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  1. #1

    To Everyone Who Rants About Duke's SOS

    Our strength of schedule was #9 this year, overall, by RPI.

    http://www.kenpom.com/rpi.php

    out of conference schedule was 62, which is weaker for sure, but included a game against the Ivy League Champs: Cornell, a top 10 team in Wisconsin, another ranked team in Marquette, and now sudden bubble team Temple. So it aint that shabby.

    Equally as important, coach knows what a long season this one is (longer than usual) and he knew that we would see plenty of good competition in the ACC which would raise our overall SOS. So come off season time when the schedule gets released, THINK before you start ranting about how our SOS isn't good enough. Coach knows what he's doing (all of you who scream about SOS were screaming about cornell, for example, and wouldn't ya know it, but they won their conference. We play an Ivy every year, so don't you think coach picked the right one )

    (Oh and according to the Pomeroy stats, our OOC SOS is even better at #32 and our overall is in #16: http://www.kenpom.com/rate.php)

  2. #2
    some of these issues were discussed during the BCS (nearly always an annual fiasco of argument and counter-argument), as well as in prior NCAA tournaments. W/r/t the latter, I recall a year or two ago how bubble teams were described as having been chosen, in part, on the teams they CHOSE to play, i.e., underweighting their conference schedule. I'm not very keen on this, it seems that regardless of whether you choose your conference schedule or not, your strength of schedule is whatever it is. If you come from a weak conference, and your record is good not great, yes, you should know in advance that you'll have to beef it up by choosing to play some tougher competition (and not always losing to them).

    Spoz you have two 19-12 teams and one comes from a weak conference with an overall SOS of 75 but an OOC SOS of 45, and one from a strong conference with the same record, overall SOS of 60 and OOC SOS of 60, I don't get why the former should be rewarded for choosing harder games, when "objectively" the latter played a tougher overall schedule, chosen or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham
    The stats don't change the fact that as an elite program, I'd like to see Duke play more premier teams out of conference. It also doesn't change the fact that Duke didn't play a true road game this season until January 8th vs. Temple, which was still technically a neutral site if I'm not mistaken. I'm not saying Duke's OOC schedule is bad, it just leaves something to be desired IMHO.

    You brought up Wisconsin but we had no control over that. The Big 10/ACC challenge is beyond Duke's influence. And that's the only home-and-home we play with an big-time program between this year and next (unless we add Georgetown back to the schedule next year). For a program of Duke's caliber, they can do better. Just my $0.02.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Classof06 View Post
    You brought up Wisconsin but we had no control over that.
    First, I agree that, as fans, it would be fun to see Duke play some more high-profile teams OOC. That said, if K knows that we will be obligated to play tough teams in the ACC-B10 Challenge, in Maui/Alaska/etc. doesn't it make sense to schedule fewer tough games than if we didn't "have to" play those teams?

    In other words, assume there's an ideal number of "tough" OOC games a team should play each season based on the talent/experience of the team, the difficulty of in-conference play, etc. For every slot we fill with a predictable/obligatory game (ACC-B10, etc.) against tough competition, that's one less slot we should "choose" to fill with a tough team, yes? So if K knows that we have 2-3 tough games that are required (Wiscy, Marquette, Pitt, etc) doesn't it make sense for him to count those as tough games and thus make the remaining, "elective" games less difficult?

    Games against good OOC team count the same in the rankings and the computer numbers regardless of why we play them. We face the same opposing players, spend the same amount of energy and attention, and risk the same early-season losses. Why should the fact that they come from "required" tournaments/challenges/etc. obligate us to take on more tough games than we'd otherwise need to prepare for the season? If one thinks that Duke's schedule is too soft overall that's fine (although not born out by the numbers), but whether or not we "choose" the tough games is, imo, completely irrelevant.
    Last edited by DevilCastDownfromDurham; 03-11-2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: i cn'ta slepl

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    Spoz you have two 19-12 teams and one comes from a weak conference with an overall SOS of 75 but an OOC SOS of 45, and one from a strong conference with the same record, overall SOS of 60 and OOC SOS of 60, I don't get why the former should be rewarded for choosing harder games, when "objectively" the latter played a tougher overall schedule, chosen or not.
    I completely agree with the principle you are trying to convey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Classof06 View Post
    The stats don't change the fact that as an elite program, I'd like to see Duke play more premier teams out of conference.
    Why? Just so we can play UCLA or Kansas or something? Don't get me wrong, I think it'd be cool to see those matchups as well, but what I care about is winning in March, and so I want to do whatever best prepares us for that. Period. And my point is that coach knows how to schedule to prepare us for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Classof06 View Post
    You brought up Wisconsin but we had no control over that. The Big 10/ACC challenge is beyond Duke's influence.
    Two things: I don't see how you can penalize Duke in this situation. They played a top team and beat them. Who cares who scheduled it.

