Author Topic: TOP 25  (Read 102291 times)

Offline jam40jeff

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #150 on: October 13, 2008, 02:35:42 pm »
I'm not sure if I agree on ONU or BW being able to beat CWRU or Trine, but SJF for sure. 

SJF could possibly beat Case, but I think overall Case is still a better team right now.  They even have a common opponent, Rochester.  Case beat Rochester 38-6 and SJF beat Rochester 24-17.  I know that doesn't translate into an automatic win for Case by 25 points :) but it surely doesn't point to SJF beatign Case "for sure".

Offline dc_has_been

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #151 on: October 13, 2008, 02:51:18 pm »
Point taken jam40jeff, you are absolutely correct on that. 

repete- though I do agree OAC & WIAC are power conferences, but I wouldn't necessarily say the middle of the pack teams would dominate the less competitive conferences.  They would be very competive, but I think "dominate" is going overboard as I did in my previous post about SJF would beat CWRU or Trine "for sure". 
The HCAC for instance (conferance my school is in), would not be dominated by John Carroll, Baldwin-Wallace, or Wilmington. 
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Offline K-Mack

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #152 on: October 13, 2008, 06:51:47 pm »
I understand why Pat and crew did it, but I miss having the conference postseason records on the front page (static that it is) because it gave you a quick hint about conference strength (if used in context with other info.)

True. You're aware, but in case others aren't, that chart isn't gone for good, it's just found a new home here among the FAQs.

Common opponents are great, even common opponents who have common opponents. Good point on SJF-Case ... but voters do have to factor in schedule disparities, and by the same token, no matter a team's schedule, it has to do well against who it plays.

Pretty good points all around. I will continue to refer people to this thread via ATN, it's as well thought out as it gets around here.
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Offline redswarm81

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #153 on: October 13, 2008, 07:19:15 pm »
With so little cross-regional play (and in some cases like the OAC with only 1 non-conference game) in the regular season, it's really hard to get a handle on teams without looking at the history of them individually and their conference as a whole. 

SJF has proven over the last few years that they're easily Top 10 material, so that's why it takes 3 losses before they're completely out of the Top 25.  And exactly why Trine is struggling to break in though they've played really well.  Without a lot of cross-conference or cross-regional games, it takes time to break the preconceived ideas of what a team is and will be.

Taking K-Mack's point a few steps further, it's really hard decide where to vote undefeated teams from historically weak conferences.  I would expect the bottom 4 teams in the WIAC are still in the top 30% of all Division 3 teams.  I know La Crosse is really struggling and is winless, but does anyone really think that Case Western or Trine would actually beat La Crosse on the field?  I don't. 

I'd put 1-4 Ohio Northern or 2-3 Baldwin Wallace from the OAC against Case or Trine and like my chances too.

That's a pretty good defense of a mostly subjective system of analysis.  There's nothing wrong with that, you just have to understand that there's often no objective evidence available to back up your conclusions, and that lack of objective evidence becomes more acute as the season progresses.  As you note, the objective evidence properly drops St. John Fisher (and St. John's, for that matter) off the top 25, even though their historical record is as good as it ever was.

Where I'm a little less comfortable is with the idea of comparing bottoms of one conference to the tops of other conferences.  As you admit, there's little cross-regional play on which to base conclusions.  In many conferences, "second division" teams rarely if ever play in the post-season.  That being the case, how are they entitled to (or saddled with) their conference's post-season record?

Here's a related thought, Coach:  Otterbein is traditionally a sub-.500 team in the OAC, but they're 5-0 as of today, including a win against traditional OAC runner-up Ohio Northern (having a seriously down year) and a second win against usually successful Baldwin-Wallace (struggling, but not as much as Ohio Northern).   Since Otterbein has yet to face Mount Union, John Carroll, and Capital - all of whom are winning and are traditionally much stronger than Otterbein, wouldn't the reputation-based analysis suggest keeping Otterbein unranked until after those games?

Since there are some unfamiliar names in the Top 25 this week, I'm going to look at the objective evidence and see if it makes any sense--often, it doesn't, with the 2008 MIAC and Empire 8 being perfect examples.
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Offline ADL70

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #154 on: October 13, 2008, 10:17:26 pm »
                                        Massey (MOV)           Lazindex
CWRU                                         34                        22
UWLX                                          58                        80
ONU                                            91                        91 
BW                                              46                        48
SJF                                              71                        45

Non Top 25 teams                  Linfield               
above CWRU                          St John's                  St John's
                                                Bethel

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Offline repete

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #155 on: October 14, 2008, 12:21:41 am »
Point taken jam40jeff, you are absolutely correct on that. 

repete- though I do agree OAC & WIAC are power conferences, but I wouldn't necessarily say the middle of the pack teams would dominate the less competitive conferences.  They would be very competive, but I think "dominate" is going overboard as I did in my previous post about SJF would beat CWRU or Trine "for sure". 
The HCAC for instance (conferance my school is in), would not be dominated by John Carroll, Baldwin-Wallace, or Wilmington. 
Dominate is a loaded term, for sure.

