HSAC is a student-run organization at Harvard University dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management. This blog features the original contributions of Harvard undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and affiliates. HSAC does research for several sports-related publications and companies. Please contact us at harvardsportsanalysis@gmail.com if you have any questions or want more information.

How likely are keeper penalties?

By Brendan Kent Keeper penalties are quite simply the best. First of all, if a keeper is taking a penalty we are most likely in sudden death penalties of a knockout match. Pretty exciting to begin with. Now add the fact that the players taking the penalties are those whose job is the opposite of …Read More

An Unfair Pool at the 2013 FINA Swimming World Championships?

By Aly Abdel Khalik and David Wang During the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, there was much controversy as to whether the temporary Myrtha Pool was truly a “fair” pool. As the competition proceeded, many spectators started noticing unusual results, especially in the 50m events. The swimmers who were swimming closer to lane …Read More

The Patriots Have a 4.3% Chance of Going 19-0

By Harrison Chase and Austin Tymins After the Patriots narrowly escaped the Meadowlands with a win this Sunday afternoon, Ian O’Connor of ESPN suggested that readers would be smart to bet on the Patriots going 19-0, saying, “They are still better than everyone else and a much safer bet to go 19-0 than to crumble …Read More

Which is the Best Division in the NFL?

By Harrison Chase and Austin Tymins Earlier this semester, HSAC was fortunate enough to have Bill Barnwell, formerly of Grantland.com, come to a meeting discuss all things NFL with us. One of the questions that came up was which division was the best one. It turned out to be a pretty tricky question to answer, …Read More

No, CBS Sports, the Patriots have not found an edge on coin flips

By Harrison Chase Late yesterday, CBS Sports put out an article claiming that the Patriots were winning coin flips at “an impossible rate”. What’s more, they publicized it with the lead: “Have the Patriots found a way to get an edge on coin flips?” Clearly with Deflategate out of the way the media is looking …Read More

The Seven Tiers of NFL Teams

By Harrison Chase and Austin Tymins Over the past two weeks, we have been putting out articles with our POWER rankings for the 2015 NFL season, which are based on average win expectancy over the course of the game. While we have discussed the ordering of those rankings, we have not discussed their distribution. Below …Read More

POWER Rankings: 2007 vs. 2015 Patriots

By Harrison Chase and Austin Tymins With the Patriots off to a dominant 6 – 0 start, people are already comparing them to the legendary 2007 team that went undefeated in the regular season. Local Boston radio personality Michael Felger has declared that he “would rather have this team over the ‘07 team,” and ESPN is …Read More

NFL Coach Firing Model: Week 8

By Kurt Bullard and Harrison Chase Following a blowout loss to the Jets in Week 4, Joe Philbin was the first coach to be handed a pink slip by upper management this year. Philbin however, has not been the only coach to be in the hot seat this year. The Lions just fired offensive coordinator …Read More

Introducing POWER Rankings for the NFL

By Harrison Chase and Austin Tymins One of the coolest things to come out of sports analytics in the past few years has been the win expectancy curves that have popped up on various sites. After reading an article at 538 last year where they aggregated those curves for every NBA team, we were inspired to …Read More