fighting muskie wrote:
JP-- lately, it seems like the high mid majors really struggle to pick up autobids. The A-10 can do it but I really don't count them as a mid major because they are the bottom of the top tier of men's basketball. The WCC can do it but only thanks to the trio of Gonzaga, St Mary's, and BYU but they are about the only ones. A 14 member C-USA can't even get two bids. With that said, do you think that mid majors who have enjoyed basketball success are better off staying in their regional leagues and dominating them rather than trying to piece together a league together or chasing the A-10 where they can expect to be middling programs?
I assume you mean "at-larges" or "multiple" bids. Yes, the A-10 is a major conference now because they always get 3+ bids.
There's two reasons mid-majors are dead:
#1 - The basketball mid-majors got raided by the Big East & A-10 (Butler, Creighton, VCU, George Mason - and Memphis, Tulsa, BYU)
#2 - The football mid-majors over-expanded for football and their RPI games got crushed (MWC, C-USA).
You mentioned the 14-team Conference USA. Prime example.
We all know every conference goes .500 against itself. The top of your league is going to be 16-2, 15-3, 14-4. Which means if they don’t suck OOC, they have a record worthy of an at-large bid… if their RPI is high enough.
The A-10 went .659 OOC (About 8-4 on average).
C-USA went .411 OOC (about 5-7 on average).
When Dayton, GW, Davidson finish 1-2-3 in the A-10, they’ll be like 25-7 to 22-10
When MTSU, ODU, LA Tech finish 1-2-3 in Conference USA, they’ll be 23-9 to 19-13
The A-10 opponents those three will beat, will be on average: 17-13; So the A-10’s Top 3 will be in the 20, 30, 40 RPI range (all dance)
The C-USA opponent those three will beat, will be on average, 14-16, but C-USA’s Top 3 will be in the 70, 90, 105 RPI range (one bid league)
What conference realignment has done is consolidated the power so almost all the successful OOC teams in the same few conferences. The old CollegeRPI.com website has data available from 1994-2015. Here’s the number of conferences in OOC Win Pct ranges:
OOC WIN% - - - ’95-’05-’15
.650 to .850 - 8 - 9 - 6
.550 to .649 - 4 - 3 - 6
.500 to .549 - 4 - 1 - 0
.450 to .499 - 3 - 3 - 4
.000 to .449 - 14 -15 -16
We went from 16 winning conferences and 17 losing conferences in 1995
To 12 winning conferences and 20 losing conferences in 2015.