Monday, January 3, 2011

A Peek at Great Lakes Regional Rankings With Weights

I posted my fifth set of regional rankings earlier today, but they're a bit of a fake-out (especially when it comes to Calvin). The NCAA is changing the way they calculate strength of schedule (SOS) this year, and my rankings are still using the old method. The new method takes into account whether the game was at home, on the road, or at a neutral site, and adds a corresponding multiplier to the SOS component. Road games get a 1.4 multiplier, neutral site games are 1.0, and home games are 0.6.

I'm in the process of updating my rankings to reflect this change, but it's a tedious process. I did, however, finish adding the home/neutral/away weights to the teams in the Great Lakes region. Here's how it affects my rankings:

RankTeamWPSOSRPIwSOSwRPI
1Olivet0.6670.5400.5720.6990.691
2Hope1.0000.5610.6710.5610.671
3Wabash1.0000.5270.6450.5220.642
4Wooster1.0000.5470.6600.5170.638
5Thiel0.8000.5260.5940.5490.612
6Bethany0.7000.5200.5650.5640.598
7John Carroll0.6000.5590.5690.5900.593
8Penn State-Behrend0.8890.4920.5910.4780.580
9Hiram0.5830.5230.5380.5650.570
10Heidelberg0.5000.4970.4980.5890.566
11Marietta1.0000.4840.6130.4220.566
12Wittenberg0.6670.4340.4920.5310.565
13Ohio Wesleyan0.3330.5470.4940.6390.562
14Ohio Northern0.5000.5820.5610.5820.561
15Trine0.7500.4840.5500.4930.557
16Frostburg State0.5560.5350.5400.5480.550
17Mount Union0.4170.4950.4760.5930.549
18Calvin1.0000.4800.6100.3930.545
19Geneva0.6250.5130.5410.5070.536
20Wilmington0.3330.5320.4820.5920.527
21Adrian0.0000.4790.3590.6710.503
22Carnegie Mellon0.3750.6310.5670.5410.500
23Muskingum0.5000.4980.4980.4850.489
24Thomas More0.7140.4810.5390.4040.481
25Otterbein0.3330.5960.5300.5250.477
26Baldwin-Wallace0.3640.5290.4870.5090.473
27Allegheny0.3330.5880.5240.5180.472
28Waynesburg0.3000.4460.4090.5290.472
29Denison0.4000.5100.4830.4960.472
30Capital0.6670.5110.5500.3970.465
31Albion0.5000.4430.4570.4500.462
32Westminster (Pa.)0.3000.4700.4270.5150.461
33St. Vincent0.5000.4600.4700.4390.454
34Kenyon0.3640.4130.4010.4260.410
35Pitt-Greensburg0.2500.4370.3900.4620.409
36Alma0.6670.2950.3880.3210.407
37Grove City0.3750.4350.4200.4140.404
38Kalamazoo0.3000.4290.3960.4290.397
39Washington and Jefferson0.1820.4330.3700.4510.384
40Case Western Reserve0.4000.4160.4120.3740.381
41Franciscan (Ohio)0.2000.4370.3780.4200.365
42Oberlin0.1110.3400.2830.3150.264

WP -- in-region winning percentage
SOS -- unweighted in-region strength of schedule
RPI -- unweighted in-region RPI
wSOS -- weighted in-region strength of schedule
wRPI -- weighted in-region RPI

The weighting system causes Calvin to fall from #5 to #18. That's because they've only played two regional games--one at home, and one at a neutral site. Olivet, on the other hand, jumped to the top of the charts by virtue of not playing a regional game at home yet. Their weighted SOS (wSOS) is nearly 0.160 higher then the unweighted version, whereas Calvin's is 0.087 worse.

Some schools only see slight changes, and some don't see any changes. Hope, for example, has played all of their regional games on neutral courts, so their schedule strength remains unchanged (1.0 multiplier).

These rankings still aren't anything close to being official. The regional committees don't compute an RPI value -- they treat WP and SOS (or wSOS, as it is this season) as completely separate criteria, or so they say. That doesn't quite make sense to me, because WP doesn't tell you much without SOS, and SOS certainly doesn't mean much without an accompanying WP, but not much the NCAA does makes sense. They'll also adjust for head to head games and results versus regionally ranked opponents when, and if, applicable.

We're still pretty early into the year, so the numbers will be pretty fluid in the coming weeks. Actually, they never really stabilize very much. Even if Calvin loses to Hope on Wednesday, they'll likely find themselves in the top 10 of this list come next week. That is, if they also beat Kalamazoo.

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