NCAA Top 25 – November 23, 2014

Some questions:

Let’s say Alabama goes to the SEC championship game and loses.  Does that knock out Alabama and keep Miss State in (assuming they beat Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl)?

If Missouri somehow wins the SEC, they have to get in to the playoff right?  Who would get knocked out then?

I feel confident that Florida State will lose one of their next two games.  Does a 1 loss Florida State get into the playoff over a TCU or a Baylor?

Is Ohio State losing to Virginia Tech the weirdest loss of this season?

What is the playoff committee going to do with a team like Arkansas? Are they top 25?

Seriously, why is Condoleezza Rice involved in this?

Do you think when Ole Miss was 7-0 that fans really thought they had a chance to win the national championship?

Is there anyone in the world happier than me that Notre Dame has lost 4 out of their last 5?

Cheers.

 
 Rank Team Record
1 ALABAMA 10-1
2 OREGON 10-1
3 MISS STATE 10-1
4 UCLA 9-2
5 GEORGIA 9-2
6 TCU 9-1
7 AUBURN 8-3
8 ARIZONA 9-2
9 BAYLOR 9-1
10 FLORIDA STATE 11-0
11 OLE MISS 8-3
12 ARKANSAS 6-5
13 WISCONSIN 9-2
14 MISSOURI 9-2
15 KANSAS STATE 8-2
16 ARIZONA STATE 9-2
17 OKLAHOMA 8-3
18 GEORGIA TECH 9-2
19 OHIO STATE 10-1
20 MICHIGAN STATE 9-2
21 TEXAS A&M 7-4
22 LOUISVILLE 8-3
23 LSU 7-4
24 USC 7-4
25 FLORIDA 6-4

NHL game outcomes using R and Hockey Reference

Originally posted on StatsbyLopez:

I’m always impressed with the contest and accessibility of the Baseball with R website (here), which features a great cast of statisticians writing about everything from Hall of Fame entry to umpire bias.

In a similar vein, I highly recommend Sam and AC’s nhlscrapr package in R. I’ve used it extensively to analyze play-by-play data from past seasons (for example, this post on momentum in hockey).

However, I have a soft spot for overtime outcomes in the NHL, and while the nhlscrapr package has game-by-game results, there isn’t a straight-forward mechanism for identifying whether or not a given game went to overtime. Further, data in the nhlscrapr package only goes back about a decade or so.

Thankfully, Hockey Reference has easily accessible (and scrapable) tables for us to use. Given that I am doing some updated analyses over NHL overtime rates, and that I wanted an easier method than copying and…

View original 101 more words

NFL Picks – Week 12

Total (weeks 1-12) – SU: 121-54-1 ATS: 88-86-2  O/U: 92-82-2 

Week 1 – SU: 9-7-0 ATS: 8-8-0 O/U: 13-3-0

Week 2 – SU: 10-6-0 ATS: 10-6-0 O/U: 10-6-0

Week 3 – SU: 12-4-0 ATS: 9-6-1  O/U: 8-8-0

Week 4 – SU: 7-6-0 ATS: 5-7-1  O/U: 5-8-0

Week 5 – SU: 14-2-0 ATS: 6-9-0  O/U: 9-6-0

Week 6 – SU: 11-3-1 ATS: 8-7-0  O/U: 6-9-1

Week 7 – SU: 11-4-0 ATS: 7-8-0  O/U: 8-7-0

Week 8 – SU: 11-3-0 ATS: 8-7-0 O/U: 8-7-0

Week 9 – SU: 9-4-0 ATS: 8-5-0 O/U: 4-8-1

Week 10 – SU: 9-4-0 ATS: 4-9-0 O/U: 6-7-0

Week 11 – SU: 9-5-0 ATS: 8-6-0 O/U: 7-7-0

Week 12 – SU: 10-5-0 ATS: 7-8-0 O/U: 8-7-0

Kansas City at Oakland

Prediction: Chiefs 21-19 (57.4%)

