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View Full Version : NFT: The RPI is a joke


duncan_idaho
12-12-2006, 09:02 AM
So I'm reading the Star this morning, and I see that Missouri is the No. 13 ranked team in the RPI. <a href=http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/16218185.htm>Link</A>

That makes them the highest-ranked team in the Big 12.

This is a joke, just like using the RPI to judge the strength of a conference or a team.

Missouri has played two good teams and a bunch of average mid-major (read: bottom tier in a major conference) teams like Evansville. The Tigers' schedule hasn't been horrific, but it hasn't been good, either. Yet, somehow, Missouri ranks higher than unbeaten Oklahoma State, which has a win AT Syracuse on its schedule.

I guess I should be happy that my Tigers have finally figured out how the MVC has had such a good RPI the past few years (play a bunch of average but not crappy mid-majors in the nonconference)... but I'm having a hard time with that.

Saulbadguy
12-12-2006, 09:06 AM
Kansas State was ranked #1 in the RPI in 05 and 04 for quite awhile. Didn't really work out.

It is pretty useless this time of year.

JimNasium
12-12-2006, 09:10 AM
The RPI is kinda like the Sagarin ratings. Currently there are two Valley teams in the top five. (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt0607.htm) :shake:

ChiefsCountry
12-12-2006, 10:09 AM
I think Wichita State has earned being that high, you go on the road and knock off LSU and Syracuse that tells alot about a team.

MVC is just going out and winning games. There is no secert to the RPI other than winning and not to schedule teams that will suck.

Besides RPI doesnt mean crap anyways, look at my Bears last year we were #21 in the final RPI and didnt get into the tournament.

Also Mizzou is now #11, http://www.kenpom.com/rpi.php Mainly bc Arkansas is ranked #7.

Saggysack
12-12-2006, 10:17 AM
The RPI is kinda like the Sagarin ratings. Currently there are two Valley teams in the top five. (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt0607.htm) :shake:

Well, when one team beats 2 teams from last years Final 4, what else would you expect? Wichita St. isn't recieving any recognition that they don't deserve.

banyon
12-12-2006, 10:39 AM
You've just got to be really clever about scheduling your pansies. Make sure that you schedule the 1st or 2nd place finisher out of the Southland conference or the Big Sky instead of #7 or 8.

Ok, so generally, (leaving out the home-road distinction for the sake of simplicity) RPI= 1. Your win pct (25%), 2. Your opponents' win pct (50%), and 3. your opponents' opponents' win pct (25%).

Here's Mizzou St.'s nonconference opponents for example
_______________________
N. Illinois RPI 126---(15-10; 1st in Mid-American Conf.-West)
Ark. St (twice) RPI 224--(10-18; 3rd Sun Belt West)
Ga. Southern RPI 161--(18-9; 1st in Southern Conf.-South)
T A&M C-C--RPI 202--(16-8; Independent)
Oral Roberts--RPI 131--(17-11; Mid Con Conf.T-1st)
Detroit--RPI 180--(14-16; T 3rd Horizon Lg)
Arkansas (L) RPI 50--(20-8; 3rd, SEC West)
Wisc-Milwaukee--RPI 58 (18-8; 1st Horizon Lg)
___________________________________

For a nonconference RPI of #6 in the country. Yet that's all the teams they played. It's based purely on record. They went (8-1) against this schedule, so that's 25%. and then if you add up the records, then that's (128-88) a 60% win pct., which is 50% of the RPI formula.

