I have a feeling I can at least give you a heads up on some of these answers, but I will present some of them to the committee chair as well:
My question is the same question I have every time. Exactly how much leeway do the the RAC get when interpreting the numbers of the primary criteria?
We've heard two different stories in the past. A few years ago it was "well the coaches in the RAC are there because they know the region and they're having basketball conversations and looking inside the numbers". Last year, it seemed, it was more "well we're tied to the criteria" (and we all know which team I'll cite as the example).
If it's #1, that's fine, but why didn't it work last year? If it's #2, that's fine, but why are college basketball coaches deemed best suited to interpret statistical data?
First, when it was a vote on the phone they tended to let the RACs vote, however the national committee did have the rights to go back to the RACs and say we don't agree and here are the reasons. We have talked about this often.
Second, two seasons ago the NCAA went to a "private" voting method. There would be a discussion on the phone, but then each RAC member would get off the phone and vote. The idea was that those whose arguments were being drowned out could still vote how they believed and not get steamed rolled into an opinion because more vocal members deemed it so. The problem this caused was RACs were very inconsistent across the country and even the RAC chairs (members of the national committee) wouldn't know how to "argue" their RACs vote when the results would surprise even them. The add to this misery, the national committee was not allowed to tweak RAC rankings or even advise why they had a problem until the very last ranking of the season - which we don't see.
Last year, some of that changed and I think you so that in the "use the criteria" mentality. You have administrators that may not know the region as well as the coaches (RACs and the national committee can not be made up of all coaches, it has to be a 50/50 split - though there are creative ways around that) and with an online ballot system now in place, the national committee wanted to make sure all of its RACs and its members were on the same page. This resulted in a more "criteria only" based rankings. It also avoids "old boys networks" and the like.
Take it for what it is... but I highly suspect the criteria only system is also what the NCAA mandates so that there are clear reasons for rankings and selections. Getting into "grey area" is what only causes more problems, especially when the NCAA preaches, though doesn't necessarily abide by, transparency.
Can we please kill off Once Ranked Always Ranked?
There is an effort, I think, to tweek (not twerk) this. I don't remember the details... but if it isn't happening then I am imaging it or in conversations on how to change the system that was a strong part of the conversation. For some reasons "twice ranked, always ranked" is in my head... but again, could be just from conversations and implementation. I do know that the football guide does not say "once ranked, always ranked" which adds to my reasoning. Again... this will certainly be a question I tackle.
Can we please release the data for the final rankings?
The men's basketball committee has been at the forefront of this for years. They want the data and the final rankings released - no questions about it. This is also why I got my hands on the final regional rankings last year. They want the transparency. They don't like the hidden nature of keeping those rankings quiet. However, there have been other committees... and from what I believe a minority... that have been against this. My gut tells me the old guard on the women's side has been part of this - but that is completely a gut feeling. However, things appear to be changing on the women's side (more on that in the future) and maybe this will change as well (I don't know who the minority are... I never get that answer when asked). But again, the men's basketball committee is told by the NCAA they can't release it and since the NCAA actually releases the information... they can't do much about it except leak the info.
Can we please properly calculate SOS?
This is certainly a topic of conversation for me. I know the men's basketball committee was not happy with how this transpired and it was a major topic for them after the season concluded... however, I have not gotten to the bottom of what if anything has changed. However, you can bet that will be one of the questions I will be asking for many people involved
Quickly back to your point about your rooting interests... I do want to point out that I have talked to that team's head coach many times and he has never complained about the process... both on the air and off. He has repeatedly pointed out that he understands the scenario and realizes the challenge of their situation. I will also say that I have noticed a marked change with many schools not only with the two in Michigan, but elsewhere, that the message is clear... schedule better to the best of your abilities... and I think that is starting to really take shape this year. That is a topic of a "rant" (though, I won't be complaining) on a Hoopsville episode in the near future.
Thanks, KnightSlappy, for the questions. I will ask them accordingly tomorrow (Friday) ahead of next Thursday's show. If anyone has any other questions for the men's committee chair (I tape an interview on Friday) or the women's committee chair... PLEASE email, tweet, Facebook, add to this thread, etc. so we can ask them.