By Mike Max

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — He is a college quarterback who wants to dissect defenses in a different way.

Benny Goldman goes to Macalester College and in the growing world of analytics and sports, he thinks he has something that could be a game-changer in football decision-making.

It’s a complicated, economical formula.

Benny Goldman is a quarterback at Macalester College and he loves to throw the football. He uses big words to describe it.

“I love the ability to sort of making decisions in a fluid manner and the intellectual sense of the position in general. It makes it more fun,” Goldman said.

Which takes us to academics. An economics major, he noticed a common denominator between it and football.

“And what really got me interested in questions relating to football was the type of, I guess you would call it, the methodological approach,” Goldman said.

Which really means this.

“So if we do thing X, will it increase thing Y?” Goldman said.

So that’s what goes on in his mind in a game. And in true football fashion, he can explain it on a board.

“You have a riskier outcome where if you make it the payoff is larger, so we’re talking 60 percent compared to 50 percent,” Goldman said. “But if you miss it, you’re suffering more than you otherwise would have had you taken the safer option.”

But there are no computers allowed right now on NFL sidelines to evaluate your options. So the goal is to input enough into the human mind that it can become a game day computer.

“What’s often used are things called huristics. So you would think of this sort of in lay terms as rules of thumb. So what you can do is look at results from the model and say in general when we’re in situations like X, doing Y is best.

Mike Max

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