Lots of O’Dowd students, faculty, staff and alumni had a rooting interest in this year’s World Series. And it wasn’t because they were avid Cubs or Indians fans. They were curious to see if freshman Connor Garcia Whitehill’s prediction – made last March – that the Cubs would win the Series would come true.
After falling behind 3-1, the Cubs rallied and won the Series on November 2, in a thrilling 10-inning Game 7 marked by rain delay, ending a 108 year championship drought.
Was Connor nervous when things weren’t looking so bright for the Cubs? Absolutely. “At that point I had kind of given up on the Connor Curve because I felt like it was going to be the Indians who were going to finally walk away with the championship,” he said. “I’m glad that it ended up being correct.”
Connor created the Connor Curve for a middle school project, developing a spreadsheet and formulas that analyzed MLB statistics. He used the information to predict rankings of each team, and called the winners of four out of six divisions.
“It took 40 hours to complete the project,” he said. “About 25 of those hours were spent on research leading up to the metric and also spreadsheet work and the algorithm. Another 15 were spent making the video.”
Connor’s prediction received lots of press coverage – from local and Chicago-area television stations and newspapers to ESPN’s Sports Center. “The whole process was really fun for me,” he said.
Family and friends were frenzied after the deciding game of the World Series, Connor said. “My Dad’s phone was blowing up with texts,” he said. “Everyone was so supportive and happy for me. I’ve heard from so many people saying that they were rooting for the Cubs not because they wanted the losing streak to tend but because they wanted the Connor Curve to come true.”
Connor’s Honors Geometry teacher Don Goss said the Connor Curve is impressive. “To see someone at that age already finding out what Math can do for him was exciting to me,” he said. “I hope it inspires other students, and shows them that lots of things can be analyzed through numbers.”
Connor is already looking forward to making a prediction about the 2017 World Series. “Maybe I’ll create a Connor Curve 2.0 and make it a bit more advanced and add in some new stats,” he said.