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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Affinity Rankings
In the analyses below, we explore differences in indexed affinity between competing brands.
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A Look Back: The 5 Best SEC Championship Games in History
When implemented by SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer in 1992 after the expansion to 12 teams, the SEC Championship Game was an unprecedented power move. The game has given fans great memories, heartbreaking losses, and has captivated us for over 30 years now.
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Spending Smart: A Comparative Look at Areas of University Spending Within Football Programs and Their Effect on Wins From 2005-2022
This project analyzes how different kinds of spending correlate to wins for Power 5 College football programs.
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Analyzing NBA Playoff "Risers" and "Droppers"
The NBA Playoffs consists of the best teams within the Western Conference and Eastern Conference during the Regular Season, with the best players during the Regular Season typically being featured in the Playoffs for contributing to the high regular season win total.
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Top 10 World Series Hitting Performances
To see the guidelines and a more in depth explanation of some of the metrics being used, as well as the methodology behind this ranking, check out the first part of this series of articles titled “Top 10 World Series Pitching Performances.”
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Top 10 World Series Pitching Performances
Postseason baseball is here! That means the champion of the league will soon be crowned in the World Series. I love baseball, but I understand why some people would think that the regular season goes on a bit too long, and watching any random regular season game can often feel a bit boring or pointless.
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The Numbers Don’t Lie
The NBA MVP goes out to the most valuable player of every season. However, some view it as the award for the player with the best statistics, rather than the most valuable.
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Predicting NBA MVP Contenders
This study highlights the potential of machine learning in predicting NBA MVP contenders, supporting data-driven decisions in sports analytics
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Why Not Winning a National Championship is the Best Thing That Could’ve Happened to Alabama Football
Alabama fans have become immune to winning, and it creates an interesting dynamic for loyalty toward the team. This article explores why not winning a National Championship the past two years might be the best thing to happen to the Tide.
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Using Machine Learning to Predict the NBA MVP
Each year, the selection for the NBA Most Valuable Player award sparks intense debate throughout all fans of basketball. However, since the process of selection is very subjective, it is difficult to explain the exact criteria needed to be met for a player to receive the MVP, and thus it is hard to predict who will end up winning the award.
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Are Rookie Running Backs Worth Drafting in Fantasy Football? An Analysis of Player Value in Each Year of NFL Experience
An established veteran running back or an untested rookie? It sounds like an easy choice, but come playoff time, that rookie could be destroying your team in the fantasy football Super Bowl.
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Analyzing NBA Player Sentiment through Reddit
This project explores data from reddit in order to better understand the public opinion of different players in the NBA. The exploration included creating word clouds for players as well as tracking how different words were used in relation to players over time.
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7 Things I Learned from Working NASCAR at Talladega
This article goes to show that taking a shot may get you places you never would’ve imagined.
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Drive for Show, Putt for Dough?
How do you maximize practice with minimal time? How much attention should be given to different areas of the game? Should every player practice the same thing?
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Top 10 NBA Finals Performances
I’ve always had a fascination to determine which NBA players had the greatest performances on the game’s biggest stage. That is why I will be looking at the 10 greatest single game performances in NBA finals history.
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Does Controlling the Pace Win NBA Games?
We’ve heard it a million times, “If this team can control the pace, they’re going to win this game!”. Is controlling the pace good for a team’s winning chances? Or is it just a crutch for analysts to talk about?
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Sabermetrics 101: Understanding the Calculation of WAR
WAR, or wins above replacement, is an advanced baseball metric that measures the true value of a player. It is calculated uniquely by statisticians on different statistical websites. This paper attempts to help educate the modern baseball fan on the differences in the fWAR and bWAR calculation.
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Machine Learning Uncovers Nine Distinct Player Types in the NBA
One thing is certain, it's difficult to compare players from different eras when the NBA changes decade after decade.
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Behind the Data: Where is CrossFit Most Popular in the United States?
CrossFit is known for grueling workouts and their free market approach to gym affiliation resulting in strong communities with avid participants.
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The Interesting Connection Between Southwest Airlines and the Super Bowl Champions
There is meaning behind these sponsorships/partnerships, and none happen by accident.
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How I Built a Competitive NFL Prediction Model with Only Five Statistics
The 2022 NFL season officially concluded last Sunday with the Kansas City Chiefs’ 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ second Super Bowl win in four years. The game was arguably an all timer as Harrison Butker’s kick with seven seconds put Kansas City on top for good.
