When the Right Decisions Go Wrong in College Football
J Thoendell stashed this in Sports
Statistically speaking, the right choice for Michigan was to go for the two-point conversion. The numbers suggest Michigan had worsening chances of winning the longer the game continued. For Michigan to attempt the extra point and head to overtime would have extended the game, and that would have actually reduced the underdog’s chance of winning.
According to NCAA stats (PDF) from 1993 to 2009, field goals from 50-59 yards have been successful 36 percent of the time. And in the known history of NCAA football, prior to this weekend, only four missed field goals have been returned for touchdowns in the past 50 years. In that time span, there have been over 60,000 field-goal attempts: Four out of 60,000 is only 0.007 percent.
So when you look at that, Alabama was facing:
• 36 percent chance of winning• 64 percent chance of going to overtime• 0.007 percent chance of losing