Meet The Outsiders
Compared to Bill James by The New York Times Magazine, AARON SCHATZ is the creator of Football Outsiders and most of the original statistical methods used in NFL analysis on this website, as well as lead writer, editor, and statistician on the book series Football Outsiders Almanac. He also writes for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine and appears weekly during the season on the Off The Charts podcast. During the 2011 season, he was a regular panelist on the ESPN2 show Numbers Never* Lie. Before Football Outsiders, Aaron spent five years on the radio at WBRU Providence and WKRO Daytona Beach, and three years as the writer and producer of the Lycos 50, the Internet's foremost authority on the people, places, and things that are searched online. He has written for a number of publications including The New Republic, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Slate, The American Prospect, and the Boston Phoenix. He lives in Natick, Massachusetts, home of the legendary Doug Flutie.
SCOTT KACSMAR got his start in football analysis by creating the first standardized database of fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives: two statistics that are increasingly used (and often mis-used) in NFL coverage. His first article appeared at the pro-football-reference blog in August 2009, indisputably crowning Dan Marino as the NFL’s “Comeback King” and putting an end to John Elway and “The Myth of 47.” Scott joined Football Nation in July 2011 and wrote the weekly Captain Comeback column for Cold, Hard Football Facts before moving over to Football Outsiders as assistant editor in August 2013. He has also written for Sports Illustrated, Colts Authority, Bleacher Report and NBC Sports in addition to providing project data for NFL Network. Scott has an Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh, which he wants his statistics professor to know has been very applicable to his football work. Contrary to belief, his interest in fourth-quarter comebacks was not the result of only wanting to do 25 percent of the work for 55 percent of the games. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Scott eternally credits Kordell Stewart for his desire to study better quarterback play.
VINCENT VERHEI was raised to love football by his father, who explained that the players in blue jerseys were the "good guys" and their opponents were the "bad guys." With every Seahawks game effectively turned into another battle between the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom, with the fate of the world presumably at stake, he was hooked. After Al Gore invented the Internet, Verhei spent a lot of time Googling "football stats," and discovered FO shortly after its birth. He worked his way up the chain from commenter to guest writer to game charter to assistant editor and covers the best and worst players of the week in Quick Reads every Tuesday morning. Verhei is also a writer and podcast host for Figure4Online.com, a Web site covering pro wrestling and mixed martial arts.
ZACHARY O. BINNEY has a Ph.D. in epidemiology and wrote his dissertation on NFL injuries. He was born (and still lives) in Atlanta but blames his dad for making him a Miami Dolphins fan. Since he only developed his fandom in the post-Marino era, his happiest football memory involves Cleo Lemon and Greg Camarillo. You know the one. He has channeled his suffering into a passion for studying sports injuries. He has consulted for NFL, NBA, and MLB teams, written for FiveThirtyEight.com, and lost on Jeopardy! to a bus driver. During the days he is a freelance statistics instructor and analytics consultant for sports teams and other organizations.
IAN BOYD is a history major graduate from the University of Texas, now based in southeast Michigan, who loves studying the trends and stories of college football. You can also find his work at two SB Nation blogs, Football Study Hall and Inside Texas.
BRIAN FREMEAU contributes the Fremeau Efficiency Index and other drive-based college football stats and analysis to Football Outsiders. Officially created in 2002 in an attempt to quantify momentum, FEI's roots actually extend to an early-1990s NCAA hoops tournament forecasting project Brian still hopelessly maintains today. He spends every home fall Saturday cheering for his beloved Fighting Irish from his seat in the South end zone of Notre Dame Stadium. He lives in South Bend, Indiana with his wife and two daughters.
TOM GOWER has been a fan of the Tennessee Titans since they were the Oilers and he was growing up in Houston. He has remained a fan of the franchise in subsequent stints in North Dakota, Illinois, Washington, D.C., Japan, Maryland, Ohio, and back to Illinois. With degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago Law School, he currently considers himself the most over-educated member of the FO staff. (Clearly, recent football success was not a priority in school selection.) Tom currently maintains Reading and Thinking Football and contributes to Total Titans. His contributions to each week's Audibles at the Line should not be considered legal advice.
