Lacrosse Team "Fun Factors": The Funnest of the Fun


When's the last time that I updated this?  Weeks ago?  Never?  Does it even matter?

(Answers: No clue; Maybe; Probably; Nope.)

In case you don't know, I came up with something called a "Fun Factor."  It's a stupid little formula that attempts to identify the funnest college lacrosse teams.  There are a couple of things that go into the formula:

  1. Competitiveness.  I don't want to watch bad lacrosse teams.  (I'm looking at you, Wagner.  Stop ruining my universe.)  To come up with how competitive a team is, I use a modified version of the Pythagorean Win Expectation.  I know that you're thrilled about this.
  2. Pace.  I like teams that get up and down the field a bit and play lots of possessions.  This isn't necessarily borne out of my DNA but rather through my diploma: Roy Simmons, Jr. and John Desko inherently color my perception of interesting teams. So, I work a bit of pace into the calculation.
  3. Offensive Capability.  Specifically, I'm looking at a team's ability to can the bean.  I like run and gun, and there's something fun about a team that can make an opposing goalie weep for mercy.

So, that's the backdrop.  Remember: I'm not trying to figure out who the best teams are; all I care about is whether they'd be fun to watch.

I've been tracking the metric for the entire year and while there has been some movement among the teams in the top-10, there hasn't been too many teams that have moved into or out of the cohort.  Here's the top-10 as of, well, rightthisverysecond:

1. Duke 7.6708
2. Cornell 7.1197
3. Robert Morris 7.0922
4. Virginia 6.7544
5. Stony Brook 6.5613
6. Denver 6.4220
7. Army 6.1190
8. Johns Hopkins 6.0172
9. Maryland 6.0083
10. Syracuse 5.8219


Duke tops the charts on the strength of the fifth-best offensive shooting percentage in the country and an efficiency margin that ranks third nationally.  While the Devils aren't playing a blazing number of possessions per 60 minutes (16 teams are going faster than Duke this year), the other factors are enough to put them at the head of the table.

I'm sure Syracuse fans are going to gripe about Hopkins being in the top-10, but I'll simply say this: There are only a few teams that have a stronger pythagorean win expectation than the Jays.  So, you can knock the pace (Hopkins is 40th in the metric), but they're a solid outfit to watch.

Also: I love those crazy bastards at Robert Morris.  Third in offensive effective shooting percentage, 13th-nationally in pace, and firing more shots at the cage than all but five teams in the country.  This isn't close to the best team in the country but the Colonials aren't changing their style for anyone.  Man hugs and back slaps on being stubbornly beautiful.

How are you feeling about how the rankings shake out?  Agree or disagree?  Who would you add to or delete from the list?  The comments are yours.

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