There is still more debate going on about the deflated footballs that the New England Patriots used in their playoff game. "Who Deflated Them? When? Were they acting on orders?" But no one is asking if it makes a real difference.
Enter ANSYS simulation software. Using the newest ANSYS product, ANSYS AIM, the engineers at ANSYS, Inc. were able to simulate the effect of lower pressure on grip. It turns out that the the difference in pressure only made a 5mm difference in grip. No big deal.
Being a Multiphysics tool they were able to quickly also run a flow analysis and see what impact drag from "wobble" had on a pass. A 10% off axis wobble resulted in 20% more drag, that is a few yards on a long pass. Their conclusion, throwing a tight spiral is more important than the pressure of the ball.
Check out the full article on the ANSYS blog:
Here is the video as well: