2021 Watch List

Updated: 11/3/21

In my posts, you will come across the term “Watch List”, which simply means the Region X teams that I believe are in position to garner a Pool C bid come November selection time (if they do not win the automatic Pool A bid or Pool B bid). If you need a rundown on Pool A, B and C bids then check out the FAQ page. I decided to make this a permanent page as it gives me a little more freedom to keep this updated without polluting the main page. This will be a fluid list and I’ll try to update it with wins/losses and signature wins/losses. The “(#)” are the number of sets in the match. Records are Division III only.

Teams removed since last update:  None

Can’t afford to!

Teams added since last update:  None

I probably should add Pomona-Pitzer because they are being regionally ranked but I still don’t think they can get an at-large and it would be too much work. 

NOTE – In-Depth write-ups are below the table.

NOTE – Wins and losses are DIII ONLY. When considering NCAA selection, the primary criteria only considers DIII matches.

School Wins Losses Wins Losses
CMS 25 1 UCSC(4), UWO(4), WashU(3), Trinity(4), Emory(4), Hope(4), Ohio Northern(3) Calvin(4)
Colorado College 28 4 Rand-Macon(4), Ithaca(3), Susquehanna(4),Southwestern(4), UCSC(5) JHU(3), Trinity(3), St Thomas(5), Trinity(4)
Southwestern 22 4 Aurora(3), CMU(4) CC(4), Trinity(5), CC(4), Trinity(4)
Trinity 28 2 Whitworth(5), Emory(3), N’western(3), CC(3), Endicott(5), Babson(4), MIT(3), Southwestern(5), CC(4), Southwestern(4) CMS(4), Tufts(5)
UC Santa Cruz 17 2   CMS(4), CC(5)
UMHB 23 1 BSC(3) UTD(5)
Whitworth 19 2   Trinity(5), Pomona(4)

In-Depth Looks

Records are through Sunday (10/31/21). I’m using an SOS number from our friend “Ned”. He is attempting to mimic the SOS used by the NCAA in their selection criteria. (Current update has NCAA SOS.)

Remember that the selection criteria is Record (wins/losses), SOS, Ranked Wins (not used here until regional rankings are released), Common Opponents and Head-To-Head Results.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (25-1 0.962, 0.584 SOS, 8-1 Ranked Wins)

If you want to host a regional, lose in the tournament. You’ll get in either way. Of course, if you lose then you might get ranked behind Trinity and they could host. I guess do what you want.

Colorado College (28-4 0.875, 0.554, 7-3)

Lost a Ranked Result win with DeSales being removed from the regional rankings. SOS dropped after the weekend. They are now just under Southwestern, which would be interesting if they hadn’t beaten them twice. SOS will raise after the tournament. I think they are a lock for an at-large, if needed.

Southwestern (22-4 0.846, 0.561, 2-4)

Lost a Ranked Result win with Chapman being removed from the rankings. Added a loss due to playing Trinity. SOS held steady and the NCAA seems to have a higher number than Ned does for the Pirates. They really need to beat St Thomas in their conference tournament and it would be great if they could then beat Colorado College. I think that would make them a lock. As it is, they are a bubble team, but I believe their chances are greater than 50%.

Trinity (28-2 0.933, 0.615, 10-2)

Another lock if they don’t win their tournament. Nothing more really to say.

UC Santa Cruz (17-2 0.895, 0.548, 3-2)

UCSC no longer belongs in Region X but I’ll include them because they should. SOS is a problem. My mock simulation had them going in as an at-large pretty easily. I’m not as confident, but I do think they get in.

UMHB (23-1 0.958, 0.470, 1-0)

Bubble team if they don’t get the bid. Great record but a poor SOS. It really depends on what the RAC and then the selection committee thinks of a team that only played one regionally ranked team. 

Whitworth (19-2  0.905, 0.544, 0-2) 

Don’t need no stink’n at-large bid! Congrats to the Pirates for winning the NWC!

NEW TOOL (from last week as tool won’t update until after the regional rankings come out)

“Ned” has created a new tool that compares two teams and brings up their head-to-head results and their common opponent results. I thought I would share that information here. Count yourself a true DIII volleyball nut if you’ve found this page and have read this far!

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Trinity University (TX)OK0140
name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Colorado CollegeOK0022

Here you can see how CMS stacks up against their two closes competitors for the top spot. Head-to-head against Trinity and a common opponent advantage against CC. (This tool doesn’t do the “art” for you and dive into the common opponent “results”. Less “art” to look at in my opinion with the opponents are common, however.)

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Trinity University (TX)OK20120
Colorado CollegeOK0291

Here is the Trinity versus Colorado College example. That common opponent loss was St Thomas.

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Colorado CollegeOK2073

A little interesting in the common opponent results. Those three CC losses are Trinity (twice) and St Thomas. Southwestern has only played Trinity once for their loss. In theory, those two head-to-head losses are mitigated by that one St Thomas loss! Whether the RAC or National Selection Committee do that is another question. (Note – Back in 2014, it was the EXACT reason why CC passed by Southwestern in the regional rankings. Southwestern had beaten CC 3 times but had lost to Trinity 3 times while CC went 1-1 against them. The National Selection Committee considered that one Trinity win equal to the 3 head-to-head losses to Southwestern.)

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses

Not much to see here but does the RAC consider 8-1 better than 6-1 just because a team had more opportunities and the other didn’t?

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Mary Hardin-BaylorOK0051

UMHB isn’t ranked but this shows how the UT-Dallas loss by UMHB would hurt them.

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Pomona-Pitzer CollegesOK0041

Southwestern has a head-to-head against Chapman so I didn’t show that one. But that win also hurts Pomona-Pitzer when making a comparison to Southwestern since they have lost to them.

name chkH to H winsH to H losescommon opp winscommon opp losses
Pomona-Pitzer CollegesOK01143

Where this tool really helps is when you have two teams in a conference being compared. Chapman has the head-to-head but you have to mitigate it by the common opponent, right?

One thing that I’ve mentioned in the past is that if you have two teams that are equal but one team wins the comparison due to a head-to-head results then you probably have made a mistake when you consider national selectability. Back to my 2014 example, Southwestern should have been ranked higher than CC based on their 3 head-to-head wins, BUT it would have meant putting the team with a harder chance at an at-large bid in front of a team that was a slam-dunk to get in. I’ve done a 180 on this since 2014. When equal (or close) put the team with the better chance at national selection higher in the rankings and justify it with the criteria (believe me, you can).