Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Mental Error of Mental Errors -- BCS Championship

In last night's college football championship, Oregon committed the "mental error of all mental errors" by not finishing a tackle as time was winding down in a tie BCS championship game. Everyone stopped playing, and then Auburn's "almost-down" player realized that the whistle hadn't blown -- and scurried about 30 additional yards from midfield to within easy reach of a national title-winning field goal. These things happen, but it's too bad the title game had to come down to an odd play like this.

The 2011 BCS game featuring #1 Auburn and #2 Oregon was very exciting -- and had a fair amount of errors and mistakes (such as interceptions). Ultimately, execution and minimizing errors are some key indicators of success. Our "quant facts" of sports psychology factors focus on key execution factors (such as consistency), minimizing errors, and leadership & experience (which are correlated to confidence and execution). In combination, these factors have proven to be useful in predicting champions.

In addition -- although both teams are known for their high-powered offenses, the defenses once again showed that a good defense can slow down a good offense.

Oregon's loss drops our blog's record in "quant fact" predictions to 17-10. We try to quantify key concepts of sports psychology -- and the results have shown that these factors can be used to gain an edge in (and predicting) winning championships.