Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Flying Weasel

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 71
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« on: November 30, 2023, 09:17:03 am »
I think coaches nominate their own payers for USC All-Region honors and are limited to 4 field players.  Trinity has four field players on the teams, so that means that Knutson wasn't one of the four field players that Coach McGinley nominated.

I wonder if the lack of St. Thomas players has to do with no one at St. Thomas submitting nominations?

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: November 29, 2023, 01:48:11 pm »
ha!  apologies if it wasn't clear...  cheers. 

So, RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) does not appear to be attending based on the "initial" coaches list...  (although, yes, they are liberty league conference)

UAA D3 Schools Attending the Showcase:   

University of Rochester, UAA Conference  (many get URochester and RIT mixed up!)
Washington University St Louis, also UAA conference.  (It appears D1 school University of Washington is highlighted as UAA).

If Freddyfud's list of attending schools is correct (I'm assuming he cut-and-pasted it from a reliable source), then RIT is coming and Univ. of Rochester is not.  The wrong Washington, however, was tagged.  I know that Freddyfud had originally posted a link to last year's (2022) list.  Maybe that's causing some confusion.  Anyway, either way, Freddyfud's work gives a general sense of the number and demographic of D-III schools attending this event.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: November 29, 2023, 11:01:32 am »
Another obvious constraint is budget which generally might be less of a challenge for UAAs and NESCACs when compared to other institutions.  Son is heading to MLS Next Fest in Phoenix 3 weeks from now.  For institutions attending this event clearly budget and effort are required especially as the post season isn't finished yet for some.  While I can't find a list yet of colleges attending here is a list for last year's event:

You can see most of the NESCACs and a bunch of the UAAs including Emory attended plus a few others from other conferences. 

Edit:  and how could I forget to mention budget and effort on the part of parents  ::)
List of colleges for next week's Phoenix event is out now:

Out of 191 confirmed, 39 are D3. UAA and NESCAC leading the way but also see some from regions VIII, IX and X.

FYI - On a quick pass, you can also add Clarkson, Hobart, UT-Dallas and WashU as D3's.  Were you able to confirm that the Univ. of St. Thomas is the Texas institution instead of the Minnesota one that just recently moved to Division I?

Men's soccer / Re: Liberty League
« on: November 10, 2023, 03:31:14 pm »
I agree with a lot of what’s been written already.
Nescac is just better.   They are also much deeper.  I could argue that 5 of SLUs starters from last year could have started on Amherst’s team.  I could also argue that 6 players from Amherst’s bench could have started on the same SLU team.  Look at conn college roster.  Almost 40 players.  Perhaps there will be a few on the transfer portal. 
As was mentioned, there is one top conference in region 1.  Liberty league shares with Rochester and SUNYAC.   That’s 3 spots gone.  The most that the liberty league or Sunyac can expect to get in the NCAAs is 2.  Sunyac came close to 3 this year.  And if they can’t get three this year, I don’t see it happening any year.  Perhaps with Rochester and the LL having a bad year.  My conclusion is to not be overly concerned about SOS as pretty much the only way a LL team can make the tournament with an at large bid is coming in first or second in the league and losing in the final of the tournament. In fact I think SLU should get rid of the Hartwick Oneonta back to back weekend at Oneonta and replace it with a home weekend against weaker opponents.  Oneonta weekend always ends up with injuries.  Home weekend against weaker opponents would give team confidence and allow all players to show if they can play during the season.   

Responding to the red bolded part in the quote above . . .

RPI got an at-large bid in a year in which they missed out on the Liberty League playoffs.  SOS and RvR made that possible.

Men's soccer / Re: Liberty League
« on: November 10, 2023, 03:28:13 pm »
I have a math phobia, and this is slightly off-topic, but my sense is that some schools are masters at perennially scheduling one of the top two out of the weakest conferences as a way to boost or mitigate SoS...but the schedules of those teams that include the 2-15 teams in their conference also figures in.  I do know that a couple of 1-16 or 3-14 teams on the schedule can do a lot of SoS damage.  And sometimes you just don't know.  You could have Centre the year the make the Final Four or a subsequent season where they are below .500.

Any bubble team needs to weed their schedule of the 2-15-0 and 3-14-1 teams in their non-conference schedule to give themselves a fighting change.  Those opponents kill, kill, KILL one's SOS.  In my opinion, unfairly so.