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A Look Back: Legendary Performances by Running Backs in Super Bowl History
This article uses ChatGPT responses to explore some of the best Super Bowl performances by running backs in the game’s history.
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A Look Back: Legendary Defensive Performances in Super Bowl History
This article uses ChatGPT responses to explore some of the best defensive Super Bowl performances by team in the game’s history.
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A Look Back: Legendary Quarterback Performances in Super Bowl History
This article uses ChatGPT responses to explore some of the best Super Bowl performances by quarterbacks in the game’s history.
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A Look Back: A Few of the Greatest Super Bowl Performances by Wide Receivers
This article explores a few of the best Super Bowl performances by Wide Receivers in the game’s history.
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Exploring Key Analytic Measurements to Predict the Super Bowl LVII Winner
This article explores 5 key factors that often predict success in the NFL. On paper, the Chiefs and the Eagles are almost evenly matched, but Philadelphia and Kansas City have a large differential in one main factor.
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In the Trenches: Quantifying Performance vs Expectation for NFL Offensive and Defensive Linemen
In this project, we seek to answer the question, 'can we evaluate if a player is performing as expected based on physical metrics and combine testing?' This project aims to give an overall rating to both offensive linemen and pass rushers on pass attempts, then comparing this to how they are expected to perform based on combine metrics, physical traits, and averages from previous in-game play.
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An Interactive Dashboard to Explore 2022 World Cup Data
Explore trends and performance metrics for every player and team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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Missed Potential: An Evaluation of Tua Tagovailoa’s Sponsorship Opportunities
One player who is utilizing sponsorships as a prominent source of income is Tua Tagovailoa, former quarterback of The University of Alabama who signed on as a rookie with the Miami Dolphins in 2020.
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Will the Real U.S. Soccer Fans Please Stand Up
The World Cup is the most watched sporting event ever and the US is finally back in it after an 8-year absence. So, what does it really mean to be a USMNT supporter? What is the average age and what brands do supporters enjoy or use?
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A Once Unmovable Object: What happened to Alabama’s Elite Defense?
Minkah Fitzpatrick picked off yet another one of Kyle Allen’s passes and scooted down the sidelines for the team’s third interception returned for a touchdown that day. Moments like this were mere fairytales for the Crimson Tide in 2022.
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Determining the Best College Programs for NFL Success
Since 2000, every college football program has had its ups and downs. But which universities are producing the most successful professional athletes?
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Sponsorship Shank or Hole in One? Assessing Tiger Woods’ partnership with Monster Energy and the sponsorship landscape of the LPGA and PGA Tour
In 2019, sports sponsorships totaled $14.7 billion in the U.S. alone. Statista projects that figure will rise to almost $20 billion by 2024. Corporations see the powerful results of partnering with a sports property and its passionate fans.
Photo Tua Tagovailoa pre snap versus the Auburn, Nov 27, 2018
The Quarterback Effect According to SBRnet
Every April, a handful of quarterbacks are selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, with 12 quarterbacks being selected in the Top 7 over the past four seasons.
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A New Football Quarterback Statistic Tries to Assess What Matters Most
This research was done to try and find a better way to measure the success of a quarterback. It was able to lead to some very intriguing discoveries.
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Sports Brand Affinity Among Universities
If these colors become part of the school and fanbase's identity, are these jersey providers obtaining the same level of affinity that the colors are?
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Die-Hard or Fair-Weather Fans? Ranking All 32 NFL Fan Bases
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Do Yellow Cards Impact Chances of Winning in European Pro Soccer? It Depends on Which Country You Play In
How much do fouls affect winning? This is an age-old question in all sports. Should teams play a less physically aggressive style to have a better chance of winning, or should they even consider fouls a factor?
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Predicting World Cup Success
Every four years, the world turns its attention to the World Cup. While familiar legends and new faces take the field, there always seems to be drama that unfolds.
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How does UAB Football bounce back after Coach Clark’s retirement?
On the morning of June 24th, UAB Blazer football fans awoke to news they likely were not expecting to hear for a long time. Bill Clark, undeniably the program’s most successful head coach, had announced that he was retiring due to long-lasting chronic back issues.

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