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Messages - Matthew Webb

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Men's hockey / 2018 Men's Bracketology
« on: February 13, 2018, 09:36:43 pm »

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 09, 2017, 09:03:29 am »
Holy Hell Webb! I just read the Brackets Explained column. Spot on and everything justified. But who and the hell are these baffoons in the comment section? Great work and much appreciated.

People who care, which is always a good thing. Perhaps new to the process (which makes sense for any Endicott fans) but at least they're paying attention to DIII. As a niche sport you and I both know we'll take whatever we can get in that regard.

It's some of the things being said by others who have been around a long time that really make me wonder. Provides lots of validation though, so hey.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 07, 2017, 01:11:02 pm »
Do you guys publish playoff capsules or predictions on each round / who makes the Frozen Four, etc.?

Big expanded previews for the Frozen Four along with what has been a massive amount of output once we're on-site at FF (like the Thursday features), though not sure of what exactly we'll do for the first two rounds. Recaps for sure, and with just two of us to handle it all we're working on getting everything planned. I believe Ray is planning a podcast with R.J. Tolan this week, but as far as previews go there will be...something. How elaborate I'm not sure yet.

Ray will be at one of the games this week and one next and I know I'll be in Point next weekend.

It's times like this I wish we had one more me or Ray and/or we could do this full-time. The output would be incredible. Ugh.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 07, 2017, 09:22:43 am »
I get it. I really do. And I appreciate all of your work to explain everything. But I still feel the whole "the committee can weight the criteria any way they see fit" thing is bogus. Pick a criteria (I honestly don't care what it is), publish it, and then plug the numbers in. Endicott beats Oswego via the published criteria. That's a fact. The only reason Oswego is ranked above them -- and has a home game -- is because of subjective manhandling. I know conspiracy theories aren't popular around here, but could 3,000 ticket sales have anything to do with it?

No, and I don't think there's any ill intent coming out of the East. Rather just subconscious perceptions re team quality. Now, that's something that anyone on a hopefully objective committee should fight to put the lid on, but when humans are involved in anything in life such concepts are almost impossible to get away from.

I agree with some form of objective numerical metric. Both ways are flawed (just look at DI in some years, especially when the whole TUC thing was a big deal), but like you I do think objective, published criteria similar to what we see in DI is the better of two flawed options.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 07, 2017, 09:17:47 am »
As for the bracket itself, I legitimately don't believe anything resembling a credible complaint can be made about it. It's funny to see comments that I'm serving as some mouthpiece of the committee. Me. The same guy who spent nearly a decade trashing it for its self-serving bull****. Yeah, sure.

But hey, if you call it out when it's pulling ridiculous stunts you also must give the new guys who have come in over the past 4-5 years credit for doing it right. Which they did. Again.

An argument of "I like me some team X and thus don't like the bracketz" does nothing to change that, and that's about all any complaints I've seen can be boiled to.  And I'm not trying to be obnoxious, but this really is the best possible thing that could have been done and if people still want to ignore that and pop off because they choose not to want to learn anything, that's their right, but it's also their problem to deal with at this point as nothing is going to be said that convinces them otherwise.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 07, 2017, 09:02:02 am »
I'm very confused about the final rankings:

Why is 5E at 3E and 6E at 4E?

Also, how the heck did Endicott fall so far? The numbers show them beating Oswego in the comparisons. Webb, any thoughts? From where I'm sitting, the Gulls got hosed out of a home game, and then they got matched against a higher seed than the rankings seem to call for.

Oswego v. Endicott
RNK = Tie
H2H = N/A
Overall win = E
L25 = E

To the first, technically they aren't. Things can get shifted around on the national call. The official ranks are what is generated by the independent votes of all committee members, the tournament seeds come from the national committee and can tweak those rankings. So the way I have it is right per what the committee did, and I know this to be true, but I didn't want to go into a big explanation about it since it was somewhat irrelevant to the larger point. When you think about it, it makes sense as it helps prevent a regional committee from wrangling things in some ridiculous way, which is something that has occured in the past.

As far as Endicott goes, this happens every year in the East. Someone starts high and then fades, while others win one game in a conference final and skyrocket. I suspect it's only having one game against a ranked team so its RNK is getting completely discounted, along with the perception that Endicott is weaker because it's from a weaker league. Not contending that's right and it shouldn't have anything to do with it, but this was easy to see coming...heck, I'm half surprised it didn't end up behind Hamilton AND Plattsburgh.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 01, 2017, 02:50:03 am »
 Episode III

I hope people understand the simplified SOS point I'm trying to prove. The point isn't to wrangle about explaining OOWP while pointing out that if you really played the same team 25 times in a year you'd both have an SOS of zero.

The point is, simply, that gaps in SOS that have been historically deemed large often don't actually tell us anything meaningful about the quality of the teams in question.

