Strength of Schedule
for Carolina and Denver
The Carolina Panthers had one of the great regular season
records of all time. However, their
regular season schedule appeared to be a bit weak compared to other teams
including their Super Bowl Opponent the Denver Broncos. Let’s test the hypothesis that the Panthers
had a weak regular season schedule.
Question: The table below has regularseason won/loss
records for the opponent of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.
Is the total win percentage of the opposition to Carolina
significantly different from the total win percentage of the opposition to the Denver
Broncos?
Discuss the limitations of this test and other things a
statistician might do to assess the strength of schedule for the two Super Bowl
Teams.
Strength of Schedule


Carolina

Denver


Opposition

Wins

Losses

Wins

Losses


Jacksonville

5

11

Baltimore

5

11

Houston

9

7

Kansas
City

10

5

New Orleans

7

9

Detroit

7

9

Tampa Bay

6

10

Minnesota

11

5

Seattle

10

6

Oakland

7

9

Philadelphia

7

9

Cleveland

3

13

Indianapolis

8

8

Green Bay

10

6

Green Bay

10

6

Indianapolis

8

8

Tennessee

3

13

Kansas City

10

5

Washington

9

7

Chicago

6

10

Dallas

4

12

New England

12

4

New Orleans

7

9

San
Diego

4

12

Atlanta

8

8

Oakland

7

9

New York Giants

6

10

Pittsburgh

10

6

Atlanta

8

8

Cincinnati

12

4

Tampa Bay

6

10

San
Diego

4

12

Total

113

143

Total

126

128

Analysis: The aggregate win/loss records for the
regularseason opponents of the two Super Bowl teams are presented in the table
below.
Total Regular Season Wins
and Losses for Opponents of Carolina and Denver


Carolina Opposition

Denver Opposition

Total


Wins

113

126

239

Losses

143

128

271

Win Proportion

0.4414

0.4961

0.4686

The difference in the wonloss record for the two teams
appears nontrivial but is it significant?
The answer to this question is No!
ttest on Difference in Regular Win Percentages for the
Opponents
of the Two Super Bowl
Teams


Diff

0.0272

SE

0.022096746

tstat

1.232

Critical Value for .05
significance level

2.3

Discussion: If we added playoff games of the two teams to
the sample we would increase sample size and decrease standard error by around
15%. This would make the test results a
bit closer but still not significant.
I also very quickly
looked at median wins for the opponents of the two teams. Found it was 7.0 for Carolina and 7.5 for Denver. This seems trivial.
Carolinas schedule does seem a bit weak but their record was
impressive and you can only beat the teams that you play.
I do sense that Denver is the more tested team having played
and beaten New England twice once in the regular season and the second time in the
AFC championship game. The counter
argument is that Carolina beat Seattle twice but I Seattle had some hiccups
this year.
I don’t believe Carolina has played against a defense as
accomplished as Denver’s defense. It
might be useful to study defensive strength of the two teams opponents and
attempt to determine whether Carolina can beat a truly great defense.
I don’t expect Denver to score much but I think Denver’s
defense will also keep the score low.
Go Back to the homefield advantage hypothesis testing problems
http://www.dailymathproblem.com/p/homefieldhypothesistestingproblems.html
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