Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday PWR - Could you stop the room please? I'd like to get off.

You gotta love the PWR. Saturday's games feature all sorts of results that flip the standings around - teams ahead of UW move behind them and vice versa - yet UW remains in 15th position, one spot out of the NCAA field.

Things look like this:


Record RPI
Rk Team PWR Rk W-L-T Win % Rk RPI
1 Boston University 24 1 23-5-2 .8000 1 .6009*
2t Michigan 22 5 23-9-0 .7188 3 .5743
2t Northeastern 22 6t 20-8-2 .7000 4 .5693
4t Vermont 21 9 17-7-4 .6786 5 .5679
4t Notre Dame 21 2 23-5-3 .7903 2 .5806
6 Miami 19 10 18-8-4 .6667 6 .5573
7 Yale 18 3 19-5-1 .7800 7 .5557*
8 Denver 17 12 17-9-4 .6333 8 .5507
9 Princeton 16 4 18-7-0 .7200 9 .5496*
10 Cornell 15 8 15-6-4 .6800 10 .5461*
11 New Hampshire 14 16 14-9-5 .5893 11 .5446
12 North Dakota 13 14 18-11-3 .6094 12 .5432
13 Minnesota 12 21t 13-9-6 .5714 14 .5384
14 Minnesota-Duluth 11 15 15-9-6 .6000 13 .5412
15 Wisconsin 10 17t 16-11-3 .5833 15 .5380
16t Ohio State 8 13 18-10-4 .6250 16 .5367
16t Boston College 8 24 13-10-5 .5536 17 .5355
18 St. Lawrence 7 17t 16-11-3 .5833 18 .5290
19 St. Cloud State 6 23 17-13-2 .5625 20 .5251
20t Air Force 5 6t 20-8-2 .7000 21 .5221
20t Colorado College 5 19 14-9-8 .5806 19 .5252
22 Mass.-Lowell 3 31 14-13-1 .5179 22 .5211
23 Alaska 2 27t 13-11-6 .5333 23 .5160
24 Dartmouth 1 20 13-9-3 .5800 24 .5144
25 Maine 0 36 12-14-4 .4667 25 .5086

Now, compare that against yesterday's iteration, and you can see the moves that went on. Minnesota jumped us, Ohio State fell back, North Dakota surged ahead a bit, and UMD takes a hit. Still, the same general patterns hold - the PWR mirrors the RPI, with only a few exceptions (Notre Dame is out of position thanks to some funny tiebreaks at the top of the standings, and Minnesota and UMD flipped - though they will play their only series of the year in two weeks).

As I noted yesterday, Minnesota's games against UAA meant that UW's 4-0 record against the Seawolves now counted in the COp criteria, helping UW in that comparison. However, Minnesota's Saturday night win helped boost their RPI above Wisconsin's, flipping the overall comparison back in their favor on the strength of the RPI tiebreaker. The margin, however, is an infinitely small .0004 points in the RPI. Hell, Sunday's lone game to be played might even shake things up with the margin that close (Bemidji State versus Robert Morris).

That game also didn't help UAA's quest to enter the top 25 of the RPI - they now sit at #31. Mankato also dropped out of the top 25 and TUC status after taking a tough 4-3 loss to the Sioux, where they had a one goal lead with 10 minutes left in the third.

Ohio State only managed to take 1 point from hapless Michigan State this weekend, dropping Saturday's game to the Spartans by a score of 2-1. This is notable for 2 reasons:

1) The hit to OSU's RPI was enough to drop them below the Badgers, shifting the overall comparison in UW's favor.

2) Michigan State is a common opponent between the Buckeyes and Badgers. Though OSU is still winning the COp criteria in the individual comparison, the loss worsens their record. The comparison now looks like this:

Wisconsin vs Ohio State

.5380 1 RPI 0 .5367
8-9-2 .4737 1 TUC 0 .3500 3-6-1
2-4-1 .3571 0 COp 1 .4583 5-6-1
0-0-0
0 H2H 0
0-0-0


2 TOT 1


Common Opponents
0-2-0 Denver 1-1-0
0-0-1 Lake Superior 1-1-0
1-0-0 Michigan State 2-1-1
0-2-0 Northern Michigan 1-1-0
1-0-0 Michigan 0-2-0

Looking ahead to next week, the Buckeyes face off against Michigan, while UW faces Denver. This is a huge opportunity for UW to lock this comparison away and take out the fickleness of the RPI (with a little help from Michigan). If UW does well against Denver and OSU stuggles with Michigan, the COp criteria could shift - and the RPI and TUC would likely continue to favor UW.

Ohio State's been struggling down the stretch - they're 3-4-3 in their last 10 games - but clearly has the talent to succeed. That 3-4-3 stretch includes a split with Notre Dame, #2 in KRACH. But that also includes the aforementioned 1 point weekend against MSU (#30 in KRACH) and a 1 point weekend against Western Michigan (#36 in KRACH). Michigan, on the other hand, sits at #3 in KRACH and tied for 2nd in the PWR, while their only recent speedbump has been a split in a home and home series with Notre Dame.

Again, the RPI rank is of tremendous importance. Most of these flipped comparisons that result in the differences between Friday night's standings and Saturday night's standings can be directly attributed to shifts in the RPI. When the PWR deviates from the RPI, it's never by more than a few places.