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Old 02-26-2007, 08:46 PM   #1
HibachiDG
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Default Why the new RPI is flawed...a quick example...

I guess I shouldn't call it NEW anymore, but the past couple years and last year in particular I think we had some RPI discussions. I was a HUGE fan of the RPI before the new change that gives weight to home and road wins. That change, has in my eyes, destroyed the RPI.

Tonight's Georgetown/Syracuse game is a very crystal example of why that change was not good for the system. Simply put, it's so much easier for a mid-major to go into the building of a mid-level team from their conference and get a W than it is for a Big East team to go into the Carrier Dome no matter how good Syracuse is.

The RPI now is completely skewed in favor of the mid major schools because they have easier road games.

The problem isn't necessarily the RPI. It's probably more to do with the people using it. It's not an ultimate ranking system, just a guide. It used to have a lot of purpose, it now has a lot less purpose...but people are treating it as if it has more purpose now.

Bring back the old formula of the RPI, I say, and then treat as it should be treated, just another factor.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham View Post
Tonight's Georgetown/Syracuse game is a very crystal example of why that change was not good for the system. Simply put, it's so much easier for a mid-major to go into the building of a mid-level team from their conference and get a W than it is for a Big East team to go into the Carrier Dome no matter how good Syracuse is.
I'm not sure I accept your premise without numbers backing it up. Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Pitt, Notre Dame, and even Drexel won in the Carrier Dome this year, so I think you need to debit Georgetown more for this loss rather than attibuting entirely to the mightiness of the Carrier Dome to the point that it exposes the RPI. Akron is probably the class of the MAC but of the close conference games they have dropped, all have been on the road.

If you crunch some numbers that show road winning % is appreciably lower in the big conferences than it is in the lesser ones, I'll go along with you. But I don't think that's the case.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham
Simply put, it's so much easier for a mid-major to go into the building of a mid-level team from their conference and get a W than it is for a Big East team to go into the Carrier Dome no matter how good Syracuse is.
Doing some quick and fuzzy math, I decided to look at the top four teams in the Big XII Conference and the top four teams in the Missouri Valley Conference (simply because those are the two conferences I care the most about), and compared the winning percentages of those teams on the road in conference play.

Between Kansas, Kansas State, Texas and Texas A&M, the top four teams in the Big XII have combined for a 76% winning percentage on the road in conference play.

Between Bradley, Creighton, Missouri State and Southern Illinois, the top four teams in the Missouri Valley have combined for a 58% winning percentage on the road in conference play.

The top two teams in the Big XII (Kansas and Texas A&M) have each only lost one road game in conference action, while the top team in the Missouri Valley Conference (Southern Illinois) has three road losses in conference play.

Taking a look at the top four teams in the Big East (Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh), they have combined for a 66% winning percentage on the road in conference play -- and that number is somewhat hindered by the fact that the Irish have dropped five road games in conference play to this point in the season, but it is still a better road record in conference action than what the best teams in the MVC have been able to produce.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KevinBeane View Post
I'm not sure I accept your premise without numbers backing it up. Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Pitt, Notre Dame, and even Drexel won in the Carrier Dome this year, so I think you need to debit Georgetown more for this loss rather than attibuting entirely to the mightiness of the Carrier Dome to the point that it exposes the RPI. Akron is probably the class of the MAC but of the close conference games they have dropped, all have been on the road.

If you crunch some numbers that show road winning % is appreciably lower in the big conferences than it is in the lesser ones, I'll go along with you. But I don't think that's the case.
Well, I certainly did not mean to say that the Carrier Dome specifically was a mighty place to play, but on the whole, it's tougher to win games on the road against mid-level or even weaker Conference teams. The Carrier Dome was brought up because it was the game of the moment.

As for the math on it, I think that comes out when you look at just how drastically the results of the RPI has changed over the past few seasons with mid-major teams getting such a rise after only just this change to the formula.

Just going off of toby's numbers...if the top teams win at 66% on the road in the Big East and the top teams win on the road at 58% in the MVC, then why is the Big East only getting a small bump from games that are so much more difficult to win?

