The RUGBYMag.com CPD rankings improved to an 89% prediction rate as we were 13/14 this past weeken, meaning of the 14 matchups, 13 times the higher ranked team won.
Overall for the season, we are 57 for 64. The one upset was a big one, as LSU (ranked 23) defeated #21 Oklahoma 39-5, which is pretty amphatic. So that needed to be corrected. Another result wasn't an upset, but perhaps opened our eyes, as Air Force beat Colorado State 46-10. Ranked at 24 last week, Air Force, now 3-1, must have been wondering what they had to do to move up.
In the end, we went back over their results and concluded this: Air Force got moved down because they were blown out by Cal in Las Vegas, and stayed there because we thought their 52-0 win over Wyoming was something of an anomoly. They then lost 93-8 to BYU. However, overall the Zoomies have beaten Wyoming, Colorado, and Colorado State, who can all play rugby, by the average score of 45-8. So we finally noticed, and Air Force moves up 7 spots.
Central Washington moves up two spots without playing, as Penn State and Dartmouth looked less than impressive in victories over lower-ranked opponents.
Now we look to who we rank at #31, and it may work out that in the future we don't rank all the teams, but instead rank the top 20. We don't love putting someone in last place, because it's one of the most difficult spots to pick. Currently seven teams are winless in the CPD ... how can we gauge which is the worst? We can't, really. They don't play each other, and because they are struggling, they set themselves up for some big blowouts.
So let's look at those seven winless teams.
Two have earned close-loss bonus points. Those are important, because they tell us that these teams might have been a little unlucky. So Ohio State and Rutgers get bumped to the top of that group, for now.
Then we look at average scores. If we rank them based on average points difference we get this:
Ohio State and Oklahoma
What if we give each team a mulligan? Everyone has a bad day once in a while, so let's take away their worst result:
Ohio State and Rutgers
The big surprise here is that Wyoming doesn't move up even if you discount their 123-3 loss to BYU. That's because Colorado State lost 99-0 to BYU, so the resulting net 7 points a game improvement isn't enough.
Now all of this can be unfair if a team is in a conference with a beast of an opponent (such as BYU or Cal).
So we looked at the average current ranking of these teams' opponents. We found that the average ranking wasn't all that different (from 10 to 13). Here's how these teams rank from highest-ranked opponents to lowest:
Wyoming and Claremont Colleges
So all of this tells us ... what?
1. Ohio State has two loss bonuses and the best average points against, and should be among the top-ranked of the winless teams.
2. Similarly, Claremont Colleges (one of the better PDs, and highest ranked opponents), Rutgers (loss bonus, strong PD and high ranked opponents) should not be considered for the bottom spots.
3. Oklahoma is in the middle, but because overall their points difference has been the best, they should also move from the bottom. UC Davis we're reluctant to put in last because a) they have played two top-five teams, and b) had two relatively close losses that were not quite within the 7 points, one being against a very good Central Washington side.
That leaves Wyoming and Colorado State. We're reluctant to single out either of these out, but we have to. Wyoming has by far the worst points-against, but then they have played much higher-ranked opponents, on average, than CSU. They do, however, have three common opponents: BYU, Air Force, and Arizona State. Total score for Wyoming: 202-3. For CSU: 185-20. So on the strength of CSU being able to score a couple of tries, they edge Wyoming for 30th.
And now to the top spot. Cal beats #5, BYU beats #12. Having watched both teams repeatedly, it's clearly a close call, but if they were to play today, our prediction would be that BYU wins.
April 11, 2011 RUGBYMag.com College Premier Rankings
1 (1) BYU 10-0 70-12 over Arizona (13)
2 (2) Cal 15-0 (22-0) Defeated St. Mary's (5) 60-34
3 (3) Arkansas State 5-0 (7-0) Defeated Tennessee (17) 70-23
4 (4) Life University 9-1 Defeated Notre Dame (20) 56-3
5 (5) St. Mary's 10-2 (14-3) Lost to Cal (1) 60-34
6 (6) Utah 6-1 (9-3) Defeated Colorado (25) 43-17
7 (7) Navy 4-1 Defeated Kutztown (15) 24-20
8 (8) Army 4-0 Defeated Delaware (14) 40-13
9 (9) Arizona State 5-2 27-0 over Wyoming (30)
10 (12) Central Washington 5-2 Idle
11 (10) Penn State 5-3 (6-4) Defeated Ohio State (26) 22-17
12 (11) Dartmouth 9-2 Defeated Rutgers (31) 34-31
13 (13) Arizona 7-4 Lost 70-12 to BYU (1)
14 (14) Delaware 10-5 Lost 40-13 to Army (8)
15 (15) Kutztown 2-3 Lost 24-20 to Navy (7)
16 (16) San Diego State 4-4 Defeated UC Davis (28) 45-19
17 (24) Air Force 3-4 Won 46-10 over Colorado State (29)
18 (17) Tennessee 8-3 (8-4) Lost 70-23 to Arkansas State (3)
19 (18) Cal Poly 4-4 Idle
20 (19) Texas A&M 2-2 (3-3) Idle (playing 7s)
21 (20) Notre Dame 5-4 (7-4) Lost 56-3 to Life (4)
22 (23) LSU 3-3 (4-3) Defeated Oklahoma (21) 39-5
23 (22) UCLA 6-5 Defeated Claremont Colleges (27) 24-10
24 (25) Colorado 2-4 (2-6) Lost 43-17 to Utah (6)
25 (26) Ohio State 1-5 (1-6) Lost 22-17 to Penn State (10)
26 (31) Rutgers 0-4 Lost 34-31 to Dartmouth (11)
27 (27) Claremont Colleges 0-9 Lost 24-10 to UCLA (22)
28 (21) Oklahoma 1-4 (1-5) Lost 39-5 to LSU (23)
29 (28) UC Davis 3-9 Lost 45-19 to SD State (16)
30 (29) Colorado State 0-7 Lost 46-10 to Air Force (24)
31 (30) Wyoming 2-6 Lost 27-0 to Arizona State (9)