No time for fancy introductions: The new polls are out and Loyola remains on top of each human tally. You can see the full rankings over on the left-hand column of this handy-dandy Internet computing page that you accessed through your handy-dandy Internet computing machine.
Here's this week's poll aggregation featuring teams situated in any set of rankings' top ten. Some brief thoughts follow 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.
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. I've included these rankings this week because I am, apparently, as stupid as everyone and everything else.
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 April 23, 2012.
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.
More after the jump.
- Obligatory Princeton Pump-Up: I'm done trying to reason with you people. Princeton is better than you think they are. Exclamation point. Period. Other instances of punctuation. Sure, the Tigers haven't beaten a legitimate title contender this season, but their three losses this year -- Hopkins, Carolina, and Syracuse -- have come by a combined four goals. That's it! They've knocked off a snake-bitten Hofstra team, Villanova, Yale, and Harvard. They haven't been shellacked yet and have crushed everything below them. For the Tigers to be sitting outside the top-ten -- especially after the chaos that was this past weekend -- is proof that you can't fix stupid. Of course, Princeton can likely help its perception with a victory, at home, against Cornell on Saturday, but that doesn't mitigate the fact that the Tigers have been undervalued thus far through the 2012 season.
- Y U HATE CAROLINA, CLOWN?: I don't hate North Carolina. In fact, I think they're playing some of their best lacrosse right now. The issue the efficiency measure is having with the Tar Heels is that the defense is a lil' suspect. (Maybe if the efficiency measure had $200 in its back pocket right now, Carolina's position would be concurrently improved.) There aren't 27 teams better than the Heels right now, but this fact still exists: In adjusted defensive efficiency, North Carolina is currently ranked 35th-nationally at 30.89 goals allowed per 100 defensive possessions. That's spooky! (Also, if you pull out the efficiency mark and just consider the Tar Heels' LaxPower and RPI marks the math-ish poll skepticism continues: The variance moves to plus-five instead of plus-11. So, yeah.)
- Maryland and Denver -- Polar Opposites but Total Samesies: Maryland is going to the NCAA Tournament. I don't think that's a question for anybody that hasn't taken a jar of drugged milk to the face like Alex in A Clockwork Orange. The Terrapins, despite their one-goal loss to Duke in the RPI Tournament semifinals last Friday, are still probably a little underrated in the human polls. Things with eyeballs and arms and stuff tend to vote on wins and losses, which is totally acceptable. The issue, though, is that those subtle performance items are sometimes lost and the math-ish items pick them up. (The inverse is also true. Case in point: North Carolina.) I guess the point here on Maryland is, "Don't sleep on them, knucklenuts." With respect to Denver, the Pioneers are getting similar treatment as Maryland, but it's heightened. With no big scalps in their bag, Denver is getting Maryland'd and Princeton'd all at once. That's a rough type of treatment. The Pioneers' five losses this season -- Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cornell, Loyola, and Fairfield -- have come by a total of seven goals, three of those games needing overtime for resolution (with one a three-overtime thriller). I wouldn't be shocked if Denver won the ECAC Tournament -- they're still a good team -- but I'd be surprised, mostly because I think Loyola is the cat's meow. It'd be tough to include the Pioneers in the NCAA Tournament field unless they can find some magic to beat Duke and/or do serious damage in their league postseason, but this is still, despite the close losses and lack of a huge win, a pretty good team that is getting leveled in the human tallies.