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The Stats Don't Lie!

Kevin RudyWhen I was in middle school, I picked up the newspaper to read an article on the opponent our varsity football team was playing that night (for our younger audience, this is what a newspaper is). The article said the opposing team’s running back was averaging almost 6 yards per carry, which is very high. I decided that I wanted to keep stats during the game to see if he was able to average 6 yards per carry against our defense. I made a template  that would let me record if the play was a pass or a run and how many yards the play gained. That night I calculated that our defense held the other team’s running back to 3.7 yards per carry, well below his average. It was my first real experience with sports statistics, but it would not be my last.

My name is Kevin Rudy, and I love to combine the worlds of sports and statistics. I’ve been helping take statistics for the Penn State women’s lacrosse team since 2003. I’ve been working as a technical writer for Minitab since 2006, and I’ve recently been able to use the power of Minitab to gain an advantage in fantasy football.

Now that Minitab has a blog, I’ll be able to continue writing articles that use Minitab to analyze sports statistics. Not only will I continue to cover fantasy football, but I’ll have the opportunity to cover other areas as well. While I’ll be talking a lot about how statistics can be used to help understand sports, the techniques and tools I’ll be discussing here have applications in quality improvement and any other endeavor that involves the analysis of data. Here is a quick sample of some subjects I’ll use Minitab to cover:

  • Analyzing the distribution of winning percentages to find out which professional sport really has the most parity.
  • The importance of sample size and how it relates to studies about Facebook.
  • How to use ANOVA to decide which golfer consistently wears the goofiest clothing.

Ok, I made up that last one, but if you like sports and you like stats, this is the blog for you!

 

Comments

Name: Ed Anderson • Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kevin, you are brilliant. I have always been a sports nerd and constantly try to apply statistics to help in Fantasy Football or just predicting winners.
My ultimate dream is to come up with a Sabermetrics type system for football. Ever thought of it yourself?
Thanks and keep it up.


Name: Kevin Rudy • Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanks for the kind words! I definitely would put myself in the category of sports nerd too. I haven’t really thought about a Sabermetrics system for football (although it would be very interesting). Instead, my ultimate dream is becoming a game/clock management coach for a football team. I constantly see teams continuing to punt on 4th and short situations where the statistics say they should go for it! And don’t even get me started on most coach’s inability to use timeouts to maximize their chance of winning!


Name: Ian Epstein • Monday, August 6, 2012

Kevin, do you have mintabs 2012 player rankings? Can you share them?
Thanks
Ian


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