Ranking and Developing NCAA Football Teams | BYU Sports Statistics

Ranking and Developing NCAA Football Teams | BYU Sports Statistics

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So, my name is Zach Knowlton. I am studying
statistics here at BYU. I’m starting the integrated master’s program in the
fall, and and I specialize with football statistics
mostly helping out the BYU football team. I’ve been
working a lot with their coaches helping them find different different
things that they need to pay attention to. So we do a lot of data collection and
then analyze the data on the back end as well. Zach’s project is to develop a model for
expected points on the football field by down, distance, and position on the field. Once
that model is produced, then will be able to take various teams that played collegiate
football and rank them against that model to
develop both their offensive and defensive productivity and rank them overall among all the teams
that play football. Looking at various teams’ strengths, play selection, how you do inside the 20’s, those kinds of things that we can also
examine as we develop this model. So we see broader
application beyond just ranking teams once we get the
fundamental work done. I’ve kind of headed up this project with the
football team. I reached out through Twitter, actually, and contacted
and the director of football operations at the time and they got me started on the project.
Zach’s doing all the programming and the data gathering which is a huge
issue. He checks with me in terms of general directions and
getting ideas, but pretty much this is his baby. He does the work, he gathers the data, he’s writing the code, and he’s going to put together the final
report. This research project has really helped
me learn how to collect data, clean data, and then look at it from someone’s perspective that wants to
use the data. In this case with the sports statistics, I’m
looking at it from a coach’s perspective, asking them what they want and then kind of moving from there. So I can move
that on within a business world–whatever they want with
the data, I can look at that and try to find answers for them

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