DERRIK KLASSEN is from the Central Valley of California, though he grew up near Tampa Bay, Florida. Growing up in Florida during the Urban Meyer Gators era made him embrace the blue and orange. The early 2000's Tampa Bay Buccaneers were also near and dear to his heart, but he never attached to that team or any other. Instead, he has an affinity for the quarterback position, a fascination that has built up over time to become what it is now. Covering the NFL Draft gave him his start in this industry, but studying the NFL itself has taken precedent. He has been published at SB Nation and Bleacher Report, and has worked for Optimum Scouting, doing charting and scouting reports for their NFL Draft Guide.
BRYAN KNOWLES grew up watching Joe Montana and Steve Young ply their trade at quarterback, so he has somewhat overly-inflated expectations of how quarterbacks should perform. This has certainly done him no favors over the past decade or so of watching the San Francisco 49ers. A graduate of UC Davis and San Jose State University, he has opted to eschew all the useful advice those august institutions have supplied him with and become a sportswriter instead. He’s been published at Bleacher Report and Fansided, and currently lives in Chicago with a wife who for some reason puts up with him.
RIVERS McCOWN wants to strongly express that he has no known relation to Randy McCown, Josh McCown, or Luke McCown, though he is thankful that the latter two have made his last name pronounceable in several iterations of Madden. He started charting games for Football Outsiders in 2007 on a lark and soon found himself engrossed in football writing, statistics, and the idea that Phil Simms was often wrong about things. A lifelong Houstonian by choice, he has built up a tolerance to humidity and bad football teams. Prior to joining Football Outsiders, Rivers was Managing Editor for SB Nation Houston. Although he has left our assistant editor position to write freelance for Vice Sports and other websites, he still writes occasionally on the site and for Football Outsiders Almanac.
BEN MUTH was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and had season tickets to both the Cardinals and Sun Devils. As a result, he insists on irrationally defending Jake Plummer as quarterback. He left the state to go to college in California. He played offensive line at Stanford from 2004-08 and was named first team all conference in his final season. He now literally bleeds Cardinal red (for the Arizona Cardinals and Stanford). He was picked up by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2009 but released later that same year, due to combination of injury and giving up too many sacks in practice. Ben contributes to both Football Outsiders and SB Nation, and currently lives in Dallas.
CHAD PELTIER was raised in Georgia by Ohio State Buckeye parents. He graduated from the University of Georgia where he developed a love for Athens, a respect for “Run the damn ball, Bobo!”, and serious confusion over how to feel about Urban Meyer. In addition to writing biweekly college football columns for Football Outsiders, he also contributes to the SB Nation blogs Football Study Hall and Land Grant Holy Land. He currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut, but misses SEC country.
Anglo-Scot (so, Briton) ANDREW POTTER joined Football Outsiders in 2013 to help with the infamous Twitter Audibles experiment, and still compiles regular Audibles to this day. A video game nerd as much as he is a sports nerd, he both credits and blames Mega Drive classics John Madden Football and Joe Montana Sports Talk Football on for his love of the gridiron game. Though outwardly a fan of the New Orleans Saints, inwardly the Inverness resident still yearns for his first gridiron love: NFL Europe’s Scottish Claymores.
ROBERT WEINTRAUB bleeds orange, both because of his inexplicable passion for the Cincinnati Bengals (he grew up in suburban New York, not Ohio) and because of his alma mater, Syracuse University. Robert is a regular contributor to The New York Times and writes their college football previews. He also pens a media column for the Columbia Journalism Review, and writes for ESPN/Grantland, Slate, The Guardian, and many others. His first book, The House That Ruth Built: A New Yankee Stadium, the First Championship, and the Redemption of 1923, was published in 2011. His second book, The Victory Season: World War II, The Homecoming, and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age, was published in the spring of 2013. He lives with his family in Decatur, Georgia.
