This is a new segment for the site, but it’s not really that new for me, since I like to look back at what each team has done over the past week. The official GSC site has press releases that come out every Wednesday as the season gets going, but I want to look into deeper things than “UAM is 45-44 historically against SAU” or “Kevin Weybright had 56 points and 18 rebounds this past week for CBU” (both made-up stats, by the way).
Mainly, for the non-conference season, I’ll talk a lot about strength of schedule, because it’s interesting that Arkansas Tech and UAM are both 2-1, but we really want to know which is the better team when it comes to conference play (UAM, I can tell you that now).
Toward that end, I would like to unveil what I’m calling the “performance leveling factor” or PLF. This is my own opinion about the strength of a particular opponent, and in order to make it relevant, it has to include every team from the power D-I schools down to the lowliest of NAIA opponents. I have yet to implement this in the player or team stat files, but I’ll try to do that in the coming weeks.
Here’s the scale:
100 – Elite D-I programs
90 – Top 25 D-I schools
80 – Average D-I power conference teams, top mid-major teams
70 – Lower power conference teams, average mid-major teams, top small conference teams
60 – Lower mid-major teams, average small conference teams, elite D-II teams
50 – Lower small conference teams, good D-II teams
40 – Average D-II programs, good D-III programs, very elite NAIA teams
30 – Lower D-II teams, good D-III teams, elite NAIA teams
20 – Average D-III teams, good NAIA teams, good NCCAA and USCAA teams, top JC/other programs
10 – Lower D-III and NAIA teams, average & lower NCCAA and USCAA teams, average JC/other teams
0 – Lower JC/other teams, unaffiliated or very poor programs
That’s my scale, but it’s all subjective. Occasionally, a top D-II team might be able to knock off a power D-I team, but that’s pretty rare, and I think this is a good start. Harding probably falls into the 40-45 range in a given year, and D-II powers probably aren’t much higher than 55-60. Thinking about the opponents that we see regularly, I’d say that UALR and Arkansas State are probably in the 65-75 range.
Later today, I’ll post the schedules and results for all the GSC West teams to come up with a strength of schedule rating for each team so far, and I might adjust the player stats if the numbers work out right using this scale.
[EDIT 7/28/06: Strangely enough, the Sagarin Ratings roughly correspond to this scale, so for D-I use, I don’t have to come up with my own team rating.]