Sports Analytics Research

Photo Figure 3 Middle Rounds
Does Your NFL Team Draft to Win? New Research Reveals Rounds 3, 4, and 5 are the Key to Future On-Field Performance
Many fans underestimate the importance of the NFL draft beyond the first and second rounds, assuming that only early picks can truly impact a team's success. However, groundbreaking research from the Center for Sports Analytics at Samford University challenges this notion. 
Photo college baseball world series field
How Does RPI Effect College Baseball and the NCAA Tournament?
The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is generally known to dictate which college baseball teams qualify for the NCAA tournament, but how can different strategies affect a teams’ RPI ranking? 
Photo strip sack
The Future of Football Evaluation: Impact% and Defensive Rating (DEFRAT)
Impact% is a stat that measures the percentage of times a player is in position to make a play on the ball. This is an upgrade from just looking at raw tackles because a play on the ball is more valuable than a tackle. Impact% gives you a broader scope of how much range and versatility a player has and their impact in every phase of the game. It's a statistic that measures how valuable a player is while he's on the field. The purpose of the stat is to reward defenders who are on time and in position to make a play on the football.  
Photo Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell
Should the Lions Have Kicked the Field Goal?
Dan Campbell received a lot of attention for the Lion's 4th down decisions; let's use the data to see if the decisions to go for it were correct. 
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Making Sports Safer: Samford Work Advances Student-Athlete Wellness
Since its inception in 2017, Samford University’s Center for Sports Analytics has focused on research in the areas of sports business analytics, performance analytics, and human performance analytics. Now, with the increasing concern about sports related injuries and mental health, experts in the center are adding a new focus to the work of the center to help make sports safer for student-athletes.  
Photo baseball glove on textured wood
Fielding: Does It Matter?
Throughout the history of baseball, the focus of the sport has changed and evolved. From the early Dead-ball era to the modern era of the long ball. Through it all one part of the game has remained largely unchanged: fielding.