Is there a College Gameday curse?

September 5, 2014

Last fall, my friend and fellow UGA grad (and Stanford political science PhD student) Lucas Puente and I started a project looking at whether college football teams play better or worse when they’re featured on ESPN’s College Gameday pregame show.

The project is an expanded version of some work he did about UGA and the Dawgs’ record on Gameday, which has been pretty atrocious.

Today, we wrote an article for Deadspin which looks at the Gameday record of every team that’s appeared on the show more than four times. We used a statistical technique called matching to compare Gameday games to non-Gameday games that were very similar to each other.

The graph here shows the results of our analysis. Specifically, you’re looking at the how appearing on the show affects each school’s probability of covering the pre-game Vegas spread.