Will the bottom of the American be viable in the Short/Long Term? (Part 1 - Scheduling) | The Boneyard

Will the bottom of the American be viable in the Short/Long Term? (Part 1 - Scheduling)

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OkaForPrez

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Intermingled in trash-heap of a thread about the Big East conference over on the realignment board is a question about the bottom of the American conference and its impact on UConn's RPI (and therefore tournament seeding) go forward. I think its an interesting topic as we get close to this season to examine the bottom of the league and the coaching changes they've made as well as their scheduling and recruiting.

2014RPI.jpg


Here's the ugly picture from last year heading into the tourney. Gone unfortunately is Louisville and the two games to bolster our SOS. Also Gone is Rutgers, mercifully, so we need to focus on Houston, Temple, UCF, USF and the additions of Tulsa (70), Tulane(220) and ECU(227).

Before we start evaluating the competency of these teams and their coaches, let's first take a look to see if they are improving their scheduling. This is the "lowest hanging fruit" for improving their RPI's. Houston, UCF and South Florida all had pretty abysmal SOS's last year as did ECU and Tulane.

Houston OOC:

The Worst:

Houston Baptist (343)
Abeline Cristian (344)
Miss Valley State (345)
** Houston has scheduled 3 of the bottom 9 in the RPI last year. Let that sink in. This is an atrocious act of damage to the conference.
Texas Pan American (311)
Rice (297)

Top:
Harvard (46)
Boise State (81).

Houston is still contributing the poison that is over-indulging on bottom of the barrel schools. Someone needs to ask them about it at AAC media day.

UCF OOC:

The worst:

ECK (d2)
Bethune Cookman (346)
Illinois Chicago (317)
Stetson (311)
Georgia Southern (309)
Southeastern Lousiana (303)
Florida Atlantic (271)

Slightly Better:
Detroit (235)

Decent:
South Carolina Upstate (161)
Davidson (129)

Marquee:
FSU (54)

UCF is part of the problem too. More garbage all over their OOC and even less to offset it by way of marquee match ups in the top half.


USF OOC:

Georgia Southern (309)
Southeastern Lousiana (303)
Jackson State (299)
Jacksonville (283)
Hofstra (279)
Detroit (235)

Bowling Green (198)
UAB (153)
Seton Hall (130)
Alabama (108)

FSU (54)
NC State (52)

USF's schedule indicates they've been at this a bit longer than our CUSA friends. There is less pure garbage at the bottom, a bit wider range of more win-able mid range games with brand cache' and then two really strong match ups at the top.


Tulsa OOC:

Abeline Cristian (344)
SE Oklahoma State (D2)


Incarnate (228)

Auburn (186)
AR Little Rock (182)
Oral Roberts (170)
LA Lafayatte (88)
Missouri State (87)

Wichita St (4)
Creighton (11)
Oklahoma (26)

Tulsa!!!! Welcome to the conference you sneaky sons of b!tches. This is a baller OOC schedule you've got in your back pocket to go with your NCAA Cinderella slipper last year and your Frank Haith Hire. Wish you still had Danny at the wheel but I'll be damned you guys are already putting Houston and UCF to shame. I think I like you. You didn't really belong on this list because your SOS was a respectable 70 last year, but I wanted to call you out so everyone can see how it's done.

Tulane OOC:

SU (d2)
Miss Valley State (345)
Southeastern Lousiana (303)
Jackson State (299)
Loyola - IL (292)
Savanah State (273)

Miss St. (244)

Southern (176)
Wake Forest (115)
Washington (104)
St. Johns (77)

Tulane looks like they are trying at the bottom but there is still a little too much wood there at the top for my liking.

ECU OOC:

UNCW (d2)
VULYN (d2)
NC Greensboro (298)
CCSU (295) * Our worst game

Florida A&M (289)
NC Wilmington (282)
Florida Atlantic (271)


James Madison (239)
NC Ashville (203)

Wisconsin Green Bay (67)

UNC (25)


ECU has the UNC game as a nice SOS buffer but the two D2 games plus not a whole lot going on in the mid range means this schedule is still a net detriment to the league.


Did SMU learn their lesson?

Midwestern State(D2)
Lamar (342)
Illinois Chicago (317)
Monmouth (293)

Texas Southern (231)
Eastern Washington (224)

Wyoming (134)
UCSB (106)
Indiana (102)

Arkansas (66)
Gonzaga (19)
Michigan (10)

They didn't get rid of all of their extra fat cup cakes but they've snuck in a good amount of midrange RPI W's and plenty of headliners at the top. Should be in great shape this year, hope they get the Zags and and UM Scalps for the conference.



In Summary:

From a scheduling perspective Tulsa looks Big Boy ready and SMU has upped their game after their post season snub. Houston and UCF should know better by now but they still have a ton of absolute trash in their cupcakes. Tulane is starting to pull the bottom of their schedule out of the 300+ abyss but not doing enough in the top of their OOC schedule and ECU outside of their 2? D2 games isn't terrible.

