Rankings, Blow Outs & Conference Chest Beating | The Boneyard

Rankings, Blow Outs & Conference Chest Beating

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RockyMTblue2

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Maryland's Thorough thrashing of Nebraska today: Number 14 putting a 28 point beat down on number 12 Nebraska got me thinking about a lively debate going on on another board. That had to do with UConn having no real challenges until USC shows up in February and whether the conference hurts UConn. In that discussion a number of posters were talking about how the rankings get really squishy 20-50 and maybe beyond. I'm thinking the squishy starts around 10. Of course, early season, given the truly patsy schedule so many big conference teams play (USC among them), does little to inform the rankings. Feeling like the P5 conferences always are over-ranked right til the NCAAs sort it out and then the next year we just do it all over again.
 
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DobbsRover2

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Maryland's Thorough thrashing of Nebraska today: Number 14 putting a 28 point beat down on number 12 Nebraska got me thinking about a lively debate going on on another board. That had to do with UConn having no real challenges until USC shows up in February and whether the conference hurts UConn. In that discussion a number of posters were talking about how the rankings get really squishy 20-50 and maybe beyond. I'm thinking the squishy starts around 10. Of course, early season, given the truly patsy schedule so many big conference teams play (USC among them), does little to inform the rankings. Feeling like the P5 conferences always are over-ranked right til the NCAAs sort it out and then the next year we just do it all over again.
Don't be so hard on the P5 conferences just because they fell so far below the 90% winning Tournament performance of the AAC last year. They're doing their best with the limited talent and coaching resources they have available. And not all the teams are as bad as Clemson or Florida or Penn State.
 
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Maryland's Thorough thrashing of Nebraska today: Number 14 putting a 28 point beat down on number 12 Nebraska got me thinking about a lively debate going on on another board. That had to do with UConn having no real challenges until USC shows up in February and whether the conference hurts UConn. In that discussion a number of posters were talking about how the rankings get really squishy 20-50 and maybe beyond. I'm thinking the squishy starts around 10. Of course, early season, given the truly patsy schedule so many big conference teams play (USC among them), does little to inform the rankings. Feeling like the P5 conferences always are over-ranked right til the NCAAs sort it out and then the next year we just do it all over again.
I think you're right about it getting squishy after #10, though the optimist in me likes to think there are at least 15 competitive programs out there. #20 or #120, I'm not sure there's much of a difference.
 
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I figure there are two levels of squishy out there. From maybe 109 to 20 there's high-squishy, where the teams are legitimately good and can beat up on one another regularly (if they played one another regularly, that is). From maybe 20 to 30 or so there is low-squishy, teams that during the course of the season will make a run at 20 or better but may not stay there because sooner or later, they will lose to a team they shouldn't have lost to. Below 30 is pretty much no-woman's-land.
 
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Is squishy a technical term that someone might explain to me? And does low-squishy mean more or less squishy? Does high-squishy mean the team is more or less likely to be squishy? Thanks for any input. :)
 
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Maryland's Thorough thrashing of Nebraska today: Number 14 putting a 28 point beat down on number 12 Nebraska got me thinking about a lively debate going on on another board. That had to do with UConn having no real challenges until USC shows up in February and whether the conference hurts UConn. In that discussion a number of posters were talking about how the rankings get really squishy 20-50 and maybe beyond. I'm thinking the squishy starts around 10. Of course, early season, given the truly patsy schedule so many big conference teams play (USC among them), does little to inform the rankings. Feeling like the P5 conferences always are over-ranked right til the NCAAs sort it out and then the next year we just do it all over again.

In terms of national exposure, being in the AAC surely doesn't help, nor does the exhausting travel schedule it entails. Potential HS recruits may be more impressed with a P5 schedule of brand name schools. And our fans might prefer the excitement of more games against big time opponents. But it would seem that as long as the out-of-conference schedule is really strong (SC, ND, Duke, Stanford), playing the AAC 'cupcakes' while periodically mixing in the challenges of top 10 teams simply plays into Geno's hands and gives the master Auriemma the perfect opportunity to progressively, in practice and games, fine tune and craft his team so it peaks for the only game that matters, in April. The fans may disagree, but I think Geno could care less about the rankings- as long as his team wins the last game of the year.
 
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I've thought for a long time the any ranking below 10 is meaningless. We have to create them for seeding purposes only.
 

UcMiami

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With Uconn we are highly spoiled by the consistency that the team displays - the number of 'surprise' losses the team has suffered over the last two decades is incredibly small - we can go years between those 'bad losses'. That is the reason we have 3 of the four longest winning streaks in WCBB and 5 of the 8 undefeated seasons. That consistency is incredibly rare and the only current team that approaches that level is ND.
The lack of consistency from most of the rest of the WCBB universe makes the process for voters in rankings more difficult as it is hard to judge what is an 'off night' (for both the winner and the loser) and what is a legitimate result, especially early in a season.
Add in the wild inconsistencies of OOC schedule strengths, the integration of freshman into a team, the home court 'magic' or road woes of certain teams and it really is mostly guess work.

