One of my favorite pastimes as a WSU fan is completely ignoring all rankings, polls, ratings and power rankings when the Cougars are not good, only to obsess about all polls, ratings and rankings when the Cougs win a couple of games.
If you are like me, that means you have also begun obsessing over basketball polls and KenPom rankings this season. The Cougs are 6-0 and therefore I think it is completely absurd they are not ranked in the top 10 of all polls and rankings yet.
Of course, they are not. In fact, according to the latest KenPom rankings, they are the No. 137 team in the country, the exact same spot they began the year. Media bias strikes again!!
Or not. Let’s let Jeff explain the situation:
Because the system is meant to be predictive, projections don't just disappear after the first game -- what you see after game 1 is a mixture of a lot of projection and a little bit of the first game.— Podcast vs. Everyone (@PodvsEveryone) December 20, 2020
One game is just one game, and you never want to read too much into it. (2/x)
So, with UW and WSU, there are a few things happening here. Part of it is projections, but you also need to understand what the system is looking at with "results." It's not wins and losses -- it's the efficiency margins relative to opponent quality. (4/x)— Podcast vs. Everyone (@PodvsEveryone) December 20, 2020
... since it stands to reason that a team that barely beats those teams probably isn't that much better than them. This is how WSU actually moved *down* after a couple of wins.— Podcast vs. Everyone (@PodvsEveryone) December 20, 2020
BUT! That's also how they jumped 10 spots after thumping No. 189 Montana State. (6/x)
If all of that was too far into the weeds, just think about it this way..... https://t.co/2snh4CfsuV ranks teams by their adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency margin. It's how they would be expected to perform, on a per possession basis, against an avg opponent.(8/x)— Podcast vs. Everyone (@PodvsEveryone) December 20, 2020
The projections and results (efficiency margins in their games) of both UW and WSU suggest that the Huskies would do just a little bit better against an average team than WSU would, right now. (About 3 points better in a 70 possession game, fwiw.) (9/end)— Podcast vs. Everyone (@PodvsEveryone) December 20, 2020
The real takeaway here is that WSU moved up 10 spots by smashing Montana State. So all the Cougars need to do is continue winning games by 28 points and they will keep moving up the rankings. Get on that, Kyle Smith.
Wherever they are ranked. I have to admit it’s nice to care about rankings, polls, ratings and power rankings again.
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