Monday, October 29, 2007

The Terrors of the RPI

Today I watched Jim Colton's slideshow on the Flaws of the RPI. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested on the accuracy of the RPI. It is rather lengthy (Part 1, just on the RPI, is 21:30), but informative at the same time. Futhermore, in Part 2, explaining the Colton Index, I am completely sold.

To give a quick overview of the Colton Index:

Playing bottom feeders can kill your RPI. A team playing 1, 2, and 330 at home has the same SOS as someone playing 110, 111, 112 on the road. A tournament quality team would go 1-2 against the first schedule, and 3-0 against the 2nd schedule. Therefore, the 2nd team is rewarded for not playing weak opponents by appearing better than the 1st team.

The Colton Index fixes this. He ranks the teams by W-L record, and then uses probability to establish how many games a tournament quality team should win. Teams that win more than that number are rewarded, teams that win fewer are penalized. Since this changes all the rankings, the process is repeated until the numbers stabilize.

Obviously I haven't done as good of a job as the presentation I linked to. But I now believe that the RPI is flawed, and I will not be using it as much this year.

The Colton Index will also now be linked on the side.
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Monday, October 22, 2007

07-08 Season

The new college basketball season kicks off soon (November 5, which is two weeks from yesterday), and the first games are... Richmond/Maine and Memphis/Tennessee-Martin. Perhaps we'll get an interesting game the next day out of Richmond and Memphis. November 10th could mark the first truly interesting game of the year, when Air Force and VMI should be playing (as long as they beat their throwaway opponents). The first match-up between high-quality teams should be the semifinal round of the Coaches Vs. Cancer tournament, when Connecticut and Kentucky will probably face off on November 14. Don't discount the TAMU/ORU matchup - Oral Roberts has been somewhat pesky in recent years.

Along with the new season, I am in a new location this year. I am now at Notre Dame, and will be attending every home game. I also will have much better access to the internet, and as such I do not believe that I will have the unfortunate experience of an inadequate final bracket like last year. I will not produce my first bracket until December 1st (or shortly thereafter), so don't look for it. I will however be occasionally giving my thoughts on Notre Dame basketball, their opponents, and how I think the college basketball season is going. Look for those to be coming out.
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