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A model-based approach to football strategy.
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Archive of Weekly Strategy Reviews.
Analyses of selected coaching decisions from 2/1/2004 to 11/16/2009, using the footballcommentary.com Dynamic Programming Model and other methods.

Data Selection for Estimating Play-Outcome Probabilities (1/18/2010).
We ask which historical data can be included without introducing bias, when estimating probabilities associated with the outcome of a football play. In particular, we examine whether it is legitimate to use third-down data to estimate probabilities associated with fourth-down plays.

A Computer Program For Playoff Tiebreakers (8/2/2006).
We present a computer program that applies the tiebreaking rules to determine the playoff teams and seedings in each conference. We embed the program in a simulation that generates estimates of each team's probability of making the playoffs or of winning the Super Bowl, and discuss applications.

A Model For Coaches' Challenges (3/6/2006).
We present a model for estimating the value of a challenge, and give four examples to illustrate its application.

Model-Independent Results Early in the Game (11/17/2005).
We explain how certain decisions near the start of the game can be made without a model. We also derive conditions under which the decision criterion reduces to expected points plus an adjustment for field position.

Analysis of the NCAA Overtime Format (8/26/2005).
We calculate the theoretical advantage of winning the coin toss, and the optimal two-point-conversion strategy, under the NCAA overtime format.

Models for Sudden-Death Overtime (7/11/2005).
We describe separate models for regular-season and playoff sudden-death overtime, and work through an example of the application of each model.

The Clock-Management Value of Timeouts (6/14/2005).
We present a model for estimating the value of a timeout, and show how the model can be used to evaluate decisions.

A Model for the Two-Minute Drill (5/2/2005).
We introduce a model for strategy and win probabilities when the team with possession trails by one score in the final two minutes of the game.

Intentional Fouls For Clock Management (11/8/2004).
We discuss situations in which the rules allow the defense to obtain crucial clock-management benefits from an intentional foul prior to the final minute of either half.

Coffin Corner Kicks vs. Pooch Kicks (6/26/2004).
We present a simulation model for determining the best place to aim a punt from just outside field goal range.

An Analysis Of Tempo (6/12/2004).
Whether a team should use a hurry-up offense or a slowdown depends not only on the score and the time remaining, but also on whether they are the favorite or the underdog. We present a model for analyzing tempo.

Some Common Strategy Errors (5/29/2004).
Coaches go for it on fourth down, and attempt two-point conversions, far less often than they should. We present Tables that provide guidance for making these decisions.

Aspects Of Endgame Strategy (5/15/2004).
Using an analysis of how much time is consumed by a successful field goal, we determine how many seconds to leave on the clock in preparation for a game-winning field goal. We also examine whether it can make sense for a team that trails by more than a field goal late in the game to take a knee to run down the clock.

Analysis Of Overtime Auctions (5/1/2004).
In recent years proposals have been made to begin overtime with an auction, in which teams bid for starting field position, rather than with the traditional coin toss and kickoff. We analyze the proposals and characterize their equilibria.

Discussion-Worthy Coaching Decisions From 2003 (4/17/2004).
We look at some decisions from 2003 whose analysis has more general application.

Overtime and the Wind (4/1/2004).
The team that wins the coin toss prior to overtime almost always elects to receive. But when does it make sense to take the wind?

Equilibrium Strategies on Fourth and Short (4/1/2004).
There is evidence that teams pass too often on fourth and short. What would the strategies for the offense and defense look like in equilibrium?

Team-Specific Home Field Advantage (4/1/2004).
How much evidence is there that home field advantage is stronger for some teams than for others?

The footballcommentary.com Dynamic Programming Model (3/9/2004).
Explanation of the model used to evaluate two-point conversions, whether to go for it on fourth down, and certain other coaching decisions.

Copyright © 2010 by William S. Krasker