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02 June 2010


The "year ago" seeding system at least has the virtue of not being political. There is a dependable formula that is not influenced by appearances or relationships, but is determined solely by performance. It also does a pretty good job of accounting for the different strengths of schedule in different parts of the country. ARN's formula adds in a "historical strength of conference" component in their attempt to rack and stack the college teams. I don't think anyone is sure just how RugbyMag's rankings are calculated, if they're calculated at all.

The suggestion that was given at least preliminary acceptance by the coaches at the Rio Tinto meeting attempted to mix last year's conference performance in the playoffs (to account for different strengths of schedule) with this year's conference finish (first or second) to yield a seeding that was, again, non-political.

We'll see how it works in practice.

Since the other championships don't have quite the tidy symmetrical conference alignment that the D1PL has (with 4 conferences and 2 representatives from each conference entering the playoffs), such a system might be harder to work out for U-19s and high schools.

can you give us more info on how the college meeting went? Coverage seems to be limited to posting press releases.

How do you figure a Super League team is, "better resourced?"

ARN poll appears to use the same measuring stick that Bravo's Housewives followers and producers use.

Sure, we can all judge who is more/less trailer or more/less materialistic, but facts iz facts. Historical significance is all BS, this is present tense gentlemen.

Appearance and posturing are important but you can't keep piling layers of foundation over some of those "historically significant" slobs. Stop raising up false flags from the sucklers of the week.

Like the Housewives, just because someone was more whoreish and crazy last year doesn't mean they are better.

Certainly monkeybuttpollstermate doesn't need to manufacture drama?

We all know what is what and who is who, the eyes don't lie. Lipstick application by shovel or abdominal lipoplasty aint going to change my viewpont, no matter how hard that retarded bloke tries to get me to mount those swine.

Stiffler has protested (I think that's what it was) about ARN's rankings, without offering any meaningful alternative. Without a formula, you're left with a beauty contest. And, as we all know, beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Since the college teams (by design, to save money on travel) don't all play the same teams, and don't play enough inter-conference games to yield meaningful statistics about relative strength of schedule, you're stuck with trying to account for differences in schedule when evaluating just what the win-loss record means. Not all wins and not all losses are equivalent. A 10-point loss to Call might say a lot more positive about a team than an 80-point win against North Dakota State Teachers College. I've yet to year a constructive suggestion about how to account for such inequities in schedule in the seeding process.

I'm not sure the point of rugby rankings. I get why they are a big deal in college football, because that's how championships are decided. But when was the last time anyone gave a damn about the basketball rankings? They don't matter, because there is a neat little tournament to wrap things up. Who really cares what Brian Lowe thinks or what formula he has developed?

Just poking fun at the ranking czars.
I think they do a good job 95% of the time. Now let's get to the real issue, the bottom feedng lower division club champonships, High School and U-19 in the same breath and the ridiculous playoff system that the foreign legion and bootlickers adore.

Who do the lower division championships hurt? What is the marginal cost of having such championships?

As for my other comment, I guess some people DO care about his rankings. I'm sure those articles give him some web traffic, so bully for him. I just don't myself get why people care about rankings in a system that decides winners objectively.

Actually, lots of people care about rankings. However, I was really talking about alternatives to the last year's history method determining the SEEDINGS for the PLAYOFFS. Sorry to shout. I realize that it's impolite.

Kurt expressed the opinion that it was time to get rid of that method for determining the seedings. I was complaining that nobody seems to have offered another objective method of seeding teams for the playoffs. I was pointing out that rankings not based on a formula (otherwise known as a computer model) are inherently biased by the ranking organization (based on games that they've actually seen, their particular opinion about what constitutes good rugby, etc.).
I was just using ARN as a straw man, since Brian does use a formula, for good or ill.

How does one account for differences in the value of a win due to differences in strength of opposition? One way is to use last year's playoffs as a measure of inter-conference or inter-regional relative strength. If you have another objective method to suggest, put it forward.

Without suggesting an alternative, suggesting that we deep-six the old method is just worthless noise. Come up with a better idea and it can be discussed here.

BTW, this is a much better forum for discussion than RugbyMag, since it limits comments to 300 characters.

Jc, easy to sort out the playoffs, just think organized sport, not the manipulated collegiate playoff systems.

Those who control the amateur game are too smart for their own good. They ruin the early round playoffs with the seedings and manipulation. It hurts the game, regardless of what vegas and the profiteers say. American Professional outfits wouldn't stand for such nonsense, they understand the bottom line.

Regional to the final 4 is the only way to go. It promotes true rivalries early on in the playoffs, not the manipulated bs stuff, unless usarfu plans to promote rugby and gambling again, like collegiate basketball.

Simple... suggests that regional is the way to go until the final 4, but no coaches wanted only one team to come out of each region. With 8 teams in the playoffs, and with the possibility that the two top teams could be in the same region, you have to seed and play across regions.

And, the whole idea is to make it digestible for TV. Who's going to want to watch 4 sets of teams play again that have recently played one another? You want fresh matchups. That's what makes it interesting. You can't do that with a purely regional playoff setup.

I think the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL understand how playoff systems work.

Fact is, conference championship semi-final and final in the top 16 collegiate basketball conferences all got better regional ratings than the opening round of the final 64 all the way to 16. Even after the huge marketing surge, seeding manipulation and association with gambling it still holds true in most cases.

Sure, the end of year basketball and playoffs are mostly there to make money off of college students playing kids games. Why else would you have the 25th best team in the country playing the 20th best team in football, or having the NIT Basketball tourney for the 100th best team to play?
They want to expand the NCAA basketball tourney. And we know why.

The current rugby playoff system is a ridiculous 3 headed hydra of college football, basketball and Texas holdem' re-buy tourneys. Rugby isn't making any money any time soon. The union burns green dollars for Eagle fuel. The playoffs are wasteful, confusing, disorganized, substandard.

Even my dog knows knows this. He is an American Bulldog.

Simple solution... Every league's champion gets in to their respective playoff and single elimination from there. If there aren't 4, 8, 16, or 32 leagues, then you use at large teams to fill those spots till you get to one of those nice round bracket-type numbers. In most cases this will be 8 or 16. SINGLE ELIMINATION people!!!

Please get rid of B & C sides too!

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