Unlike Sagarin, which starts with some preconceived rankings, the RPI starts each year at zero.
That makes the early rankings -- while totally meaningless -- fun to look at. Remembering that a large portion of the Division 1 field has not yet played a game, today's RPI has Air Force at No. 1, just ahead of Iowa State. There's a bunch of teams tied for third, including UNC Greensboro.
Duke is No. 78, tied with Boston College, Marquette, New Mexico (not NMS) and South Carolina.
I know none of this means anything, but it's fun to look at the RPI and see North Carolina A&T ranked at No. 84, well ahead of our friends from Chapel Hill at No. 201 (tied with more 100 teams that either haven't played or are 0-1, 0-2). Obviously, that changes after UNC meets Davidson Wednesday night.
I wouldn't pay much attention to the rankings until after Christmas ... really mid-way through January. For now, I look at the RPI strictly for entertainment purposes.
Is the toughest conference the Atlantic Sun? Not sure anyone else has a resume as good as that conference right now.
Speaking of too-soon-to-look-at-except-for-nerds, here are Pomeroy's ratings so far: http://www.kenpom.com/stats.php
Through 2 games, Duke has been the second-fastest team in the country (VMI is #1, of course), 8th best offensive team, and 23rd best defensive team. Clemson is the early leader for overall most efficient team in the country.
Clemson not only has the highest offensive efficiency but they are #1 in Pomeroy's ratings. Again, looking at the ratings after one or two games is meaningless. I enjoy looking at Pomeroy's numbers after teams have played 20 games so there are sufficient data. Unlike baseball, which lends itself to number crunching, it seems to me that you have to get late into the college basketball season before the numbers start to make sense. At that time, based on past experience, it is surprising that there is not more difference between the simplified system (RPI), the more complex (Sagarin) and the even more complex (Pomeroy).