Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Nov. 15, 2016), we chat about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys and ask whether the correct strategy is to always go for 2 points. We then turn to college football’s many upsets from last weekend and ask whether this season is just a ceremonial procession that will eventually lead to Alabama’s being crowned champion. Finally, the World Chess Championship is happening in New York, so we call up FiveThirtyEight’s Oliver Roeder to discuss draws, the history of Elo ratings and whether computers are better than people at chess. Plus, a significant digit on cricket!
Links to what we discussed:
- Chase Stuart says more teams are going for 2-point conversions in the NFL, and that’s as it should be.
- ESPN’s Kevin Seifert explains how the NFL’s new extra-point rule has changed the game.
- Neil Paine says last weekend’s college football upsets were some of the wildest in history.
- You can find FiveThirtyEight’s college football predictions here.
- Marc Tracy in The New York Times says this season’s Alabama team is phenomenal.
- Oliver Roeder breaks down the action from the World Chess Championship.
- Even a chess draw can be gripping, Roeder writes.
- Significant Digit: 246 for 20. That’s the number of Australian runs scored for the number of wickets lost in the team’s recent defeat to South Africa. It’s Australia’s worst aggregate score in a home test match since cricket’s greatest ever player, Don Bradman, made his debut in 1928.