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 have a 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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Using Decision Tree Algorithms to Test the Accuracy of NBA Playoff Predictions
In this project, I explore how data mining and decision tree algorithms can be used to model the predictive power of team performance metrics and to predict NBA playoff teams. I construct a decision tree model using three different basketball team statistics and calculate the Gini Coefficient for each variable to measure information gain and determine the split order.
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Hank Aaron Award Winner Analysis
This article breaks down the nominees and winners of the Hank Aaron Award using statistical analysis. The analysis provided support for why players were nominated, why certain players won, and offers arguments for why other players could have received nominations. It is summarized by qualitative takeaways from the quantitative analysis.
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The Slow Growth of Data Analytics in the Football
Data usage in football is growing, though not as quickly as it has in other sports. Teams who don’t use analytics are now likely at a disadvantage to those who do. Samford Football is investing in data analytics, largely due to Project Samson.
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Defying All Odds: The Story of the 2021 Atlanta Braves
It’s July 10th. The Atlanta Braves are in Miami facing off against a young Marlins team. It’s the bottom of the fifth inning. Promising star Jazz Chisholm of the Marlins steps up to the plate and hits a fly ball to right field. The team’s MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. runs to track it down and jumps to attempt the catch. All comes crashing down. This is the story of the 2021 Atlanta Braves.
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Cracking the Code: Does Path to the Pros Affect NFL Quarterback Success?
Every NFL player takes a unique route to the pro ranks, and quarterbacks are no different. Yet, every year, fans and teams see a passing prospect that has a red flag due to their path to the pros. Is this concern justified?
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The 90-Point Ride
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) was founded in 1992. It is one of the world’s most dangerous sports as there is no telling what the bulls will do. This sport takes high concentration, skill, strength, and toughness both physically and mentally. In the PBR, the highest possible score that can be achieved is 100 points, yet, after almost 30 years, no one has accomplished this feat. Because of this, success of a bull rider can be measured in the number of rides they have over 90 points in their career.
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Liverpool FC's Social Media Fan Base Continues to Grow Largely because of Player Connections and Other Ties to Liverpool
Liverpool F.C. is one of the most successful European football teams in history has won a total of 6 European Cup trophies. As well as winning the English top-division league title 19 times. Liverpool’s success on the field has not gone unnoticed.
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The Best College Basketball Programs for NBA Success
College football players and fans debate over what schools are the best NFL position factories, such as “QB U” and “WR U.” Although not as common among college basketball fans, the same idea can be applied. Which schools get to claim themselves as “Scorer U,” “Assist U,” and “Rebound U?”
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How Do High School Rankings Affect NBA Success?
Every NBA Draft, teams hope to draft the next superstar, and fans hope their team drafts a superstar. Since many players stay in college for only one season, high school rankings are more valuable for the NBA than other sports when determining who will succeed at the NBA level. Or are they?
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Gooooaaaallll: Euro 2020 Broke All the Records
There were a record number of penalty kicks in this year’s European Championship. As the amount of penalty kicks grew, so did the amount of penalty kicks being saved by goalies. This article compares EURO 2020 to other European Championships and examines the potential causes of the increase in penalty save percentage.
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All-Stars vs Snubs: Who Are the Best MLB Has to Offer?
The MLB All-Star Game, the Midsummer Classic. It is the highlight baseball game of every summer, where the best MLB players of the year come together to play an exhibition game. There is only one problem… many of the best players will not be playing.
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MLB Sponsor Report Card: Chevy, Mastercard, and Camping World Best in Class While Taco Bell Struggles
Often, sports fans are exposed to companies through interactions on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok, and through commercials while watching their favorite sports league. “Are MLB fans more likely to interact with and thus purchase the products of the official sponsors, compared to their competitors?” is the question I set out to answer in this study.
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EURO 2020 - So Many Goals! Why?
There has been an overwhelming increase in goals scored in EURO 2020 compared to other EURO tournaments. This article explores some of the causes behind this increase. Those causes include own goals and the market value of players.
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MLB All-Star Game 2021 Predictions Pre-Picks
Enter your predictions for the starting lineup for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.
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Chelsea FC’s Social Media Following May Not Come from Where You Would Expect
Most of the English Premier League Club’s Twitter overall followers are from African nations, while smaller populated nations like Botswana, the Maldives, and Malta make their way into the top 5 per-capita followership.
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The Magic Goal Differential For Survival in Big 4 European Football Leagues
Goal differential is a strong indicator of success in European football; the best teams have high goal differentials, and the relegated teams have low goal differentials. However, is there a magical number to ensure survival? This study dives into the highs and lows of goal differential in European football and attempts to find the magic number for the Big 4 leagues.
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Second Year Syndrome: Why Promoted Bundesliga teams Take Longer to Find Stability than Teams in the Serie A, La Liga, and EPL
Second Season Syndrome is a term used in European football when a newly promoted club survives year one and gets relegated year two. We collected data from the Bundesliga, EPL, La Liga, and Serie A over the last 15 years in order to determine is this truly is a trend amongst newly promoted football team. Our results indicate teams in the Bundesliga are significantly more likely to fall prey to Second Season Syndrome than teams in the other three leagues.
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Where Should NFL Teams Invest Their Financial Resources?
This is a study of National Football League (NFL) teams’ spending on specific positions relative to the allowable salary cap space, which dictates how much team can spend on player salaries in a given season. By studying some of the most and least successful teams in recent memory, we can discover which positions require the most financial investment for a team to be successful.

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