Are you a sports fan that’s bored with traditional coverage of the world of sports? You have come to the right place. This page will highlight “analytic oriented” information on the sports we all love to watch that you can’t find elsewhere on the web. And you don’t need to Ph.D. in statistics to comprehend what you will find here. From the hallowed grass of Wimbledon to the gridiron of the Iron Bowl, the research you find here will present you with a completely different view of the game, whatever your favorite sport might be.

Most articles are written by Samford University faculty, sports industry professionals that partner with Samford or students in one of the four sports oriented academic programs on campus (sports media in the Journalism and Mass Communications department, sports administration in the department of Kinesiology, sports marketing in the Brock School of Business, and sports medicine in the School of Health Professions).

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A Forecasting Model to Predict Where Leeds United F.C. Will Finish in the Table
The Center for Sports Analytics developed the 2020/2021 Leeds United F.C. Projection Model to help fans understand how Leeds is performing relative to nine recently promoted Championship teams that successfully survived their first season in the EPL without being relegated.
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The Most Important Member of an MLB franchise
Who deserves the most credit for a winning season? Who should take the heat for a losing season? Owners and general managers organize the transactions of the top players on each team, but the managers and players actually execute on the field. I conduct a variance decomposition analysis across Major League Baseball organizations from 1975-2019 to help determine each role’s impact on a team’s winning percentage.
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The US Women’s National Team Uses Data Analytics to Continue their Success
The U.S. Women’s National Team has dominated the soccer world for a long time. They have shown their dominance by winning four World Cups since 1991 and have never fallen below number 2 in FIFA’s Women’s rankings. There is no denying this team is talented, but with this much success people often ask the question ‘How does a team continue their success over decades?’
 
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Analyzing Collegiate Baseball Lineups: The Power Five
Are collegiate baseball coaches maximizing run production through optimized batting lineups? This research presents empirical analyses comparing game-used and optimized lineups in college baseball. Utilizing Seqnzr’s modeling software, all sixty-one teams from the Power Five conferences were simulated and subsequently analyzed for the 2017-2019 seasons. Results identify the differences among conferences and suggest how some conferences may be using analytics to better compete with the powerhouse SEC.
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A Crash Course in Soccer Analytics
Complex statistical modeling of big data has found its way into the world of soccer over the last few years and is already starting to radically change the way coaches and players approach the game. According to Kevin Minkus, “It has influenced changes in how the game is played — teams shoot closer to goal and take shorter goal kicks and quicker throw-ins, all of which is suggested by looking at data.” This article will look at some of the latest developments in soccer analytics.
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A Crash Course in Basketball Analytics
In the same way the industrial revolution swept across the planet in the 18th and 19th centuries impacting every aspect of our lives, big data and sophisticated analytics has had a similar impact on the world of sports. The way coaches make in-game decisions, player recruitment, and everything in between is now fundamental different from how it was just ten years ago.
 
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Leeds United’s Explosive Growth Amongst Generation Z Football Fans
Brands, politicians, and marketers around the globe are seeking to recruit the up-and-coming generation of customers, Generation Z, and Leeds United F.C. seems to have the magic formula.
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2020 World Series: A Study on the Rays and Dodgers Lineups
Utilizing statistics to help with game decisions is becoming a major part of professional sports. With the help of Seqnzr, I compared the lineups used by the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2020 World Series with two other common statistical approaches to lineup optimization.
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A Crash Course in Analytics in the MLB
As analytics have rapidly spread across all sports, Major League Baseball has emerged as one of the most analytically driven leagues. Batting average, on-base percentage, total hits, and many other metrics have always been calculated to measure player performance. However, advancements in technology have allowed for more sophisticated statistics to be measured.
 
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Center Summer Intern Presents Research at Prestigious Carnegie Mellon Sports Analytics Conference
Gustavo Garcia-Franceschini spent this past summer as an intern in the Center for Sports Analytics. His research entitled, “The Problem with the Empty Stands at the NBA Bubble” was recently presented at the Carnegie Mellon Sports Analytics Conference in Pittsburg, PA.
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Democrats vs Republicans: An Analysis of 4.4 Million Social Media Followers of the Two Parties
With the U.S. election still dominating the headlines, students in the Center for Sports Analytics and Brock School of Business at Samford University decided to utilize our social media analytics tool, Affinio, to learn about the followers of the Democratic and Republican parties. They have spent the last few weeks conducting research on over 4.4 million followers of the official Twitter accounts of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.
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American Solidarity Party: An Analysis of Social Media Followers
With the U.S. election just a few days away, students in the Center for Sports Analytics and Brock School of Business at Samford University decided to utilize our social media analytics tool, Affinio, to learn about the followers of various political parties. They have spent the last few weeks conducting research on the followers of the American Solidarity Party, Democratic Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party and Republican Party.
 
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Poll: College Students Think NFL Should Implement COVID Bubble Strategy, Favor College Football Over NFL
Covid-19 has altered the way of life for nearly every person in the world. Yet, with turmoil and chaos all around, many find a sense of normalcy in sport. As the NFL begins its 2020 season, Samford University’s Center for Sports Analytics researched the reactions of hundreds of college students to the new-normal of the NFL.
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Which League Most Effectively Engaged Fans During the Pandemic?
Although the country is divided on many topics right now, one thing most of us can agree on is that we are glad sports are back!
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Optimizing Collegiate Baseball Lineups with Seqnzr: A Pilot Study
Throughout all levels of baseball, the growing significance of advanced analytics have allowed coaches and players to analyze and predict performance in more effective ways. Utilizing Seqnzr’s simulation software, this analysis compares three different approaches to generating batting lineups across the fourteen Southeastern Conference baseball teams.
 
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Leeds United’s Relegation Survival Magic Number is ????
Leeds United, one of the most storied clubs in European football, is back in the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.
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A Look at the 2020 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Race
The NBA playoffs start soon. This not only means fans will see competitiveness rise, but that we will also finally know who won the regular season awards. Take a look at our comparison of some of this year’s Defensive Player of the Year candidates.
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A Look at the 2020 NBA MVP Candidates
With the NBA playoffs right around the corner, it is time to speculate about regular season awards. Take a look at our comparison of MVP candidates.
 
 

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