Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday PWR Update

After a workman-like win over UMD, Wisconsin now sits tied with UMD in 16th position in the PWR. Friday's win shifted the individual comparison between the Badgers and the Bulldogs into UW's favor, but both teams have the same number of comparisons won.

(all PWR and RPI tables from USCHO)

Rk Team PWR Rk W-L-T Win % Rk RPI
1 Boston University 24 2 19-5-1 .7800 1 .5994*
2 Notre Dame 23 1 19-4-3 .7885 2 .5813
3t Vermont 20 10 14-6-4 .6667 4 .5740
3t Cornell 20 3 14-3-3 .7750 5 .5730*
3t Michigan 20 7 19-8-0 .7037 6 .5723
3t Minnesota 20 13 12-6-5 .6304 7 .5612*
7 Northeastern 18 5t 17-6-2 .7200 3 .5777
8t Miami 17 14 15-8-4 .6296 9 .5510
8t Denver 17 9 16-7-3 .6731 8 .5612
10 New Hampshire 15 18 12-8-4 .5833 10 .5477
11t Yale 13 4 14-5-1 .7250 13 .5400*
11t Princeton 13 8 14-6-0 .7000 11 .5444*
13 Boston College 12 22 11-8-4 .5652 12 .5405
14 Ohio State 11 11 16-8-3 .6481 14 .5373
15 North Dakota 10 21 15-11-3 .5690 16 .5327
16t Wisconsin 9 19 14-10-3 .5741 17 .5325
16t Minnesota-Duluth 9 17 13-8-6 .5926 15 .5355
18 St. Lawrence 7 23 13-10-2 .5600 19 .5277
19 St. Cloud State 6 24t 14-11-2 .5556 18 .5289
20 Air Force 5 5t 17-6-2 .7200 20 .5238
21t Colorado College 3 20 13-9-6 .5714 21 .5227
21t Alaska 3 24t 12-9-6 .5556 22 .5225
21t Massachusetts 3 28t 11-11-3 .5000 24 .5150
24 Dartmouth 2 15t 11-7-2 .6000 23 .5212
25 Mass.-Lowell 0 28t 12-12-0 .5000 25 .5133


For Saturday's game, a win might allow UW to win the comparison with North Dakota (especially if the Sioux drop another game to SCSU), but more importantly, it will ice down the comparison win against UMD.

While the PWR's intricacies can be confusing, the most important part of the formula is the RPI. The RPI breaks ties within individual comparisons and also breaks ties when three or more teams have won the same number of comparisons.

If you look at the above PWR standings, you'll note that the PWR rank is remarkably similar to the RPI rank. In fact, in the relevant part of the RPI (the teams under consideration for the tournament, the top 15 or so), the rank order almost exactly matches, with a few exceptions (Northeastern is underperforming compared to it's RPI, Yale is above it, and UMD is under).

Big picture, this means UW's single biggest improvement in the rankings will come from improving its RPI. UMD currently has a better RPI than UW, if only by a small margin. A win tonight is another step in the right direction for UW's RPI.

The current RPI looks like this:

Rk Team RPI Rk W-L-T Win % Rk SOS
1 Boston University .5994* 2 19-5-1 .7800 2 .5385
2 Notre Dame .5813 1 19-4-3 .7885 23 .5123
3 Northeastern .5777 5t 17-6-2 .7200 6 .5302
4 Vermont .5740 10 14-6-4 .6667 1 .5431
5 Cornell .5730* 3 14-3-3 .7750 30 .5045
6 Michigan .5723 7 19-8-0 .7037 7 .5285
7 Minnesota .5612* 13 12-6-5 .6304 3 .5378
8 Denver .5612 9 16-7-3 .6731 10 .5239
9 Miami .5510 14 15-8-4 .6296 9 .5248
10 New Hampshire .5477 18 12-8-4 .5833 4 .5359
11 Princeton .5444* 8 14-6-0 .7000 39 .4922
12 Boston College .5405 22 11-8-4 .5652 5 .5323
13 Yale .5400* 4 14-5-1 .7250 45 .4777
14 Ohio State .5373 11 16-8-3 .6481 34 .5003
15 Minnesota-Duluth .5355 17 13-8-6 .5926 19 .5165
16 North Dakota .5327 21 15-11-3 .5690 11 .5207
17 Wisconsin .5325 19 14-10-3 .5741 14 .5186
18 St. Cloud State .5289 24t 14-11-2 .5556 13 .5200
19 St. Lawrence .5277 23 13-10-2 .5600 18 .5170
20 Air Force .5238 5t 17-6-2 .7200 53 .4584
21 Colorado College .5227 20 13-9-6 .5714 28 .5065
22 Alaska .5225 24t 12-9-6 .5556 24 .5114
23 Dartmouth .5212 15t 11-7-2 .6000 36 .4949
24 Massachusetts .5150 28t 11-11-3 .5000 12 .5200
25 Mass.-Lowell .5133 28t 12-12-0 .5000 15 .5178

Earlier, I discussed the RPI's forumla. USCHO's RPI page amalgamates the OPct and OOPct factors into one "strength of schedule" component. Thus, UW's RPI displayed above (.5325) is the result of a 25% weight on the winning percentage and a 75% weight on the SOS (as USCHO has already done the math on that end).

So, improving UW's winning percentage will help increase their PWR. Also, UW's remaining opponents, including tonight's game against Duluth, should also increase the SOS factor. 4 of the 5 teams left on UW's schedule have better RPIs than UW - thus winning games will both improve the RPI and bump up UW in the WCHA standings.