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“Super Bowl LIII predictions: Analysts split on Rams, Saints.” A hubs and authorities view

Link: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000952161/article/super-bowl-liii-predictions-analysts-split-on-rams-saints

The article describes the expert predictions for who will win Super Bowl LIII. Written before the beginning of the 2018 season, the experts all are given a singular vote to determine who they believe will take home the Lombardi Trophy this year. The experts are a collection of 21 sports analysts, former players, and commentators with various ties to the game. It appears that two clear front runners are the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints. Collective reasoning centers around the ideas that a) the Rams have put together stars on both offense and defense and are poised to continue to improve on their previous season in big ways, and b) the Saints have always possessed a great offense but with a healthy defense they may be able to storm through a weak division to win the Super Bowl. What is interesting to note, the Rams and Saints both received 5 total votes, with the majority of those votes coming from the professional analysts, while the former players have distributed themselves more evenly throughout the 9 teams that received votes. This may be explained by my hypothesis below based on a strong connection to a topic recently covered in class.

I believe that this system of voting on teams that are believed to win the Super Bowl can be looked at like a network of hubs and authorities. The teams are the authorities and the hubs are the experts. You, the reader, wants to find the team that will most likely win the Super Bowl, but you are an untrained eye and haven’t followed the teams’ off season closely enough to make any real proposal. Thus, you turn to the hubs, the high valued lists, who can more likely identify which team will win it all. The experts have different methods of selection and their histories can help identify which hub should be the most trusted. For example, I propose a hypothesis that a paid professional analyst who has studied the game for decades would certainly rank higher than a newly retired player who has spent little time studying off season moves and predictions. In this article, the process of ranking has not yet completed a full step in the hub-authority update. The scores of each hub is still 1, and the scores of the authorities are simply the summed values of the hubs’ selections. If you were to repeat this over multiple years in a study and update the scores of the hubs based on how their selection fares, you could easily create a system of well-defined hubs with specific scores.

Back to my hypothesis, I believe that while the article does not score better hubs higher, you can still see that certain hubs group together, specifically veteran sports analysts. Thus, I believe that they are superior hubs and their predictions should be weighted more heavily than the other experts. This can be seen because the hubs with the higher scores (the analysts) have clumped together around two specific teams while the lower scoring hubs (former players) are evenly distributed because they aren’t as knowledgeable yet.

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