The second round of the Autumn Internationals take place tomorrow and some tasty matches await us. Last week, I used World Rugby’s Rankings to predict who will win and to set expectations for each nation for the whole series and my predictions got off to a good start with 5 out of the 6 matches correctly called. This performance is consistent with a similar set of predictions I made for the 2017 6 Nations where I correctly called 12 out of 15 games.
It’s November again and for rugby fans, it means the Autumn Internationals are on us again. The nations of Europe welcome teams from all over the world for the next 3 or 4 weeks to test each other and find out where they stand. Ahead of the first round of matches, I have used World Rugby’s Rankings to predict who will win and to set expectations for each nation.
Earlier this year, I made a similar set of predictions for the 2017 6 Nations and correctly called 12 out of 15 games. The prediction model is explained in one of my 6 Nations post but World Rugby’s goal is that rankings can be used as a predictive tool. The idea is to take each team’s current ranking and add 3 points to teams playing at home. Whoever has the higher ranking is then expected to win but clearly the closer the rankings, the closer the game is expected to be. [Read more…]
My team Newcastle United are also known as the Magpies but how much of a GOAT are they? In recent years, this acronym has become popular as a shorthand for Greatest Of All Time. Given that the Magpies have not won a trophy in the 40+ years that I have supported them, I know they are not the number 1 GOAT in English football but where would they sit in a GOAT table?
Ranking tables are extremely common in sport and sport analytics as they are easily understood by fans. If I want to compile a ranking of all English football clubs, there are two decisions I have to make:
- Over what time period will the data come from? (ERA)
- On what measure will I rank the clubs? (METRIC)
In this post I will use 3 eras and 3 metrics to creating 9 GOAT tables in all. Read on to find out which club is #1 GOAT! [Read more…]
The 2017/18 English Premier League (EPL) kicked off yesterday with Arsenal beating Hull 4-3. Tomorrow, my team Newcastle United will be playing my wife’s team Tottenham Hotspur so marital harmony could be in short supply! Be that as it may, what should fans of the Magpies and Spurs be expecting this season? Newcastle are a recently promoted team whilst Spurs were runners up last season Is there a way to set realistic expectations for the 2017/18 season?
Throughout the 6 Nations this year (and in previous years) there has been a constant debate about whether promotion and relegation should be introduced. A lot of people have stated that Georgia have earned the right to play in the 6 Nations and that Italy have failed to make any progress over the 18 seasons they have been in the 6 Nations. Actually had promotion & relegation been in place this season, Italy would have been relegated and Romania would have been promoted after winning the Rugby Europe Championship with a narrow 8-7 win over Georgia in the last round. This win ended Georgia’s 6 year winning streak.
Ireland’s win over England brought the 2017 6 Nations to a close. England were crowned champions but were not able to top it with back to back grand slams. Over the last few weeks, I have been using the World Rugby Rankings to predict the outcome of the matches and now it is time to see how they performed.
After 3 more matches, world rugby has updated its ranking tables and I can now use these to look the prospects are for each team in the last round of the 2017 6 Nations. I have explained how the rankings work in an earlier 6 Nations post and it is worth reading that to understand how rankings can be a predictive tool. Based on the latest rankings, it looks like France and Scotland will end up in the top half of the final table alongside England who are already the 2017 6 Nations champions.
Round 3 of the 6 Nations is over and we have 3 more games to discuss and dissect. More importantly, world rugby has updated its rankings and I can update my forecasts for round 4 based on these. I explained how the rankings work in my previous 6 Nations post and that is also worth reading to see how the forecast of round 4 now differs from then.
Looking back at that post, it was interesting how the rankings predicted a narrow win for Scotland over Wales. Given that Scotland had not beaten Wales for 10 years that was quite a call and in the event they won the game comfortably. Scotland’s reward is that they are up to #5 in the world rankings, 2 points behind Ireland.
With the updated rankings, here are my revised forecasts for round 4.
So the 6 Nations is underway again and the traditional rivalries are reheated. Who will win is once again on all the sports pages and there are no shortages of pundits willing to give their opinions. If you want a different way to predict what will happen, why not use the World Rugby Rankings?
Ranking tables play a big part in a number of sports but they are not widely understood among sports fans. At bottom though, rankings are intended to be used as a predictive tool for what will happen in a match. A good ranking system will be more accurate in predicting outcomes than a bad ranking system. However, a perfect ranking system is something we don’t want otherwise sport becomes boring as we will always know the outcome in advance. So as a forecasting tool, a ranking system is a curious beast. We want it to be good but not great.