff met while studying together at MIT and have been friends ever since. In the early 80’s, they had their first collaboration on a football play-calling project for Indiana University’s head football coach, Sam Wyche. Since then, Jeff has been publishing his team ratings in USA Today while Wayne published his book, “Mathletics“, and currently teaches at Indiana’s Kelly School of Business.

During the show Jeff and Wayne discuss the history of their friendship, from playing dice based football board games in their dorm rooms to their current work as professional statisticians. Jeff gives his thoughts on how the BCS computer rankings have changed in recent years while Wayne shares his ideas on how to best evaluate football teams and individual players. Questions fromTwitter are also answered during the episode, so make sure to keep the ideas coming!

Direct download: Archives_AdvNFLStats.SagarinWinston.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

Brian Burke (ESPN Stats & Info) returns to discuss the latest trends in FPI rankings. He and Dave discuss the recent performance of the Texans, Lions, Chiefs and Redskins and what their FPI rankings mean for their performance going forward. Brian discusses his recent work integrating win probability onto ESPN platforms in preparation for the Playoffs.

Dave decides to poke the bear and dive into Brian’s twitter posts and they get into a discussion of what “the eye test” really means and why it’s essential to define assumptions in any debate. They close out the episode with a look at the playoff probability leverage of key week 13 games.

Direct download: 060_AFAPodcast.Brian.Burke.12.4.15.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 6:19pm PDT

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