Monday, 5 March 2007

Rankings by Ratings & Cheers RPI

As a follow up to the earlier post (and thanks to Ken Murray and several other coaches who called to clarify), the seeding process for the Final 8 does NOT stipulate that each conference winner must be seeded in the top 4. Thus all teams will be seeded according to where the committee feels they should be based on the 8 performance factors alluded to by CIS President Marg McGregor on Saturday on Rogers Television. Both the wild card selection AND the Final Eight seeding will be finalized by the committee on a call this weekend, chaired/faciliated by Ken Murray, with voting from 4 coaches (as opposed to during the season for the weekly CIS poll when all coaches vote): Mike Connolly, Lethbridge (representing Canada West), an unnamed Ontario coach (representing OUA), Eddie Pomykala (representing Quebec) and Ross Quackenbush (representing AUS). If necessary, President of the coach's association Dave Crook will cast deciding votes for the wild card and for the seeding.

In terms of the wild card, with all due respect to the AUS - especially Cape Breton and X, there are really only 2 plausible scenarios for the wild card in my opinion. If Concordia defeats Laval in the "Q" final on Friday, then Ottawa gets the wild card. Trying to put my prior allegiences to the Gee-Gees program aside for a second, there is a tremendous amount of data to support this scenario, including two compelling computer-based rankings, Rankings by Ratings and Cheers RPI, shown below. However, if Laval defeats Concordia, then a real debate could ensue between Ottawa and Concordia. Currently, Concordia is ahead of Ottawa in both computer-based ranking systems below but this would likely change with a Stinger loss on Friday as it would be their third loss of the season to an unranked team and the Stingers already have a weaker strength-of-schedule number according to the Cheers RPI index. If this scenario occurs, the committee will have its hands full.

In terms of seedings, if Concordia does win on Friday, the committee will have a healthy discussion on who should gain the #1 seed after Brandon's 3 point loss at home to UBC on Saturday in the Canada West championship game. Three teams would have legitimate claim to that top seed including Carleton (if they win the Wilson Cup), UBC and the Stingers. In my opinion, Brandon is still a Top 4 seed in the tournament. Much still has to happen including the AUS tournament and the Wilson Cup, plus the committee will more than likely look to seperate teams from the same division for the first round. In the past, teams from Ontario East and Ontario West have faced off in the first round, even under the 8 team format, however it is not known whether the committee will try to avoid that possibility as well. All in all, so far very little is known with respect to the final seedings because there are still 5 important games remaining (2 AUS semi-finals, AUS final, Quebec championship and Wilson Cup) plus the selection of the wild card. Friday night will bring much clarity but not the entire picture but the speculation can begin in ernest. By Sunday, we should all know. Good luck to the committee in what is always a very trying exercise.

Here is a link to the latest "Rankings by Ratings", a computer based ranking system (different from the popular RPI), that we have been publishing links to recently Rankings by Ratings

Here is a link to the latest "Cheers RPI", affectionately named after the person who runs the CIS numbers into the RPI algorithm. This week's top teams as far as the RPI is concerned: Cheers RPI Ratings

Comparing the two rating systems, the Top 5 teams are the same: #1 Carleton, #2 UBC, #3/4 Brandon, #4/3 Concordia and #5 Ottawa (Brandon and Concordia are 3,4 in the Ratings poll and 4, 3 in the RPI).

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