I enjoyed reading your recent post comparing the Pac-10 and the ACC in terms of the number of wins again Top 30 opponents (as measured by your index). You found that the ACC and Pac-10 had 13 and 5 wins, respectively. While you mention the ACC had more opportunities for wins, you didn’t mention exactly how many more opportunities. So I did some calculations:
ACC: 12 teams with 22 total games against Top 30 teams (as of Feb. 1) with 13 wins (59% winning percentage)
Pac-10: 10 teams with 8 total games against Top 30 teams (as of Feb. 1) with 5 wins (62.5% winning percentage).
Thus, while I think it is fair to point out that the Pac-10 has not played as many Top 30 teams (and perhaps subjecting the conference to a “soft non-conference schedule” criticism), I don’t think it is fair to use the 13 versus 5 wins as evidence that the Pac-10 is overrated.
I must fully acknowledge I am a big UCLA fan, so perhaps I am biased, but the above numbers are not.
Overall, I agree that the Pac-10 is probably overrated by most people, especially since the above numbers indicate that the Pac-10 is no better (but no worse) than the ACC in terms of their Top 30 winning percentage. Your larger point that the Pac-10 is just a good solid conference but not head and shoulders above the rest remains valid. I just wanted to point out that it is important to know the denominators when you are comparing numerators.
Nicely done, John. I like it when the readers do a little bit of legwork for me, and I think everything stated is fair.
Tomorrow, I’ll have the first edition of Rulebook Rewind – a scan of an old basketball rulebook to show just how the game has changed, and how it hasn’t, over the past century.