As I noted the playoff mark is a starting point. I'm more comfortable posting on the WIAC than the OAC (although Wilmington, which hasn't won more than 3 games in  a season for years, won't be a middle team in my book.)

Another thing I look at are the NC records. For example, the MIAA's top three teams last season were 17-6 in league play but 0-10 NC with many ugly scores. The HCAC scores better when that's factored in.

The WIAC situation is clearer. A telling "stat" is number of quality teams that won't schedule them. The MWC is right in their back yard and those teams won't touch a WIAC NC game. The same applied for the old IBC and now NAC (or whatever it is).  Even the MIAC, IIAC and NCAC aren't much better.

Bad or good, these teams struggle to fill their schedules, traveling from Texas to the West Coast. A couple of years ago, LaCrosse traveled to then d-iaa South Dakota St. (and won) and this year took on N. Dakota. A telling bottom vs. top game last year: River Falls, which was 3-7 and one OT victory away from the WIAC cellar, beat MIAA co-champ Hope by 30 points.

edit -- typo fixes
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 12:10:31 pm by repete »

Offline redswarm81

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #156 on: October 14, 2008, 11:47:31 am »
Warning!  D-III Geeky Analysis Ahead!

How did Case Western Reserve and Cortland State switch positions this week? 

(I)t's important to remember that the entire season resume can be re-evaluated each week. (We make sure the voters see this data so they can decide whether to use it. . . .)

Here's the entire season resume for both teams:

No. 15 Case Western Reserve (4-0):
Sep 06   AWAY   Kenyon (1-4)    W  26-62
Sep 13   HOME   Rochester (1-3) W 38-6
Sep 20   AWAY   Oberlin  (1-3)    W  21-48
Oct 04   HOME   Denison   (1-3)  W  45-14

No. 14 Cortland State (4-0):
Sep 06   AWAY   Morrisville State (0-4)   W 37-51
Sep 20   AWAY   Rowan           (3-1)  W  20-27
Sep 27   AWAY   Kean              (3-1)  W  28-32
Oct 04   HOME   Buffalo State   (0-4)  W  35-14

Case has been pounding teams, yes, but all they've proven is that they're better than four bad teams. Cortland has proven its better than Rowan, and that's a road game as well.

Okay, so it appears that W-L Record, Strength of Schedule, Margin of Victory, and Marquee Wins (bonus for road marquee wins) are useful factors in poll evaluations.

Since this conversation started with Cortland  and Case Western, and since Case Western is not a longtime Top 25 Poll resident, I've charted W-L Record, Strength of Schedule, Margin of Victory, and Marquee Wins for all undefeated teams that are ranked below Cortland and Case (except Trinity, who isn't an unfamiliar poll team):

Team          Rank    W-L / Pct.     SoS      MofV     Marquee Wins
Cortland      13     5-0 / 1.000    0.600    10.4    Rowan, Montclair St.
CWRU         15     5-0 / 1.000    0.429    29.4    Wooster
Willamette   19     6-0 / 1.000    0.435    25.8    @CA Lutheran
Otterbein     21     5-0 / 1.000    0.350    25.2    @Ohio Northern
Carleton      22     5-0 / 1.000    0.542    13.8    Augsburg
Curry         “28”    6-0 / 1.000    0.483    19.8   
RPI            “29”    4-0 / 1.000    0.556    16.7    WPI
Trine          “30”    5-0 / 1.000    0.429    17      Franklin
Monmouth   “36”    6-0 / 1.000    0.607    33.2    @St. Norbert, Carroll
Huntingdon  “44”    4-0 / 1.000    0.421    28.3   

The SoS calculations are made using the NCAA method, where an opponents' record is evaluated with the head-to-head result excluded.  Thus for example, 4-1 Wooster's record for calculating CWRU's SoS is 4-0, since Wooster's 1 loss was to CWRU.

I don't know how to identify or evaluate Marquee Wins, so I included wins against former national champions, pre-season Top 25 ranked teams, and teams who currently have an SoS winning percentage of .800 or higher.

