Predictions in politics and sports

Here is an Atlantic article about Nate Silver predicting football (incorrectly).

People seem shocked that someone who has done so well predicting elections can’t predict something as meaningless as a Super Bowl.

This is absolutely ridiculous because elections are relatively easy to predict, the polls have been extremely accurate and you had a ton of information for your prediction.

Football is much harder and while you have a lot of stats you don’t really know what is valid or not.

Football stats are greatly improving but they still aren’t even close to baseball (where statistical measures are completely common).

I will also add that the threshold of statistical skill you need to be a sports stats guy is MUCH higher than to be a political prediction expert.

In order for Silver to keep his reputation as a prediction guru he should probably stick with predicting things he has studied and knows. This includes baseball (not necessarily all sports) and elections. Predicting a ton of other stuff can do nothing but hurt his brand.


~ by realfactsandbeer on January 21, 2013.

One Response to “Predictions in politics and sports”

  1. It’s kind of like the guy who brags because he got the whole NCAA Tournament field right…you only have to get about 6 teams right, because the rest fill themselves in. Same for elections — only 5 or 6 states are toss-ups, if that.

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