Professor’s Super Bowl prediction a touchdown

February 06, 2017

Rothman speaks in a lecture hall.

Mathematics Professor Stanley Rothman has once again proven why he is called “Dr. Stan the Stats Man.”

Last Thursday, Rothman predicted that Americans would enjoy a thrilling, high-octane Super Bowl LI, in which the “heavily favored” New England Patriots would barely edge the Atlanta Falcons by a final score of 31 to 27. With the official final score of 34 to 28 on Sunday night, Rothman’s prediction not only covered the three-point spread, but accurately called a game for the ages.

“I really think the statistics show this will be a very special Super Bowl,” Rothman had said.

Historic may well be the better term. Super Bowl LI saw the New England Patriots stage the single greatest comeback in the game’s history. After enduring an explosive, Matt Ryan-led Falcons charge, Tom Brady and company clawed their way back from a 25-point deficit to force overtime — the only overtime in Super Bowl history — and claim the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl title.

It might be pertinent to add “pre-game prophet” to the doctor’s list of monikers. Rothman also gleaned that the last team having possession would win the game this year — a true rarity in Super Bowl history. But this was a night of firsts.

The Patriots trailed the entire game until the fourth quarter, when they secured their second two-point conversion of the night. They went on to take their first and final lead of the game on their OT drive, when Brady delivered the football into the hands of running back James White, who dramatically inched his way into the end zone to win the game.

Following his eerily accurate Super Bowl prediction, the stats man is already looking ahead.

In a few weeks, he’ll be making his 2017 Major League Baseball picks.

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