Bowdoin Economist: New Football Playoff Lacks Suspense (Boston Globe)

Daniel Stone

Daniel Stone

A Boston Globe columnist mentioned the research of Assistant Professor of Economics Dan Stone in a recent round-up of surprising insights from the social sciences.

In his column, Kevin Lewis refers to a paper that Stone co-wrote on “how to make football suspenseful.” Stone and his collaborator, Jarrod Olson, use mathematical analysis to argue that college football’s new four-team, two-round championship, which replaces the single-game championship, will “cut down on narrative drama,” Lewis writes.

“The authors note that a large playoff with many teams reduces the suspense of regular-season games by making the outcome of each regular-season game less critical. Meanwhile, the gain in total playoff-game suspense is not enough to make up for the loss of total regular-season suspense.”

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