Friday, November 6, 2009

Better Models than RPI

The other day, when clicking through the Center for Statistical Consulting here at U of M, I came across one member of the group (a current PhD student here) who had a link to his site where he lists a large amount of research he's been involved in. His name is Brady West, and the reason I'm posting the link here is that he has a couple publications in Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sport.

One study develops a model that, apparently, far outperforms that of the RPI system currenlty used in choosing the 64 (65) teams in the March Madness tournament for NCAA Basketball. West advocates that those in charge should use his model to pick the teams. After just a quick look over his data (and also knowing some of the problems with RPI), I would have to agree with him. Of course, that's leaving aside any anti-trusty type things that constantly go on with NCAA, the BCS, and probably March Madness.

His other study looks at predicting teams winning college bowl games. I think he's still working on that one, but the preliminary analysis published in JQAS is interesting. West seems to know his stuff (he's an alum of the graduate program in Statistics here as well) and it's nice to know there are statisticians at U of M that may be willing to work with sports and maybe at some point with the Sport Management Department.

Anyway, you can find his website here, which also includes his data and Excel files.

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