Endzone Analytics: How Teams Are Tracking Their Way to the Top

Fall and Football have been synonymous with one another dating back to the days of Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. But now there is another term that has become appropriate when talking about the gridiron.


As important as analytics are in the realm of business, they have also become an integral part of the world of sports. In 2011, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill came together to bring us ‘Moneyball’ and the analytic revolution we have seen in sports in theaters across the country, but the movement has been real for quite some time. Nowadays, it is common in professional sports for teams to have analytic directors or managers that track analytics to help create a better on-field product.

But why hasn’t analytic tracking caught fire in college like is has in the pros? Well, maybe college isn’t as far behind as we may think. Enter the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

In 2015, the University of Nebraska hired its first full-time sports analytics director to help identify trends and making decisions, showing a full commitment to finding ways to get an edge over the competition in any way possible. Today, in sports, going gut feelings and watching endless amounts of film isn’t enough. Sport staff sizes continue to grow as coaches look to utilize as much beneficial information as they can in their mission to be the best. With some of the bigger football programs proving to be perennial powerhouses and bringing in more than 100 million dollars in revenue, we have to think that the analytics trend is beginning to make its mark.

College football has taken a page right out of your websites playbook by beginning to lean heavily on the usage of analytics. Analytics provide programs with an abundance of detailed data that have coaches buying into this innovative way to increase the productivity of their programs. Some of the areas that are tracked include:

Teams are beginning to look at past recruitment classes and how they trend in regards to high school academics, area of high school that recruits attended and their success/failure rate in college. Like tracking how a new page or category performs on a website, these variables help colleges determine what geographical areas they want to focus on during the recruitment process.

Nutritional values
If you are using analytics on a website, it is best to be conscious of what goes on the page, where people will go after visiting a certain page and how often you refresh the page. This makes up the ‘nutritional value’ of the page. Another area that is commonly tracked by teams is the health and nutrition of their players. Now it isn’t the most exact of sciences as it is difficult to keep tabs on every single thing players puts in their bodies, but knowing what the hydration levels are, tracking sleep habits, nutritional intake and diet are ways analysts can monitor as they correlate to the players’ performance.

In-game strategy
When a website is live, being able to analyze what your visitors are viewing week-to-week or month-to-month is crucial to keeping your website running on all cylinders. The in-game strategy may be the most important usage of analytics to a football team. Coaches can gain a significant advantage by analyzing tendencies and trends so they may implement contingency plans for games. Some things that are tracked are personnel groupings, timely formations, play-calling, player and situational tendencies and even the effects of weather. Although this does not seem like a new tactic, coaching staffs have become even more numbers driven. Some coaches even follow a formula that tells them when to take the risk of going for it on fourth down!

Not only does analytics play an important role in monitoring website traffic, it also has become an integral part of sports. If you’re looking to increase the productivity of a social media strategy much like a top football program looks to heighten their on-field performance, visit Stellar Blue’s analytics page. We can help take your website all the way to the house!

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