Niners Nation Needs Your Help: Sites/Magazines That Make Team Predictions?

Hey everyone...

Ask and ye shall receive. Based on niners84's burning yearning for a comparison between Football Outsiders' (FO) team win projections and other football prognosticators, I've taken it upon myself to expand on what Vegas Watch already does, and track the accuracy of as many sites/magazines that provide win predictions for all 32 NFL teams. In this way, I'll be able to provide you with something resembling what Fantasy Football Librarian does vis-a-vis fantasy projections.

Of course, I'm not all-knowing, so my limited memory capacity doesn't afford me the ability to think of every single site/magazine that provides win predictions. This presents a problem because, in order for me to make this as useful as possible, I need to be able to track a large sample of prognosticators. That's where you guys come in. For this post, I need you to populate the comments section with the names of/links to sites that predict win totals for all 32 teams.

I'm not going to be particularly selective, so what I just put in bold italics is the only requirement for inclusion in my accuracy analysis. Basically, if the site/magazine predicts wins for all 32 teams, they're in. One thing I haven't decided yet is whether to include multiple staff writers from the same site/magazine (e.g., Pete Prisco & Clark Judge individually), or just go with the official site-/magazine-wide prediction (e.g., CBS Sports' NFL preview). Nevertheless, because this is in the exploratory phase, I'll just err on the side of "more prognosticators," and let individual writers into the sample for now.

The beauty of this is that, over time, I'll be able to determine long-term accuracy rates, and develop a prognosticator-based statistical model that helps us be even more accurate than they are. In other words, I'll be able to do what Nate Silver did in 2008 over at fivethirtyeight.com, i.e., take the wisdom of crowds, weight members of that crowd according to their accuracy, throw in some other factors, and then make our little site the worldwide leader in team-win prognostication. OK, maybe that's just a taaaaaaad bit ambitious given how much ridiculously harder it is to predict football than it is to predict elections, and how much smaller my sample sizes will be; but I think it'll be fun, maybe even worthy of a drinking game at some point.

After the jump, my preliminary population of potential pundits/prognosticators...

OK, here's what I've come up with so far:

Stats-Based Team Projections

  1. FootballOutsiders.com
  2. Accuscore.com
  3. WhatIfSports.com
  4. Cold Hard Football Facts (if they post specific win projections this season)
  5. BleacherReport.com (based on their Possession Points System)
  6. RationalPicks.com

Handicapping-Based Team Projections

  1. Covers.com
  2. FootballLocks.com

Journalism-Based Team Projections

  1. CBSSports.com
  2. ESPN.com
  3. SI.com
  4. Athlon Sports
  5. Sporting News/Street & Smith's
  6. Yahoo/Pro Football Weekly

That's only 14, so I need a lot more to make this little exercise as much fun/interesting as possible. One last thing I'll mention is that, if you suggest a site/magazine that puts their team win projections behind a paywall, Niners Nation doesn't have the money to buy a subscription (especially after paying for Fooch's law school tuition and fees). However, if you personally are already behind that paywall, and want me to include the projections behind that paywall, there'll be a special procedure so that we're not breaking any copyright laws (::clears throat:: soon-to-be-lawyer runs site ::clears throat::). I'll get into that special procedure -- along with a broader introduction -- at some other time.

One other thing before I go. Vegas Watch has followed FO's team win projections for 4 years running. Once I get our master list together, I'd like to go back and evaluate the various prognosticators' picks from previous seasons. Again, the larger the sample, the better. So, when you're suggesting sites/magazines, indicate whether or not the particular outfit (a) has projected team wins in previous seasons, and, if so, (b) whether or not their earlier projections are still publicly available. If they're not publicly available at the current time -- probably because it involves a magazine -- indicate whether or not you have them on hand so you can. When I detail the special procedure I mentioned above, it'll become clear how we'd go about including them in the database.

OK, I'm done. Fire away!

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