Monday, January 10, 2011

Slouching Tigers, Rising Techsters

The first conference games for the Big 12 occured this past weekend, a very active weekend for almost every team. Iowa State started the conference season with arguably their hardest game, Baylor at Waco; the Cyclones lost. Texas failed to secure a win after leading Missouri by 12 points with under three minutes to go. And Texas Tech scored an important win over Kansas at Lawrence, propelling the Red Raiders up to a dubiously high 5-seed in the College Women's Hoops S-Factor.

One unusual game that had ramifications for many teams was on Thursday when LSU lost to South Carolina. The loss pushed the Tigers down out of the S-Factor-predicted at-large bids, but it also knocked LSU out of the top 50 in RPI.

Because of this, several teams that scored victories against LSU suddenly had a weaker strength of schedule. Tulane, most precipitously, dropped 28 spots in the S-Factor just because of the LSU loss (even though Tulane now has won 6 games in a row and is still slated in the S-Factor to get the automatic bid from Conference USA).

Ohio State and Northwestern, teams that have beaten LSU this year, dropped 15 spots and 5 spots respectively (although Ohio State's loss to Iowa on Saturday certainly doesn't help matters).

The biggest gainer from LSU's loss? Louisiana Tech. LSU had beaten the Lady Techsters earlier this year. It seems counterintuitive that an opponent that beat your team earlier in the year and now has a lower RPI than before can actually boost your team's ranking. But now instead of winning 2 out of 4 against top 50 teams, Louisiana Tech has won 2 out of 3. It's enough of a difference to lift Louisiana Tech 20 spots in the S-Factor. Sometimes the numbers are just crazy in Mid-Majoropolis.

Now in: California, Purdue, St. John's
Now out: LSU, Arizona, Texas

Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 10
ACC: 7
Big Ten: 7
Big 12: 5
PAC-10: 5
SEC: 4
Atlantic 10: 2

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