Podcast: Gill Alexander on football analytics in the modern media age

On this episode of the Football Analytics Show, I welcome Gill Alexander, host of A Numbers Game on the new Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSIN). Gill has also excelled at baseball handicapping and as the host of the Beating the Book podcast.

On the show, we discuss the following:

  • The book that inspired Gill to leave a successful career as a music personality and get into sports.
  • The “elementary” sabermetrics idea that used to lead to value in the markets.
  • The real, non-betting reason behind why he loves doing the Beating the Book podcast.
  • How Gill, as a life long Redskins fan, would deal with Kirk Cousins.
  • The non-book work of art that both Gill and I obsess over.

Gill is one of the truly good guys in the sports analytics world, and I hope you enjoy this wide ranging conversation.

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Podcast: Chase Stuart on the analytics of NFL draft picks

On this pre-draft episode, Chase Stuart, founder of Football Perspective and 2017 panelist at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, joins me to talk about the NFL draft. Among other topics, we discuss the following:

  • The story behind his ubiquitous NFL draft trade value calculator
  • How to use Approximate Value to access every player, even offensive linemen and defensive backs
  • The reason an NFL GM might use the Jimmy Johnson draft value chart instead of his analytics based chart
  • The surprising admission of the Patriots on why they traded for Brandin Cooks
  • Why Chase writes every day at his site Football Perspective

After the interview, I talk about 3 highlights of my wisdom of crowds model for predicting the 2017 NFL Draft.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

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Podcast: Kevin Cole on predicting the 2017 NFL Draft

On this week’s episode of the Football Analytics Show, I talk with Kevin Cole, data scientist and writer with Roto Viz and Fantasy Labs. Among other topics, we discuss the following:

  • The unusual but straight forward path Kevin took into football analytics.
  • The four variables that matter in predicting running back performance in the NFL.
  • What small sample size says about Deshaun Watson versus Mitch Trubisky.
  • Why the combine doesn’t matter in predicting wide receivers.
  • Kevin’s bold prediction for the 2017 NFL draft, which involves a quarterback.

I also really enjoyed Kevin’s favorite book, as it showed his depth of thought on topics far from sports analytics.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

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Podcast: John Urschel, NFL lineman, on football analytics and math research

On this episode of the Football Analytics Show, John Urschel, lineman for the Baltimore Ravens and Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at MIT, joins me for a wide ranging conversation. Topics include:

  • The NFL’s progress in using video tracking data
  • The football analytics problem John is working on
  • The acoustic operator in those Bose commercials with J.J. Watt
  • The breadth of math research in which John is engaged
  • The hidden factor in his success as an NFL lineman

John is an amazing human being, and I hope you enjoy this episode.

You also might be interested in an interview I did with John 3 years ago before he got drafted by the NFL.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

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Podcast: Coach vs Machine – Charles Ramsey on the Final Four

Coach Charles Ramsey, the former head coach at Eastern Michigan, joins me to discuss college basketball and the Final Four. Topics include:

  • The key to Michigan’s late season run
  • Coach’s view on “microwavable times” and how it relates to small sample size
  • Whether this Gonzaga team is Mark Few’s most talented
  • The secret weapon on the bench that all of this year’s Final Four teams have
  • How Coach and the machine (my calculations) couldn’t be more different but have the same prediction for the Final Four

I end the show with a discussion of my win probabilities for the NCAA tournament.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

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