If the current SOS computation is to remain in place versus undergoing a major overhaul, that I still strongly believe in and propose a modification to place a floor on the OWP.  Any opponents' record below .400 (or .425 or .450) for SOS computational purposes should be taken as .400 (or .425 or .450).  Bad teams are bad teams, and after a certain point, the difference in the probability of a win/risk of a loss is irrelevant for teams deserving of consideration for an at-large tournament berth.  What the threshold should be would require some parametric studies and experimentation applied to past seasons.  But I think that would be a huge improvement in the current SOS computations.  Who knows, maybe Western Connecticut gets in last year with such a threshold in place.  Imagine if non-conference opponents John Jay 5-11-2 (.333), Westfield St. 3-10-5 (.306), Pratt 1-12-3 (.156), and Trinity-CT 1-11-3 (.167) were all treated as .400 teams for SOS.  Those teams killed a SOS that already started low due to their conference affiliation.  But should a win over GNAC's Rivier 6-8-3 (.441) speak any more to a team's qualification to participate in the NCAA Tournament than beating Pratt? For me those games are irrelevant and distinction between them shouldn't be made.  Or take Middlebury's opener in 2022, Skyline midtable Mount St. Mary 8-6-4 (.555).  Did that game prove that Middlebury was more worthy of a tournament berth than Western Conn?  The Pratt game alone was approximately a 13 pt. drain on West Conn's SOS.

     West Conn GP = 22, West Conn's SOS = .518, Pratt win pct = .156, Pratt OWP = .436
     Average contribution to West Conn's SOS  =  SOS / GP  =  .518 / 22  =  .024
     Pratt contribution to West Conn's SOS  =  1/GP [2/3 OWP + 1/3 OOWP]  =  1/22 [2/3(.156) + 1/3(.436)]  =  .011
     .024 - .011 = 0.013 diff.

If a .400 bottom threshold was applied, Pratt's adjusted contribution to West Conn's SOS would have been .020 or a mere 0.006 drain on their SOS instead of 0.013.  That would have lifted West Conn's SOS from .518 to .523.  Apply this to all their sub-.400 opponents and maybe their SOS climbs into the mid-.540's or higher which combined with their pristine 20-0-2 record might have gotten them in.

Now, that doesn't mean teams shouldn't schedule intelligently and challenge themselves more if they want to become tournament participants, but this would mitigate the impact of the horrible teams' in your own conference and any non-conference opponents that do even worse than expected.

Whether a similar cap on the high end would be beneficial or not, I've never decided.  For example, any win pct. over .900 (or .875 or .850) is treated as .900 (or .875 or .850) for computing SOS.  I would want to play around with the impact of that more before campaigning for such a change.

Men's soccer / Re: Liberty League
« on: November 10, 2023, 02:09:26 pm »
All that said (and to be honest I'm not sure of the data bears out that Region III teams have a harder time piling up ranked win/ties), probably the biggest question to answer is why are the SOS among Region III ranked teams general and significantly lower than Region I/NESCAC schools.  And that's why I said any deep dive needs to look at non-conference scheduling between the different conferences (in additional to how differently the conference schedule that you can't control does or doesn't widen the gap).  In other words, do the bottom teams in the NESCAC schedule tougher non-conference schedules (the OOWP contribution to SOS) to help compensate for their lower winning pct. (the OWP portion of SOS) than the bottom teams in the Liberty League.  IIRC, Union's schedule has been considered embarrassingly weak over the years and that impacts the SOS of the teams that play them.   If the bottom LL teams have similar win pcts. to the bottom NESCAC schools, but generally play weaker schedules, that all impacts their opponents' SOS.

Again, just thinking out loud.

Men's soccer / Re: Liberty League
« on: November 10, 2023, 01:46:18 pm »
PN, I've wondered the same thing often, but never did a deep dive to try to develop a theory.  And I won't be doing it at this moment either.  What I will say . . .

(1) It's hard to compare the Liberty League to the UAA because of how the UAA is spread across so many regions.  Not to mention, the UAA has simply been a stronger conference in recent memory.

(2) The NESCAC over the past decade or so has become the strongest conference in the nation and far ahead of all but the UAA (and maybe the Centennial in some years).  That in and of itself makes a comparison between the two conferences less insightful, but another big/significant difference is that the NESCAC dominates their region while the LL has to share Region III honors with the SUNYAC and Rochester with their perpetual tournament berth.  This simply means that there are fewer teams genuinely fighting for a spot in the rankings and at-large berths in Region I and it's dominated by NESCACs.  What this means is that the NESCAC schools can pick up more wins and ties versus ranked opponents and can do it just be playing their conference schedule (and playoffs).  With the SUNYAC in their region, LL teams have much fewer chances for these crucial wins/ties against ranked teams unless they schedule SUNYAC schools and besides Oneonta and Cortland, who knows which other SUNYACs will be ranked in a given year (just like how would you know which LL teams would be most beneficial to have on your schedule ahead of time).  I imagine if you took the top 7 teams that missed getting ranked in Region III, they would be on the whole better than the next seven in Region I, but for Region III and LL teams, having a deeper region (even if not as strong at the top) provides no benefit to their RvR, but it does add additional risk of picking up blemishes.

