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As a college-educated individual, I'm generally amazed by how infrequently we sports journalists use empirical analysis to substantiate our claims.
No, I'm not talking about batting averages or completion percentages--I'm thinking more of comprehensive data analysis.
For instance, following the Super Bowl, football fans around the country begin to talk about the upcoming NFL Draft. Who's the best quarterback in the draft class? Can he lead my team back to playoffs?
"Expert" analysts such as Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay are only too happy to indulge your curiosity. Apparently working around the clock watching player workouts and speaking with scouts and agents, they update their rankings and predictions almost hourly in the days leading up to the NFL Draft.
Unfortunately, their efforts are simply insufficient.
Any football fan who watched JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn in their college days would have predicted them to become top tier NFL quarterbacks. So why did they fail while similarly talented collegiate quarterbacks such as Sam Bradford and Cam Newton managed to succeed?
Instead of watching highlights all day, these two should spend some of their time collecting as much data as possible from all current NFL quarterbacks and future quarterback draftees. Running every shred of information from a quarterback's high school completion percentage to his college GPA through a statistical analysis package, they could more objectively project NFL success.
Sure, they still wouldn't be perfect, but they could at least substantiate their claims with factual information!