Even in one of the best conferences, you need to go better than 8-6. That's just not going to cut it.
All the talk about scheduling weaker ... how about just inviting D3 teams to your home tournament? That's a start.
I think North Central was on the table at the end but was a roadblock.
In the end it doesn't matter how you compare RRO for North Central vs. Springfield or anyone else -- at .667 winning percentage vs. D-III schools, they simply were not getting in without an automatic bid. So one more win (Millikin, perhaps), or scheduling someone else to open the season, might well have gotten them in the tournament. You've spent a lot of time breaking down something that I suspect the committee probably didn't even talk about because they didn't make this particular committee's basic baseline.
Some points are so good that they're worth making twice, eh, Pat?
North Central's advocates Mark and bopol have yet to address the issue of the baffling choices Todd Raridon has made for opening-round opponents in the NCC Tipoff Tournament. This past season it was Trinity International, an NAIA team and therefore a wasted game in terms of Pool C qualifications. Last season it was Valor Christian College (formerly World Harvest Bible College), a USCAA school and thus just as useless in Pool C terms as was this year's opener against TIU. Two years ago, the Tipoff Tourney opener for the Cardinals was Illinois Tech, which was then beginning its transition into D3 and thus didn't count for Pool C purposes.
For the two seasons prior to that, NCC opened with a D3 regional foe, so nobody could fault Todd Raridon for that. But the year before, 2009-10, he opened with Oberlin in the Tipoff Tourney -- and at that time a game against Oberlin, a Great Lakes Region program, did not count towards Pool C's regional criteria. The year before that the Cards opened with a D3 regional foe (MacMurray), but then faced an NAIA opponent (Mount Vernon Nazarene) in the Tipoff Tourney title game the next night. And the previous year, the Cards played not one, but two non-D3 opponents in the Tipoff Tourney: the aforementioned World Harvest Bible College, and (then-NAIA) Lindenwood.
Most years Todd Raridon just throws away opening night in terms of Pool C criteria. I have no idea why. North Central's CCIW neighbors to the north never seem to have any trouble finding a D3 team to
beat up schedule for the opening night of the Pfund -- and I doubt that Wheaton offers better pizza, nicer tourney t-shirts, or bigger trophies. If you're a coach who really cares about getting Pool C berths, you learn to schedule the way that the administrative powers that be in D3 want you to schedule ... and that means, first and foremost, scheduling D3 teams. Heck, it's even easier to set up a criteria-friendly schedule now, since regionality has been lessened in importance with regard to D3 scheduling. And if the reason why NCC ends up playing USCAA and NAIA schools in the Tipoff Tourney is because Todd Raridon has trouble finding D3 opponents who want to come to the airplane hangar to start their seasons, then perhaps it's time for him to scrap that tournament and use those two non-conference scheduling slots more strategically.
Every year non-MIAA people used to rag on Hope and Calvin in the MIAA room for wasting regular-season games on the likes of Cornerstone, Aquinas, Grace Bible, and other southwestern Michigan non-D3 opponents. Seems to me that NCC deserves some of the same sort of criticism.
Your "criticism" has some merit, but there are also some extenuating circumstances that would not be known to other than someone close to the NCC program.
First of all, let me state that my opinion, especially after what occurred this year, is that ALL non-conference games should be scheduled against D3 teams, and the weaker those teams, the better. I say this because I believe the NCAA has demonstrated that the primary determining factor in Pool C selection is W/L record. Schedule all D3s, and win a large percentage and the chances you'll be invited to the big dance are good. However, that said, its not my team and my opinion is just that-an opinion. At any rate here is some information relative to the scheduling of teams appearing in the NCC Tip-Off Tourney in recent years.
2014-15--Trinity International. I don't know why they were scheduled. Maybe the allure of beautiful downtown NaPPerville isn't what it once was.
2013-14--Valor Christian. Disappointing, but not surprising. The problem this season is that in coming off their Final Four appearance, nobody was very anxious to play the Cardinals. The staff made about 25 calls attempting to convince various teams to come to the opening tournament. I know because I was in the office when some of those calls were made. Being unable to convince a "real" team to attend, NCC just had to finally fill the spot. Valor's inclusion by default was not for lack of trying.
2012-13. While not as definite as in 2013-14, somewhat of the same problem in that NCC was expected
to be a very good team and others weren't exactly beating down the Gregory Areana doors. IL Tech called and said they would like to come to the opening tournament, and their offer was accepted. as it turned out, scheduling them became a moot point as NCC went not only to the Big Dance, but the Final Four as well.
2011-12--D3 opponent. No problem
2009-10--Oberlin-a D3, but not a regional opponent under the then definition. This was a late substitution as one of the WIAC schools, I believe it was LaCrosse, backed out very, very late. At that late date, it was a stroke of luck to find a D3 school with an opening.
Thats six years and thats enough. Maybe there was no good pizza in Naperville before that, the T-shirts were made out of polyester, and the trophies were tiny. Possibly all of the above. Who knows?