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Old 02-27-2007, 03:40 PM   #5
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I don't understand why the RPI has to account for differences in home and away games, but how big of a difference has that made in the seedings for the NCAA tournament?

The Big East managed to get eight teams into the tournament last year, and the other major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-10 and SEC) each had four or more teams. Between those six conferences, they accounted for half of the teams selected to play in the NCAA tournament.

In 2006, once you added in at least one berth per conference, (American East, Atlantic-10, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference-USA, Horizon, Ivy League, Metro-Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Sun Belt, Western Athletic and the West Coast Conference), that left only eight positions up for grabs for mid-major schools that did not win their conference tournament to vie for.

The Missouri Valley Conference, which had a very-high RPI rating a year ago, got three teams into eight of those spots (after you account for the conference's automatic berth), and the conference proved they were worthy of a high conference RPI rating by getting two teams to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament.

Also, in my opinion, the Missouri Valley had two legitimate tournament snubs in Creighton and Missouri State.

Plus, the extremely high RPI rating for the MVC didn't necessarily benefit them when it came to tournament seedings, as the highest seed they received was a seventh-seed for Wichita State.

Bradley, Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois all had to face higher seeded opponents in their first-round contests.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Well, I don't think it's so much as the Conference proving they were worthy of the 4 teams by getting two to the Sweet Sixteen...we've seen upsets like that happen for how long now? Now, as you put more mid-major teams into the Tournament, that becomes more likely to happen. It's all about money for the NCAA.

Quote:
I don't understand why the RPI has to account for differences in home and away games, but how big of a difference has that made in the seedings for the NCAA tournament?
Well, I think it's led to more mid-major teams get in, I would have gone with 3 max from the MVC last season and I think it'll be a shame if the MVC gets more than 2 this season and a team like Villanova or West Virginia gets left out.

They were even talking over the weekend that maybe Marquette is not a lock for the Tournament...which I disagree with...but really, that should not even be a question at this point. Also, there was discussion about Wichita St from the MVC getting in.

Really, the Tournaments from the past couple of years have good opening 2 rounds and weaker later rounds because there are more mid-major teams, more upsets and there haven't been the good Sweet Sixteen and on matchups that there have been in the past.

I guess it just comes down to something like, I would rather have Providence be the 9th team in out of the Big East over like a 3rd or 4th team from the MVC.

Providence, 1-5 on the road in the Big East. RPI 71.
Missouri St, 6-3 on the road in the MVC. RPI 36.
Bradley, 4-5 on the road in the MVC. RPI 46

I think those three teams are about the same in terms of talent. But, you won't hear as much about Providence in the tournament as you will about the other 2.

The reason is because of the RPI.

In my mind, the new RPI was created to justify putting one of or both of those two teams into the Tournament.

The NCAA makes more money if Bradley or Miss. St wins a first round game or second round game than if Providence does. To me, they made this tweak in the RPI so they could point to these large disparities and give people something to latch on. People will go "oh, the RPI, that's not subjective!" and use it to justify things.
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham
Well, I don't think it's so much as the Conference proving they were worthy of the 4 teams by getting two to the Sweet Sixteen...we've seen upsets like that happen for how long now?
I will grant you Bradley getting to the Sweet Sixteen based upon two upsets in last year's tournament, but Wichita State was a much better team than anyone gave them credit for being, and they deserved a much higher seed than seven in the NCAA tournament.

Beating Seton Hall by twenty and then beating a very good Tennesse team with two of the Shockers' best players, Paul Miller and Sean Ogirri, struggling in that contest proved to me they were one of the best teams in the country.

But, even if we count Wichita State has needing to pull off an upset to get to the Sweet Sixteen last season, there were still only three teams that had to go "the upset route" to make it to that point in the tournament.

Having two of those three teams come from the same conference and advance that deep into the tournament says a lot about the level of play within that conference, to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham
I would rather have Providence be the 9th team in out of the Big East over like a 3rd or 4th team from the MVC.