Pick: Raiders +7.5

Total: Under 42.5

Cleveland at Atlanta

Prediction: Falcons 25-21 (62.1%)

Pick: Falcons -3.5

Total: Under 47

NY Jets at Buffalo

Prediction:  Bills 22-18 (59.8%)

Pick: Jets +4.5

Total: Over 39

Tampa Bay at Chicago

Prediction: Bears 25-19 (66.3%)

Pick: Buccaneers +6.5

Total: Under 46.5

Miami at Denver

Prediction: Broncos 28-20 (71.7%)

Pick: Broncos -7.5

Total: Under 49.5

Cincinnati at Houston

Prediction: Texans 23-21 (55.2%)

Pick: Bengals +2.5

Total: Under 44

Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Prediction: Colts 27-18 (75.1%)

Pick: Jaguars +13.5

Total: Under 50.5

Green Bay at Minnesota

Prediction: Packers 24-21 (57.5%)

Pick: Vikings +9.5

Total: Under 49.5

Detroit at New England

Prediction: Patriots 28-23 (65.4%)

Pick: Lions +7.5

Total: Over 48.5

Dallas at NY Giants

Prediction: Giants 24-22 (53.3%)

Pick: Giants +3.5

Total: Under 48

Tennessee at Philadelphia

Prediction: Eagles 27-20 (68.8%)

Pick: Titans +11.5

Total: Under 49

St. Louis at San Diego 

Prediction: Chargers 24-19 (64.4%)

Pick: Rams +5.5

Total: Under 43.5

Washington at San Francisco

Prediction: 49ers 24-18 (68.0%)

Pick: Washington Football Team +8.5

Total: Under 44.5

Arizona at Seattle

Prediction: Seahawks 25-17 (70.1%)

Pick: Seahawks -6.5

Total: Under 42.5

Baltimore at New Orleans

Prediction: Saints 28-23 (63.6%)

Pick: Saints -3.5

Total: Over 50.5

Glenn Beck: Pseudoscience, Chiropractic, and Quackery

I read the article “Political Hack, Medical Quack” today about Glenn Beck and his medical problems and “treatment”.  You should read the whole thing, but there were a few quotes that I really liked.  This:

Yale neurologist and noted quackery hawk Steven Novella sums the situation up nicely: “Chiropractic neurology appears to me to be the very definition of pseudoscience—it has all the trappings of a legitimate profession, with a complex set of beliefs and practices, but there is no underlying scientific basis for any of it.”

And this:

A final, more general point: Why do celebrities keep forcing us to have these conversations about their private medical problems? Glenn Beck, Tom Cruise,Jenny McCarthy, and their ilk are entertainers, but they don’t know the first thing about evidence-based medicine. Their commentary isn’t helpful to people who do, and it has the potential to mislead people about how to manage their own health.

Cheers.

NCAA football ranking variablity

Massey collects a bunch of different college football rankings.  Below I’ve plotted the mean of these rankings on the x-axis and the standard deviation on the y-axis.  There is very little variability among the rankings for the teams at the very top and very bottom.  But in the middle, the variability is much larger.  The color of the circle represents the conference and the size of the circle corresponds to wins.

ncaaMeanSD

Let’s consider some of the interesting cases.  The team with the largest variability is Northern Illinois.  Their mean rank is 62 and are ranked as high as 23 and as low as 95.  Northern Illinois is 8-2 in the MAC and basically no one has any idea what to do with them.  They have some wins over bigger conference football teams such as Northwestern (who just beat Notre Dame somehow) and UNLV.  Their two losses are to Arkansas and Central Michigan.  They are indeed and very confusing team to rank.

Marshall is another interesting case.  Yes, they are undefeated, but they haven’t exactly played the most difficult schedule  (#understatement).  Some ranking called the Nolan Power index has them ranked 2 (behind Ohio State ?!?!).  They are also ranked as low as 37.  No one ever seems to know what to do with these undefeated teams that play terrible schedules.