Let's compare that to a team that did a poor job scheduling their "pansies". How about Kansas (RPI 41)?
__________________________________
Idaho St. RPI 201--(11-14; T-last in Big Sky)
Arizona (L) RPI 18--(18-10; 4th in PAC-10)
Arkansas (L) RPI 50--(20-8; 3rd, SEC West)
Nevada (L) RPI 27--(22-5; 1st WAC)
W. Illinois RPI 321--(5-20; 8th Mid-Con Conf.)
St. Joseph's (L)RPI 46--(14-12; 5th Atlantic-10)
California RPI 61--(17-9; 3rd Pac-10)
Pepperdine RPI 242 (7-20; last West Coast Conf.)
N. Colorado RPI 327 (3-24; Independent)
N. Orleans RPI 254 (8-18; 5th, Sun Belt West)
Yale RPI 190 (15-13; T-3rd Ivy League)
Kentucky RPI 31 (19-10; T-2nd SEC East)
_____________________________________

For a nonconference RPI of #138 in the country. They went 8-4 against this slate for the first 25%. Then adding up thier records, you get (159-163) a 49.3% win pct. for the second 50%. Scheduling a team like N. Colorado (3-24) in this regard kills this stat. If they had just replaced them with Hofstra (22-5) for example, they would be at (178-144) and probably at least be in the top 100 in nonconference RPI. Additionally, for the RPI, scheduling a team like Kentucky at 19-10 gets you the nearly same benefit in the first 2 categories as Tx A& M Corpus Christi, and as long as that team didn't schedule too poorly, then the 3rd category shouldn't hurt you too badly. Not to mention you don't take the risk of losing and hurting the first category (which offsets the 3rd a bit)

So, from what I can tell, If you do a good job of scheduling the right pansies, you can make out like a bandit.

JimNasium
12-12-2006, 10:41 AM
Well, when one team beats 2 teams from last years Final 4, what else would you expect? Wichita St. isn't recieving any recognition that they don't deserve.
I wasn't so much commenting about WSU as I was Missouri State. You cannot tell me that MSU is a top five team and I would venture a guess that WSU is not the best team in the nation. BTW, I'm a MSU alum but I'm checking my homer glasses at the door. Perhaps you should as well.

JimNasium
12-12-2006, 10:43 AM
You've just got to be really clever about scheduling your pansies. Make sure that you schedule the 1st or 2nd place finisher out of the Southland conference or the Big Sky instead of #7 or 8.

Ok, so generally, (leaving out the home-road distinction for the sake of simplicity) RPI= 1. Your win pct (25%), 2. Your opponents' win pct (50%), and 3. your opponents' opponents' win pct (25%).

Here's Mizzou St.'s nonconference opponents for example
_______________________
N. Illinois RPI 126---(15-10; 1st in Mid-American Conf.-West)
Ark. St (twice) RPI 224--(10-18; 3rd Sun Belt West)
Ga. Southern RPI 161--(18-9; 1st in Southern Conf.-South)
T A&M C-C--RPI 202--(16-8; Independent)
Oral Roberts--RPI 131--(17-11; Mid Con Conf.T-1st)
Detroit--RPI 180--(14-16; T 3rd Horizon Lg)
Arkansas (L) RPI 50--(20-8; 3rd, SEC West)
Wisc-Milwaukee--RPI 58 (18-8; 1st Horizon Lg)
___________________________________

For a nonconference RPI of #6 in the country. Yet that's all the teams they played. It's based purely on record. They went (8-1) against this schedule, so that's 25%. and then if you add up the records, then that's (128-88) a 60% win pct., which is 50% of the RPI formula.

Let's compare that to a team that did a poor job scheduling their "pansies". How about Kansas (RPI 41)?
__________________________________
Idaho St. RPI 201--(11-14; T-last in Big Sky)
Arizona (L) RPI 18--(18-10; 4th in PAC-10)
Arkansas (L) RPI 50--(20-8; 3rd, SEC West)
Nevada (L) RPI 27--(22-5; 1st WAC)
W. Illinois RPI 321--(5-20; 8th Mid-Con Conf.)
St. Joseph's (L)RPI 46--(14-12; 5th Atlantic-10)
California RPI 61--(17-9; 3rd Pac-10)
Pepperdine RPI 242 (7-20; last West Coast Conf.)
N. Colorado RPI 327 (3-24; Independent)
N. Orleans RPI 254 (8-18; 5th, Sun Belt West)
Yale RPI 190 (15-13; T-3rd Ivy League)
Kentucky RPI 31 (19-10; T-2nd SEC East)
_____________________________________

