Wednesday Sep 02, 2009

links for 2009-9-2: NFL forbids tweeting; Gmail outage

  • NFL forbids play-by-play tweets during games. Good luck with that - Ok, the NFL has to make a statement to appease their rights holders, but seriously, what can they do?  "It isn’t the sports writers that the NFL needs to worry about when it comes to play-by-play tweets. They need to worry about the fans in the stands with Twitter apps on their smartphones. They need to worry about the TV viewers who are sharing details of the games with friends who can’t see it (maybe because of the stupid blackout rule.)"
  • Is it fair to criticize Google for the Gmail outage? [video] - For the majority of folks, i.e. those that use it as a free service, NO!  It is free folks, what SLA have you paid for?  For those that are paying as part of Google Apps, sure, you might have reason to complain, but 100 minutes down a year is still 0.9998 uptime.  Nearly four 9's isn't bad, and if you were hosting e-mail yourself, what would your uptime be?

Sunday Aug 30, 2009

It's Football Season! Schmidt Computer Rankings Have a New Home

The calendar says it is almost September, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler.  It must be football season!  And with football season comes me spending my weekends trying to get my computer ratings going again.

This year, rather than muddling up this blog with the occasional entry on my computer's ratings, I've created a computer ratings blog that I'll do my best to diligently keep updated each week.  I've already posted last years season ending college ratings and the NFL will be there soon.

Go take a look and let me know what you think! 

Sunday Feb 01, 2009

Congratulations Pittsburgh, winners of Super Bowl XLIII

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers for winning a very entertaining game in Super Bowl XLIII.  I have to say I was a bit bummed as I was pulling for Arizona, and save for the first-half ending interception return, perhaps they would have won, but it seemed Pittsburgh was doing just what they had to do so perhaps they still would have pulled it out.

I have to give my computer some props as it nearly picked the game perfectly (Pittsburgh by 5.2) getting the win and pick against the spread.  For the playoffs I was a terrific 9-2 against the spread but only 5-6 picking winners.  But the Vegas line was also 5-6 picking winners so I don't feel so bad there.

So now we turn our attention to basketball but also track and field!  We just had the Millrose Games this weekend (Lagat won #7 in the mile), Boston Indoor next weekend, and a variety of good college action so stay tuned.

Sunday Jan 18, 2009

NFL Playoff Predictions Conference Championships

The conference championships are about to be played and I just realized I hadn't provided an update from last weekend and predictions for the games today.

Last weekend found my computer going 1-3 picking winners but 4-0 against the spread, taking the points for Arizona, Baltimore, and Philly, and giving the points for Pittsburgh.

In today's games the prediction is Pittsburgh by 2 and Philly by 2.4.  While my ratings do have Baltimore #1 (moved to #1 the last week of the regular season) Pittsburgh is close enough that home field advantage sways the game their way.  Conversely, even though Philadelphia is on the road they are far enough ahead of Arizona that they are still the pick.

Enjoy the games!

Sunday Jan 04, 2009

NFL Playoff Predictions Week 1 Update

With week 1 of the playoffs complete, it is time to update my predictions.

 My computer went 3-1 against the spread and 2-2 picking winners.  Details are:

  • Atlanta/Arizona - Took Arizona and the points which was right but had Atlanta winning.
  • Indy/San Diego - Had San Diego winning outright and they did.
  • Baltimore/Miami - Had Baltimore covering the 2.5 and they did.
  • Philly/Minnesota - Had Minnesota winning outright and they didn't even cover.

For the upcoming games, current predictions are:

  • Carolina by 7.1 over Arizona
  • Tennessee by 1.4 over Baltimore (pick would be Baltimore on neutral field)
  • NY Giants by 3.4 over Philly
  • Pittsburgh by 6.3 over San Diego

The updated Superbowl predictions are:

Team Get to Win
Pittsburgh
0.336 0.184
New York Giants 0.377 0.179
Tennessee 0.320 0.171
Carolina 0.294 0.130
Baltimore 0.208 0.118
Philadelphia 0.192 0.092
San Diego 0.137 0.077
Arizona 0.137 0.049

Wednesday Dec 31, 2008

NFL Playoff Predictions Vegas Odds Comparison

I made my NFL playoff predictions a few days ago but just found this story on Vegas' odds so thought it would be interesting to compare the odds of winning the superbowl.

Here is a table listing the Vegas odds, what that translates into as a percentage, and my percentage for comparison.  Since the article above doesn't list all teams I went here to get a full list.

