Highlights on Why the Oakland Raiders Will Optimize

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIAugust 8, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 12:  The Raiderettes stand at attention during the National Anthem before the AFC Division Playoff game between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders at Network Associates Coliseum on January 12, 2003 in Oakland, California.  The Raiders won 30-10, sending them on to the AFC Championship game.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

You gasp when mathematical references are made in the articles, but take a look at the abstract below. A government grant was used to produce a study and recommendation to realign the NFL.

Without a doubt, mathematics is in every aspect of your sport. All is required is an ability to see the mathematics and logic.

Review the abstract below written by Professor John E. Mitchell:

  The abstract:

Realignment in the National Football League: Did they do it right?

John E. Mitchell

Mathematical Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180

Funded by:
 NSF; Grant Number: CCR-9901822


realignment • graph equipartition • branch-and-cut



The National Football League (NFL) in the United States expanded to 32 teams in 2002 with the addition of a team in Houston. At that point, the league was realigned into eight divisions, each containing four teams.

We describe a branch-and-cut algorithm for minimizing the sum of intradivisional travel distances. We consider first the case where any team can be assigned to any division.

We also consider imposing restrictions, such as aligning the AFC (American Football Conference) and the NFC (National Football Conference) separately or maintaining traditional rivalries.

We show that the alignment chosen by the NFL does not minimize the sum of intradivisional travel distances, but that it is close…end of abstract


My observation

Clearly, mathematics was used to realign the NFL, and this change helped to minimize some factors and to maximize others.

Furthermore, a National Science Foundation grant funded the research to realign the NFL.

As I said in another article, there is more to your sport than meets the eye.

It might be a good idea for you to explore all that it takes for you to enjoy your favorite sport.

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While talking to a math colleague, he pointed out that the Oakland Raiders have made use of linear programming to make decisions in their organizations. This fact indicates, to me, that the Oakland Raiders are forward thinking.

It may take a few iterations for the Oakland Raiders to optimize all aspects of their organization, but it is clear to me, that they are on their way to a zenith, in more than one way.

Why? The answer: The Raider Nation is forward thinking!


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