I did a Q&A with Dan Hanner to discuss his mid-major rankings, here I’m going to go back to the typical formula and discuss where I think the computer rankings are under or overrating teams. Here’s one each per conference with my note as to what the computers are missing.
Overrated: Central Connecticut (8-10 in NEC, 208th in Pomeroy) — This is really nitpicking, but CCSU lost an awful lot and is still picked seventh in the league. It’s going to be tough for the Blue Devils to replace all that offense. Pomeroy’s not penalizing CCSU for those losses as much as a human might.
Underrated: LIU Brooklyn (11-7, 133rd) — The Q&A with Hanner talks a lot about why LIU might be underrated by computers. The Blackbirds play fast and, according to the numbers, weren’t actually the best team in the NEC last season. Thus all the computer projections have LIU as the fourth best team in the league. Also, I could’ve picked Monmouth here too.
Ivy League -
Overrated: The conference — I’m really surprised that the Ivy League has the 12th best average conference rating to start the season. An excellent senior class has moved on and the academic scandal has made Harvard vulnerable. Instead Pomeroy projects two Top 100 teams (Harvard and Princeton) will carry the league to a strong season.
Underrated: Cornell (7-7 in Ivy League, 189th) — I think the Big Red has what it takes to move up this season and 189 overall, just seven spots ahead of Penn, seems low to me. If you think Cornell is going to improve you think that freshman will become sophomores and become more efficient offensively. It’s possible, but something that Pomeroy’s system obviously doesn’t see as likely.
Atlantic 10/CAA - I’m not really sure there’s anything to quibble with here. It’s tough to predict exactly what will happen with VCU and Butler moving around, but Pomeroy did a pretty good job at taking a crack. I couldn’t find anything worth complaining about. Do A-10/CAA fans have a different opinion?
Overrated: Iona (12-6 in MAAC, 109th) — The Gaels are picked first in the conference and I’m honestly not sure why. Yes, this factors in quite a bit of regressions as Iona falls 50 spots, but somehow they still end up sneaking away with the regular season title. The loss of Mike Glover and Scott Machado is going to hurt this team during non-conference play, as they’ll have to find their bearings. The dip could be even larger. If the pieces come together I could be the one that’s wrong here.
Underrated: Manhattan (11-7, 131st) — A lot of people think that Manhattan is going to win the MAAC and take another step forward in Steve Masiello’s second season, but here Pomeroy has them getting WORSE. I’m really confused about how this one comes to be. I asked Ken, here’s what he said:
@nybuckets Dragged down by rating 2 yrs ago + best offensive player is a senior, so prob not that much improvement from him.
Siena and Canisius could end up being big misses depending on how new players and transfers integrate into their respective rotations.
America East - Here’s another league where Pomeroy’s predictions look remarkably like the humans that vote for these things. My guess is that Hartford might be a little underrated, but this is a two-team race between Vermont and Stony Brook.