Some Christmas Eve Study Hall Links

Stanford's David Shaw voted for his own team over Oklahoma State. And why wouldn't he?

I'm pretty sure the Study Hall Links posts will be a nice case study in how long it takes me to develop new habits. I aimed for this to become a regular feature, and it will ... but it's already been 11 days since the last one. Next time, I aim for just 8-9 days, then 6-7, et cetera.

Here's your Christmas Eve reminder that Study Hall has a Facebook page now! Go forth and Like. And when you're done, read all of the coaches poll article below. It is awesome.

Football Stats

  • From The Mathlete
    MGoBlog: Game Theory Manifesto: A Coach's Guide to Using Timeouts and Other Key Decisions (Read all of this.)
  • Those Damn Computers Are Always Ruining Everything ... Oh, Wait
    Vox Economics: Why we shouldn't always trust expert ratings

    While coaches are assumed to have expert knowledge, and are thus relied upon to provide what is intended to be an unbiased and objective ranking, there are a host of potentially distorting private incentives that create conflicts of interest. These fall into the broad categories of improving the standing of one’s own team and athletic conference and receiving direct financial payouts by influencing which teams are invited to play in Bowl games. While questions about bias have been considered before in the Coaches Poll (Witte and Mirabile 2010, Sanders forthcoming), our study is the first to use individual coach ballots as the unit of analysis. [...]

    Above and beyond the effect of reputation concerns, coach rankings respond to the structure and amount of direct financial incentives created by invitations to the Bowl games. When a coach’s university receives a greater financial payoff if a particular contending team receives an invitation, coaches rank that team higher, thereby increasing their chance of receiving the payoff. On average, an additional payoff between $3.3 and $5 million buys a more favourable ranking of one position. Moreover, for each increase in a contending team’s payoff equal to 10% of a coach’s football budget, coaches respond with more favourable rankings of half a position. Finally, this effect is strongest, more than twice as large, when coaches rank teams outside the top 10, where consensus about the relative standing of teams is lower.

    Beyond providing insight into conflicts of interest, our results have implications for the importance of information disclosure requirements. It was only after a wave of controversy about the integrity of the Coaches Poll that individual ballots for the final regular season poll were made publicly available starting in 2005. Looking at periods before and after public disclosure, we find that making the coaches’ ballots public reduces the difference between the aggregated results of the final Coaches Poll and unbiased computer polls. It appears, therefore, that coaches are aware of their biases because they become attenuated when the ballots are publically available. That coaches’ rankings are noticeably different under public disclosure raises further questions about how much stronger the biases are in settings when there is no disclosure, and underscores the importance of public disclosure to minimise bias.

  • And While We're Talking Rankings...
    Barking Carnival: The BCS System: Rate Not, Lest Ye Be Rated

Football

  • Read Everything Chris Brown Writes
    Grantland: Draw It Up: Evaluating Alabama's Defense
  • "Dear Todd Graham: Thank You. Love, B. Petrino."
    Pre-Snap Read: A Look Back at the One-and-Done Coach
  • WVU in 2012 (Using F.O. Stats)
    ESPN.com: Will WVU take the next step in 2012?
  • Recruiting Vs. Style
    MGoBlog: Five Star Temptresses And Variance Hating

Stats

  • Basketball
    Coug Center: An Attempt To Quantify Chemistry (love this)
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