Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NFL Parity

Through 15 of the 16 games this season things have finally ironed out and the better team has started winning. It still seems though that the NFL has more parity that ever. The Chicago Bears already have a first round bye clinched with just 11 wins? The Vikings on their 3rd string QB can beat the Michael Vick led Eagles? These aren't normal in the NFL. Turns out, this year is surprisingly different.

In 2007 and 2008 the better team won 80% of the time in the NFL. It took a slight dip in 2009 down to 78%, but that may have been due to the last couple weeks when many of the top teams rested their starters. This year though variance says the better team wins only 74% of the time. That sort of drop is almost unheard of in professional sports, where the number usually changes at most 1% from the average. Is it the salary cap free year? Or maybe concussions taking the best players out of games? Could it be just chance? At the very least, it's a trend worth watching in the upcoming years.
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