Oregon State lefty Christian Chamberlain (Aaron Fitt)

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What The Early RPI Figures Tell Us

Analysis

Can’t you hear it now? 

“That darned ol’ RPI is biased TOWARD the West Coast teams. Poor little ol’ ACC and SEC teams don’t have a chance.”

Well, I’m not sure that’s the way things will end up on selection day but as of March 19, the RPI ratings contain some shock value. 

Sure, the ratings are still volatile, but there are some interesting notes in the metrics as we near the final two months of the season.

Oregon State sits atop the RPI rankings this week. Obviously, four top 25 wins and no losses outside the top 25 helps its metrics, but the 11 neutral site games stand out. Unlike, say, undefeated Arizona State, which has played 18 home games, Oregon State has played just four games in Corvallis. With UCLA at #2, the Pac 12 has the top two spots in the early RPI (plus Oregon is #10). These clubs appear to have staying power but how will the RPI, which traditionally isn’t favorable to West Coast clubs, treat them down the stretch?

There are typically some cold-weather mid-majors that are over-valued in early versions of the RPI. This week, Indiana State sat at 6 to begin the week, but dipped to 17 after a midweek loss to Indiana at home . First off, the Sycamores are winning games. They are 16-2 overall but their 8-1 road record is adjusted to 10.4-0.7 with the home/road formula. As Missouri Valley Conference play begins, one would expect their #99 SOS to dip a bit which will make their lofty top ten RPI spot perilous.

Likewise, Connecticut has been impressive early on with a series win over Louisville en route to an 11-6 mark and top 15 RPI rank. However, the Huskies’ 8-2 neutral site mark inflates their RPI a bit. Look for their RPI to slip a bit once the weather allows them to play at home. Keep in mind, this just means the RPI ranking should slip. It doesn’t diminish their strong early start.

There are 58 teams yet to play a home game, with 11 of them in the RPI top 100. 

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