INFORMS Open Forum

  • 1.  O.R. and Football

    Posted 08-28-2014 10:48

    Many of you have heard of applying statistical analysis and even operations research to baseball, à la Moneyball, but what about football? It can be done! Authors Virgil Carter and Robert E. Machol took on this feat more than four decades ago in an article titled "Operations Research on Football" in which they analyzed more than 8,000 plays from the first 56 games of the 1969 NFL schedule. They calculate the expected point values of possession for various field positions at 1st & ten, and discuss the strategic implications of these values.

    Although this study was completed in 1970, the data are still prevalent, as this article is the third top read article in 2014 for INFORMS journal Operations Research. In light of this, access to this article will be free for the remainder of the NFL preseason. Perhaps readers are looking for ways to strategically build their Fantasy football teams as fans are beginning to "draft" their players and manage a team. Can you use this technical note to determine how many points Ray Rice should score with each possession at 1st and ten? It would be an interesting piece of info to share with fellow Ravens fans on Purple Fridays.    

    Click here to access the article for free through September 7th, then return here to chime in with your predictions.

    Kara Tucker
    Production Editor/Marketing Content Specialist
    Catonsville MD

  • 2.  RE: O.R. and Football

    Posted 08-29-2014 09:50
    Great post!

    Andrew Pulvermacher
    Chief Probability Officer
    Nighthawk Intelligence
    Madison WI