Postseason Analysis: What Does Today’s RPI Tell Us?Analysis
e all think it from time to time. We watch a team climb a dozen RPI spots with a midweek road win and proclaim, “This is nuts. It’s too early to worry about the RPI!”
But is it too early? Can a team with an RPI problem on April 10 make a large climb by selection day? Are there trends to consider like strength of schedule, conference strength, or jersey color?
Like Scooby and Gang, we at D1 love a good mystery. We took a look at the RPI rankings from April 11, 2018 and compared them to the selection day metrics. The top 10 (in order) on April 11 were Florida, Stanford, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Clemson, Georgia, East Carolina, NC State and Wichita State.
The selection day top ten had six of the same teams in Florida (1), Stanford (2), Arkansas (3), Ole Miss (5), Georgia (9) and Texas Tech (10). Stetson jumped up from #27 to #4 by winning 20 of its next 23 games. Teams just outside the top ten took the other three slots as Florida State moved from #11 to #6, Oregon State from #15 to #8 and North Carolina from #14 to #8.
Teams outside the top 20 currently can not only point to Stetson as a hopeful example but also to Minnesota. The Gophers were 21-10 and #45 on April 11. On selection day, they were 40-13 and #13, a 32-slot jump that resulted in a regional host.
Meanwhile, Wichita State fell from #10 to #53 – in large part because their 23-7 overall record crumbled to 35-21-1 – a losing mark (12-14-1) the rest of the way as they finished 10-16-1 in Missouri Valley action.
Other notable RPI changes include South Florida’s jump from #52 to #18 (hosting range). Texas hosted at #22 after climbing from #31. Jacksonville jumped from #37 to #21. Three SEC teams (LSU #49/#34, Mississippi State #64/#28, South Carolina #66/#43) moved from bubble out RPI ranges on April 11 to easy at large clubs on selection day.
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