Analysis of RPI Fluctuation Between Conferences

Disclaimer: This article is going to mention elementary mathematics and will in no way be about tits.

It's time to dance.

So, in this 3 part analysis of the RPI between January 12th and March 8th (the start of conference play and the end of the regular season), I’ve so far pointed out that 60% of teams only move 25 places, either up or down, during conference play. Conversely, 40% of teams move more than 25 places up or down.

But what happens to teams generally in a conference? If you play in a really powerful conference, would you expect RPIs to generally improve as every team is playing a difficult strength of schedule? Or would you expect a conference with a lot of top tier teams to beat the other teams, sending their RPIs spiraling downward, while not being able to move much higher? I decided to look at the big 6 – ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, SEC, and Pac10 – along with the A-10, who is probably as strong or stronger than some of those conferences this year. For the most part, I’ll look at the RPIs averaged per team to standardize across conferences. In other situations, I might analyze percentage of teams, again, to standardize across conferences with variable numbers of teams.

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Live, from the SEC Tournament

Welcome to the EJSIC’s Live Coverage of the SEC Tournament. I’ll give you updates as the night progresses.

7:15 – Florida vs. The world in here tonight. Kentucky fans making their preference heard.

7:38 – By the way, if anyone ever offers complementary parking, decline. Gonna be an effing 30 walk later on……

7:41 – Florida playing like garbage. They’re in easily with even a close loss, but a blowout could leave them sweating it on Selection Sunday.

7:48 – Boynton against the world.

7:51 – Boynton, Parsons, and Walker have 41 of Florida’s 45 points. BTW, no cowbell for MSU tonight. I’m told that’s a football only concept.

8:10 – Tension is rising in the stands. Some drunk guy just spilled the lady behind me’s $5 bottle of water. Meanwhile, Florida has clawed back to within 10.

8:21 – My 2 good buddies that are Florida fans scalped 2 tickets right in the middle of the Miss St section. Sucks for them. That’s a rowdy bunch.

8:25 – I believe there is something stuck in Dan Werner’s throat…..”chokin on a splinta”

8:35 – Well, that turned out to be a good ending. Florida saved face with a close finish. Put both these teams in the Dance.

Flask is empty. This sucks……

EJSIC @ the SEC tournament

That’s right. Yours truly has been dispatched to provide up-to-the-minute updates live from the site of the 2010 SEC tournament at the “whatever-they’re-calling-it-now-that-the -Sommet-Group-failed-to-make-payment Center” in Nashville, TN. EJSIC will be your first stop for the sights, sounds, and even smells (if I can find a way to capture them on my phone) of the 2010 installment of the UK Invitational.

To get things started, here are the 3 biggest story lines heading into the tournament, and the 3 things I’m looking forward to the most:

Tournament Story Lines:

1. Will the runaway-train that has been the 2009-10 version of the Kentucky Wildcats continue their resurgence with a tournament title? The obvious favorites going in to the event, it will be interesting to see if the C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS will be able to continue to build on their 29-2 (14-2) record by capturing the tournament championship. THE most talented team in the country (IMO), the Cats have been dominant at home, but have proven to be shaky away from Rupp Arena, including losses at Tennessee and against the fightin’ Devon Downey’s, as well as close games against Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Auburn. It will be interesting to see how this freshman dominated team will perform in what will be the first college tournament situation for most.

Can anyone derail DeCuz and the UK crazy train?

All that said, make no mistake about it; Nashville will become Lexington south this weekend, just as it is whenever UK comes to town.

2. Bubbles bursting. It is my opinion that none of Florida, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State will make the Big Dance without a win in this tournament, and it is shaping up to be elimination Friday, with potential Tennessee/Ole Miss and Florida/Miss St matchups.

3. Who is SEC POY? The case for Devon Downey over either of John Wall or DeMarcus Cousins was a strong one after ‘lil Carolina’s upset of then #1 UK, but it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the team’s late season slide. However, Downey may have thrust himself back into consideration, after a 26 point performance last week at the dump that is Memorial Gym. With a deep tourney run, and perhaps another upset of Kentucky should they beat ‘Bama on Thursday, things could get interesting.

Things I’m Looking Forward To:

Bruce Pearl is a show unto himself.

1. Vandy fans. I was at the SEC/Sun Belt Classic in mid-December, which showcased MTSU vs. Tennessee and Vandy vs. Western Kentucky at the same venue as the SEC tournament. Vandy fans showed why they were the joke of the SEC by managing to attract **maybe** 200 fans to a game in their hometown. Meanwhile, WKU had 6-8 thousand, and were a raucous bunch. No one would have guessed they were the team 4-3 heading in and Vandy was the team nationally ranked. Well Vandy fans (or as I like to call them, “Alabama football fans“), here’s your chance to redeem yourselves. I don’t expect any more than 400 of you, so don’t disappoint me.

