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Messages - Flying Weasel

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Men's soccer / Re: IIAC 2011
« on: October 18, 2011, 05:32:59 pm »
How does the Middle Atlantic Conference compare to our two types of conferences? I only bring that up because it looks like Missah's conference has 6 or 7 teams fighting for the top spot and I believe they have had better success then either IIAC or MIAC. But that's just a mute point. I just wanted to through it out there.

You must be confused or mixing things up.  The Commonwealth Conference (of the umbrella MAC) has never been a deep competitive conference.  "6 or 7 teams fighting for the top spot"?  That has never been the case.  Let me just give a few evidences to support what any first-hand follower of the conference simply knows.

Since the Commonwealth Conference was created in 1993 (after the exodus of schools to form the Centennial Conference)...
...there have only been three regular season champs:  Messiah 12.5* times, Elizabethtown 5 times, Lebanon Valley 0.5* times (* - Messiah and Leb. Valley finished tied in 2008 and the #1 seed for the tournament went to Leb. Valleyon head-to-head)
...only 3 times have the #1 and #2 teams not been Messiah and Elizabethtown (2006, 2008, 2009 when E-town was esp. weak)
...the regular season champions has been perfect (unbeaten, untied) in conference play in 14 of the 18 seasons
...the combined losses and ties by the 18 regular season champions stands at 1 loss, 3 ties
...there has been 3 or fewer schools with an overall record greater than .500 in 10 if the 18 seasons.

From 1993 to the early 2000's Elizabethtown and Messiah usually were their own tier, and than the rest.  That has changed with Messiah's dominance and Elizabethtown's regression.  In the last 11 seasons (since 2000 when Messiah won its first national title), Messiah has only lost 2 regular season conference games and tied 1.  It has become more competitive between the #2 thru #4 or #5 schools since Elizabethtown stopped being a regular Top 25 team about a decade ago.

So, Messiah's success can't be attributed to a deep, competitive conference environment preparing them for the NCAA tournament gauntlet.  If Messiah played in a tougher conference they would probably pick up a blemish or two more each season, not "always" be the #1 seed, and not "always" win the conference tournament and AQ, and in the worst of seasons have to sweat out the Pool C selections instead of feeling pretty confident.  However, on the flip side, they might be even better prepared and more battle-tested for the NCAA tournament.

Back to the IIAC-MIAC debate...  It can be challenging to distinguish between parity due to across the board mediocrity or competitiveness due to across the board quality.  Non-conference games help to indicate which it may be, but the sample size is often too small and varied to be conclusive.  And there's too many variables, many "unfair", in NCAA play to really use success or failure in the tournament as a trustworthy gauge.  Always fun to consider and debate the relative strength of conferences, but hard to ever agree on what it means to be stronger or better and the best way to measure it. I've enjoyed the back-and-forth here as a lurker without a dog in the fight.

Men's soccer / Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« on: October 15, 2011, 10:24:35 am »
So to clarify, are you saying that one conference (11 schools) contains half of the best starting 11 in the whole nation (43 conferences, 400+ schools)? 

However debatable that may be, please do share who these players are to help those of us that are not from, in, or as familiar with the New England region and NESCAC.  I know Noon and Heo from Amherst are top players.  Macnee from Middlebury.  Who else do you see being at that elite status and proving it this season?

Men's soccer / Re: Top 25 - Week 4
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:05:52 pm »
Wow!  4-0 after half an hour.  And to think MHB was on a number of voter's Top 25 ballot.  Official game or not, that would temper how I rate MHB.

You'd think so, but Chapman went to TX and lost to both Trinity (TX) and Southwestern, getting outscored 12-1, and went all the way from receiving 30 vote points to 20 points.
Glad you brought that up.  I noticed that when I first saw the new poll.  Not sure how anybody could justify giving a Top 25 vote, even for spot #25, to Chapman after that.  Mind boggling.

Men's soccer / Re: Kings of the East
« on: September 29, 2011, 12:55:00 pm »
Good teams probably don't and shouldn't pay much attention to these rankings, but we are fans and rankings are a fun way to shape, facilitate, and give context to the conversations and debates about who is playing well, who has a chance to make noise come tournament time, who the pretenders are, etc. 

Men's soccer / Re: Kings of the East
« on: September 29, 2011, 12:26:33 pm »
8-0 is looking good for St. Lawrence. I wonder how the voters will treat them if they keep winning this week. It was a surprise that no one gave them any first place votes, which is usually a sign that the voters are doubting the strength of their schedule thus far in the season.
Well, they are ranked #4, so don't see much evidence of doubting their strength-of-schedule.  The three teams above them are great teams with the only loss being #3 OWU to #1 Messiah in the season opener with the stats favoring OWU.  The Saints started at #22 in the pre-season poll (the top three started #1, #3, and #6) and went to #8 in the first regular season ranking followed by climbs to #6 and now #4.  If anything the voters are demonstrating lots of belief in them while understandably being skeptical of undefeateds Misericordia, Elmira,  Rightly or wrongly, I think at this point the chances at a first place vote have more to do with one those top three (who voters have pegged as their #1's) faltering than it does with what St. Lawrence does.

Men's soccer / Re: Top 25 - Week 4
« on: September 29, 2011, 11:54:59 am »
Wow!  4-0 after half an hour.  And to think MHB was on a number of voter's Top 25 ballot.  Official game or not, that would temper how I rate MHB.

North Park seems awfully high for having picked up three ties already, the two against Methodist and NC Wesleyan not exactly top quality though they were on a long road trip.

Surprised that Wm. Paterson stayed in as the highest ranked NJAC given that Montclair St. beat them 3-0 with shots and SOG confirming they were much better on the night.   I thought Rutgers-Camdem and/or MSU should have been in but not Wm. Paterson.

Not a fan of DePauw being ranked given the cupcake schedule they have played.  Plattsburgh St. has played a pretty soft schedule to date, so it's hard to know if they really are Top 25 material or not.

A lot of results so far this season that make rankings difficult.

Men's soccer / Re: Top 25 - Week 3
« on: September 29, 2011, 11:38:18 am »
And I'm sure the Coach McCarty wishes he had better matches to prepare his squad.  Hopefully York can raise their game next week, but at 3-3-3 who knows what to expect from them. 

Men's soccer / Re: CCIW
« on: October 09, 2009, 05:18:56 pm »
Oooops!  I don't know how I missed your earlier post! 

Men's soccer / Re: CCIW
« on: October 09, 2009, 10:41:18 am »
Augustana 1, Wheaton 0  What happened?  Stats indicate Wheaton dominated the game big-time.

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