Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quotes & Notes: Math, Hyperbole, and a Full Moon

■ Follow the bouncing RPI:

• 28th: MU's RPI ranking (Boyd's World) after the KU series

• 27th: MU's RPI ranking a day later (Tuesday morning)

• 28th: MU's RPI in the NCAA's official RPI rankings

• Explanation of how RPIs are calculated and why they seemingly change without apparent reason: The Simple Explanation or The Technical Explanation

Warren Nolan has MU at 26th in RPI. His chart points out why RPI is such a big deal: MU's raw winning percentage (.566, 30-23) ranks 107th in the country. But MU's Strength of Schedule is ranked 10th, which impacts the RPI.

Sorting that chart by winning percentage, we see that Southern Utah and Jackson State have better winning percentages than MU (tied at 104th), yet their Strength of Schedule is 290th and 299th respectively, which puts their RPIs at 22nd and 250th.

• Put all that together, and it may be easier to see how MU's RPI could actually dip slightly after the Cal State-Bakersfield series, even if MU sweeps. CSB has a record of 11-32, a winning % of .256, a schedule strength ranked 136th, and an RPI ranking of 247th, according ot Warren Nolan.

That means that every time MU steps onto the field with the Roadrunners, MU's SoS drops a little - and CS-B's takes a boost. The ramifications of that will be slight at this late date in the season, but they will have some effect.

Enough of that. I have a headache now.

Baseball America's Top 25 Podcast discussed the return of the Tigers to the Top 25 (at #25):
•Second place in the Big 12 - that's kind of what we thought they would do.

•I'm worried about them. I don't know if I trust the Johnny Wholestaff thing in the postseason.

• It seems to happen at Missouri every year, that there's a couple of guys that just aren't as good as we thought they'd be.
Best ever year for Tigers?? The Columbia Tribune says it just might be:
Spring sports are still in full swing, but enough precincts have reported for me to call this election. This is the greatest school year in the history of University of Missouri athletics.
■ Must be a full moon: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch somehow noticed MU Baseball this week: Missouri Tigers turn baseball season around
As Jamieson looked at what led to the about-face, no one moment stands out. But if there was a point where MU touched bottom, it was in the days after the jackhammering at Baylor.

After two midweek romps over Indiana State, MU traveled to Kansas State for its sixth straight conference series against a ranked team. Wildcats starter A.J. Morris had been 9-0. But with Mizzou trailing 2-0 in the ninth inning, junior Trevor Coleman hit a three-run homer and senior Kyle Mach (Parkway West) went back-to-back to spark a 4-3 win.

"From that moment on, we played with a lot more confidence," Jamieson said. "I think the team had been lacking a little bit of that."

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