Team Vegas Odds Vegas % My %
New York Giants
3-1
25.0

19.3

Pittsburgh
5-1
16.7
19.4
Carolina
6-1
14.3
13.6
Tennessee 7-1
12.5
19.7
Indianapolis
8-1
11.1
4.4
Philadelphia
11-1
8.3
3.8
San Diego
11-1
8.3
3.5
Baltimore
14-1
6.7
4.8
Atlanta
20-1
4.8
3.1
Miami
25-1
3.8
3.0
Minnesota
28-1
3.4
3.4
Arizona
40-1
2.4
2.1

As of this writing, it is interesting to see that the Giants went from 2-1 in the ESPN story to 3-1 where the 3-1 is a lot closer to what my computer had them at.  Perhaps I'm not so far off :)  It is also interesting to see that as expected (Vegas has to take their cut) the Vegas percentage is higher than mine except for Tennessee and Pittsburgh.  And Minnesota is the same.  According to my computer those would be good bets to place on average.

Sunday Dec 28, 2008

NFL Playoff Predictions

With the end of the regular season, it is time for my computer to make some playoff predictions.

First, a look back.  For the season, my computer went 143-105-5 picking against the spread and 166-86-1 picking winners.  For comparison I had the Vegas Line going 159-82-1 picking winners.  So, I had a reasonably good year.  And as far as the right teams making the playoffs, the highest ranked team that didn't make it was New England at #9 and New Orleans at #12.  The lowest ranked team that made the playoffs was Arizona at #19.

Now, for the picks and predictions.  For wildcard weekend the picks are:

  • Baltimore by 2.8 over Miami - Even though they are on the road, the computer likes Baltimore better.
  • San Diego by 0.6 over Indianapolis - Two teams playing well, but San Diego being at home makes the difference over the higher ranked Indy.
  • Minnesota by 1.2 over Philadelphia - Again, home field gives Minnesota the nod over the higher ranked Philly.
  • Atlanta by 0.8 over Arizona - Home field not enough to make up the gap for Arizona.

This is the first year I recall all 4 road teams being ranked higher.  Interesting.

 

As far as full projections for the playoffs, here are the chances of each team making it to and winning the Super Bowl.

Team Get to Win
Tennessee 0.366 0.197
Pittsburgh 0.354 0.194
New York Giants 0.402 0.193
Carolina 0.301 0.136
Baltimore 0.087 0.048
Indianapolis 0.083 0.044
Philadelphia 0.082 0.038
San Diego 0.064 0.035
Minnesota 0.082 0.034
Atlanta 0.074 0.031
Miami 0.049 0.030
Arizona 0.059 0.021

These predictions to take into account that 8 teams have to play wildcard weekend as well as the ratings of each team and who they are playing.

It is no surprise then that the 4 teams with byes are at the top of the list.  Of the non-bye teams, my computer likes Baltimore the best actually moving them from #2 to #1 in the rankings this week.  Of course teams like Tennessee and the Giants had nothing to play for and played a bunch of backups so a small part of any drop they had may not be fully justified.

Should be a good playoffs!

 

Sunday Oct 05, 2008

College and NFL Football Thoughts and Rankings

I am a big sports fan, as has probably been apparent from some of my blog entries, and as such am into football. I've generally been a fan of the AFC, particularly the AFC West having grown up and lived most of my life on the west coast, and as you would expect am also a Pac-10 fan.

In addition to being a fan and watching a lot of games, my inner geek gets the better of me and I dust off my computer ratings each year and have done so yet again and you can see them here. I've actually been doing them fairly regularly since 1991 when I got started after Georgia Tech's disputed championship as I thought there should be a way to objectively determine who is #1. I used Jeff Sagarin's ratings as my inspiration but have worked to tune my system to both have ratings that pass the "smell test" but also ones that do well in predicting games against the spread.

Over the years, I added in doing ratings for the NFL too and have toyed with doing them for college basketball, but it is most entertaining to look at the college ratings as that is where there is no playoff and one can argue for hours on end who is #1.

The current college ratings have Oklahoma #1, Missouri #2, Penn State #3, and USC #4. Going into this weekend Dallas was #1 in the NFL despite their loss with Tennessee close behind at #2.

In addition to doing ratings and weekly predictions, my system is able to project final records. Interestingly there are six (!) teams projected to finish the college season undefeated and in the NFL Tennessee is projected to finish 14-2 ahead of a bevy of teams at 12-4. It is still early though so things can certainly change.

So, take a look and let me know what you think.

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