We continue our review of the projections we made for the 2013-14 European season by looking at England’s Football League Championship.
Here is what we projected at the start of the season:
And here is the final table:
|Queens Park Rangers||46||23||11||12||60||44||16||80|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||46||19||15||12||55||40||15||72|
The projections captured four of the top six and two of the bottom three sides, and another team (Derby County) were just outside the playoff places. Brighton and Hove Albion were seven points out, which meant that they had a small but not unrealistic chance of making the playoff, and that is what happened to them in the closing weeks of the season.
The big surprise, and without doubt the biggest surprise in the Football and Premier Leagues, was Burnley’s promotion, and a top two finish at that. We projected them to join Barnsley and Yeovil Town in League One in 2014-15, and with their tiny budget, it wasn’t an unreasonable expectation. (The betting houses gave Burnley 16/1 odds to be promoted.) The Clarets ran an astonishing fourty-four points ahead of their expectations thanks to scoring 28 more goals than expected, and allowing 27 fewer goals than expected. The individual contributions appeared to tell the story. Danny Ings had a breakout season, scoring 21 goals in the Championship which was more than he ever scored in his previous seasons combined, and winning the PFA Championship Player of the Year award. Two of Burnley’s defenders — Kieran Trippier and Jason Shackell — were named to the PFA’s Team of the Year for the division. Sam Vokes, who scored 20 goals in the league alongside Ings, didn’t even make the final XI. Trippier appears to have the skills to at least hold his own in the Premier League (he was one of our prospects in the 2012-13 Championship), but can the same be said for Ings and Vokes? We’ll see next season.
Overall the teams that significantly outperformed their defensive expectations got promoted automatically. Sides who were able to achieve more offensive production than expected ended up higher in the table, which either vaulted them into a playoff position (Derby County), or allowed them to avoid relegation and finish in mid-table comfort (Bournemouth). Blackpool suffered the most for lack of offensive production, but that was down to Thomas Ince’s departure. Birmingham City’s defense wasn’t terrible — ten goals worse than pre-season expectations — but their inability to score and propensity for narrow defeats (nine losses by 0-1) put them in serious trouble.
So here’s the statistical summary for the division:
|Pred Goals||Actual Goals||% Change||RMSE Pts||RMSE GF||RMSE GA||RMSE Pos|