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September 05, 2007

Kinda Interesting: Third Down Performance An Inverse Indicator of Teams' Performance Following Season
Plus: New Pool, That Works!

I'm just skimming, but it appears that if a team does poorly on third downs (on offense or defense) it's likely they'll rebound the next season, and if they do well on third downs, they'll decline.

Why? I think the idea is that third downs are both volatile and often very important, so pure luck plays a role in a team's third-down performance. If they did poorly on third down, it's not so much they're bad or specifically bad on third downs as they got unlucky throughout the season, costing them a few games along the way. Their previous record thus understates their actual strength.

Meanwhile, an above-average performance on third down indicates the opposite -- they won a few games by the luck of the breaks and their past record thus overstates their actual strength.

This site explains this and other beyond-the-raw-numbers analyses of team and player impact not in gaining yards but in actually contributing to wins.

Incidentally, that Tailgatepools pool seems hopeless fracked, but Mike S. is setting up a Yahoo pool for us. Hopefully we'll have that up soon.

Update: Mike set us up the pool. It's on Yahoo. Sign up info:

Group ID#: 62102
Password: scandi

Sorry about the problems with the other pool. Obviously we won't be going with that one, as it's just screwed.

This is a straight pick pool against the spread, all games need to be picked. No weighing of picks, though, which I personally found to be more of a headache than it was worth.

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posted by Ace at 03:55 PM

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