Blog Entry

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

Posted on: February 23, 2010 9:06 am

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How can you rank BYU consistently but poo-poo UNI like they're a bunch of scrubs? All UNI has done: 24-3, same record as your precious Cougars. UNI's RPI of (16) is (six) spots better, a SOS of (105) is (24) spots better. ... Fact is: BYU has played LESS than UNI and has won zero big games. At least UNI goes out on a limb and does BracketBusters, in which they shredded Siena AND ODU. Just wondering if you can explain?

-- Barry

This is a typical email from a fan quoting numbers and misrepresenting the truth.

I get these all the time.

Now watch how easy it is to counter.

First, BYU and UNI DO NOT have the same record. There's not a major difference -- BYU is 25-3, UNI is 24-3 -- but if you're going to try to take somebody to task it's crucial to at least be accurate on your first point. Anyway, I should point out that all three of UNI's losses are to teams (DePaul, Bradley, Wichita State) projected to miss the NCAA tournament while all three of BYU's losses are to teams (Utah State, New Mexico, UNLV) projected to make the NCAA tournament.

So BYU has three reasonable losses.

UNI has two terrible losses.

Advantage: BYU

As for the wins, UNI's best wins are over Siena and Old Dominion, both of which are projected No. 11 seeds in Jerry Palm's latest NCAA tournament bracket. Meantime, BYU has wins over UNLV (a projected No. 9 seed), UTEP (a projected No. 11 seed), San Diego State (a projected No. 12 seed), and a victory over Arizona State (a school that's second in the Pac-10 standings).

Advantage: BYU

So to summarize: BYU has fewer bad losses, more good wins, a better record, and is playing in a league projected to get four bids to the NCAA tournament as opposed to the one-bid league Northern Iowa has won. By any intelligent measuring stick, BYU has a superior body of work, which is why the Cougars are seeded two lines higher in Jerry Palm's bracket and pretty much every other relevant bracket, too.

And you know what that means?

It means I actually have BYU and UNI much closer than everybody else.

Palm has them separated by two lines; the AP poll has BYU 12 spots ahead of UNI, the coaches poll 11 spots better than UNI. Me? I have BYU at No. 23 and UNI in my top 30, and if I have a school in my top 30 that suggests I don't think they're a "bunch of scrubs."

Bottom line, UNI is good and I know it.

The victory over Old Dominion was impressive.

And I won't be surprised if the Panthers win a NCAA tournament game.

But trying to argue their body of work over BYU's body of work is silly. Only an idiot could conclude UNI's body of work is better than BYU's, and just because you're a fan doesn't mean you have to be an idiot, Barry. Have some dignity, man.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2010 11:46 am

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

Can i expose your stupidity for having Butler ranked in the 20's and Michigan State number 12....On a nuetral court Butler wins that game, in fact i think they could win in Izzo land..I cant wait to see Michigan State bounced so you can get off their Nuts..

Since: Jan 24, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2010 10:14 pm

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

Well Gary, you made the point and I totally agree with your rationale, that's why I read. But, you were out done, and UNI had to out do you this evening. Evansville 55, UNI 54... Case closed...

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2010 3:09 pm

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

OK, Gary, at the risk of being called an idiot, let me try something.  Using your logic, let's compare UNI and UTEP.  UNI has two wins over projected tourney teams (Siena and Old Dominion); UTEP has zero.  UNI has 3 losses against projected non-tourney teams, UTEP has four.  UNI has a better record.  Both play in what are currently one-bid leagues.  So, using the criteria you used above, you should have UNI ranked above UTEP.  Personally, being a C-USA fan (yes, we exist), I think UTEP is better than UNI.  I also know that other criteria (record over the last 10, projected NBA players, etc.), UTEP should be ranked higher than UNI.  I guess my point is calling people idiots because they don't use the same arbitrary criteria to rank teams as you is very Doyel-like.  I don't want you to go down that dark road.Smile

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2010 2:12 pm

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

The big problem with SOS, as measured by the RPI: The difference between playing #150 and #300, for a good team, is the difference between a 95% chance of a win and a 99% chance. The difference between playing #50 and #100 is probably a 60% chance or 80=85% chance. And yet, by the measure the RPI uses, a team that plays #50 and #300 played a much "easier" schedule than one who played #100 and #150 despite having almost twice as much chance of losing a game. BYU and UNI are the perfect example of this problem: BYU has four more top 50 games, but four more 200+ (compared to UNI with a relatively large stack of games around the #80 and #150 marks). By average strength of opponent, UNI may have faced a tougher schedule, but for teams in the top 50 or so that's a very poor measure to use. In the measure that makes sense - what sort of record should a good team expect to put up against this schedule - BYU's is by far the tougher schedule.

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