Sports Analytics Research

Photo college baseball world series field
How Does RPI Effect College Baseball and the NCAA Tournament?
The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is generally known to dictate which college baseball teams qualify for the NCAA tournament, but how can different strategies affect a teams’ RPI ranking? 
Photo strip sack
The Future of Football Evaluation: Impact% and Defensive Rating (DEFRAT)
Impact% is a stat that measures the percentage of times a player is in position to make a play on the ball. This is an upgrade from just looking at raw tackles because a play on the ball is more valuable than a tackle. Impact% gives you a broader scope of how much range and versatility a player has and their impact in every phase of the game. It's a statistic that measures how valuable a player is while he's on the field. The purpose of the stat is to reward defenders who are on time and in position to make a play on the football.  
Photo Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell
Should the Lions Have Kicked the Field Goal?
Dan Campbell received a lot of attention for the Lion's 4th down decisions; let's use the data to see if the decisions to go for it were correct. 
Photo Womens soccer
Making Sports Safer: Samford Work Advances Student-Athlete Wellness
Since its inception in 2017, Samford University’s Center for Sports Analytics has focused on research in the areas of sports business analytics, performance analytics, and human performance analytics. Now, with the increasing concern about sports related injuries and mental health, experts in the center are adding a new focus to the work of the center to help make sports safer for student-athletes.  
Photo baseball glove on textured wood
Fielding: Does It Matter?
Throughout the history of baseball, the focus of the sport has changed and evolved. From the early Dead-ball era to the modern era of the long ball. Through it all one part of the game has remained largely unchanged: fielding. 
Photo students on the walsall pitch
Combating Sports-Related Human Trafficking: Samford Students Offer Expert Consultation to Key Sports Organization
Whether you know it as ‘soccer’ or ‘football,’ the ‘beautiful game’ is so called because of its ability to bring diverse people groups together. But among all the beauty of the world’s game, there exists an ugly, dark side. Every year thousands of children, primarily from African countries, are recruited by unlicensed scouts and agents and promised the opportunity to travel to Europe to play for major soccer clubs. Families often leverage everything they own to help their sons pursue soccer stardom. However, most of these teenagers don’t make it onto a top professional team, leaving them to fend for themselves in a foreign country with little to no money.