There is a chance that your deep West Region will rank St. Norbert this week with Illinois College's loss; you'll note that SNC lost by 41 points to that same John Carroll team in the opener.
I think this goes to the depth of the region. Is SNC much different from the MIAA teams? But IC was unbeaten and sitting at 8. SNC has an ugly loss (albeit to a very strong North team), no quality wins and won't even play the 2nd place team in the conference. That's a lot working against them. They could get ranked, but week 1 seems to show a committee more concerned with quality of play, opponents, etc. than straight W-L. I'd be surprised to see SNC.
That said, I don't think the North is weak. Just not as strong as a very stacked and deep West.
I'd argue the difficulty of regions goes in this order:West
- very strong top teams, bottom teams are maybe the best of any region. A lot of 1 loss teams that can't even crack the boardNorth
- very strong top teams, middle teams have quality as well. Bottom of the ranking are a little light in places (not all of them) and once you get off the board it probably drops off even moreSouth
- very strong top team, one maybe two (Wesley) strong teams, then a pack of good not greatsEast
- strong top team, a pack of good not greats
For parities sake, if they don't shuffle some teams out of the West and North those regions will be absolutely brutal. For clarities sake, I'm using 'very strong team' to refer to a team I think is a threat to make the semi's depending on how their region & seeding stacks up. Strong means a Regional Finals threat. Good not great means more likely to lose second round than win, unless they draw another good not great and get a favorable matchup.
To this point. I think most of the teams in the West ranking would be a threat to win the East. So they might get stuck in the West and appear to fall into the good not great category, but it's more owing to their draw than their actual strength.
All that said, there's bound to be some movement yet. Each region will have some weak Pool A's added to the mix, some quality teams are bound to lose in the final week. And some teams are going to surprise us in the playoffs.