Arkansas is the highest variability team of the major conferences.  They are 5-5 but all five of those losses came against teams that were ranked top 10 at the time they played (Auburn, Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi State). Their big win before this week was Northern Illinois.  And just this past week, they beat LSU.  That is indeed confusing.  As a result they are ranked as high as 10 and as low as 76 with an average of about 31.

Interesting stuff.

Cheers.

NFC South Dream Scenario

Assume that all 4 NFC South teams lose their remaining non-divisional games.  Then Tampa Bay wins both of their remaining divisional games over Carolina and New Orleans and finish 4-12.  Then Carolina beats New Orleans and Atlanta and finishes 5-10-1.  Then it doesn’t matter who wins the remaining Atlanta-New Orleans game, the Panthers would win the division at 5-10-1 and HOST A HOME GAME against a team like Dallas.  I love the NFL.

Cheers.

NCAA College Football Rankings – 11/16/2014

I think everyone agrees that with Alabama’s win over Mississippi State that they should move up to number 1 and my rankings agree.   I’ve got Oregon up 4 spots to number 2 after their  win over Utah.

Ole Miss stays at number 3 even with two losses, and Mississippi State drops three spots to number 4.  I’m sure many people, likely including the college football playoff committee, will dismiss Ole Miss as a top 5 team with their two losses, but I think this is just another example of being too focused on raw wins and losses.  Don’t forget, they did beat Alabama. (And I’m not the only one who has Ole Miss ranked in the top 5.)  Rounding out my top 5 is TCU after surviving at Kansas.  The rest of my top ten includes UCLA, Georgia, Baylor, Auburn, and Florida State.

Speaking of Florida State, here is a simple test you can do to see if a voter in one of these college football polls knows what they are doing.  Anyone who votes for Florida State number 1 over Alabama is completely clueless.  Alabama is 9-1 and 7-1 against teams in the top 30 (according to Sagarin).  That means they have played 8 of their 10 (!!!) games against top 30 teams for the second toughest schedule in college football behind only Auburn.  That’s a gauntlet.  And they’ve made it through it nearly perfect.  Alternatively, Florida State is 3-0 against top 30 teams, which is good enough for the 51st toughest schedule.  Those 3 top 30 wins?  Notre Dame, Louisville, and Clemson.  Notre Dame just lost at home to Northwestern, Clemson just lost to Georgia Teach, and Louisville has an unexplainable loss to Virginia on their resume.  This means that all three of these “big” FSU wins came against teams that now all have 3 losses.  Not as impressive in retrospect.

If this FSU team finishes undefeated, they will obviously get into the college football playoff.  But I think we might have a Notre Dame-2012 type situation on our hands where some SEC team is going to absolutely annihilate them.   The only question is if Florida State can produce a weirder story than the Manti Teo-Catfish episode.  Hopefully they are at least up for that challenge.

Cheers.

Full Rankings

 
 Rank Team Record
1 ALABAMA 9-1
2 OREGON 9-1
3 OLE MISS 8-2
4 MISS STATE 9-1
5 TCU 9-1
6 UCLA 8-2
7 GEORGIA 8-2
8 BAYLOR 8-1
9 AUBURN 7-3
10 FLORIDA STATE 10-0
11 OKLAHOMA 7-3
12 ARIZONA STATE 8-2
13 WISCONSIN 8-2
14 KANSAS STATE 7-2
15 ARIZONA 8-2
16 GEORGIA TECH 9-2
17 MISSOURI 8-2
18 OHIO STATE 9-1
19 UTAH 7-3
20 TEXAS A&M 7-4
21 LOUISVILLE 7-3
22 ARKANSAS 5-5
23 USC 7-3
24 MICHIGAN STATE 8-2
25 TENNESSEE 5-5