Saturday, December 10, 2005

Fight in the Dog's Best in Show - 2005 Fall WLV4 Rankings

My 2005 fall rankings based on fall results:

1 Princeton
2 Radcliffe
3 Georgetown
4 Cal
5 SUNY Buffalo
6 Pitt
8 Villanova
9 Duquesne
10 NC State

Just like the V8 ranking, this is a fall ranking, not a spring pre-season ranking, so there is no speculation about who will do well in the spring. Also, when I mention race finishes below, I refer to finishing place among college crews only.

This ranking is controversial right from the start because although Princeton beat Radcliffe at the HOCR, Radcliffe beat Princeton pretty handily at the Chase. Nonetheless, I'll stick to my principle of the HOCR being the fall championship race so Princeton gets Number 1. In the V8 Radcliffe did well at the Chuck but did poorly at the Chase - maybe they were switching people between boats. Next is Georgetown which comes in at number 3 although they did not race in Boston. They move ahead of third place Boston finisher Cal because they were closer to Princeton at the Chase than Cal was at the HOCR. Cal comes in at 4 by virtue of its excellent performance at the Charles.

The rest of the field sorted itself out between the Head of the Ohio and the Head of the Elk where they all raced each other or raced someone who beat someone else who... SUNY Buffalo won the Head of the Ohio which propelled them into 5th, followed by Pitt who was second in Pittsburgh. Number 7 CMU might think they should be higher by virtue of their 3rd place finish at the HOCR, but they were 3rd at the Head of the Ohio. Number 8 Villanova was 4th at both the Head of the Ohio and the HOCR. Number 9 Duquesne makes the field by beating NC State, which comes in at 10, at the Occoquan Challenge.

The big question is what happened to NC State, which won the Head of the South and the Hooch? Once they lost the Occoquan Challenge to Duquesne, which was 6th at the Head of the Ohio, they were out of the running for a higher ranking. It's not clear this is fair, but in the absence of any other evidence, that's the way it is. NC State's result at Occoquan also devalued everyone who raced at the Hooch. Other than NC State, the only boat to race any other ranked boats was Miami (Ohio) which was last (among colleges) at both the Hooch and the Ohio. Given the relatively large field at the Hooch, it's hard to believe it wasn't a more consequential race, but the results speak for themselves. Of course, if NC State had beaten Duquesne at the Occoquan, this would've been much tougher.


Anonymous said...

where's wisco? did they not race a 4 this fall? and if not....why? as you say above, its certianly not for depth of program....

JW Burk said...

Yes, Wisconsin did race a four this fall (Iowa and Rock), but the races turned out to be more like intramural races. There were other crews they beat, but those crews didn't really turn up anywhere else. The crews that were ranked ultimatley had some degree of separation from a four that raced in Boston, therefore giving me a way to rank them. Wisconsin, other than the V8 in Boston, races more or less locally in the fall and is therefore in their own world. It wasn't that they were slow (highly unlikely), it was that they were "unrankable."