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An Interview with

Bill Born
The Born Power Index
NCAA Football, High School Football and Basketball
2002

YL: When did you begin rating sports teams?

Bill: As A youngster I made up table games using dice and playing cards - I tried to create leagues that were realistic - so there was a need to rate the teams involved. To answer the question I have been rating teams about 50 years.

YL: Then you really like toying around with numbers. Fifty years is a long time. Did this love of math carry into a chosen profession?

Bill: They sure did - I'm a retired math teacher and coached basketball and football. It was while coaching basketball that I started to rate the teams that I would be playing. I had need to know what to expect from my opponents.

YL: In determining this, what do you consider to be the most important factors?

Bill: As you can imagine the Index is multi-faceted - it considers home court (field), margin of victory ( to the point that is no longer a contest ),what direction the team is moving ( how it has been doing lately) and most importantly strength of opposition.
   
My Index is predictive in nature I attempt to predict the future based on the past. Because of this fact a team can be indexed ahead of a team that has defeated it.

YL: What is the future of computer ratings? And, while we're at it, what is the future of the BCS in your opinion?

Bill: Computer ratings are just scratching the surface - much the same as predicting the weather has come from looking into the sky to see if it is going to rain to where we are today - I believe we will become more and more accurate as the information we feed our formulae becomes more accessible.
   
The BCS or a similar vehicle with all the media hype will remain in place until the Division 1A powers find a way to formulate a playoff system.

YL: What are your favorite sports?

Bill: I like baseball best, however, I really enjoyed coaching High School basketball.

YL: So, if you're watching, you like something slow and easy, but if you're coaching, you want to go at it?

Bill: I never watch more than an inning or so - I suppose I am more a doer than a watcher. I golf, never fish - I played baseball in college and professionally for a season many years ago.

YL: Doing and watching are two different things. I keep telling my wife that baseball and soccer are things you play, not watch. She doesn't share my opinion. When you do watch sports of any kind, what teams or people hold your attention?

Bill: My young life was spent in Western PA - So I am an incurable Pirate and Steeler fan. I really enjoyed watching Larry Bird when we was giving it his all. I enjoyed the John Wooden Teams of U.C.L.A.

YL: What are your interests outside sports?

Bill: Beyond the sports arena I enjoy cooking, hiking, reading (American history) and working in the great outdoors. I also golf three or four times a week when the weather in New Jersey is cooperative.

YL: Where do you call home?

Bill: I live in Berkeley Heights NJ.

YL: Is there anything else the sports fan needs to know about Bill Born?

Bill: I just want to thank you for including me with this prestigious group of dedicated prognosticators. Only they truly realize the amount of effort this labor of love takes.

YL: It certainly is a labor of love. Few get any benefits other than visitors to their site. These interviews are an effort to bring those who devote their time to such a thankless task out into the open so that people can better understand who we are and why we do it.

We would like to thank Mr. Born for his time. You can see his ratings at
http://www.bornpowerindex.com/ .

 

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