The Data Sharing Project Takes A Gigantic Step Forward

So ... remember on Friday, when I was talking about starting up a nice, big data sharing collective? Well, umprompted by me, Ed from The National Championship Issue was getting ready to share an incredible amount of individual team and game data. It's now available, and it's incredible.

Sports analysis, athletic information management, whatever you want to call it, has been booming the last few years. I've met and talked with a lot of people who find it fascinating, and who want to get involved somehow. My advice, if it's worth anything, is to just get started and take the plunge. You don't have to have a background in statistics or knowledge of specialized software - I didn't. I haven't taken a math class since high school and my degrees are in English. But that doesn't matter - you just have to want to learn how to do it and soon you'll figure out your own niche, wherever that might be.

So if you're interested, to help you get started here's my database.

It's got all the games, teams, rankings, and years since the BCS started in 1998, as well as all NCAA stats since 2000. All of this information is available in the public sphere, somewhere on the web or in newspapers, but as far as I know this collection isn't available all in one place (or in downloadable files) anywhere else. So take it, use it, crunch your own numbers, post your own studies, and create your own unnecessarily long and confusing tables. Combine it with other data you have or that you've found to make it an even more robust dataset. Enjoy.

Ed has made three files -- two large and one gigantic -- available for viewing: 1) Rankings 1998-2010 (per-week poll rankings), 2) Team Data 1998-2010 (full-season stats broken out into all sorts of per-game rate data) and 3) the holy grail, Game Data 1998-2010. Download them, digest them, create your own set of analysis, rankings, etc., start your own blog, and take the leap into the wonderful world of college football statistics. This is beautiful stuff, and in just three days, a huge chunk of what I was hoping to accomplish has already been accomplished. Thanks, Ed!

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