April 28, 2015 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire with 8 comments
After the news of Tulane’s disqualification broke last night, some Southwest teams started calling for Tulane’s disqualification to be retroactive to the regular season and for the ranking algorithm to be re-run. While this is not going to happen and really not feasible, it is a fair point — the team’s regular season results should not have counted either.
What would happen if their results were taken out? Resident rankings expert Scott Dunham has the answer.
A quick 1st order calculation suggests that if Cincinnati’s results vs Tulane were invalidated, Cincinnati would drop to 19th, just behind Minnesota. The difference I calculate is small however (~6 points), so second order effects might keep them in strength bid contention. The full algorithm would have to be rerun to be sure.
The bid would presumably go to the North Central (Carleton). I don’t know why people are suggesting that the Southwest might benefit. UCSB is significantly behind Minnesota in rating and a Tulane DQ hurts them as well (directly and via drop in Cincinnati’s rating). Because of this connection, I suspect that 2nd order effects would actually push Cincinnati further behind Minnesota.
If I include adjustment for UBC being DQ’ed at SBI and Purdue at Cat Fight, then Cincinnati had just 8 valid game scores counting in their rating (blow-out over Utah exceeds threshold and forfeit to OSU don’t count), so they drop even further if Tulane results are eliminated. With that adjustment, Cincinnati would be solidly behind Minnesota in ranking (~35 points).
By dropping out of Huck Finn, Cincinnati eliminated a risk that they had control over (performing badly at that tournament), but increased a risk that they had no control over (Tulane being DQ’ed). If they had gone to Huck Finn, Cincinnati would have been able to solidify it’s rating with more games and thus been much less sensitive to a Tulane DQ. The line-up at Huck Finn was favorable for earning a bid (lots of teams 0-500 points below bid threshold), so it seems likely that they would have retained a bid if they had gone.