Thursday, March 30, 2006

Coaches' Lightweight Poll

The USRowing Collegiate Poll was released the other day and the women's lightweight eight rankings were included. Last year the lightweights were not ranked until April 27th. Probably the first thing to notice (but not a surprise) is that this is the first time in a long time that Princeton received no votes for number one. The next thing to look at in this poll, of course, is how it compares to FITD's ranking. I'll start by allowing that the coaches should know more about, and therefore be better at, this than me.

The first four spots are the same as mine (using my in-season ranking which is when the coaches ranked), but the coaches have Stanford at 5 and UCF at 6 while I have those two reversed. I think the coaches are professing the conventional wisdom here, but I disagree with that wisdom. Bigger differences come after that as the coaches have Ohio State at seven and I don't have them in my top ten. Again, conventional wisdom suggests they should be up there because they had a fast boat last year and haven't really been tested yet this spring. I dropped them down based largely on their miserable showing against Dayton in the fall, but that was a long time ago now and who knows what boat they put together for that race? I have Dayton at seven (12th from the coaches), since they are the defending Dad Vail champs and in their one fall race seemed to have some speed. I then have URI at eight which the coaches have at 12th (tied with Dayton). For URI to even reach eighth would be a bolt from the blue since they didn't race last year, but I think they can do it. We both then have MIT and Bucknell, although the coaches have Lehigh at ten, which didn't make my list. Overall four boats are in the same position, four are one spot different, and 2 boats each are only found on one top ten list.

There are two curious vote recipients on the coaches' poll - UCSB and SDSU. UCSB's coach told me that they are not racing a lightweight boat this year and SDSU hasn't raced one yet and isn't racing one in the Crew Classic. I think both of those schools received votes but will not be racing lightweights.

Polls are mostly for fun and it all gets worked out on the water (in most cases), but it might be worthwhile going back and reviewing the early polls at the end of the season. Maybe one of you engineers has a formula for calculating accuracy, something like take the standard deviation of the absolute values of the differences in rank from the first to the last poll, etc.


Anonymous said...

Your list is much more accurate, don't worry. There are an embarassingly large amount of teams that received votes who aren't racing lightweight 8's this year. The USRowing rankings are still a dart's throw, after Knecht the picture will clear.

Anonymous said...

I noticed in one poll released this week that Tulsa received some votes. Do they race a lightweight 8?

JW Burk said...

Tulsa raced a light four in 2004 and a light four and eight in 2005. I'm not sure what they're doing this year, but I would bet they will race at least a light four.

On Knecht - yes, that's what makes Knecht so fun. It clears the picture up for now, let's crews know what they have to do, and then we get to see if they can do it.