Almanac Calls For Sunny Weather

The Football Outsiders have always struggled to project the Colts.  Mathematical models often call for some degree of regression to the mean for elite teams, but the Horse kept on plodding through 12 win seasons as if it was wearing playoff focused blinders.  Whatever the Outsiders called for from the Colts, you count on them being just a little bit better.

Now as I peruse my copy of the massive 2009 Almanac, I see they’ve finally figured it out.  I doubt the incremental changes in DVOA are the cause of the shift in philosophy for projecting the Colts (follow the link if you are interested in nerdy math like me).  Instead, it seems like years of consistency are finally paying off in the projections.  FO says about the Colts in 09:

In last year’s San Diego Chargers article, we noted that when very good teams change coaches, they generally remain very good teams. A look at the Colts roster makes it difficult to imagine that, barring an injury to Peyton Manning, the team will not win double-digit games again.

Huzzah!  FO then continues on its enlightened path by not falling into “The Harrison Trap” (noting Marv left us that day against the Broncos in ’07) nor the “Mudd Pit” (noting Moore and Mudd will be heavily involved).

Here are the projections for the 2009 Indianapolis Colts:

2009: New staff + same Peyton Manning = same results.
2009 Mean Projection: 11.5 wins

Here are the likely number of wins for the Horse.
On the Clock (0-3): 0%
Loserville (4-6): 0%
Mediocrity (7-8): 4%
Playoff Contender (9-10): 28%
Super Bowl Contender (11+): 68%

In other words, according to their numbers, Indy has a better than 2 in 3 chance to be right back to the same level they have been at for the past 5 years, and a 96% chance of being in the playoff hunt.  I think all Colts fans would take that in a heartbeart.

The Almanac is a giant 555 page document.  It includes reams of data and commentary for both NCAA and NFL football  I have not read all or most of it.  For now, it is available in PDF form only for the low, low price of $12.  In a few weeks, you’ll be able to order a print copy for $20.  Over the course of the next week, I’ll be offering up one tidbit a day about the 2009 season to wet your appetite, but please consider buying your own copy to support this incredible work.

Seven days of talking about football and math!  What could be better in July?

Links:
Don Banks wusses out.  5 key issues from the AFC South…the Colts 3rd WR and coaching staff are two.  Yawn.

My friend Rich sends in this from the NY Times.  Could new tech finally convince the world that Derek Jeter is a terrible defensive shortstop?  I doubt we’ll ever advance that far.

Michael Smith says Marv’s options are limited.

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