October 27, 2010

Preseason Polls: What do they mean?

The 2010-2011 Summit League preseason poll was released, and then men are pegged third. We all know preseason polls aren't always telling of what the league will shake out to be, but there is an important trend that can be seen when analyzing the numbers.

The League Has Three Tiers

Over the last three years, a definite three-tiered system has become obvious in the League. I took the liberty of figuring a way of devising a way to determine each tier. The formula is: Preseason poll average from 2007-2009 [P] + End of season average (2008-2010) [E] / 2. This year's preseason poll is in parenthesis. 

OU - 2.0 (1)
ORU - 2.0 (2)
IUPUI - 2.5 (3)
NDSU - 4.0 (4)
IPFW - 5.67 (6)
SDSU - 6.67 (5)
SUU - 7.17 (9)
WIU - 7.5 (7)
UMKC - 8.17 (8)
CENT - 9.34 (10)

As you can see, there is a tiered system that has set it self up over the last three years. Without a doubt, each team worries more about the teams to their immediate top and bottom. The more important victories come from, in the eyes of a team like SDSU, against SUU and IPFW than against OU - who they are assumed to lose to - or CC - who they are assumed to beat.

Aren't numbers fun?


  1. numbers are fun, I am a big fan. but I think pre season polls mean nothing. Look Dayton, last year they were picked to finish first, what happened? we got owned in conference, and didn't even get a buy in the first day of the a14 tournament. Still, its fun to see where the coaches think you are anyway.

  2. Nice analysis. Definitely agree that middle tier will always be reckoned with.

  3. Not all leagues are like the Summit...but here, the closer you are in this order, the more the game matters. CC doesn't care about their game against OU (**AS MUCH) like they care about the game against WIU or SUU. The parity is much more predictable than most other leagues.

  4. I think thats pretty cool though, I mean I don't think that Bonaventure for example cares what happens when they play Fordham, both teams aren't going anywhere.

    Brings an interesting aspect to the league