2. A live view of “Dermal Soul Glo I’ve heard stories, but I want to see for myself if Bruce really does glow.

3. Demarcus Cousins. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this ticking-time-bomb’s explosion all year. If this kid played in the ACC, he already would have been involved in brawls with Chas McFarland and Ryan Reid, and having the opposing fans get a hold of your phone number would be a weekly ordeal. But even in a league as physically flaccid as the SEC, Cousins has been driven to temper tantrums and dirty plays numerous times. If he’s gonna flip out, and he will eventually, I just want to be there to see it.

I’m also looking forward to some “pity” beers to be bought for me by those feeling sorry for me, in my North Carolina t-shirt, although I don’t expect Kentucky fans to be overly willing to support my cause…………..dafunk…………….out.

Got a question, an angle you’d like me to cover at the tourney, or some hate-filled garbage to spew???? Shoot me an email at, and I’ll get back to ya ASAP.

Jerk Radio Returns

The interview with Sports XTRA on 560AM WNSR in Nashville is on for tonight at 8:20 pm EST (7:20 pm Nashville time). We’ll be discussing the site, SEC Basketball, Kentucky fans, and whatever else happens to cross our minds.

Just as a refresher:

The show is hosted by “King” Henry Nichols and Jeff Thurn and it begins at 7 pm EST (6 pm Nashville time) every week night.

Here are a few links to check out to learn more about the guys:

Those of you that can’t listen locally, can listen live at this link.

Update: We’ll also be having a live blog at 7pm to watch and discuss the UK vs. Mississippi game before I head off for the interview, so the opportunity for making fun of me in real time will be available.

Grainy Footage Clearly Shows Basketball Assault

Footage released this week in the aftermath of South Carolina’s shocking upset of Top Ranked Kentucky has been reported to show star freshman DeMarcus Cousins assaulting a South Carolina Student as the student rushed the court at the end of the game. See Footage Here.

BigfootExtensive research on the alleged incident by the EJSIC staff has revealed something far more troubling, however. It appears, after several viewings of the tiny corner of the grainy footage, that not only did the assault take place, but it took place directly in front of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Grassy Knoll Shooter, all of whom were attending the game as Kentucky coach John Calipari’s most recent celebrity guests.

“It really was terrible,” Bigfoot said when reached back at his secret lair somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. “The kid was just trying to call DeMarcus names before he ran out on the court to celebrate and then DeMarcus hauled off and gave him a chicken wing and then cold-cocked him.”

“You just hate to see something like this happen,” Mr. Foot continued. “One minute I was in the locker room before the game talking to the kids about making sure your number 1 ranking doesn’t just become some kind of legend and then something like this happens.”

The Loch Ness Monster echoed Bigfoot’s concerns. When asked about the chicken wing specifically, Mr. Monster simply replied “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm chicken wings.”

Citing longstanding CIA concerns, Mr. Shooter declined a request to be interviewed for this story.

EJSIC will have more information about this breaking story as it becomes available.

Meyer Chooses Health, Family Over Football

Geez… You spend one day away shopping for bedroom furniture and all Hell breaks loose.

The most successful college football coach in the country, in recent years at least, has decided to call it quits.

Citing concerns for his health and family, University of Florida Head Football Coach Urban Meyer has resigned. The Gators’ Sugar Bowl match-up with Cincinnati will be Meyers last game at the helm. Wow.

After reading statements from both Meyer and those around him, it seems there’s not a hint of ulterior motives in his reasoning. Assuming he is prioritizing his health and family above personal success and career fulfillment, you can’t help but admire the coach’s decision to part ways with the Gators at the peak of his reign over college football.

At 45, Meyer’s .841 winning percentage leads all  active coaches with at least 5 years experience. A head coach leaving the game at his age and with his credentials has to be unprecedented in big time athletics.

TCU Coach Gary Patterson was equal parts stunned and proud in his interview with The Quad.

“You’ve got to give the guy a lot of credit, I think, for making this kind of decision because for us as football coaches, it’s always been about the game,” Patterson said. “For him to make a decision to decide at this point in time to hang it up and do it for his health and his family, I think shows the strength of him as a man.

“He’s 45 years old and wants to get a chance to see his family grow up and do things. Some of us haven’t made those decisions in our lives. He’s as strong as he is because he put family and health in front of something that he truly loves to do.”

Even as an admitted “Gator-Hater”, I can’t help but echo Patterson’s sentiments. For a man in Meyer’s position to make this decision at this point in his career, you have to believe that he truly has his life perspective in order.

In a coaching landscape where “succession plans” and “forced retirements” have become common place, it’s refreshing to see a coach decide he’s had enough long before everyone else decides he’s had enough.

As far as a possible replacement for Meyer goes, names like Stoops, Petrino, Peterson, Shanahan, Mullen and Strong have all been thrown around.

Regardless of who succeeds Meyer at Florida, it’s hard to imagine anyone leading the Gators to more success than he has over the past 5 seasons.

It’s even harder to imagine any of those coaches stepping away from it all afterwards.