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.”

thumb:“Investigation of UV Reflectance Patterns off the Scales of Carrasius auratus as an Important Factor for Female Mate Choice,” by Varun Wadia '15 and mentors Richmond Thompson and Madeleine Msall (photo by Catherine Yochum ’15)