Monday, August 22, 2016

Ratings Ranting

It's that time of year again when the venerable Sagarin Ratings come out. Here's how they shape up before Dartmouth has had even one practice:

104. Harvard
130. Penn
153. Dartmouth
169. Yale
180 Princeton
193. Brown 
218. Columbia
230. Cornell

146. New Hampshire
160. Towson
183. Holy Cross

Keep in mind, Sagarin's ratings do not take into account graduation losses, injuries or recruiting, so your guess is as good as mine with regard to what they do take into account. I read somewhere they weigh recent performance in addition to historical performance over a set number of years. That may well be, but if that's the case I don't understand how perennial powerhouse New Hampshire and Towson are ranked as low as they are.

Here's the thing about Sagarin. It's pretty good about ranking the teams after the season is over ;-)

How Sagarin ranked the Ivies prior to last season:
142. Harvard
172. Dartmouth
182. Yale
196. Brown 
198 Princeton
212. Penn
240. Columbia
234. Cornell

And here's how it had the Ivies ranked after last season:
106. Harvard
112. Dartmouth
149. Penn
173 Princeton
175. Yale
198. Brown 
220. Columbia
233. Cornell

For reference, here's a reminder of the overall record for Ivy League teams last fall:
9-1 Harvard, Dartmouth
7-3 Penn
6-4 Yale
5-5 Brown, Princeton
2-8 Columbia
1-9 Cornell

A final thought: Have fun with Sagarin and the other ratings, but don't put too much stock in them ;-)
Each year the same question makes its way to the BGA in-box.  How come some Ivy schools like Cornell start practice before the others, and isn't that unfair? (Cornell kicked off practice on Aug. 16 while Dartmouth doesn't start until Wednesday.)

The answer is that all Ivy League schools are allotted the same number of preseason practices. They are simply spread out differently. Cornell got the jump on Dartmouth because classes in Ithaca begin tomorrow and they don't start in Hanover until Sept. 12.
Check out the Harvard football website for an inspiring MGoBlue story about former Crimson fullback Michael Hirsch battling back from a life-threatening disease that kept him from playing for Tim Murphy. With the NCAA showing a little common sense, the 24-year-old Harvard graduate will be allowed to suit up for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.
And finally, this scan from Sports Illustrated has been sitting on my desktop for more than a month waiting to make it into this space. Today's as good a day as any ;-)