Consensus Basketball Ranking: Computers vs AP
Nothing will rile up a fan more than thinking their team is under-rated, under-respected, and under-ranked in the national polls. As the voice behind CollegeHoops.net's Top 50 Ranking, I'm well aware of how mad fans get when they feel slighted. No doubt, I occasionally slip up, and no doubt the dozens of voters in the AP poll slip up even more often.
With the advent of computer rankings and metrics, we have many tools that attempt to overcome historical biases to rank teams fairly. Taking a consensus average of these rankings, we can get a good sense of the lay of the land, and we can also see where the human voters differ with the computers. More importantly, we can see whether there is a pattern to the human biases and whether certain teams are consistently mis-valued compared to their peers.
- The following 66 teams are comprised of a) any team with AP votes, b) any team in the RPI Top 50, and c) any team in CHN Top 50. The teams are ranked by an average of their RPI, Sagarin, and KenPom ratings. At the right of the chart is the team's AP ranking for comparison.
- Below the ranking, you'll find a list of the most overrated and underrated teams as well as some notes on key trends.
|33||Long Beach St||23||36||40||33.0|
|44||San Diego St||44||34||51||43.0||22|
Teams the human AP voters overrate versus the computer ranking:
Mississippi St +32
San Diego St + 22
Iowa St +12*
New Mexico +10
Teams the human AP voters underrate versus the computer ranking:
Saint Mary's -11
West Virginia -11
Seton Hall -7
Long Beach St
- Looking at the human-overrated teams, it becomes clear the voters are in love with SEC teams for reasons that the computers can't figure out. Perhaps its a holdover from football season, or historical performance, but the computers completely disagree with all four teams.
- On the flip-side, the voters are dogging the WCC. BYU, Gonzaga, and SMC all fall in the computer's top 28 teams, but only Gonzaga actually made the AP Top 25. BYU did not even garner a single vote.
- While the voters dog the WCC, they are showing a lot of respect to San Diego St and New Mexico of the MWC.
- While Wagner is the biggest miss, we can throw this pick out as one rogue voter's miscue. Similarly, Iowa St only received one vote, but they're trending upwards in the computer rankings.
- It seems there is a lot of uncertainty over how to rank the Big East teams, as teams fall on both sides. It is not surprising that UCONN (coming off a title) and Louisville (a historically good program) are getting human respect, while a lesser program like Seton Hall is slow to pick up voter respect.
- Of the 14 teams that human voters least respect, 8 are from non-BCS conferences. Of the 14 teams that human voters over-respect, only 3 are non-BCS schools.