2017 Conference Records

Do you know the feeling where you start a project but have a feeling that someone else has already done the same project? So, you go looking for it but never find it. And then go do the project but live in fear that someone way smarter than you will then leave a comment when you are done that says why didn’t you just use the XYZ data at HateMySelf.Com? Well, that’s where I am right now.

I’ve been kicking around the idea about doing a post about Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and how it’s not used in Division III volleyball but really is but shouldn’t be and how that impacts NCAA Tournament selection. Don’t worry, that’s not what I’m doing here. This post does kind of skirt around it because I believe things like RPI and Strength of Schedule (SOS) and winning percentage in Division III relate a lot to the division a team plays in and to the region. Without a lot of cross pollination between divisions and especially regions leaves us with faulty data as a base for SOS and RPI. With that in mind I started to wonder what the overall records were of the different conferences (and regions) and, thus, a new post is born.

As I seem to do with every post like this one, here are my qualifiers…my “get out of jail free” addendums:

  • The data was pulled from the NCAA statistics website. (I found a number of cases where the data was wrong slightly, but I didn’t update the data used here.)
  • I included the DIII provisional teams.
  • Records include non-DIII matches. That’s how the data was presented from the website, and I didn’t go through each team to update.
  • Records include the NCAA Tournament matches.
  • I didn’t match independent teams or ACAA teams (no automatic qualifier) to regions.
  • I did match the UAA teams with the appropriate regions.
  • There were a total of 6360 wins across the data I compiled with 6264 losses. The discrepancy can be attributed to matches against non-DIII opponents and errors in the NCAA provided data.

So many places to start but I guess the best is to just list the conference records and the regional records…yeah, I’m not going to do that. It’s a lot of data and you would just get tired paging through it so I pasted these tables at the bottom of this post.

There really is a lot of different ways to take this data. I think I could make a 100 different conflicting points all with the same dataset so maybe the best approach is to just go through the items I found interesting.

Not a big surprise the UAA is the deepest conference. What really helps, however, is that the bottom teams in the UAA are from the New England and New York regions which allowed them to compensate for their poor conference records. Only NYU finished the year with a sub 0.500 record.

What’s interesting about the Landmark Conference is that despite the depth shown with their conference overall record, they did not receive an at-large bid. The most likely candidate was Scranton, a team I grew impressed with during the year. Their bid was really doomed by a September 5-set loss to Muhlenberg (who was regionally ranked higher than Scranton). That head-to-head win and a stronger SOS overcame Scranton’s higher winning percentage and better ranked wins. Late losses to Swarthmore and Susquehanna also didn’t help.

The fourth deepest conference, the WIAC, also didn’t receive an at-large bid. This has been covered in depth in past posts but, yet, another indication that the NCAA really messed up.

One interesting note regarding the WIAC and the Landmark is that they only play a single conference match against each opponent. One easy way to improve the SOS, which may lead to more at-large bids, is to play two matches for each conference opponent. You have deep conferences and there is no reason not to put that to your advantage.

The only sub 0.500 conference to receive an at-large bid was the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC). The conference was basically Concordia Wisconsin and Aurora (received at-large bid) and nothing else. The only other team to have an above 0.500 winning percentage outside the conference was Concordia Chicago.

I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at Aurora’s credentials for their at-large selection. They were regional ranked 5th in the Midwest with a 0.788 winning percentage, 0.563 SOS and a 5-5 ranked win record. Scranton (mentioned above) could actually make a claim they had better criteria than Aurora. Aurora did have nice wins against IWU, Calvin and Chicago and I certainly don’t want to discredit their selection. It just shows how thin the at-large selection line can be between teams.

Looking at the regional records and it’s interesting to note that the Great Lakes, despite having the best record, only received 2 at-large selections. (Every region received 2 at-large selections with the exception of the West [3], Midwest [4] and New England [3].)

The team not selected from the Great Lakes was Mount Union; a team I thought was pretty much a lock to go. Revisiting their criteria shows a team that is almost identical to Aurora and Scranton. Playing out of the OAC, one of the deeper conference, and I have to point out again that playing in conference teams twice instead of once would probably increase the SOS to the point where an at-large bid was probable.