(3) I think the better comparisons/contrasts to look into are with the Centennial, MIAC, SUNYAC, also the NCAC (and this year the OAC).

Sometimes I wonder if it's a matter of too much parity within the league each year instead of just over time.  In other words, would it be better if just 2-4 LL teams rose to the top in any given season.  It's great that from year to year different programs can be successful, but if too many are good but not great in a given year and beat up on each other, it hurts your chances in a region shared with the SUNYAC.  Without actually studying data, I have the sense that most of these other conferences (1) don't typically have as many teams in the mix year-in, year-out and (2) don't have as much or as quick turnover of who the top teams are from year to year.

If someone did a deep dive, you'd need to look at out-of-conference scheduling league-wide versus those other conferences.  The Region III schools have less scheduling options (with no schools to the north or west) than Region IV and V schools, but Region VIII schools (home of the MIAC) has the issue of distance.

Well, I don't have the time or energy to really dig into it even though it has fascinated and perplexed me over the years.  Well, I'm just rambling and talking off the top of my head FWIW.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 NCAA Tournament
« on: November 10, 2023, 12:00:06 am »
Paul Newman's NCAA Tournament Trivia Corner

Has there ever been another NCAA Champion besides Conn College to win the title after going to PKs in a 1st round match?  Salem State was the opponent.

Bonus question... Has there been another team to advance on PKs in the 1st round and then win the title via PKs in the national final?

I knew that was never the case for Messiah in their 11 titles, although they did need OT in their tournament opener (2nd Round) in 2005 against Wesleyan (CT) before making a dominate run to the final where they claimed their fourth title over Gustavus Adolphus 1-0. 

The two possibilities that came to mind were Middlebury in 2007 (who I thought might be the answer to the bonus question) and Bethany (WV) in the mid-90's.  So I had to look it up.  Alas, Middlebury did score goals in the early rounds (had a 1st Round bye) that year before their scoreless Final Four triumph via PKs. 

But Bethany did not let me down.  They opened with a PK advancement over Greensboro after a 1-1 tie and proceeded to claim the championship by the narrowest of margins in the history of the D-III men's soccer tournament: 1-0 in 2OT in the Sweet 16, 2-2 (4OT)(PK adv) in the Elite 8, 0-0 (2OT)(PK adv) in the semifinal, and then a 1-0 2OT win in the Final over Hopkins.  The whole tournament that year was marked by 1-goal margins, overtimes, PKs.  In the Elite 8, three games went to OT, two to PKs, and the one non-OT game was a 1-0 victory.  Only one of the semifinalists had won a game by more than a single goal in regulation.  Bethany might be the most improbable champion of all-time.  They entered the tournament at 13-5-1 and came into the Final Four with more losses than the other three teams combined: UW-Oshkosh (R.I.P.) was undefeated, host Trenton State (now TCNJ) had a single loss, and Hopkins had a pair of losses.  They played a man down in the 2nd Half and OT of the opening round game.  In the Elite 8 they got paired with the defending champion and powerhouse UC-San Diego (3 titles in previous 6 years) who looked on pace for back-to-back titles with two tournament shutouts bringing their win total to 21.  Here's a documentary about their championship with some footage of their tournament games:

I then had to see if another team pulled off the feat and found 1984 Wheaton (Ill.) who needed PK's to get past Rockford in the opening round en route to their first national championship.  (Historic Factoid: prior to 1991, teams were awarded a win or loss instead of ties in games decided by PKs, with the victor having a goal added to their final score.)  Wheaton were almost the answer to your bonus question as the Thunder needed three overtimes periods to defeat Brandeis in the final, 2-1.  I don't think there's any other case of a national champion starting and finishing their title run with PK victories besides Conn Col. in 2021.  If I'm not mistaken, only four finals have been decided on PK's.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 NCAA Tournament
« on: November 08, 2023, 01:46:43 pm »
So @PaulNewman and I got together to run through the brackets... and give shout outs to some folks on the boards...

The New Show - The Frigid Bracketology Episode

Hope you enjoy.  All meant in fun.


[poor man's Gregory Sager]

The UW-Platteville Pioneers logo has mining picks because one of the schools that merged to form the school had originally been called the Wisconsin Mining Trade School.

