The State Of Competitve Balance In The NFL

January 7, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Pete Rozelle once envisioned a league that would have every team finish 8-8. We know that kind of level playing ground is a pipe dream. But how has competitive balance done in the NFL? How close have we come to that parity?

There are numerical ways that we can go about measuring this. Rozelle was concerned with wins and losses, so why don't we concern ourselves with the same?

The first thing we have to ask ourselves is: What is parity, and how do we achieve it? Rozelle said that ultimate parity comes when everyone finishes 8-8—meaning no separation between teams in the standings.

Statistics give us a perfect, easy-to-find measurement to measure the separation in teams' standings. We simply use the standard deviation (STDEV) between the teams' win totals. Standard deviation measures the average distance between a set of numbers. For 2009, the standard deviation between NFL teams was 3.22 wins.

When it comes to this figure, lower is better. The lowe...

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