Which puts me in a tough spot when we end up with something like this morning's final Pool C comparison. There always comes a point where I'm forced to guess or make assumptions, and when that time comes do I do what I think is "right" or do I hedge a bit and try to mimic the committee based on historical precedent, some other things I know, nudges we've received, etc? It's a tough call and it's something I've been weighing and haggling over for years. Which route actually represents the process better: my best interpretation thereof or my best interpretation of the committee's interpretation thereof? That is a very difficult question to answer. The former might be more true to the word, the latter more true to observed reality.

Regardless, the goal is to illustrate the process, and that's a goal I take seriously. The goal is not try to predict the bracket on a wing and a prayer so when it's right I can go home, take off my socks and smell them while thinking about how awesome I am. That sort of behavior might pass muster for some fanboys at RIT who have nothing better to do with their lives, but I prefer to live in the real world.

The great irony here is that a lot of the confusion exists thanks to former committee members themselves who bastardized the process for their own self-gain. Trying to beat down the (at the time warranted) belief that nonsense goes on takes time. A lot of time. The committee members over the past 4-5 years have done a great job of rectifying this and I like to think our shift to being illustrative as opposed to predictive has helped as well. While some discussions elsewhere continue to leave me bewildered, I do know that our columns get read more than ever and the complaints about them have gone from fairly routine/expected to almost zero.

That tells me that while a few people who like hearing themselves talk for the sake of talking seem unwilling (which is infinitely worse than incapable) to comprehend some basic things, that there a lot more people out there who are probably getting it. As usual the vocal minority does not represent all.

And that, is a wonderful thing.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 01, 2017, 12:13:27 am »
I'd wager Hobart is pretty safe regardless and will likely even pull Pool B with a win and a Point loss. Should still be fine with a loss. Utica is a far more interesting case. Obviously a win would be huge, but there's a lot going on in Pool C at the moment and I'll have to see what things look like once I walk through it all. TBD...

I'm modifying this: Hobart should be fine with a loss...unless Utica hops it in the final East rankings. That would change some things.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 01, 2017, 12:10:41 am »
So how can you hand the MIAC tourney to UST when both polls have Augsburg moving up one spot and the Auggies ranked in the west region and UST unranked? I don't see the logic unless you think UST has the experience factor in thier favor.

For the purpose of the exercise we have to assume Pool A teams based on...something. Thus we defer to whichever team is leading the conference at the time, was regular season champ, etc. In this case that's St. Thomas. There is no perfect way but that's the most (and perhaps only) consistent way to do it. Things like that are why though bracketology can be (hopefully) educational and interesting to analyze, nothing much really matters until this Sunday.

That said, I concede that I believe Augsburg has been the best team in the MIAC this year and would consider it a slight favorite on Saturday despite the fact St. Thomas is hosting.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: March 01, 2017, 12:05:22 am »
Webb - The article for today's release states that " this week's rankings are the second of four sets"  but it is actually the third.

Crap. Fixed. Thank you.

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: February 28, 2017, 02:21:47 pm »
If Hobart wins, that's probably true, but if Utica wins, it's possible they both get in. We'll be able to make better guesses about that after tomorrow's set of rankings.

I'd wager Hobart is pretty safe regardless and will likely even pull Pool B with a win and a Point loss. Should still be fine with a loss. Utica is a far more interesting case. Obviously a win would be huge, but there's a lot going on in Pool C at the moment and I'll have to see what things look like once I walk through it all. TBD...

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:27:02 pm »
Rough SOS estimations after this weekend (obviously don't account for influence of other results on existing OWP and OOWP, nor the rounding of current numbers done by NCAA).

Endicott: .520 (down from .525)
Stevens Point: .510 (down from .521)
Hobart: .521 (down from .522)

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:08:50 pm »
Pair it up with those NC games, and you've got yourself a .5380. So it makes sense, but you're's going to come down from here on out. I bet it's down around .5250 next week.

Oh wait, it was exactly right.

Sorry, had to :p

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:06:20 pm »
And I really do hate this week's bracket. But left it that way for a reason...

Men's hockey / Re: 2017's here.
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:05:57 pm »
Looks like Utica still has a very good chance if the favorites win. Also, have you done an Augsburg SOS simulation for them losing in the MIAC final? Would they get to .500?

No but I'll take a look in about 90 minutes once I'm back at the estate. I'll run Endicott's also. I never did last week though my off the cuff estimation was pretty close. Speaking of SOS, another one to keep an eye on is Stevens Point. It's going to take a hit this weekend with two games against Superior. Would have been much better for Point if Stout had won the QF series. Hobart might have a crack at Pool B next week, provided it doesn't lose. Heck, how about I take a look at all of these!

A reminder, though: it's an estimation and not exact. I've not been ambitious enough to make it exact since it involves way more coding, but it's close enough that it gets the job done well enough. Obviously it can't be perfect as everyone's SOS slides somewhat based on further results, which in turn will affect the SOS in question, and so on...

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