By Abhinav Randive

Anyone visiting Taylor Hall might run into Drew Pasteur, professor of mathematics. However, very few people would guess that he has been consistently predicting the outcomes of Ohio high school football games with high accuracy for the past decade. A NC State alumnus, he graduated with a PhD in Applied Mathematics with a focus in Mathematical Biology. Pasteur has been a professor at The College of Wooster for the last 16 years, and routinely conducts research in the field of sports analytics.

Pasteur is very vocal about his love for the game. He has been involved in high school football since the 80s. He served as a coach of a football team when he was a high school teacher, as a PA announcer at the games and as a journalist for sports sections of a newspaper. 

Many students have worked with Pasteur on data driven projects and have also assisted him on his sports analytics research. Pasteur says he has worked with more than 30 students over the years on different kinds of sports-related data analysis projects.

Pasteur has been publishing his predictions and results on his website “Fantastic50” where he updates the rankings of the teams every week, and so far this year he’s had a 75% accuracy rate. 

When asked about how the website works, Pasteur said, “I use scores and schedules to gather rankings of high school football teams across the state to predict future games.” From there, Pasteur collects the data of the 700-plus teams playing across Ohio’s 7 division, predicts who’s most likely to win a game and determines playoff possibilities. “Fantastic50” ranks the top 50 schools in Ohio every week.

The algorithm that the prediction model is based on uses two things: schedule and score information. Pasteur estimates the strength of each team to help him determine the result of their next game and the outcomes of their season. The teams are ranked twice, first within their own division and second with all the schools in the state combined. 

When asked about what people are most interested in knowing, Pasteur says “people are usually interested in which school is playing best in this playoff bracket, or how the top small schools compare to the big ones.”

Pasteur says football brings people together, especially in rural communities like Wooster, where the marching bands and football teams serve as a unique way for people to bond with the community. “Fantastic50” has given Pasteur the ability to combine the two things he loves, football and math, and build community in and out of the classroom through the long-running project.