For a nonconference RPI of #138 in the country. They went 8-4 against this slate for the first 25%. Then adding up thier records, you get (159-163) a 49.3% win pct. for the second 50%. Scheduling a team like N. Colorado (3-24) in this regard kills this stat. If they had just replaced them with Hofstra (22-5) for example, they would be at (178-144) and probably at least be in the top 100 in nonconference RPI. Additionally, for the RPI, scheduling a team like Kentucky at 19-10 gets you the nearly same benefit in the first 2 categories as Tx A& M Corpus Christi, and as long as that team didn't schedule too poorly, then the 3rd category shouldn't hurt you too badly. Not to mention you don't take the risk of losing and hurting the first category (which offsets the 3rd a bit)

So, from what I can tell, If you do a good job of scheduling the right pansies, you can make out like a bandit.
You left Wisconsin and Oklahoma State out. MSU beat Wisconsin and took Ok state to overtime.

tk13
12-12-2006, 11:42 AM
The Missouri Valley is beating literally every really good team they play. I'm pretty impressed, even last weekend, Indiana State handled Butler their first loss, and Butler beat everybody, won the preseason NIT, and Indiana State will probably finish in the bottom half of the conference. That's why they're the 2nd ranked conference in the RPI.

I don't know if Wichita State is 2nd in the country, but I don't think anyone could give me a good reason why they're not a top 5-10 team, other than that "they're Wichita State". The whole conference is playing like a major conference ight now.

banyon
12-12-2006, 11:48 AM
You left Wisconsin and Oklahoma State out. MSU beat Wisconsin and took Ok state to overtime.

That list is from last year. I still think how you schedule your pansies has a lot to do with it. Can anyone explain why Southern Methodist is #7 when they haven't beaten anyone? It's due to the same sort of process as above, IMO.

Pitt Gorilla
12-12-2006, 12:26 PM
RPI means nothing right now.

duncan_idaho
12-12-2006, 12:42 PM
I realize the RPI is by no means final... but conferences can't really change their ranking much once the conference season begins.

The nonconference season is almost over, and most teams won't play that many games this month. The individual RPIs still might change a lot, but conference RPIs won't.

I'm just saying... there's something wrong with the system when it's better to play and beat 3 mid-level mid majors than to play two Top 25 teams and one really bad team.

Oh, and Chiefscountry:

Yes, that blowout loss in the first round of last season's NIT really proved SMS belonged in the NCAA tourney ...

ChiefsCountry
12-12-2006, 12:46 PM
Oh, and Chiefscountry:

Yes, that blowout loss in the first round of last season's NIT really proved SMS belonged in the NCAA tourney ...

You mean semifinal round of the NIT, one step from New York. Forgetting about us beating Stanford and Houston before Louisville got us.

duncan_idaho
12-12-2006, 12:53 PM
You mean semifinal round of the NIT, one step from New York. Forgetting about us beating Stanford and Houston before Louisville got us.

Ah. I stand corrected. Hard to keep track of the NIT if you don't have a team in it.

My apologies.

tk13
12-12-2006, 12:56 PM
Yeah, but what you're not getting is the Valley is beating EVERYBODY. They're 61-18 in non-conference play, and they're 5-1 against top 25 teams. I mean, what more do you have to do? Be perfect? Go 79-0 in non-conference? Is that what it's going to take to impress people? What do they have to do? They're winning non-conference games, they're winning against ranked teams, they had as much tourney success as any other conference last year, despite having all double-digit seeds.

I mean, I'm not even an MVC guy, I'm a MAC guy... but it's sickening to watch you "major conference" fans try to downplay how good they're playing just because they don't have as big of a basketball budget. I said this last year before Bradley beat KU, they are playing every bit as well as some of these major conferences.

