As we reach the mid-point of the regular season and move into conference play, I thought it would be interesting to take a little time and look at what has been accomplished thus far in the season. So here is a summary of State’s season to date:
RPI Rank – 96
OOC SOS Rank – 247
Overall SOS Rank – 202 (Includes WF game)
Note: This breakdown comes from CBS Sports. Go here if you want to follow this type of information as the season unfolds.
A few random thoughts:
- To date, State has only played one game against a team that is on track to receive an at-large bid to the NCAAT.
- With only two-Top 100s win at the half-way point of the season, anyone talking about improvement, NCAAT, or NIT needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt. (Note that Marquette had a big win last night against #14 Georgetown to move into the Top 100.)
- For all of the heat generated by the Florida game, the actual impact on the season is nearly imperceptible. Florida is neither a good team, nor a bad one. Thus the loss isn’t embarrassing (except for the way it was lost), nor would have a win have constituted anything significant.
- In past seasons, we’ve compiled and discussed the OOC SOS for the ACC. Sidney is continuing Herb’s tactic of playing one of the weakest OOC schedules in the conference. Anyone that attributes that trend to “bad luck” simply hasn’t been paying attention. BTW, look for the already bad OOC SOS to take a big drop once State plays NCCU….currently 0-13 vs Div 1 opponents.
For a little broader perspective, let’s summarize the season for all of the ACC teams with each team’s games broken down into categories:
- I highlighted a few items of general interest
- OOC SOS ranked 200+ with special emphasis on UM’s 300+ ranking
- Top 25 and Top 50 wins (required to get at-large NCAAT bid)
- I generally hate the NCAAT brackets done early in the year. Very few teams are actually “In” during Jan (though a good number are definitely “Out”). So think of my NCAAT projections more of a judgment of the season to date, rather than a prediction. The teams that are “In” have done well and just need to continue. The “Bubble” teams need to step up and improve their resume to insure that they fall on the right side of the bubble.
- The ACC is currently ranked third by RPI (behind the Big East and Big 12). Interestingly enough, the Atlantic 10 is ranked 5th pushing the Big Televen and Pac-10 into 6th and 7th.
- Many people around here have commented that the ACC is weaker this year. I think that this table supports that conclusion because there only two teams currently on track to the make the NCAAT and five teams pretty much out of contention (barring a dramatic turnaround).
- It’s shouldn’t be hard to see that there is a very real possibility of having a 9-7 conference record and still needing multiple wins in the ACCT to get an at-large bid. (This happened to VT just two years ago when the ACC was the #1 ranked conference.)
Just for kicks and giggles, let’s look at wins against Top 25 and Top 50 competition that ACC teams have accumulated so far:
There is a distinct shortage of big-name opponents on this list. You have to wonder how many of the mid-majors (other than Gonzaga) will still be in the Top 50 on Selection Sunday.
Let’s wrap up the mid-season review with a little preview of State’s ACC season:
- If I could rearrange the schedule, I would swap the home games against Duke & Clemson for home games against FSU & GT. I figure that location won’t improve State’s chance for a win against either Duke or Clemson…but historically, FSU and GT are much tougher at home than they are on the road.
- Based on what little we know now, State’s schedule looks pretty balanced and would probably place State somewhere in the middle with respect to toughest conference schedules. If all goes reasonably well at home/work, we’ll take another look at conference SOS during the week leading up to the ACCT.
I’m a results-orientated type of guy so State hasn’t accomplished anything to date that leads me to believe that this season is going to be substantially better than the last three. Those that are claiming “improvement” are apparently seeing things that somehow haven’t translated into wins. I hope that the claims of improvement are correct…but for now, I’m extremely skeptical.
Note that this entry is not a discussion about coaching, but about the results to date, the other ACC teams, and prospects for the season. Post any coaching comments on the forum thread created just for that purpose.