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Marquette and High Point: What's Happening?

2013 features two new Division I programs -- the Golden Eagles and Panthers. How do they stack up against each other?

Have you listened to this week's QuintCast over on the four-letter network? If not, you should -- it's overflowing with new Division I lacrosse program goodness. Kessenich -- the keeper of the world's most glorious tie knot, hiding within it various treasures collected from throughout the globe -- talks with the head coaches at High Point, Boston University, Marquette and Furman. It's worth a listen, if only because it's a little weird to hear wired and perpetually demanding gym teachers speak so excitedly about their situations.

Despite the broad nature of the conversations, this made the melon in my skull pose a question: How do Division I's 2013 newcomers -- Marquette and High Point -- stack up against each other? The Golden Eagles currently sit at 2-5 on the season with a surprising victory over Air Force in Colorado; High Point holds a 3-8 record and has earned arguably the oddest victory of the season -- a 9-7 defeat of Towson in just their second effort at college lacrosse's highest level. Staring just at wins and losses doesn't get you very far, though, so I turned on the lacrosse computing machine and started digging through underlying performance metrics.

As it turns out, these teams are -- on a performance basis -- almost mirror images of each other, not unlike the similar records each team currently promotes. The teams have gone about their business differently, but at the end of the day, both Marquette and High Point stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other relative to the rest of the country. It's actually kind of creepy how similar these teams are when looking at broad metrics: I'm not saying that the Golden Eagles and Panthers are the exact same team and that they've fooled all of college lacrosse into believing that they're different entities, but I've also not seen Marquette and High Point on the same field together during the 2013 season.

Here's the proof:

Adj. Offensive Efficiency 28.91 (35) 26.36 (52)
Adj. Defensive Efficiency 41.66 (61) 38.60 (60)
Adj. Efficiency Margin -12.75 (59) -12.24 (58)
Pythagorean Win Expectation 24.37% (57) 23.46% (58)
S.o.S.: Opponent Adj. Offensive Efficiency 27.49 (59) 27.25 (60)
S.o.S.: Opponent Adj. Defensive Efficiency 29.74 (25) 30.06 (31)
S.o.S.: Opponent Adj. Efficiency Margin -2.24 (52) -2.81 (56)
S.o.S.: Opponent Pythagorean Win Expectation 44.14% (49) 43.00% (56)

To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to. Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to. Bleeding-from-the-ears, Guy-Fieri's-existence.

So, how should this deadlock between the two schools be broken to determine which school is having the better season? Easy: Consider things that have nothing to do with college lacrosse and haphazardly pick a winner. The breakdown:

Follows College Crosse on Twitter: Yes No
Local delicacy that will eventually kill you: Delicious beer-soaked bratwursts Delicious pigs stuffed in a smoker for days
Local weather features blood falling from the sky: Possibly Unlikely
Local Wisconsin beer brewed in vicinity: Yes Where's Wisconsin?
Mascot has ability of flight: Yes No, and that'd be terrifying if so
If you go there, can you swim outside in January: Yes, if you want to die Yes, if you want to pick up chicks
Offers a degree in "Media and Pop Culture": No Yes, you can major in VH1
Coach's last name sounds like a Mountain Dew flavor: Yes (Amplo) Yes (Torpey)

It's a tough call, but considering all the important factors in that table, I'm going with High Point because you can major in Best Week Ever. Congratulations, Panthers!