If I understand the explanation from last week, SoS is more important than Margin of Victory (agreed).  So let's see how these undefeated teams look in descending order of SoS:

Team          Rank    W-L / Pct.     SoS      MofV     Marquee Wins
Monmouth   “36”   6-0 / 1.000    0.607    33.2    @St. Norbert, Carroll
Cortland      13     5-0 / 1.000    0.600    10.4    Rowan, Montclair St.
RPI            “29”    4-0 / 1.000    0.556    16.7    WPI
Carleton      22     5-0 / 1.000    0.542    13.8    Augsburg
Curry         “28”    6-0 / 1.000    0.483    19.8   
Willamette    19     6-0 / 1.000    0.435    25.8    @CA Lutheran
CWRU         15      5-0 / 1.000    0.429    29.4    Wooster
Trine          “30”    5-0 / 1.000    0.429    17       Franklin
Huntingdon  “44”    4-0 / 1.000    0.421    28.3   
Otterbein     21      5-0 / 1.000    0.350    25.2    @Ohio Northern

This type of analysis appears to justify Cortland's and Huntingdon's relative poll positions, but it does seem to call into question why the same method that helped explain CWRU's place has kept Monmouth off the voters' radars.  The big picture for Otterbein might even be worse than the numbers indicate, since their marquee win is against a struggling 1-4 Ohio Northern.
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Offline redswarm81

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #157 on: October 17, 2008, 01:32:29 pm »
Quote from: Daily Dose
Triple Take: Don’t look too far ahead
With a win this weekend, which unbeaten team will most deserve a place in the Top 25: Curry, Monmouth, Trine or RPI?
Ryan’s take: Monmouth. It’s not just that the Scots have already beaten the Nos. 3 through 6 teams in the Midwest Conference, it’s that in most instances, they’ve manhandled the bunch. Ripon is Monmouth’s last big threat – and a win here against the 5-1 Red Hawks would give Monmouth an impressive win and vote of confidence toward the Top 25.

* * *

Keith’s take: Trine. You could make a pretty good case for all of them, to be honest, but if the Thunder improves to 6-0, it will include a win over then-No. 14 Franklin and the defending MIAA champ/playoff representative in Olivet.


(italics added.) 

I should say so.  Oh wait--I did say so, in chart form:

Warning!  D-III Geeky Analysis Ahead!

Okay, so it appears that W-L Record, Strength of Schedule, Margin of Victory, and Marquee Wins (bonus for road marquee wins) are useful factors in poll evaluations.

I don't know how to identify or evaluate Marquee Wins, so I included wins against former national champions, pre-season Top 25 ranked teams, and teams who currently have an SoS winning percentage of .800 or higher.

So let's see how these undefeated teams look in descending order of SoS:

Team          Rank    W-L / Pct.     SoS      MofV     Marquee Wins
Monmouth   “36”   6-0 / 1.000    0.607    33.2    @St. Norbert, Carroll
Cortland      13     5-0 / 1.000    0.600    10.4    Rowan, Montclair St.
RPI            “29”    4-0 / 1.000    0.556    16.7    WPI
Carleton      22     5-0 / 1.000    0.542    13.8    Augsburg
Curry         “28”    6-0 / 1.000    0.483    19.8   
Willamette    19     6-0 / 1.000    0.435    25.8    @CA Lutheran
CWRU         15      5-0 / 1.000    0.429    29.4    Wooster
Trine          “30”    5-0 / 1.000    0.429    17       Franklin
Huntingdon  “44”    4-0 / 1.000    0.421    28.3   
Otterbein     21      5-0 / 1.000    0.350    25.2    @Ohio Northern

This type of analysis appears to justify Cortland's and Huntingdon's relative poll positions, but it does seem to call into question why the same method that helped explain CWRU's place has kept Monmouth off the voters' radars.  The big picture for Otterbein might even be worse than the numbers indicate, since their marquee win is against a struggling 1-4 Ohio Northern.

Still, I don't see how Monmouth has been kept so far away for so long.
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Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #158 on: October 17, 2008, 01:44:56 pm »
Monmouth's OOWP is 0.498. (At least, in regional games, but that's going to cover the vast majority of those possible games.)
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Offline redswarm81

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #159 on: October 17, 2008, 01:59:47 pm »
Monmouth's OOWP is 0.498. (At least, in regional games, but that's going to cover the vast majority of those possible games.)

I see.  I haven't sorted out the relative importance of OWP v. OOWP v. Winning Percentage.  Maybe I can get Frank Rossi to post a treatise on the subject.   :D

Do you include OOWP in the team resume info that you send the voters each week, or is that something they need to get from the NCAA themselves?
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Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #160 on: October 17, 2008, 08:56:05 pm »
It's not included. For the most part I think our voters know that the Midwest Conference tends to have low OOWPs and they adjust accordingly.

Our numbers are what the NCAA uses for selections, so just in-region. Not appropriate for a Top 25 as not all games are regional.
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Offline K-Mack

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #161 on: October 18, 2008, 12:09:03 am »
Still, I don't see how Monmouth has been kept so far away for so long.