SUNY Poly (short for SUNY Polytechnical Institute) used to be know as SUNYIT or SUNY Tech (short for SUNY Institute of Technology) before merging with another school in 2014.

The Alfred State mascot is an ox, not a bull (i.e, he's been castrated!).  In a 2018 rebranding of the athletic department, the ox, later named "Big Blue" was selected over a bear and a dog to be the new animal mascot to replace human characters Orvis the Pioneer and previously Pioneer Pete.

[/poor man's Gregory Sager]

It is interesting how the mascot for the Lake Forest Foresters is not a Forester but rather a black bear named "Boomer", but not dissimilar to Alfred State with the Pioneer name/Ox Mascot.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 NCAA Tournament
« on: November 06, 2023, 09:24:38 pm »
Tufts will like their draw and if each wins a couple the drumbeat for finally getting Messiah vs Tufts will grow louder.  Would that match happen in Grantham or is there a conflict with the women? 

Being an odd-numbered year, the women have hosting priority for the 1st/2nd Round weekend, which is why Messiah men are on the road to Lynchburg this coming weekend.  However, that mean's that the men have hosting priority for the Sectional weekend and Messiah would surely host their Sectional if they advance. 

So I'm kind of happy about the way that worked out, as I probably wouldn't have been able to get to games this weekend anyways because of my kids' games.  However, the following weekend should be wide open (I say hesitantly, knowing I am probably forgetting something or just don't know about something quite yet!).  Besides, which game would I rather see in person?  Messiah vs. Baruch or a Top 25 game?

FW I figure you are the expert on this. I understand the alternating priorities for men and women teams. But why could Amherst whose teams play on separate fields not have hosted both.

I think it's one of those things where it's a slippery slope if you start allowing exceptions to the general rule, even if in situations where the basis for the rule isn't an issue.  It could become an administrative mess to have to review all the requests for an exception and then log/track all the approved exceptions.  And it would open the door to other schools crying "Unfair!".  And it's not just about the fields, it is also about staffing and making sure both tournaments are well hosted and maybe even things like adequacy of parking, locker rooms, etc.

If Amherst would be allowed to do that, then soon you might have other schools trying to prove that they have an adequate alternate field to host tournament games and asking for the same exception as Amherst.  I think I've heard that Chicago and some other schools have two different fields (usually one grass, one turf) that get used for regular season games and could make a case for dual hosting.  And there surely are numerous schools like Messiah who have very high quality practice fields that could temporarily be lined with bleachers for the hosting games.  And some of these school can legitimately pull it off from a staffing/quality standpoint, but again, how do you review and determine who can pull that off?

It's just simpler to apply the rule consistently without allowing for exceptions, I imagine.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 NCAA Tournament
« on: November 06, 2023, 06:51:44 pm »
Tufts will like their draw and if each wins a couple the drumbeat for finally getting Messiah vs Tufts will grow louder.  Would that match happen in Grantham or is there a conflict with the women? 

Being an odd-numbered year, the women have hosting priority for the 1st/2nd Round weekend, which is why Messiah men are on the road to Lynchburg this coming weekend.  However, that mean's that the men have hosting priority for the Sectional weekend and Messiah would surely host their Sectional if they advance. 

So I'm kind of happy about the way that worked out, as I probably wouldn't have been able to get to games this weekend anyways because of my kids' games.  However, the following weekend should be wide open (I say hesitantly, knowing I am probably forgetting something or just don't know about something quite yet!).  Besides, which game would I rather see in person?  Messiah vs. Baruch or a Top 25 game?

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 NCAA Tournament
« on: November 06, 2023, 05:03:30 pm »
And North Central (MN) looks to continue their season as they appear on the bracket to be lining up against UW-Eau Claire. Kidding of course, but comical how this team continues to appear randomly(?) throughout NCAA's rankings, materials, etc.

Additionally, I'd be curious to hear any thoughts from the group on if there were any teams you felt were robbed of a bid and vice versa. Looking forward to the tourney!

Hi Midwest Fan, I think you have the wrong North Central. It is actually North Central (IL) from CCIW that is playing UW-Eau Claire.

Midwest Fan is well aware of that.  That's why he said "Kidding of course".  You see, earlier in the season the USC Regional Rankings had North Central (MN) in their rankings which obviously was a mistake due to confusing the two schools.  And then today, apparently the NCAA originally had North Central (MN) in their bracket instead of North Central (IL) before getting it corrected.  So that's what Midwest Fan is referring to and making light of.

I'm just glad to see that they got Johns Hopkins spelled correctly in the bracket after constantly having it spelled without the "s" on "John" in all their Regional Rankings.

Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: October 30, 2023, 08:34:27 pm »
Regarding strength of schedule, it is very challenging for Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, and Midd to get quality non-conference games.  Due to the NESCAC schedule, they are looking at weekday games, and their remote locations limits the options somewhat.  They often wind up with games against GNAC or NAC teams who are in geographic proximity.  Not really feasible to expect these teams to hit the road for every non-conference game.  Bowdoin did travel to Wheaton and Midd went to Vassar for games this year.  Bates traveled to Emerson and Colby had a game at Coast Guard Academy that was canceled. As others have noted, the Massachusetts and Connecticut schools and even Hamilton have easier access to quality non conference opponents.

I have no reason to doubt this, but it is interesting how different perspectives are about how far things are away from each other in the Northeast than in Region X.  The distance from Bowdoin to Boston for a weekday game is pretty modest compared to some of the distances teams in Region X travel routinely on weekdays.  I always assumed the reason some NESCAC teams schedule weaker non-conference opponents is because they believe they won't need the SoS bump given the NESCAC conference schedule. After all, Bowdoin's SoS of .555 (as of last Wednesday) would be one of the higher numbers in Region X.

I'm sure I will get blasted for being elitist, but I can promise you that NESCAC schools do not think about SOS implications when scheduling mid-week out-of-conference games.

The primary considerations are—and always will be—missed class time, time away from campus, and budget.

And yes, I agree that it is ludicrous for (many) schools with billion (!)-dollar endowments to be crying about budgets, but it's a factor when trustees limit endowment draws to fund annual operating costs. At Middlebury, since the start of the pandemic, we have been dealing with 20-50 percent cuts to departmental operating budgets pegged to 2019 levels, this at a time with corresponding inflation pressures. It's a double whammy.

And while I am not privy to the athletics department budget numbers, I feel confident in stating that they have not been exempt and that travel budgets have been impacted, just like everything else.

This isn’t elitist but it’s flat out wrong. When I was on the staff our number one goal was to make the NCAA tournament and creating a schedule that would maximize our chance to do that was a huge consideration. The main way to do that was to make a schedule that we thought we maximized our SOS and winning percentage. Obviously we weren’t going to drive 8 hours on a Tuesday, but SOS was a big factor.

Back before everyone figured out the SOS puzzle, it sure seemed like Justin Serpone was one step ahead on knowing how to schedule to maximize SOS while limiting risk of picking up losses.  When the home and away multipliers were still being used, Amherst scheduled more away games than homes games finding the risk-reward sweet spot as an away game against a mediocre team (very minimal risk of a loss) could help your SOS more than a home game against a good opponent (considerably higher risk, even if moderate, of a tie or loss).  I don't say that as a knock on Amherst, but just to reinforce d4_Pace's assertion that some NESCAC schools very much do consider SOS when doing their non-conference scheduling.

Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: October 20, 2023, 10:35:33 am »
Yeah, as a soccer fan first and foremost (though liking all sports), it's been nice to not have to pay admission for soccer games until playoff time.  But I keep waiting and expecting that to change.  Our family has been to Montclair State twice to see Messiah play, but I had forgotten about paying admission.  Actually, I think the second time there it rained, so we watched from the parking garage as do many MSU students (alum?) and wouldn't have paid anyway.

Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
« on: October 19, 2023, 01:48:40 pm »
Yes, conference tournament results are considered.  Per the selection criteria, they are not given more weight for being conference tournament games. From the NCAA's viewpoint, they are just additional regular season contests. And there is no penalty for missing your conference tournament (IIRC, RPI was selected one year despite not making the Liberty League playoffs).  Beyond the chance of winning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, making your conference tournament can also have the benefit of providing a chance to increase your SOS and pick up some wins against regional ranked teams.  Of course, the opposite can happen as well.  Depending on your conference and/or who you get paired with, it can lower your SOS.  And unless you win the conference tournament and AQ (in which case selection criteria is irrelevant), you will probably be lowering your winning pct. and might pick up a loss (or tie) to a ranked team. So unless you go on and win your conference tournament, your at-large resume is probably worse for having participated in the conference tournament, but the same will be true for most other teams needing an at-large berth.

Whether the scenario you laid out could actually happen, it's theoretically possible even if the odds are rather low.  With the more at-large berths this year, the possibility does increase.  It would require the region to be considered strong and deep and for the previously ranked teams, at least the ones in the bottom half of the rankings, to be closely clustered with little separation from the previously unranked teams (including the team of interest) that just missed the previous ranking.  And the team would need to defeat one or more regionally ranked teams in their conference tournament run.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 71