Update: This is now adjusted to reflect our first doping case: Belarus loses gold, New Zealand up to gold, Russia up to silver, China up to bronze. That’s one more medal for China.
When we started, I said I thought the Wall Street Journal had the best projection model. I’d say they were pretty close.
Here’s the table, updated with the “actual” column:
[table id=32 /]
I added up the differences between the actual and each of the picks for these 10 countries. Here’s what I wound up with:
- 32: Wall Street Journal
- 38: Sports Illustrated
- 55: SportsMyriad
- 58: Infostrada/USA TODAY
- 58: Tuck School of Business model
- 79: Johnson/Colorado College model
So what have we learned?
1. It pays to go sport-by-sport. Call it the philosophy major’s revenge over the economists. (Kidding!)
2. As expected, the WSJ effort’s to factor in probabilities paid off pretty well.
3. SI’s pretty good at this.
4. I put too much faith in the home-country bump. But I had a feeling that would be the case.
One more bit of numbers to toss out: How far off was I in predicting gold medals? Let’s take a look:
Overprojected: USA 9, Japan 7, Australia 6, Kenya 4. Tied at 3: Greece, Slovakia, Iran, Britain.
Underprojected: South Korea 5, Hungary 5, France 4, North Korea 4. Tied at 3: China, Kazakhstan, Cuba, South Africa.
Want to dig into any more numbers? Knock yourself out.
The fun part: This is only the beginning. I’ve compiled too much data to stop now. I’m going to start building out pages on Olympic sports with the goal that we’ll know roughly what to expect in World Championships. Then we’ll adjust those pages with World Championship results so that we can rev up in 2015 with projections for 2016.
And I’ll do the same for winter sports. We have considerably fewer of those.
Only 543 days until Sochi!
Update: The WSJ is pretty happy with its projections.