Eight of the nine “worst” conferences hail from the three largest regions – Mid-Atlantic, New York and New England. Six of the twenty-one conferences sitting at 0.500 or below all come from the New York region. From just a pure numbers standpoint it shouldn’t be shocking that the biggest regions dominate these unfortunate statistics, but it does kind of show the hurdle these regions have to overcome to put up good SOS numbers.

And finally some good ‘ol bashing from yours truly. It’s obvious that the NCAA likes to reward the bigger regions with more bids. Part of this is just the simple fact that they have more conferences and therefore more automatic qualifiers. I do have to shake my head when we figure out these regional records and see that the New England and New York regions are in the bottom half of the rankings but still put an extra 6 teams into the tournament (if we also count independent New Rochelle). That’s 6 of the 21 Pool B and Pool C bids going to two regions. Now depth doesn’t equate to which regions had the best teams, but I would feel more comfortable erring on the side of depth than not. Give me Mount Union, Scranton, UMHB (or La Verne) or a WIAC school over Vassar and Babson any day of the week. They accumulated their criteria in tougher regions, typically coming away with better quality wins, and are more prepared to make a run in the tournament.

Conference Records:

Conference Identifier Region Wins Losses Pct.
University Athletic Association UAA Various 173 93 0.650
Landmark Conference Landmark Mid-Atlantic 138 88 0.611
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference NEWMAC New England 191 126 0.603
Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference WIAC Midwest 148 100 0.597
North Coast Athletic Conference NCAC Great Lakes 150 102 0.595
Ohio Athletic Conference OAC Great Lakes 177 123 0.590
Centennial Conference Centennial Mid-Atlantic 179 128 0.583
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference SCAC West 157 114 0.579
Capital Athletic Conference CAC Mid-Atlantic 167 122 0.578
Commonwealth Coast Conference CCC New England 152 113 0.574
New England Small College Athletic Conference NESCAC New England 156 117 0.571
Little East Conference Little East New England 131 101 0.565
Freedom Conference MAC Freedom Mid-Atlantic 129 104 0.554
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference HCAC Great Lakes 154 125 0.552
Liberty League Liberty New York 137 112 0.550
New Jersey Athletic Conference NJAC New York 152 125 0.549
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin CCIW Midwest 146 121 0.547
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference MIAC Central 184 153 0.546
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference IIAC Central 146 122 0.545
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference SCIAC West 130 119 0.522
Presidents’ Athletic Conference PAC Great Lakes 158 147 0.518
Southern Athletic Association SAA South 120 112 0.517
Commonwealth Conference MAC Commonwealth Mid-Atlantic 140 134 0.511
State University of New York Athletic Conference SUNYAC New York 155 155 0.500
Old Dominion Athletic Conference ODAC South 165 165 0.500
Northwest Conference NWC West 103 105 0.495
Great Northeast Athletic Conference Great Northeast New England 193 198 0.494
American Southwest Conference ASC West 179 187 0.489
Empire 8 Athletic Conference Empire 8 New York 139 146 0.488
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association MIAA Great Lakes 121 129 0.484
Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference NACC Midwest 173 193 0.473
USA South Athletic Conference USA South South 257 294 0.466
Upper Midwest Athletic Conference UMAC Central 129 154 0.456
Midwest Conference MWC Midwest 127 152 0.455
Colonial States Athletic Conference CSAC Mid-Atlantic 151 181 0.455
Skyline Conference Skyline New York 125 158 0.442
St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference SLIAC Central 131 171 0.434
City University of New York Athletic Conference CUNYAC New York 96 156 0.381
North Eastern Athletic Conference NEAC New York 143 233 0.380
North Atlantic Conference North Atlantic New England 77 126 0.379
Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference MASCAC New England 88 146 0.376
Division III Independents Independents N/A 60 100 0.375
New England Collegiate Conference NECC New England 67 115 0.368
Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference AMCC Mid-Atlantic 98 173 0.362
American Collegiate Athletic Association ACAA N/A 68 126 0.351

 

Regional Records:

Region Wins Losses Pct.
Great Lakes 779 638 0.550
Mid-Atlantic 1032 935 0.525
West 569 525 0.520
Midwest 617 575 0.518
New England 1072 1057 0.504
Central 614 610 0.502
South 572 578 0.497
New York 977 1120 0.466
Independent 128 226 0.362

 

 

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