The bottom of the conference needs to do more in the scheduling department though, and if I was a member of the AAC media I would be asking each coach explicitly what they are doing by way of scheduling to improve the RPI of the conference, especially Houston and UCF. Next post will be around the coaching changes at the bottom with a look at Haith, Sampson and Antigua and their inaugural recruiting classes.
 
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Good analysis. I'll give Houston and USF a temporary pass given the coaching changes. I think Sampson especially is going to make Houston respectable pretty quickly and with that should come a more difficult schedule.

UCF's schedule screams "Donnie Jones is trying to save his job."
 

OkaForPrez

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Here's UConn for Context:

CCSU (295)
Coppin State (265)
Charleston (243)

Bryant (173)
Yale (149)
Columbia (125)

Stanford (40)
Texas (37)
Duke (8)
Florida (1)
 

Dynasty

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Great analysis. I can give passes to all these schools for one reason or another except for SMU. This is their second year in the conference. They can't have a crap schedule like that.
 

Inyatkin

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Don't Division II games not count toward RPI? Or did I make that up?
If that's the case why not get a bunch more SE Oklahoma State and drop the Abilenes altogether
 
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Cincinnati's for reference as well:

Saint Francis (PA) (304)
Eastern Illinois (291)
Wagner (211)

Morehead State (141)
Stony Brook (165)

NC Central (99)
vs. Middle Tennessee St. (61)
vs. Creighton (11) or Ole Miss (93)
@ Nebraska (49)
San Diego State (14)
VCU (13)
@ NC State (52)
 
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Don't Division II games not count toward RPI? Or did I make that up?
If that's the case why not get a bunch more SE Oklahoma State and drop the Abilenes altogether

Correct but they also don't count as a win either. The NCAA committee basically ignores those games.
 

pepband99

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You nailed this. I made reference to this last year, too. We ended up 26th!!! in non-conf RPI SOS. It's ridiculous that we even ended up 8th against that horrid SOS (keep in mind this is before the postseason).

Mostly same offenders, too. Houston and UCF need to pick it up.
 

CTBasketball

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Temple won't be nearly as bad as they were last year. But the rest suck.
 
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Here's UConn for Context:

CCSU (295)
Coppin State (265)
Charleston (243)

Bryant (173)
Yale (149)
Columbia (125)

Stanford (40)
Texas (37)
Duke (8)
Florida (1)

I know the tournament we're playing in isn't great, but might that also add a few in the 50-100 range?
 
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I know the tournament we're playing in isn't great, but might that also add a few in the 50-100 range?

Yes. In addition to Charleston, here are how the other six teams in the tournament field fared RPI-wise last season:

New Mexico (15)
Dayton (42)
West Virginia (87)
Texas A&M (146)
George Mason (162)
Boston College (201)

Considering we're likely to play Dayton in the semi-finals, and then West Virginia or St. Louis in the finals, that's some pretty solid competition. I don't know how good New Mexico is going to be next season, but they're generally in the thick of things in the MWC. Dayton returns a couple of starters from their elite eight team and West Virginia should be top 50 with NPOY candidate Juwan Staten back for another year.

There isn't anything there that generates a lot of buzz, but we have plenty of that on the schedule already in Florida, Texas, and Duke. I suppose I'm looking forward to it more than most - for a team that lost four starters from last season, many of the aforementioned programs who will be joining us in Puerto Rico will pose a legitimate challenge. It will be a good early season litmus test.
 
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First I want to say you make a great point and broke it down very well. It's definitely going to be a problem; and I just don't see it getting better.

Bottom line though, in my opinion, we need to get out of the American. And if we don't we essentially end up in a Gonzaga-like circumstance.
 
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why do we always play Coppin State? It seems like such a random opponent and we play them almost every year.
 
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why do we always play Coppin State? It seems like such a random opponent and we play them almost every year.

You gotta pay the cupcakes to come to your place every year. Maybe they give us a group discount.
 
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I think that Houston and Tulsa are taking the right steps to be quality programs. Does anyone know if WKU was in the conversation to join the league? They seem like they're in the NCAAs most of the time, and I feel like they often even win a game or two.
 

OkaForPrez

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I think that Houston and Tulsa are taking the right steps to be quality programs. Does anyone know if WKU was in the conversation to join the league? They seem like they're in the NCAAs most of the time, and I feel like they often even win a game or two.
They would definitely raise our mascot game.

523e60df97724.image.jpg
 

OkaForPrez

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In case anyone was wondering, here is how last years RPI #'s shook out after the season. Count of Non Conference Matchups per RPI rank buckets in 50s.

Houston's garbage scheduling did in fact produce garbage. They even lost two of those games. How the heck did we lose to them.

2015-05-15 13_27_35-Book2 - Excel.jpg


Here are the top 10 Best Non Conference Wins:

upload_2015-5-15_13-34-52.png
 
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I'll cut Temple some slack on that one. Big 5 games really are their own thing.
 
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Rothstein tweets out scheduling info on a daily basis and I've noticed lots of quality home-and-homes being scheduled by AAC teams. Granted almost all of them involve the top half of the league, but even Houston just booked a 4 year series with LSU.
 
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