Improving ESPN’s Prestige Rankings: Public Comment

On Monday RTC’s East Coast field office submitted a piece that has driven considerable discussion, both internally and externally, as to the legitimacy of ESPN’s Prestige Rankings of college basketball programs in the 64-team era (since 1985).  While we have the utmost respect for ESPN interns researchers Harold Shelton,  Nick Loucks and Chris Fallica for plowing through mounds of college hoops data in the interest of the greater good,  Nvr1983 noted in his post that there were several areas where he (and by proxy, we) take issue with how they attributed their points (their NCAA appearance = NIT appearance is just killing us) and ultimately, the rankings.  Don’t get us wrong – overall, we think ESPN did a solid job with their effort.  We just think it could be better. 


Graphic Credit (The Hype)

With that in mind, and with the full realization that we don’t have all the answers ourselves, we took a stab at creating a new attribution of points that more accurately reflects what college basketball fans really care about.  The key difference between us and them is that we want to hear from you, the readers, what should be added, eliminated, changed, revised, re-scored, or whatever else.  Feel free to leave a comment below or simply fire us an email at rushthecourtATyahooDOTcom.  It’s not guaranteed that we’ll take every suggestion to heart in our final analysis, but in the spirit of web 2.x, we want to hear your thoughts. 

In Table A below, we show ESPN’s attribution of points, our suggested revision, and any justification as such where we felt it was necessary.  Criteria that we changed or added are represented in blue font.  Items that we removed are in gray shading.  The list is also stored on a separate Google Docs page, so you can copy/paste if you like and we can publicly update it as we move forward. 

We now submit this revised scoring attribution list to you, the readers, for public comment. 


10 Responses to Improving ESPN’s Prestige Rankings: Public Comment

  1. Your changes all look pretty reasonable. Could argue to include a larger penalty for NCAA probation, as that tends to offset a lot of previous success when evaluating a program’s “prestige.”

    I assume you’re going to attempt to publish revised results? Gathering the data should be quite the trick, unless you’ve managed to get access to ESPN’s dataset.

  2. rtmsf says:

    Thanks KJ for your input. Maybe we will bump up the NCAA probation penalty if we see that other folks think that’s important as well.

    Yeah, we’re going to publish revised results and then do some other things with it down the road. We have much of the data internally already – it’s just a matter of collation.

  3. […] Don’t like ESPN’s Prestige Rankings?  Provide your comment on how to improve them here.  We’re going to take this information and create a new set of rankings based on additional […]

  4. ken says:

    I’d leave the E8 at 10; I’d also ensure that anything vacated by the NCAA is not scored (Memphis’s FF comes to mind)

  5. uncsportsblog says:

    I would also like years under probation to have more consequence on a team. Not just to discount vacated titles, but to penalize the team for cheating.

  6. MSU says:

    Make sure Michigan’s wins and NCAA success that came their way through cheating isn’t counted.

  7. Bigblue says:

    I say take points away for being from North Carolina!!!

  8. Old Hoosier says:

    Indiana’s rankings are too high based on their record the past years under Mike Davis and Kelvin Sampson. Players acting like fools, not going to class, drinking, drugs, boorish behavior coupled with Davis’ inability to produce winners with his own players and Sampson’s cheating should be enough to take IU way down in the rankings and prove that Bob Knight really did do things in a special way.

    IU will never be what she once was, and Tom Crean is not capable of making her that way.

  9. Whit says:

    I believe ESPN did include #1 seeds in its criteria, they just forgot to list it . If you run the numbers using ESPN’s scoring system for teams that have had #1 seeds you cannot tie into their point totals, unless you include #1 seeds at 5 points each. Notice in the blurbs for many of the teams they mention #1 seeds as if it were one of the criteria.

  10. […] this speaks to the rewards of being consistent. A while back some bums stated they were going to revise the criteria to come out with their own rankings. It’s coming. We promise. . […]

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