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Re: Regression to the Mean and Health

February 12, 2018 08:53AM
This is not directed towards you Peoria, but it always bothers me when football analysis borrow from statistical concepts to shore up their articles and arguments. I just finished reading an article at "Football Outsiders" which read so much like a confused half-truth + half-falacy myth. In my opinion, those writers don't know enough about statistics to write about it, let alone justify some of their conclusions.

I live in a profession that requires some degree of stats. I've studied it enough to know that it is an world unto itself when applied to an industry. I've dealt with some real half-cocked people in this profession, who knew enough about stats to talk the talk but couldn't apply it to real world situations, where process stability is required.

Last year, there was a short discussion about statistics and "trends" and some argued that the Rams were definitely trending upwards and that Fisher and the Rams had taken some strides forward. I think it was early in the season and we were 3/1 or something like that. Ya'll know how that trend ended.

But that discussion got me thinking, there are so many variables in the game of football, which has a horrible stable sample size, that trying to predict team Wins/Losses, based only on stats, for a season is unreliable. Change one or two or three key factors and W/L records can get turned on their heads.

I once conducted an expensive DoE for a PhD over a manufacturing process. I gathered tons of data and crunched it. When I evaluated the results I was disheartened because I knew I had failed in my work. A lot of time and money was spent on this effort, and some big bosses expected strong results from me. Even though I knew I screwed up, I had to make the presentation, show the results, apologize, and admit that I screwed something up badly. At the end of my presentation and apology for the results, she looked at me and said, "actually what you presented makes perfect sense and it is 100% accurate." I said, "no way, how can it be the data says otherwise? something is wrong with my results." She then explained a key processing factor that I was not aware of and did not take into account. Once she explained it, I said to myself, "oh crap, this makes perfect sense now." I felt damn good about myself because then I realized that my work was really a touchdown, not a fumble.

(Sorry if I am rambling, I have a little extra time on my hands).

All of that to say that I don't think you can use "Regression towards the mean" to predict a team's W/L record confidently. There are far to many changing variables and far too small sample sizes.

There are certainly a lot of potential ways for the Rams to return to a 4 or 6 win season, regression towards the mean isn't one of them.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

  For me, 2018 is the true test for Goff, McVay and the Rams

RockRam495February 09, 2018 05:20AM

  Re: For me, 2018 is the true test for Goff, McVay and the Rams

TheGuru120February 09, 2018 05:34AM

  Re: For me, 2018 is the true test for Goff, McVay and the Rams

RamsFanSinceLA92February 09, 2018 06:35AM

  Exactly. nm

RAMbler30February 11, 2018 03:44AM

  Re: For me, 2018 is the true test for Goff, McVay and the Rams

Ramsdude15February 14, 2018 12:18PM

  Re: For me, 2018 is the true test for Goff, McVay and the Rams

Rampage2K-76February 09, 2018 08:16AM

  Very true, I'm pumped for next season......

RAMbler31February 11, 2018 03:50AM

  Absolutely

Suh-weet!15February 14, 2018 12:07PM

  Re: Absolutely

Ramsdude15February 14, 2018 12:47PM

  Can The Rams Counter The "Gurley Defense"?

troublefree96February 09, 2018 05:43AM

  Well, call me a cockeyed optimist...

Rams4389February 09, 2018 07:19AM

  I'm pessimistically optimistic about Goff...

JamesJM76February 09, 2018 08:00AM

  Re: I'm pessimistically optimistic about Goff...

Rams4371February 09, 2018 08:04AM

  LOL and.........

Arkansas Ram60February 09, 2018 09:08AM

  Yeah, Reynolds...

JamesJM74February 09, 2018 09:23AM

  Re: I'm pessimistically optimistic about Goff...

Classicalwit48February 10, 2018 08:13PM

  :) yes, I get it....

JamesJM49February 10, 2018 08:39PM

  agreed, 43...no need to think we'd play worse after

SunTzu_vs_Camus17February 14, 2018 10:19AM

  Regression to the Mean and Health

PeoriaRa88February 09, 2018 08:38AM

  Re: Regression to the Mean and Health

LMU9351February 11, 2018 06:27AM

  Re: Regression to the Mean and Health

Coy Bacon29February 12, 2018 08:53AM