July 21, 2009


Proposal for Changes in Computing RPI - Part 4


Greg Van Zant, the head coach at West Virginia University, recently sent the following recommendation to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee to change the formula for calculating the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).



The Four Exempted Contests Against Non-Division I Opponents


Currently a team can play up to 4 games a year against non-Division I opponents that do not count in the RPI.  The problem with this is many times a team would be better off playing a non-Division I team than playing a lower ranked Division I team.


For example, if you play a Division II game, there is no penalty to your RPI ranking.  If you play a lower ranked Division I team, it pulls down your RPI.  This does not make sense that we have a ranking system that encourages schools to play non-Division I schools rather than playing a lower ranked Division I team in a non-conference game.  Our system should always encourage Division I competition.


My recommendation is that we mathematically assign the non-Division I team played, the RPI of our bottom Division I team, such as Team #302 this past year and count this game in the RPI.  In other words, each time a team plays a non-Division I game, it would be just as if that team had played the #302 ranked, or last place RPI team.  A second option would be to exempt the bottom 4 RPI games or non-Division I games for each team.  But right now, it is an advantage to play a non-Division I game in many situations.  Teams that try to play an all Division I schedule are getting penalized unfairly in some situations.


The Bonus and Penalty System


The bonus and penalty points system can be eliminated because the first three recommended changes to the RPI will make the formula more accurate.  The current bonus and penalty system is just an attempt to make the current RPI more accurate and will no longer be necessary.


Part 1 - Overview


Part 2 - The Weighting of Three RPI Factors


Part 3 - The Weighting of Home Wins and Road Wins


(photo by Jimmy Jones)