Conference Rise & Fall: The Data

    
August 7th, 2008

People have been emailing me this week asking how I came up with the groupings for the Conference Rise & Fall articles. While the groupings I used were based on a mix of intuition and stats, here are the actual conference RPI's over the last decade. Notice the clean split between certain league divisions.. for example, the BCS leagues and non-BCS leagues. The difference in avg RPI between the best and worst BCS leagues (ACC & Pac-10) is 2.7, which is almost as big as the gap between the Pac-10 and the closest non-BCS league. While fans and administration in leagues like the A10 and MWC moan about how they shouldn't be categorized as lesser than the power conferences.. the reality is that there's a huge gap between BCS and non-BCS. Similarly, there's a big gap between what I would call the "high-majors" and everyone else. While the WAC was brutal last year, it has tended to average a top 10 RPI along with the other "high-majors" over this period. Outside of WCC's amazing '05 campaign, no other "mid-major" has ever even finished in the Top 10 RPI, let alone average such a number.

  08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 00 99 AVG RNGE NORM RNK
ACC 1 1 3 1 1 3 2 3 7 2 2.4 1 to 7 1 to 3 1
SEC 4 2 4 5 2 1 1 1 1 4 2.5 1 to 5 1 to 4 2
BE 5 5 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 3.8 2 to 5 2 to 5 3
BT 6 4 1 6 6 5 6 2 2 1 3.9 1 to 6 1 to 6 4
B12 3 7 5 3 4 2 3 6 3 7 4.3 2 to 7 3 to 7 5
PAC 2 3 7 4 9 7 5 5 6 3 5.1 2 to 9 3 to 7 6
MWC 9 8 8 11 7 6 7 8 10   8.222 7 to 11 7 to 10 7
CUSA 10 11 13 9 5 8 8 10 5 6 8.5 5 to 13 5 to 11 8
MVC 8 6 6 8 11 12 14 12 11 8 9.6 6 to 14 6 to 12 9
A10 7 10 11 15 8 9 9 9 9 10 9.7 7 to 15 8 to 11 10
WAC 20 9 9 12 10 14 10 7 8 9 10.8 7 to 20 8 to 14 11
WCC 14 15 12 7 12 10 15 17 15 12 12.9 7 to 17 10 to 15 12
MAC 12 14 16 10 14 11 12 15 12 11 12.7 10 to 16 11 to 15 13
CAA 13 13 10 14 13 17 11 13 16 17 13.7 10 to 17 11 to 17 14
HL 11 12 15 19 15 13 17 11 13 15 14.1 11 to 19 11 to 17 15
SB 15 21 18 13 16 15 19 19 19 14 16.9 13 to 21 14 to 19 16
MAAC 17 23 14 22 17 16 24 14 20 13 18 14 to 24 14 to 23 17
BW 18 16 23 17 18 21 18 16 17 20 18.4 16 to 23 17 to 21 18
SOCO 21 19 24 20 19 20 16 23 22 19 20.3 16 to 24 19 to 23 19
BSKY 25 24 18 28 24 18 22 25 14 18 21.6 14 to 28 18 to 25 20
AE 26 20 27 16 22 24 29 20 21 16 22.1 16 to 29 16 to 27 21
OVC 28 25 20 25 23 19 26 18 18 25 22.7 18 to 28 18 to 26 22
PL 16 17 21 23 26 26 27 24 25 23 22.8 16 to 27 17 to 26 23
IVY 24 18 25 18 27 23 13 28 28 26 23 13 to 28 18 to 28 24
ASUN 29 27 29 21 20 22 20 21 27 22 23.8 20 to 29 20 to 29 25
SUMMIT 22 22 28 24 21 27 21 22 29 24 24 21 to 29 21 to 28 26
SLC 19 26 22 26 29 25 23 26 24 27 24.7 19 to 29 22 to 27 27
NEC 23 28 26 29 25 29 25 29 23 21 25.8 21 to 29 23 to 29 28
BSOU 27 29 19 27 28 28 31 31 26 30 27.6 19 to 31 27 to 31 29
MEAC 30 30 30 30 31 30 28 27 30 28 29.4 27 to 31 28 to 30 30
SWAC 31 31 31 31 31 31 30 30 31 29 30.6 29 to 31 30 to 31 31

* Note that "RNGE" is the gap between the league's best & worst RPI finish over the last decade. "NORM" is the range, minus the best and worst seasons.