So sayeth Sagarin this morning: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1112.htm?loc=interstitialskip
Michigan Basketball Strength of Schedule -- #1
I was about to say easy on the "shift"
Sounds about right. We play in toughest conference this year and to the this point have had a very frontloaded schedule. OOC games against Duke, Arkansas, memphis, UVA can't exactly hurt either
I don't get these rankings. We have a higher S.o.S than Wisconsin and Indiana, and a better record against top 25/50 teams than both of them. Yet 1 more loss than them is enough to drop us to 24th while they're both in the top 10. In so many ways, the math just doesn't make any sense to me. I probably should just get over it and not care about this pretty pointless ranking.
We beat them, have a higher SOS and the exact same record, in a much harder conference. How are they 3 spots ahead of us?
That totally throws the validity of the rankings into question. If it is a computer error, then the system is flawed. And if it's just a system that makes a bad team to be ranked ahead of a much better team (both on paper and in person) then it is flawed. So either way Sagarin's rankings are BS.
It takes into account things like margin of victory, that is why Brian was joking about being annoyed at the end of the nebraska game because of its effect on ken pomeroy rankings. Some people disagree with this because it favors a school like memphis sometimes but it has a history of being a better predictor of future success than any of the human rankings or rpi. We have won a lot of close games, in general when a team is in a lot of close games it starts to even out and you wind up losing about the same number you win. While I think this doesn't apply to us because if timmy gets his shot going we get a lot better but thats why we are lower, based off of our performance so far sagarins computer believes we are going to wind up dropping a game we shouldn't because we get caught in a close game again.
If you dont care about margin of victory--and I myself look at some end-game fouling decisions that push a 7 point lead to 13-15 and scratch my head--you can look at the ELO CHESS stats. If you look at it, there are only a handfull of teams(Missouri, Baylor, Etc.) with a bigger disparity between our very good elo chess rating and our pretty good predictor rating. What that says to me is that Michigan has come through in the clutch, and I'll take it.
Well, we have 4 more wins against top 25 teams and 5 more losses against top 50 teams. That means that we have 5 more losses against teams not in the top 50.
It seems to me that there would have to be more weight put on losing to bad teams than beating good teams to make that work.
You're right to be confused. Sagarin's algorithms are awful, and he doesn't seem to be transparent with how they work. His football rankings were consistently ridiculous this season (both his BCS rankings and his preferred rankings), with 7-8 teams from the Big 12 often appearing in the top 15-20 teams nationally.
His rankings have been like this for years, but because he's a big name in this field, people keep going back to him.
He's transparent enough. He breaks out the "predictive" portion of his ranking, and the portion that is just based on wins and losses. He identifies that the later portion is based on the Elo rating system used to rate chess players. From what I've seen, his ratings are pretty good for basketball, certainly vastly superior to RPI, even if you only look at the Elo Chess portion. No computer rating system is very good in football -- there's just not enough games played.
Sorry man, but you can't have it both ways. How do you know his algorithms are awful if he's not transparent with how they work? The fact is (and any statistician will tell you this) that no ranking system is perfect. People lauded teh greatness of Kenpom compared to the RPI or Sagarin for years, and now - because of that whole Wisconsin deal at the beginning of the season - people are crapping all over it. There is no such thing as a perfect or "correct" ranking system.
One major complaint that I have about Sagarin's ratings - and this is probably more relevant to football - is that he seems* to vastly overestimate the information he has about the quality of one conference vis-a-vis the others. Like I said, his rankings were wildly bullish on Big 12 teams last season (e.g., for awhile, he had something like seven or eight Big 12 teams ranked ahead of every single Big Ten team). All of that had to be based on the Big 12's pre-bowl non-conference performance, which was 6-3 last season against AQ conference teams. (They had a couple other decent wins against Tulsa and TCU, I think, but the most impressive AQ wins were against like Florida State and Iowa.)
*It would be much easier to assess what's going on if he provided the algorithm itself - as many others with computer rankings do. Seeing how he adds two rankings to come up with a third is fine, but that's hardly letting anyone look under the hood to see if his rankings are lousy to begin with.
All computer rating systems are going to produce a lot of "interesting" results in football. There just isn't enough meaningful interconference games, or games period.
And yet 1/3rd of the MNC game is chosen in this way...
^ The problem. If nothing else, we should be able to see how this stuff is calculated so that knowledgeable people can scrutinize these models. The reality that nothing's perfect doesn't mean that everything is equally good.
Not to mention, at least with respect to Indiana, wins over Kentucky and OSU are huge. This has been the least stressful year to be a Michigan basketball fan. We're good, we're getting to the tourney, we beat pretty much everyone we are supposed to beat. I love it. However, we also haven't risen up and beaten anyone we shouldn't beat with the exception of MSU and Wisconsin - and those were at home. I have no problem with the rankings.
Just being honest, but if you took us, MSU, Wisconsin and Indiana and look at it from a tourney standpoint, we're less likely to lose to a 10 or 12 seed than those teams. We're also less likely to beat a Kansas, Duke, UNC, Mizzou, Syracuse, etc. So I guess the rankings are like the NBA draft, upside factors in.
And when you look at the portion of Sagarin's rating that excludes margin of victory, he has Michigan, IU and UW rated about the same (11,13, and 15th), which is about what you'd expect.
I wish this team had one more reliable big man... we'd be a sweet sixteen team. As it is, I think we might be a couple of tournement wins in this team, especially if Hardaway keeps making buckets.
A couple of tournament wins is a sweet sixteen team. If this team shoots well, they should get to the sweet sixteen (barring a terrible matchup for us) and we could get to the elite eight. Stringing together any more though seems far-fetched.
We have the most losses of any team in the top 25, so the mere fact that we're ranked shows that people are taking our strength of schedule into account.
Don't worry about a few ranking spots at this stage -- it's irrelevant. This ain't football. We'll be in the tournament, we'll have a good seed, and how far we go is on us, not the voters.
I have to say, though, that the fickleness of our fan base is amusing. After a loss, or after we struggle against a mediocre team, the board is filled with people complaining about Beilein's system and the limited ceiling, and a few days later we're complaining that our top 25 ranking isn't high enough.
[Edit - this wasn't meant as a reply to the OP, but rather to the people saying that, in light of our SOS, why aren't we ranked higher than Wiscy, Memphis, etc.]
Beilein had some good runs in the tourney with lesser teams.
I am guessing that Michigan can afford one loss the rest of the regular season without the risk of being a 7, 8, 9, or 10- seed in the NCAA Tournament. Beating Ohio at Crisler would be a great insurance policy and an even better "statement game."
Illinois on the road is scary. One has to assume that they will shoot better at home than they did in Crisler. I don't know if the Wolverines have the height inside to rebound against them. It would be nice to have a little bit of "wiggle room" going into that game.
Think of how great it would be to see Michigan beat an Ohio team that is ranked number three in the country right now. Beilein has an entire week to focus on them, while Ohio has a road game in Minnesota tomorrow. If there was ever a time that the cards are falling into place, it would be this weekend.
I think you're being unduly pessimistic. Even if we go 3-2 in the regular season, 12-6 in the Big 10 does not equate to a 7 or lower seed. That's a six-seed at worst, more likely a 5. (Assuming we don't flame out in the first round of the Big 10 tourney).
Lunardi currently has us as a four seed, and that's a better predictor than rankings. A loss to OSU combined with one respectable away loss isn't dropping us three or more seeds.
how much do you guys think the ncaa tourney committee take this into account when considering seeding?