JimNasium
12-12-2006, 01:43 PM
.. but it's sickening to watch you "major conference" fans try to downplay how good they're playing just because they don't have as big of a basketball budget. I said this last year before Bradley beat KU, they are playing every bit as well as some of these major conferences.
cough *SkipTowne* cough

banyon
12-12-2006, 03:42 PM
Yeah, but what you're not getting is the Valley is beating EVERYBODY. They're 61-18 in non-conference play, and they're 5-1 against top 25 teams. I mean, what more do you have to do? Be perfect? Go 79-0 in non-conference? Is that what it's going to take to impress people? What do they have to do? They're winning non-conference games, they're winning against ranked teams, they had as much tourney success as any other conference last year, despite having all double-digit seeds.

I mean, I'm not even an MVC guy, I'm a MAC guy... but it's sickening to watch you "major conference" fans try to downplay how good they're playing just because they don't have as big of a basketball budget. I said this last year before Bradley beat KU, they are playing every bit as well as some of these major conferences.

I think Wichita State and Missouri State are both deserving of Top 10 and top 25 rankings, respectively.

I still do think that the RPI formula needs some work, though, due to the problems I have Illustrated. SMU is #7 in RPI last time I looked, and they don't belong in the top 100 probably.

journeyscarab
12-12-2006, 03:48 PM
GO SHOCKERS!

JimNasium
12-12-2006, 03:51 PM
I think Wichita State and Missouri State are both deserving of Top 10 and top 25 rankings, respectively.

I still do think that the RPI formula needs some work, though, due to the problems I have Illustrated. SMU is #7 in RPI last time I looked, and they don't belong in the top 100 probably.
I'm going to reserve judgement on Missouri State until I see them in conference play. They have a habit of coming out of the gate slowly once they hit Valley opposition. Hopefully the interconference games will prepare the Valley teams to do some damage again in March Madness.

htismaqe
12-12-2006, 03:55 PM
Much like any other power ranking system, or any other sort of data analysis tool really, you can't get an objective result when the data set is SMALL.

Early season polls are worthless.

But the RPI is most certainly NOT a joke. It's just not useful until about February.

JimNasium
12-12-2006, 03:58 PM
It's just not useful until about February.
Unless you are Missouri State.

banyon
12-12-2006, 04:03 PM
Much like any other power ranking system, or any other sort of data analysis tool really, you can't get an objective result when the data set is SMALL.

Early season polls are worthless.

But the RPI is most certainly NOT a joke. It's just not useful until about February.

I agree that taking the RPI seriously this early is misguided, but out of curiosity, do you agree with my concerns about "pansy scheduling"?

htismaqe
12-12-2006, 04:04 PM
I agree that taking the RPI seriously this early is misguided, but out of curiosity, do you agree with my concerns about "pansy scheduling"?

Not really.

Primarily because the college basketball season is so long that things tend to sort themselves out by the end...

Spott
12-12-2006, 04:08 PM
Mizzou isn't even the best team in the state.

banyon
12-12-2006, 04:19 PM
Not really.

Primarily because the college basketball season is so long that things tend to sort themselves out by the end...


Yeah, but my examples are from the complete 2005-06 season.

Ultra Peanut
12-12-2006, 04:21 PM
It's a COMPUTER RANKING SYSTEM. It has NO MEANING at this point. It's still exploitable (see SEC and MVC scheduling/padding success in recent years*), but it makes a lot more sense once you give it enough time to gather a reasonable amount of data.

*Not to say the MVC isn't a fine conference, because it is. It was nice to see some "little guys" play the supposed "big guys'" game and thrive last year.

Besides RPI doesnt mean crap anyways, look at my Bears last year we were #21 in the final RPI and didnt get into the tournament.That was a really uncommon circumstance, though. The MVC had next to no name recognition, and all of a sudden pumped a ton of teams into territory that was previously considered Lock Land. Frankly, be happy the bastards on the selection committee didn't stiff the MVC and dump a couple more worthy teams into the NIT.

htismaqe
12-12-2006, 05:03 PM
Yeah, but my examples are from the complete 2005-06 season.

Your examples are the exception, not the rule.