On the 'squishiness':
1. There are usually 2-4 teams at the top of the heap that are consistent and unlikely to lose any games except to the other teams in those 2-4.
2. The next maybe 5-10 teams that are flawed but strong and likely to consistently win against teams ranked 15 or higher except for those one or two 'bad loss' nights.
3. There are then another 10 or so teams that have the skill to out perform their ranking in one or two games and to pretty consistently beat teams below them.
4. After that maybe 20 teams that are talented but so inconsistent that they bounce up and down like yoyos
5. And then the unwashed masses that might catch lightening one night a year and shock one of those teams way above them, but the lightening only strikes once every 10 years for any of them.
6. And then down at the bottom you have the teams that are so bad they might as we'll just play intramurally.
 
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UConn mens team last year puts a crimp in your elitist theory. No need to put the other teams down. If it wasn't for them there would be no national champion, or any winner for that matter. The ranking system is an incentive based system, no more, no less. One would say that the lower ranked teams are more important than the winners, without them there would be no reason for anyone to play.
 

DobbsRover2

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You can also look at rankings from the point of view of where you have to be to have a serious shot of making it to "near the top," which to me would start with the Elite 8 and even more the Final Four. There are a number of teams (any from the SEC and B10) that do regularly get into Top 10 and Top 20 territory but for whom the E8 has been the ceiling during the last 6 years when UConn has been running to four NCs. But at what point is just being ranked of little value to getting to the E8 or FF?

The tipping point might be a little lower down than what we would think, especially if we get too fixated on years like 2012 when incredibly the E8 teams were all 1-2 seeds and FF teams were all 1 seeds. It would be nearly impossible to imagine a #7 seed and #8 seed meeting in the NC game, as with the men last year, whose rankings often get totally crazily chewed up by March Madness. The women's Tournament is sometimes called "predictable," but I would say that it follows reasonably close to the rankings but with some major differences, which is what I would expect from decently done rankings. Some say they love the wildness of the men's tournament, and sure, but you also have to say that the rankings then aren't worth much. You can't have it both ways.

For WCBB during the last 6 Tournaments, eight teams have made it to the E8 who were ranked outside the Top 10. The ones not advancing from there included 28th ranked Purdue and 19th ranked ASU from 2009, 20th ranked Gonzaga from 2011, 14th ranked Georgia in 2013, and 12th ranked UNC in 2014. The three who fought through to the FF included 16th ranked Baylor in 2010, 16th ranked Louisville in 2013, and 11th ranked MD in 2014. Louisville also went to the NC game from that 16th ranking in 2013.

So for the most part, being at least in the top 20 seems to be the key for getting to the E8 (just one outlier in the last 6 years), and being at least in the top 16 is necessary for getting to the FF. That's pretty high up, but it's still a ways back from any view view that you have to be top 5 or even top 8 to be alive and kicking when the final three games of April roll around.
 
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It's not UConn's fault that there's no longer a Big East Conference: Notre Dame, Louisville, Syracuse, DePaul, West Virginia, Rutgers, St. John's. Even if the Big East was still a conference, I don't see any of the aforementioned teams beating the Huskies.
 
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Maryland's Thorough thrashing of Nebraska today: Number 14 putting a 28 point beat down on number 12 Nebraska got me thinking about a lively debate going on on another board. That had to do with UConn having no real challenges until USC shows up in February and whether the conference hurts UConn. In that discussion a number of posters were talking about how the rankings get really squishy 20-50 and maybe beyond. I'm thinking the squishy starts around 10. Of course, early season, given the truly patsy schedule so many big conference teams play (USC among them), does little to inform the rankings. Feeling like the P5 conferences always are over-ranked right til the NCAAs sort it out and then the next year we just do it all over again.
I think it gets squishy at #4 right now, #3 in February and #2 in March.
 

UcMiami

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UConn mens team last year puts a crimp in your elitist theory. No need to put the other teams down. If it wasn't for them there would be no national champion, or any winner for that matter. The ranking system is an incentive based system, no more, no less. One would say that the lower ranked teams are more important than the winners, without them there would be no reason for anyone to play.
Mens basketball is a VERY different beast - starting with the one and done players. The primary reason Uconn won was because they had very good juniors and seniors playing team ball that they had learned for 3-4 years against incredibly talented freshman playing for their big NBA paydays. In women's basketball everyone stays 4 years so you do not consistently get that dynamic of talent vs team.
Add in for men:
1. A wider talent pool
2. Bigger paydays so a greater concentration of talent in the two money sports from a young age.
3. Better coaching
4. A much higher revenue stream and therefore greater investment by many more universities.

It is still rare for men's teams outside the top 16 to get to the FF much less win it all, but there is still a much wider top end to the men's game than the women's.
 
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