How exceptional a rugby player was Brian O’Driscoll?

Brian O’Driscoll enjoys legendary status among Irish sports fans. The public perception of O’Driscoll is one of a truly exceptional player who stood apart from his peers in the era of professional rugby. Yet many rugby fans outside Ireland, while recognising that he was a great player, perhaps thought Ireland fans were inclined to exaggerate about his brilliance, especially later in his career.

The FA Cup draw: the probability of getting four home fixtures in a row

This weekend sees the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with eight teams, from holders Arsenal to outsiders Bradford City, fighting for a chance to lift the trophy at Wembley in May. The ‘luck of the draw’ is a frequent talking point in knockout competitions like the FA Cup, and gives rise to plenty of opportunities to illustrate the role of chance.

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Bayesian predictions for Super Bowl XLIX

With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, everyone is probably wondering where to place their bets. Fortunately, we've developed a model that uses Bayesian statistics to predict the results of football matches based upon prior season data of each team. We then used our model to predict a game between the Seahawks and the Patriots.

Did Don Bradman’s cricketing genius make him a statistical outlier?

The test career batting average of Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman of 99.94 runs per innings is one of the most famous and iconic sporting performance statistics in history. Bradman only played 52 test matches, with 80 innings, over a 20 year career from 1928 to 1948. Although many more test matches are played today, and many test cricketers have exceed Bradman’s tally of test runs (6,996) and test centuries (29), Bradman’s performance still stands out.

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