Now that was an interesting week.
The new polls are out -- Coaches // Media -- and Duke, coming off a tough loss to surging Denver on Long Island, was the notable mover of the week, falling in both set of rankings. Maryland continues its ascension in each poll, somehow outshining Cornell to a majority of rating contributors.
On the math side of things, Maryland took a small step backward (although it wasn't significant) and Notre Dame stands as the math leader.
Here's the aggregation (quick comments after the jump):
LAXPOWER: These are the LaxPower ratings. These ratings are based on solid math, similar to Jeff Sagarin's rankings. Importantly, they consider margin of victory and where a game was played.
RPI: This is stupid person math. I include these rankings only because the NCAA is full of stupid people and they still use this stupid person math as a major piece of their stupid tournament selection criteria.
EFFICIENCY: This is just a ranking of a team's efficiency margin, as adjusted for strength of schedule. These are similar to Ken Pomeroy's rankings, but slightly different. (Pomeroy uses win expectation as the basis of his ratings. We each, however, use the same foundation (efficiency).)
AVG.: Average of the "math" rankings.
COACHES/MEDIA: These are the human polls, as voted on by humans. These humans have different jobs, though: One set judges humans while clad in university-issued apparel; the other set of humans judges others simply to sell ink and paper. These polls are from March 21, 2011.
AVG.: This is the average the Earth-human polls.
DIFF.: The difference between the "math" polls and the human polls. A negative value means that "math" is rating a team higher than the things that are carbon-based; the inverse means that the things made out of 75% water are rating a team higher than the things not made out of any water.
AVG.: Average of the math and human polls. This is how the table is ordered.
I've written this a thousand times and I'll write it a thousand more: The RPI is the stupidest thing in the history of stupid. That's saying something. Remember Crystal Pepsi? That was stupid. What about anything Tammy Faye Bakker ever did? Those were really stupid things. Yet, the RPI is dumber than anything ever done that has been considered dumb at some point in time.
This better not factor into the Terrapins NCAA seeding.
Two straight losses have dropped the Blue Devils, but Duke hasn't really played all that poorly in either contest. The math thingies are sensing that but the human thingies have gone just a small step farther. This isn't a huge deviation and it's probably more accurate than not that the Devils are playing like team slotted between eight and 10.
When push comes to shove, all that matters are wins and losses. There are warts with the Orange, though, and the efficiency measure isn't all that pleased. The deflated efficiency margin rating is due in large part to the team's adjusted offensive efficiency value (it's 20th nationally). If the Syracuse offense improves -- and that's asking a lot against a pretty good defensive team in Cornell on Tuesday -- the efficiency calculation will come a little more in-line with the other measures.
I'll just say this: Hopkins' strength of schedule isn't fantastic. If the humans knew this, would the 'Jays still be ranked higher than Cornell? Now, Johns Hopkins is good -- really good -- but I'm skeptical that they could beat the Big Red on the same field.
We'll know if the 'Jays are better than Maryland as soon as this weekend.