So how many of you all have been checking out all the College Basketball Power Rankings for teams and conferences since the season tipped off in October?
Well, if you raised your hand, good for you!
It’s clear you are fascinated by the obvious because my 10-year-old daughter could have given you a power ranking that had validity based on the non-conference and cupcake slate every team plays until January.
In other words, anyone can look at the rankings and maybe a strength of schedule and start to claim who is the best and who is the worst. But not one power poll out there has taken into account the big four stats for each team and every conference.
This will be a mathematical equation that takes the average of each team’s losses, strength of schedule, RPI and ranking. Once that is tabulated, the entire conference is averaged with each coming up with a raw score. The lower the score, the tougher the conference.
And let’s just say, this is going to give you all a lot to discuss…
So with no further adieu, let’s take a look at Ole Woody’s College Basketball Conference Power Rankings Week One.
No. 6 – Pac-12 (43.44)
The Pac-12 comes in in last place in the Power Rankings due in large part to their teams SOS and RPI. Both are in the 80’s as an average. That’s not ideal at all.
If the Arizona Wildcats or the Utah Utes fall on hard times at any point during the season, there is going to be little hope for the Pac-12 to get out of last place or a whole lot of love come March Madness selection time.
No. 5 – Big 12 (40.58)
That’s right ladies and gentlemen…
The Big 12 might have a lot of hot rods on the showroom floor but the numbers prove the engine doesn’t sound all that good when you crank it up.
Yes, the conference has the most ranked teams by far with seven, but who have these teams played? The average strength of schedule for the conference is an 85.80. That’s just ugly given the fact the Kansas Jayhawks have the top SOS in the land and carry a stout 3.25 average as a team.
This is going to be the conference that beats up each other this season. How that will effect their SOS and RPI is still unclear.
Oh and the TCU Horned Frogs have a SOS of 326. That’s right 326! Who even knew there were that many teams!
No. 4 – ACC (39.17)
The ACC might still consider itself the dominate conference. Especially after the NC State Wolfpack and Miami Hurricanes let everyone know they are here to play some serious hoops in knocking off the Duke Blue Devils this past week.
But the conference has a big identity crisis.
The Virginia Cavaliers, North Carolina Tar Heels, NC State Wolfpack and Duke Blue Devils all have tremendous averages. But the rest of the conference is struggling when it comes to their SOS and RPI. Most notably on this list is the Louisville Cardinals and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Those two teams are way better than their average. Or are they?
But if the conference is going to take its place as the most powerful in the land, they need to get the Virginia Tech Hokies some lessons on how to schedule and play hoops. A 119 average. Just brutal.
No. 3 – B1G (37.43)
The Big 10 is a prefect example of what consistency can do for you in a power ranking.
Every team is right around the same average for the most part and there are not any real extremes in the data points.
The Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan State Spartans lead the way by a good margin with a 10.75 and a 15.25 average. Oddly enough, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are the third team in this ranking with a 21.25. That’s proof your schedule is so important as conference play starts. If Rutgers can steal a few games, they can take a March Madness slot away from either the Iowa Hawkeyes or the Ohio State Buckeyes.
It may sound insane, but the numbers are pretty good at explaining exactly who a team is. Especially once they start losing in conference.
No. 2 – SEC (36.75)
Does having the Kentucky Wildcats affect this ranking for the SEC?
It sure doesn’t hurt because they have a very impressive 1.75 average, which is by far the best in the land.
But the interesting thing here is the close games the Ole Miss Rebels and the Texas A&M Aggies played against the Wildcats to start conference play. If the rest of the SEC can play tough against Big Blue Nation and even win a few, that is going to help the cause tremendously.
What can’t happen though is contests such as the Missouri Tigers losing to Kentucky, 86-37. One or two of those are fine when it comes to the SOS, but that’s it. The rest of the league needs to prove it is an equal to the Wildcats and not their punching bag.
The SEC will be fun watch this year. Especially since Mark Fox and the Georgia Bulldogs always play Kentucky tough and are second to them in average at 12.75.
No. 1 – Big East (26.28)
Yes, the revamped Big East comes in as the best conference so far this season. This is thanks in large part to a conference SOS average of 41.70.
The other factor that has the Big East so far ahead of the rest of the other conferences is the fact their best team in the Villanova Wildcats are not the top average. Nova comes in at 8 while the Butler Bulldogs come in at 6.75.
And it is that SOS and RPI that is key to this power ranking. Five of the ten teams are in the Top 25 in SOS and five are in the top 30 in RPI.
Especially from a conference everyone wrote off in the beginning of the season.
So there you have it!
There is no doubt you all have something to say. Feel free to comment below and let’s see what who you think got the proper credit and who got the shaft.
*Section Photo credit to Michael Hickey, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Brad Penner, USA Today Sports.