    Secondly, I sincerely doubt its "beyond Duke's influence" to do just about anything in college basketball. Coach K and Duke are the face of modern college basketball. So the mere fact that we are Duke influences whoever the powers that be to schedule what will be a good game for us in the ACC/Big 10 challenge every year. The proof is in the pudding (final RPI rank in parentheses)

    1999 - Illinois (23)
    2000 - Illinois (6)
    2001 - Iowa (76)
    2002 - Ohio St (54)
    2003 - MSU (39)
    2004 - MSU (21)
    2005 - Indiana (34)
    2006 - Indiana (28)
    2007 - Wisconsin (13)

    So with the exception of '01/'02 we have played teams that are all pretty good, if not very good. So the point is, coach K knows that whoever we play in the challenge will be a good team. (I mean do you think they'd just throw Minnesota or Northwestern to the wolves?)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilCastDownfromDurham View Post
    First, I agree that, as fans, it would be fun to see Duke play some more high-profile teams OOC. That said, if K knows that we will be obligated to play tough teams in the ACC-B10 Challenge, in Maui/Alaska/etc. doesn't it make sense to schedule fewer tough games than if we didn't "have to" play those teams?

    In other words, assume there's an ideal number of "tough" OOC games a team should play each season based on the talent/experience of the team, the difficulty of in-conference play, etc.
    I couldn't agree with you more. Duke clearly ran out of gas as a team last year, and came into this year with a young team, knowing they'd be relying on freshman players adapting to college basketball for the first time. The last thing one wants to do in this situation, IMO, is to put them through a brutal travel schedule early in the season. The Pat Fordes of the world can moan about Duke's lack of "true OOC road games" all they want. Duke doesn't make out its schedule to please the guys at ESPN.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Chitowndevil View Post
    I couldn't agree with you more. Duke clearly ran out of gas as a team last year, and came into this year with a young team, knowing they'd be relying on freshman players adapting to college basketball for the first time.
    That's a great point about the freshman. Add that to what I mentioned earlier about his being a particularly long season and the importance of staying fresh seems very apparent to me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Van Nuys, CA

    Angry

    I hate Pat Forde.If he writes about Duke,he has to make sure there is some smug anti Duke remark in every one of his articles.If I ever saw him in person I would give him some stick.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by heyman25 View Post
    I hate Pat Forde.If he writes about Duke,he has to make sure there is some smug anti Duke remark in every one of his articles.If I ever saw him in person I would give him some stick.
    He sure does spew a lot of vitrol our way. Dude needs a life a long the lines of Gregg Doyel. I see Forde as Gregg Doyel Jr.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by Classof06 View Post
    The Big 10/ACC challenge is beyond Duke's influence. And that's the only home-and-home we play with an big-time program between this year and next (unless we add Georgetown back to the schedule next year). For a program of Duke's caliber, they can do better. Just my $0.02.
    I too would like to see us get back to some home-and-home series with elite teams. But, I have some decent "sources" who say that most of the other major teams are not willing to play a home-and-home with Duke because no one... NO ONE... wants to come and play in Cameron. It is generally thought that Cameron provides a huge home court advantage, bigger than most other home courts. As a result, the elite teams who can (like Duke) pretty much pick their opponents have no interest in coming to Cameron and putting themselves at such a huge disadvantage. I am not certain that this is the case, but it is what I have heard.

    Additionally, I want to point out that the reason we are not playing Georgetown this year is that they asked us if they could postpone the game this season. This was pretty widely reported on this board and elsewhere in the pre-season. It is generally thought that Georgetown did not want to risk a game at Duke this year with what it thought would be a team that could challenge for a #1 seed. Next year, when they will likely be not quite as good, they are willing to do it. At least that is the theory.

    --Jason "I'd love to see us do a home-and-home with Kansas... Rock Chalk vs. Cameron -- the ultimate home-and-home matchup" Evans

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I too would like to see us get back to some home-and-home series with elite teams. But, I have some decent "sources" who say that most of the other major teams are not willing to play a home-and-home with Duke because no one... NO ONE... wants to come and play in Cameron. It is generally thought that Cameron provides a huge home court advantage, bigger than most other home courts. As a result, the elite teams who can (like Duke) pretty much pick their opponents have no interest in coming to Cameron and putting themselves at such a huge disadvantage. I am not certain that this is the case, but it is what I have heard.

    Additionally, I want to point out that the reason we are not playing Georgetown this year is that they asked us if they could postpone the game this season. This was pretty widely reported on this board and elsewhere in the pre-season. It is generally thought that Georgetown did not want to risk a game at Duke this year with what it thought would be a team that could challenge for a #1 seed. Next year, when they will likely be not quite as good, they are willing to do it. At least that is the theory.

    --Jason "I'd love to see us do a home-and-home with Kansas... Rock Chalk vs. Cameron -- the ultimate home-and-home matchup" Evans
    I'm kind of glad we didn't play Georgetown. That seems like a nightmare matchup for us.

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