The new USAU rankings just were issued, and there are somethings I hit on, and some things I was a bit off on.
Ohio Valley, great chance at four bids?
- If I’m Penn State I don’t play another game this regular season. We’ve got 10 sanctioned games (which is enough for our ranking to count), we have a strength bid in hand. Why do anything more?
- Penn State is greatly benefited by the win over Michigan State at Easterns Qualifier, and Michigan State then boosted themselves up with wins over Carleton and others.
- Ohio has to play one more game to get in, and playing Easterns is likely to lower their rankings should a full tournament be played. Do you want to get to nationals, or do you want to do well at Nationals?
- Ohio State has Terminus this weekend. If they do well, and beat GT in the finals. They will likely be in as well. However there is an exception to these points..
The Queen City Tune Up Effect
- Connecticut, UNC-W, Ohio, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State have all played at Queen City Tune Up. These results are driving the current rankings. All of these teams can “come back down to earth” with Easterns, because they are interconnected.
- Due to this, we still have a long way before we can be certain about these particular teams, also because most of them don’t have many games played. This makes it easier for a team to move throughout the rankings.
North West, Washington and Whitman Out?
- Washington looks like they’re in a lot of trouble if they don’t play any more games. They fell hard due to their early season opponents ranking also falling, (California, Dartmouth, Colorado, UCSB, and even Carleton)
- Whitman is out for now, but can get back in should teams fall out. Teams at risk at falling out after Easterns and Terminus are Penn State, Ohio, UNC-W, Stanford, Michigan, UNC, and possibly even UCF if they collapsed. If you look at the teams ranked from 10th to 22nd they are separated by less than a 100 rating points!
- Georgia and Whitman can get in by just virtue of other teams falling out.
Things looking hairy for California, Stanford and Colorado?
- These teams are in the thick of that 10th to 22nd mess, but should be fine for a couple of reasons. They’ve played a lot of games with top competition so their ranking can’t swing as much. There are plenty of teams that are likely to drop out, and it’s unlikely that their past opponents can drop much farther.
- Also, after the 22nd team, the rating score drops by about 40 points to the 23rd squad A&M, that’s enough leeway that should leave these guys in contention after Easterns.
Possible Easterns weather impact…
- A cancellation of Easterns could ruin all of this. In order for Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, UNC-W, UNC, etc. to have any movement, they have to play teams other than themselves. Chicago Invite will feature, Penn State, Ohio, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa. If they do well against the lesser teams and just play each other relatively even, then we’ll see not much of anything.
- This will put emphasis on the results of Chicago Invite, New England Open, and Terminus even more than before.
- Texas A&M has risen to the point where if they do well at one more tournament, has a great shot of getting in. The problem is availability.
- Dartmouth now has to do better at Easterns because like Washington, their opponents have fallen in the rankings. Avenge some Queen City losses here, and you’re back in business.
- Luther is right up there, and one good tournament away from sneaking in. At least that’s one thing I was right about.
- Georgia Tech now has a temporary boost at Terminus by being able to take down a highly ranked Ohio State. They can get close but probably not in.
- Are the other teams out there that CAN get in, yes. Teams up to 50th will low amount of games played can enjoy the wild swings by beating on mediocre squads. Is it likely, not really.
This is exciting because every difference in score, except for doing better than doubling an opponents score (I.E. 15-7 vs. 15-6 are the same), literally matters. With the teams so close, 5 rating points could make the difference!