Easy. Carroll is not a marquee win anywhere but on your chart, and the Midwest is one of the least-strong conferences, and the numbers don't necessarily account for that. As with teams from other less-strong conferences (see Curry, Trine, etc.), it takes some time and several wins before they creep into the 20s. Generally.

I think the St. Norbert win is the first one that thrust them onto most voters' watch lists.

The numbers are certainly helpful to voters, but it's safe to say a lot of them probably prefer to use common sense to huge charts. Right or wrong, it's likely how it works.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 11:23:43 pm by K-Mack »
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Offline redswarm81

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #162 on: October 18, 2008, 10:09:38 am »
Still, I don't see how Monmouth has been kept so far away for so long.

Easy. Carroll is not a marquee win anywhere but on your chart, and the Midwest is one of the least-strong conferences, and the numbers don't necessarily account for that. As with teams from other less-strong conferences (see Curry, Trine, etc.), it takes some time and several wins before they creep into the 20s. Generally.

I think the St. Norbert win is the first one that thrust them onto most voters' watch lists.

The numbers are certainly helpful to voters, but it's safe to say a lot of them probably prefer to use common sense to huge charts. Right or wrong, it's likely how it works.

Easy.  Sure.
I don't know how to identify or evaluate Marquee Wins, so I included wins against former national champions, pre-season Top 25 ranked teams, and teams who currently have an SoS winning percentage of .800 or higher.

I know (and appreciate!) how to learn the definitions of ironic, coincidental and apropos, but I don't know how Marquee Win is defined.

This is all a heck of a lot of fun, and I understand that it's all based on very inexact science.  However, d3football.com has advertised its Top 25 poll as the result of more exact science than any of the alternatives.

I would guess that the AFCA poll voters believe that they are using common sense.  "Common sense" is more often discussed when it's missing than when it's present, so I don't really know how to recognize when common sense is being used in lieu of huge charts.

However, I do know how to read thoughtful explanations offered by poll voters.  My list was as near as I could get to an objective rendering of Pat's rather thorough explanation of the relative positions of Cortland St. and Case Western after week 5.  Pat mentioned SoS/OWP, Margin of Victory, and Marquee Wins.  Recently it appears that OOWP is implicated, but I'm not sure if OOWP was used in the Week 5 poll.

I can understand the temptation to use perceived relative conference strength, but that would really be a stretch to apply to an undefeated team that has not been in the playoffs recently, e.g. Monmouth.  Sure, you can point out that its conference mates don't do well out of the conference in regular season or playoffs, but that argument can't be applied directly to the undefeated playoff-stranger team in question--not logically, at least. . . . but I understand that to many people, logic is different than common sense.   ;)

I can also understand (sort of) why voters want to look at SoS/OWP and OOWP, but common sense dictates that those statistics are secondary to Winning Percentage.  An 0-5 team could have an OWP/OOWP of .750/550, but does that mean it should be ranked higher than a 5-0 team?

Is Franklin a Marquee win for Trine?  If so, why?  And if Franklin is a Marquee win for Trine, why isn't Carroll a Marquee Win for Monmouth?

My head is starting to spin--and this stuff is a LOT easier to try and figure out than Empire 8 what-ifs.   :D
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Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #163 on: October 18, 2008, 08:15:57 pm »
I didn't say anything about "marquee wins," but at the beginning of this process I did mention who the best win was on a couple of teams' schedules.
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Offline redswarm81

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Re: TOP 25
« Reply #164 on: October 18, 2008, 09:22:33 pm »
I didn't say anything about "marquee wins," but at the beginning of this process I did mention who the best win was on a couple of teams' schedules.

I coined the term after you mentioned Cortland's road victory v. Rowan (then 3-1) as partial justification for Cortland leapfrogging Case Western:

(I)t's important to remember that the entire season resume can be re-evaluated each week. (We make sure the voters see this data so they can decide whether to use it. . . .)

Here's the entire season resume for both teams:

No. 15 Case Western Reserve (4-0):
Sep 06   AWAY   Kenyon (1-4)    W  26-62
Sep 13   HOME   Rochester (1-3) W 38-6
Sep 20   AWAY   Oberlin  (1-3)    W  21-48
Oct 04   HOME   Denison   (1-3)  W  45-14

No. 14 Cortland State (4-0):
Sep 06   AWAY   Morrisville State (0-4)   W 37-51
Sep 20   AWAY   Rowan           (3-1)  W  20-27
Sep 27   AWAY   Kean              (3-1)  W  28-32
Oct 04   HOME   Buffalo State   (0-4)  W  35-14

Case has been pounding teams, yes, but all they've proven is that they're better than four bad teams. Cortland has proven its better than Rowan, and that's a road game as well.

Okay, so it appears that W-L Record, Strength of Schedule, Margin of Victory, and Marquee Wins (bonus for road marquee wins) are useful factors in poll evaluations.

Is there a better term?
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