Providence, 1-5 on the road in the Big East. RPI 71.
Missouri St, 6-3 on the road in the MVC. RPI 36.
Bradley, 4-5 on the road in the MVC. RPI 46

I think those three teams are about the same in terms of talent.
Not saying I disagree with you, if those teams are the same in terms of talent, why would you choose Providence over Missouri State?
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:26 PM   #8
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I'm more impressed by 7-7 in the Big East and the wins they have than Missouri St's 12 Conference wins, even with the Wisconsin win thrown in there, which is really the only thing that makes it close. But, Providence has wins over Marquette and West Virginia. Providence has had a lot of tight battles this season. Lost close ones at Pitt and Notre Dame. This past weekend at home against Syracuse.

Now, I'm not making excuses for Providence's losses in the close games, just that I think their 7-7 and the way they played it in the much tougher conference would carry over to at least 12 wins in the MVC.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:36 PM   #9
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I don't know I think the Big East is pretty top heavy and rather mediocre after the top four or five teams.

Taking Providence for example. They lost to freakin' Brown, got thumped by Florida State, who is a bubble team as it is, and lost at Seton Hall who is not going to the tournament. They have two losses to teams not in the top 100 of the RPI and are only 2-8 against Top 50 teams and only 6-8 against the top 100. Take it for what it is worth but their RPI is what it is for a reason. They have not been able to beat the better teams on a consistent basis.

The one I have tough time wrapping my head around is Southern Illinois at number 4 in the RPI when they have only one win against teams rated in the top 25 of the RPI and have losses against Arkansas, Indiana, and Evansville who are not exactly the cream of the NCAA crop.
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:10 AM   #10
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The simple way to rectify this is for more of the Big Conference schools to do home and home with some of the mid majors. It has happened more recently but needs to continue to make the playing field more level.
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham View Post
I'm more impressed by 7-7 in the Big East and the wins they have than Missouri St's 12 Conference wins, even with the Wisconsin win thrown in there, which is really the only thing that makes it close. But, Providence has wins over Marquette and West Virginia. Providence has had a lot of tight battles this season. Lost close ones at Pitt and Notre Dame. This past weekend at home against Syracuse.

Now, I'm not making excuses for Providence's losses in the close games, just that I think their 7-7 and the way they played it in the much tougher conference would carry over to at least 12 wins in the MVC.
I don't think the gap between the BE and the MVC, and indeed the big powers and the mid-majors, is as strong as you suggest. Missouri State can only beat who they play. When they get a chance at a heavyweight, all they can do is beat them...which in the case of Wisconsin, they did. If that still isn't enough for you, it's hard to see what would be.

It seems like you are just kind of down on mid-majors in general as being inferior, which they LARGELY are of course, but the gap is getting much, much closer than ever, which is why you have the George Mason Final Four runs and the Kent State (shudder) Elite 8 run. These guys are getting more bids because they have shown they deserve them.
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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It's not that I'm looking at mid-majors as being inferior...at all. I genuinely LIKE mid-majors. I also don't think I'm suggesting much about the gap between the BE and the MVC and other midmajors, and I also recognize that the Conference play of the midmajors is generally getting better.

It's just that I think they're trying to bridge the gap too quickly and they're doing it simply for money. I would have no problem if the RPI formula stayed the same and the mid-majors were rising in it. It's just that they completely made this one change to make mid-majors look better and justify putting them in the Tournament.

Hell, if they came out and said "we want more mid-majors in the Tournament because it makes it more exciting and more people watch" I would like that more. My biggest problem is just the concealment factor and the way they've done it.

I really do like Mid-Majors, so I'm not trying to downplay what they've done. I also don't think that is what I'm doing.
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham
It's just that I think they're trying to bridge the gap too quickly and they're doing it simply for money.
How does the NCAA make more money by having Bradley instead of Providence in the NCAA Tournament?
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:11 PM   #14
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Because Providence beating someone in the first round is no fun. But, Bradley doing it, that is fun.
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:14 PM   #15
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But, that doesn't explain any revenue increases.

Did revenue increase for the NCAA tournament, or did more people watch the tournament last year because Bradley beat Kansas in the first-round?
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