We received another MaxPreps poll today — this one the latest “Regional Computer” rankings.
I teased Jim Stout, the Media Manager for the Eastern U.S., about the number of rankings he sends out and he teased back saying, “We only release rankings on days that end in ‘y’.”
The biggest thing that caught my eye in these rankings was Bellevue falling from No. 9 to No. 22, without playing a game (and many who moved ahead haven’t played yet either. Serra, Bellevue’s opening opponent moved from No. 10 to No. 9. Chiawana of Pasco stayed at 15, while Bothell moved up a notch from No. 20 to No. 19 and Lynden remained at No. 25.
Here is Stout’s explanation:
“With the computer ratings, which deal entirely with available data and have no opinion or feelings, it’s much more of a case of other teams moving up (at least temporarily) in the ranks, not Bellevue dropping or being penalized. A number of factors could affect a certain group of teams and not another, particularly at this time of year. And if you look at the ratings that the computer spit out after one week of games, there is very little difference between Bellevue at 22 and Serra at 9 (fewer than four points I believe). One little factor could have made all the difference there, again not penalizing Bellevue but awarding a couple of points to someone else based on who knows how many calculations. It’s why in some instances early in the season that some writers just ignore these and wait for the numbers to shake out more representatively at a later date.”
He then added:
“No matter where any of the top 100 or so teams stand in any given week via the computer, all rank within the top one percent of all programs in the country. That, in many ways, says it all.”
And he suggested these links as well that help explain the rankings:
If you’re interested, here are a couple of online docs about how the computer ratings work:
Also, you may be interested to follow the state of Washington computer rankings throughout the year to see how they change, and even sort through the various classes as the season goes along. More and more we are getting inquiries from state associations about how these work, not for use at this time of year, but when it comes time to seed their teams for the playoffs.