CARL YEDOR was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and his first vivid football memory was "We want the ball, and we're going to score." In spite of that, he has remained a Seahawks fan to this day, which certainly paid off right around the time he began interning with Football Outsiders in February of 2014. As an undergrad at Georgetown University, he worked with the varsity football team (yes, Georgetown does have a football team) to implement football research into their strategy and game planning, drawing on his coursework in statistics and his high school experience as an undersized offensive guard and inside linebacker to make recommendations. He lives in Arlington, Virginia and works as a consultant when not contributing to Audibles at the Line and Football Outsiders Almanac.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS ALMANAC ONLY
BILL CONNELLY, who helps compile our college football stats, grew up a numbers and sports nerd in western Oklahoma. His favorite teams growing up were, in no particular order, the Missouri Tigers, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Portland Trailblazers. Perhaps he should have taken the hint and given up on sports a decade ago. Instead, he spends his time creating massive Excel files full of NCAA play-by-play and attempting to create the perfect, most all-encompassing football statistic ever. He lives in Missouri with his wife and pets, working for his alma mater. You can find more of his material at his SB Nation blog, Football Study Hall and in his book, Study Hall: College Football, Its Stats and Its Stories.
Longtime Football Outsiders writer MIKE TANIER is currently a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. He previously wrote the regular Walkthrough column on Football Outsiders and wrote weekly game previews for The New York Times. Mike has also contributed to his hometown Philadelphia Inquirer. His first solo book, The Philly Fan's Code, covers the history of Philadelphia sports and was published in 2011.
CALE CLINTON was born in New York, but was saved by his Massachusetts-native parents and raised a Patriots fan. He is kept humble by his peers' constant reminders of "18 wins, one Giant loss." Cale is currently attending Amherst College. When not searching Twitter looking to make additions to This Week in Quotes, he is a member of both the Glee Club and the rugby team.
Long-time reader and snarky commenter DAVE BERNREUTHER took over FO database and design responsibilities in the summer of 2017. He was previously a salary cap analyst and author of SalaryCap101.net and more recently has spent time crafting data-first tools for Daily Fantasy Sports pros at DailyRoto. A native New Yorker and former Indianapolis Colts season ticket holder, he now reluctantly calls Miami home.
ADDITIONAL CREATIVE DESIGN AND PROGRAMMING
SEAN McCALL works on the Premium DVOA Database and is the mastermind behind the customizable KUBIAK spreadsheet. He lives in Houston.
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Drive stats provided by Jim Armstrong
Adjusted Line Yards and Win Projection System developed in conjunction with Dr. Benjamin Alamar
Weekly Playoff Odds calculator developed by Mike Harris
Long-Term Career Forecast developed by David Lewin
SackSEER, BackCAST, and Playmaker Score developed by Nathan Forster
QBASE developed by Andrew Healy
Additional programming on statistical tools: John Argentiero, Chris Povirk, Dennis Doughty, Evan Davidson, Eliot Horowitz, Pat Laverty, Steven Steinman, Keith Wells
Former regular contributors: Bill Barnwell, Andy Benoit, Al Bogdan, Alex Carnevale, Will Carroll, J.J. Cooper, Ian Dembsky, Cian Fahey, Doug Farrar, Stuart Fraser, David Gardner, Vin Gauri, Tim Gerheim, J.I. Halsell, Andrew Healy, Matt Hinton, Mike Kurtz, Russell Levine, Ned Macey, Sean McCormick, Charles McDonald, Brian McIntyre, Vivek Ramgopal, Mike Ridley, Ben Riley, Michael David Smith, Danny Tuccitto, Matt Waldman, Ryan Wilson
Original site graphic design: Benjy Rose
Staff cartoonist from the old days: Jason Beattie