Thursday, November 21, 2013 signup trend II

Just an update to yesterdays post. I miscalculated the number of signups needed per day, and also someone pointed out that it would be better if the red line showed how many signups they needed per day from that day on  (because as the signups miss their target, they need to get more each day to make up for that). That graph is below.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 signup trend

I threw this chart together based on a few numbers.

The blue line is the rate at which people have been signing up. I only have 4 numbers available though. There were 6 on day one, 248 by the end of day two, 27,000 for all of October and 50,000 by mid-November. Which is why you have the long lines - those are averages. The red line is how many people they need to sign up every day to hit the 5.6 million that CBO expeced to sign up by the end of March. Obviously they are way below where they need to be and will need to have several days above the red line to make it (or will need to have a lot of people sign up over the phone or through the insurance companies, etc...), but the trend is in the right direction.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fixing College Football Overtime

If a College Football game finishes regulation tied, the two teams go to overtime. Overtime in College Football is different than in Pro Football. In college football, "if the score is tied at the end of regulation, there is a coin toss followed by a series of overtime periods. In an overtime period, each team gets one untimed possession starting at the opponent's 25-yard line (plus a try if the possession culminates in a touchdown). In the first overtime period and in all subsequent odd-numbered overtime periods, the winner of the coin toss can choose whether to have the first or second possession. The coin-toss loser gets the choice in the even-numbered overtime periods. Play continues until, at the end of some overtime period, the score is no longer tied."

Almost any team that wins the first coin toss at the beginning of OT chooses to play defense first. This is because most people perceive that there is an advantage in going last. The advantage is that if your opponent scores a TD, you know that you have to score one on your possession, so on 4th and 4, you will go for it instead of kick the Field Goal. How much is this worth, according to one analysis, the coin toss winner will win the game 52% of the time (in pro football they win 57% of the time which shows that the college version is fairer), but nonetheless, blind luck is now playing a part in who wins the game. But this can be fixed.

All we need to do is modify the choices until they are actually even. What if the team who plays offense second starts on the 27 instead of the 25? That would give them a slight disadvantage over the other team because they'll be starting on the 25 and it may counter the slight advantage they have from going second.

I'm not sure how far back the second team would have to start to balance it out. We could try to figure it out mathematically, or we could ask college coaches "How many yards would you be willing to give up to go last?" but regardless we probably won't get it totally fair. It won't be totally fair until coin-toss winners choose to play each defense and offence about 50% of the time.

Basically this is form of using bidding to decide who goes first. Straight up bidding would be better.