Showing posts from December, 2009

2009-12-05: NFL Playoff Outlook

Week 12 of the regular NFL season is over and with five more weeks to go the playoff picture is starting to take shape. The predictive algorithms we chose are coming along fine. Some are doing better than others which is to be expected.

One of the algorithms we are using leverages Google's PageRank algorithm. We formed a directed graph where each vertex is one of the 32 NFL teams. A directed edge is placed for each game played with the loser pointing to the winner. The edge is then weighted with the margin of victory(mov). The mov is the winner's score - the loser's score.

Then the page rank is calculated using the graph. We are using the igraph library in R to calculate the page rank. The teams are then ranked in order of page rank. This is similar to another group that has used PageRank to rank NFL teams.

One of the concepts of PageRank is that good pages are pointed to by other good pages. In our case good teams will be pointed to by good teams.

An interesting observation t…