Just discovered something called the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective.
Which sounds impressive.
It does have Harvard in the name, right?
The HSAC “is a student-run organization at Harvard College dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management.”
That’s a fancy way of saying they study sports statistics.
This group of fine young people took a look at Bill Belichick’s decision to give up the touchdown late in the Super Bowl, and decided that Belichick made the right choice. They even said Ahmad Bradshaw “made the wrong choice by scoring.”
It referred to a site called Advanced NFL Stats, and that site has a way-cool chart that shows the Giants win percentage went from .94 to .85 following the Bradshaw touchdown.
The Giants chances to win were at .20 when Brady threw toward Wes Welker on that fateful play. When Welker dropped the pass, the Giants chances went to .26.
Which means the Giants odds increased from one-in-five to one-in-four thanks to that missed pass and catch.
The number jumped .48 when Manning found Mario Manningham on the memorable play down the sideline, and it became .67 when Manning found Hakeem Nicks for a first down at the 34. Manning’s pass to Nicks at the 18 made it .8.
Point: This chart is really way cool, and Belichick did the right thing in giving Brady the ball back.
Problem was – as the chart shows – there wasn’t enough time for Brady to do anything.
I seriously wonder if stuff like this will become a trend in football the way it is in baseball, whether we’ll have stats gurus on the payroll and on the sideline at crucial times.