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Here I go again, poking around through RPI ratings. I really didn't mean to do that this week, but I noticed something while looking at RPIratings.com, and thought I would do a little comparison exercise between the Big East and the ACC on RPI ratings.
First of all, note that for the data I'm about to give, the RPI ratings are current through 2/19/04.
Having said that, RPIratings.com says that the ACC is the top conference -- no argument here -- and the Big East is #3 (with the SEC in between). Just for fun, I thought, what if you throw the two conferences together and list their teams in RPI order? What happens then?
Take a look.
To me, that's interesting stuff. If you go by RPI ratings, then at the top, the two leagues are essentially equal. If you scrape off the five BE bottom-feeders and treat the two leagues as nine-team conferences, holy smokes, the Big East's average RPI is 26.8, just a shade better than the ACC's 27.2. And as you can see, the BE's top 9 teams are all in the top 51 of the RPI, while the ACC's top 9 extends down to #58.
But once you get beyond the Big East's tenth team -- WVU at #67 -- things get really, really ugly. Georgetown, VT, St. John's, and Miami are, uh, in a class by themselves, so to speak, and their performances reflect it. Georgetown has lost 6 of their last 8, VT has lost 7 of their last 9, St. John's 10 of their last 12, and Miami 8 in a row. All told, those four teams have lost 31 of their last 37 collective games.
If you take the complete Big East, all 14 teams, then its average RPI is 62.1, compared to 27.2 for the 9-team ACC.
Now -- and you knew I was going to do this -- what if you take BC, VT, and Miami, and move them over to the ACC? Then, for the 12-team ACC, the average RPI rating plummets to 47, thanks to VT and Miami. The 11 teams remaining in the Big East improve to an average RPI rating of 50, right behind the ACC.
One thing is clear: if you're looking at RPI ratings, VT and Miami are going to stick out like sore thumbs in the new ACC, if they don't start improving. BC nestles in nicely at #23, a commendable sixth place in the new ACC, but VT (#136) and Miami (#160) are so far below Virginia -- who at #58 is last in the current ACC -- that it's embarrassing.
Bluntly put, VT and Miami are to the new ACC what Virginia Tech has been to the Big East the last four years: the bottom of the pile.
The great thing about VT basketball, and I mean this in all seriousness, is that there's nowhere to go but up. When you've been down for as long as the Hokies have, every little -- or not so little -- success gets greeted with great enthusiasm.
Just imagine the first time the Hokies win an ACC conference game, beat a perennial ACC power like Duke, UNC, or Maryland, win an ACC Tournament game, or -- gasp! -- win the ACC Tournament! The celebration is going to be crazy. (Surely you remember what it was like when Tech won the Independence Bowl back in 1993 -- bedlam.)
And don't laugh about thoughts of VT winning the ACC tourney, or beating Duke, or things of that nature. In 1979, Georgia Tech started play in the ACC, and in their first four seasons, went 8-48 in the league, including 1-13 and 0-14 their first two seasons.
In just their sixth season, they went 9-5 in the league, tied for first, and won the ACC Tournament.
So maybe a few years from now, having an RPI rating of 136 will be
a distant memory. One can only hope.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Rookie Diary: Adibi Preps for NFL Combine
Villanova Tops Hokies, 80-68
Hokie Women Get Key Road Win Over Seton Hall,
A Gym Rat's Notebook #6: Trolling for Additions
Hokie Hotline Notes for February 16, 2004
Knights Crush Hokies, 85-52
Hokies Misfire Badly in Key Loss to Miami, 65-56
Wide Right: An Issue of Class
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