Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The Other Divisions, Part 2 About the author, Boyd Nation

The Other Divisions, Part 2

Publication Date: December 7, 2004

I've looked at this question before, but I think I have a better answer now, so that's what you get this week -- how good are the best teams in Division II and Division III? More generally, how do you adjust for competition levels when considering individual performances in those divisions? Using the results I discussed last week, I created a unified ratings list for all three NCAA divisions, scaled so that Division I still averages at 100 so that it compares properly to the Division I ratings.

It turns out that I probably underrated the top teams by a small amount, although it may fall within the single-season variation, since I was looking at older results last year and am looking at 2004 now. Nonetheless, the results are pretty impressive -- Delta State, the Division II national champion, comes in at #28 overall, which places them squarely in contention between Notre Dame and Lamar, and George Fox, the Division III champion, comes in at #49, which would be a borderline call for an at large bid to the Division I tournament.

Overall, here are the translation factors for the divisions:

Division I   100.0
Division II   91.1
Division III  81.4

Note that these differ by much less than the range within each division, which is why the top teams in the lower divisions are quite competitive. At the other end, for another example, the worst Division I team, which is still Maryland-Eastern Shore, comes in below #800 of the 850+ teams.

What this means is that a fairly quick rule of thumb is to discount the strength of schedule (unless you've computed one from the comprehensive ratings), and therefore the players' rate stats, by around 10% per division drop.

In a final note, here are the rankings of the teams who are joining Division I this year (go read the notes on the updated Team Links page about membership in Division I if you want to quibble over the definition of "joining Division I"):

UC Davis                #38
Utah Valley State      #245
North Dakota State     #269
Longwood               #396
South Dakota State     #621

One of these things is not like the other (everybody hum along now). UC Davis looks quite likely to join UC Irvine and UC Riverside with tournament berths as soon as they're eligible.

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Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The Other Divisions, Part 2 About the author, Boyd Nation