Daily Dribble: The Siegel Quality Ranking Unveiled..

    
February 14th, 2007

College basketball scheduling couldn't be more uneven. In non-conference play, teams pad their records with easy home wins, while others are forced to play on the road. Some conferences like the ACC are filled with good teams from top to bottom, while others like the CUSA have one lone good team. How to rectify this situation? Sure, there's the RPI.. but it doesn't take into account venue so its relatively meaningless. The Sagarin's much better, but most people don't even know about it. As far as I'm concerned, only a team's record in "quality" games should count. Quality games are games that if you win, its flat out impressive. I've devised a ranking which awards you for playing and winning quality games, and hurts for bad losses.

A quality game is one of three things: A home game against a Top 50 RPI team, a Neutral game against a Top 100 team, and a Road win against a Top 150 team. (I debated whether the road wins should only be against Top 125 teams.. so there might be a tweak in the future.. and perhaps home wins should be raised to 75). Such wins are hard to come by and only the real NCAA Tournament contenders are able to win many.

Wins in such "quality" games count as 1 point. The more points the better obviously. Losses in "quality" games count as -0.5. However, losses in "non-quality" games count as a full -1 point. These are considered "bad" losses. These "bad" losses are pretty rare for quality teams. Out of the top 62 RPI teams, only 1 (Hofstra) has had more than 3 "bad" losses all season.

The Siegel Quality Ranking

Quality Wins - Top 50 Home, Top 100 Neutral, Top 150 Road = 1 point
Loss in Quality game = -.5 point.
Loss in non-Quality game = -1

Record in quality games listed first, followed by quality losses, then the total score. Ties are broken by giving the advantage to the team with the most quality wins. In case of a further tie in win-total, the advantage then goes to the team with the best quality winning percentage.

1. Florida
11-2 = 10

2. UNC
11-3 = 9.5

3. UCLA
10-3 = 8.5

4. Wisconsin
9-2 = 8

5. Air Force
9-4 = 7

6. Ohio State
8-3 = 6.5

7. SIU
9-5 = 6.5

8. Kansas
9-3 = 7.5, -1 = 6.5

9. Pitt
8-2 = 7, -1 = 6

10. BC
9-4 = 7, -2 = 5

11. Creighton
9-8 = 5

12. Arizona
8-6 = 5

13. Nevada
6-2 = 5

14. G'Town
8-3 = 6.5, -2 = 4.5

15. Clemson
7-5 = 4.5

16. Memphis
6-3 = 4.5

17. Kentucky
7-6 = 4

18. Marquette
7-4 = 5, -1 = 4

19. Butler
6-2 = 5, -1 = 4

20. Texas A&M
6-4 = 4

21. Duke
7-7 = 3.5

22. Missouri St
7-6 = 4, -1 = 3

23. UNLV
6-4 = 4, -1 = 3

24. Indiana
6-6 = 3

25. Washington St
5-4 = 3

26. Villanova
7-5 = 4.5, -2 = 2.5

27. Georgia Tech
7-7 = 3.5, -1 = 2.5

28. Oregon
5-5 = 2.5

29t. Virginia
6-6 = 3, -1 = 2

29t. Texas
6-6 = 3, -1 = 2

31. Tennessee
6-8 = 2

32. Alabama
5-6 = 2

33. Stanford
7-5 = 4.5, -3 = 1.5

34. Wichita State
7-7 = 3.5, -2 = 1.5

35. Drexel
6-3 = 4.5, -3 = 1.5

36. Maryland
6-5 = 3.5, -2 = 1.5

37. Vanderbilt
6-7 = 2.5, -1 = 1.5

38t. BYU
5-5 = 2.5, -1 = 1.5

38t. Oklahoma St
5-5 = 2.5, -1 = 1.5

38t. Notre Dame
5-5 = 2.5, -1 = 1.5

41t. Virginia Tech
6-4 = 4, -3 = 1

41t. Xavier
6-4 = 4, -3 = 1

43. USC
5-6 = 2, -1 = 1

44t. Florida St
5-8 = 1

44t. Kansas State
5-8 = 1

44t. Ole Miss
5-8 = 1

47. VCU
4-4 = 2, -1 = 1

48. Appalachian St
5-3 = 3.5, -3 = 0.5

49. Illinois
5-9 = 0.5

50t. Purdue
5-8 = 1, -1 = 0

50t. Georgia
5-8 = 1, -1 = 0

52. Bradley
5-10 = 0

53. San Diego State
4-6 = 1, -1 = 0

54. Old Dominion
4-5 = 1.5, -2 = -0.5

55. Arkansas
4-9 = -0.5

56. West Virginia
3-5 = 0.5, -1 = -0.5

57. Providence
3-7 = -0.5

58. Davidson
2-3 = 0.5, -1 = -0.5

59. Michigan
4-8 = 0, -1 = -1

60. New Mexico State
3-4 = 1, -2 = -1

61. Hofstra
5-3 = 3.5, -5 = -1.5

62. Gonzaga
4-6 = 1, -3 = -2

63. UMASS
2-6 = -1, -1, = -2

64. Louisville
2-7 = -1.5, -1 = -2.5

65. Utah St
1-7 = -2.5

66. DePaul
3-10 = -2, -1, = -3

67. Dayton
2-6, = -1, -2 = -3

68. Syracuse
2-5 = -0.5, -3 = -3.5

69. Holy Cross
0-5 = -2.5, -2, =-4.5

70. California
1-10 = -4, -2, = -6

The Quality Ranking of the Top 70 RPI teams is listed above. For comparison's sake, here is the Quality Ranking of the 168th RPI team (the median) and 336th RPI team (the worst).

168
Marshall
1-8, = -3, -7 = -10

336
Northern Colorado
0-2, = -1, -18 = -19

You'll notice the Quality Ranking doesn't take too kindly to the Pac-10. Washington State, Oregon, USC, and Cal are exposed for padding their records with meaningless "non-quality" wins. Arizona is considered #2 in the Pac-10, while Washington State is 3rd and barely in the Top 25.

Air Force stands out as being the most surprising team, ranking 5th overall. The Falcons have 9 quality wins and have yet to lose a bad game. The MVC also benefits in this ranking, with SIU 7th, Creighton 11th, and Missouri State 24th. In Creighton's case, this has a lot to do with the sheer amount of quality games they've played: 17, the most of anybody. The Siegel Quality Ranking rewards teams that play challenging games, especially on neutral or opponent's floors. (In terms of top teams, Nevada and Memphis have played the least amount of quality games with just 8 apiece).

Another thing to note is that the Quality Records will change as the season progresses.. in that a win over the 41st team at home might count now, but that team might fall to 60th by the end of the season. Either way, the ranking doesn't discriminate based on the calendar.. a good win in November, counts as much as a good win in March.

- Let me know your thoughts