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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

ITA Releases First Computer Rankings, Men's Hall of Fame Inductees; Frilling Qualifies in Las Vegas

The first computer-generated rankings were released today on the ITA's website, and there were some rather dramatic changes, although not in the top three, which stayed the same. Northwestern's women and Virginia's men are No. 1, with Georgia Tech and Georgia following in the women's and Ohio State and Georgia in the men's. Two Texas schools are in the No. 4 positions: Baylor's women and University of Texas's men. On the men's side, the Big Ten has three of the top eight teams, with Illinois at No. 7 and Michigan at No. 8; the Wolverines are up from 19 in last week's poll. The Big Four of the Pac 10 women--USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford--are all in the Top Ten now, with Arizona State 13th.

North Carolina's women fell to a tie for 13th after being fifth last week, and as Austin pointed out, Duke's men dropped from 10th to 61st. Louisiana State's men went from 18th to 44th, and Oklahoma State's men fell from 15th to 27th. The rankings get more accurate every time a match is played, so look for quite a few changes in the next few weeks.

The ITA Hall of Fame inductees for 2008 are:
Steve Denton of Texas
Jim Pugh of UCLA
Don Johnson of North Carolina
Patrick McEnroe of Stanford
Robbie Weiss of Pepperdine
Chris Woodruff of Tennessee
David DiLucia of Notre Dame
Coach Jerry Noyce of Minnesota
Tom Jacobs of Kansas will be inducted as a contributor.

Today in Las Vegas, Kristy Frilling, who will be attending Notre Dame this fall, qualified for the $50,000 Hilton Cup, the women's Pro Circuit event that is being held concurrently with the ATP Tennis Channel Open. Yesterday Frilling defeated the fifth qualifying seed, Chin-Wei Chan, ranked 237 by the WTA; today, she downed No. 2 seed Martina Sucha, ranked 196, and a former Top 40 WTA player.

Kevin Anderson, who last year played at Illinois, qualified for the main draw and today took out France's Michael Llodra, the No. 6 seed and champion at the recent Rotterdam event. Anderson's next opponent will be fellow former collegian John Isner.


scott said...

I don't get these computer rankings at all. The women's side seems pretty accurate but I think the men's are way off after about the top 6 teams. I guess they'll all sort out as the season goes, but some of these just really boggle me.

Austin said...

Men who played in college went 4-1 in the 1st round in Vegas. Isner, Anderson, Delic and Luczak all won. Benny Becker is the only one that lost. Now lets see how the two teams from Stanford do in doubles (Bryan/Bryan & Lipsky/Martin).

gsm said...

All credit to Anderson for working his way up the hard way. None of the wildcards like Isner or Levine.

IMO, out of last year's NCAA top four of Isner, Levine, Devvarman and Anderson, Kevin Anderson has the most upside potential.

He's got solid groundstrokes, a big serve (at 6'7), and good movement. While his serve is not at Isner's level, he's tremendously more athletic.

Could be wrong. Just my guess

Scott, the basic way to figure out the college rankings is just look at a team's best wins. Currently the computer considers the top 4.
At one extreme, Virginia has wins over #2, #4, #5 and 6.
Ohio State's best 4 are almost the same as UVa's. Hence, their rankings are fairly close

Duke on the other hand only has one "quality" win over low ranked Elon. That's why they plunged. Any team who has recorded a win (and most definitely 2 wins) over a team ranked higher than Elon will be ranked ahead of Duke at this stage.

As the weeks go by, the computer considers more wins. Next week it will be your best 5 wins.

The teams with more wins over ranked teams will be ranked higher than the others

The actual formula is more involved, but you can get a pretty could idea of rankings by just comparing "quality wins"

scott said...

As an example and because I'm a Florida fan:

I look at Illinois being ranked 7. Their top 4 wins are #15 ND, #28 Washington, #40 Boise State and #44 LSU. How are they ranked so high? They have losses to #10 USC, #1 UVA, #14 Tennessee and #17 Florida. No bad losses, but not many quality wins.

Florida has their 4 best wins over #7 Illinois, #16 FSU, #22 Vandy and #34 USF and are ranked 17th(losses to #11 Baylor, #24 Miami, #43 Pepperdine).

FSU is ranked 16th with wins over #19 Texas A&M, #34 USF, #39 GaTech and #43 Pepperdine, with a loss to Florida.

So it can't just be top 4 wins that matter, can it?

gsm said...

Scott, I should have clarified a few items. In its calculations, the computer uses a team's rankings from the previous week.

For example, for the March 4 rankings, the computer sees Illinois best 4 wins (from Feb 26) as #10 Duke, #12 ND, #27 UW & #41 Boise St.

Florida's best 4 are #13 Illinois, #16 FSU, #29 Vandy & #54 UK

You can see how Illinois profile is better than Florida's for the March 4 ranking.

For next week's ranking, the computer will consider where teams are ranked March 4.

The rankings in your post will apply next week. As you can see, Illinois is going to fall in next week's rankings. Their current "best win" Duke, falls off the radar and their other wins (ND,UW,BSU, LSU) drop some.

As you indicate, Florida's profile will be better and they should move above Illinois in the rankings.

Couple of other things. Next week, the computer takes into account a team's 5 best wins. It stays at 5 for a few weeks. Before the NCAAs, the number reaches 9 wins.

Losses do matter, but really only if teams have similar profiles.

Right now Illinois has four losses but all to teams in the Top 20, so not much of a penalty. Florida has 3 losses, but 2 are to teams ranked below 20. In the formula, Losses to higher ranked teams make a difference.

Regarding FSU, their profile is currently wins over #22, #25, #36, #56. What presently helps them is having only one loss. Next week, as you state, their profile will be 19, 34, 39, 43. Plus they'll (most likely) have an added loss to Texas. That profile should keep them below UF, though a win over Rice could keep them close.

Confused enough yet?

As the weeks go by, just keep looking at which teams have more "quality wins."

The ranking system may not get the order exactly right. But it does a very good job of identifying the best teams and making sure they all reach the NCAAs where everything can be played out on the courts.

scott said...


That makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

Now hopefully the rain stays away this weekend so I can watch Florida play Tennessee and UGA.

gsm said...

No problem. It's just fun talking college tennis.

Good Luck to your Gators this year

scott said...

New set of rankings out this week and I'm more confused than ever. But I digress.

I watched an absolutely great college tennis match this afternoon between Florida and Tennessee. Florida started off strong, sweeping all 3 doubles courts with ease. Singles play, Florida jumped out with 4 1st set wins and grabbed a 2-0 lead when Hochwalt won on court 5 over Sandgren. Tweedt took down Hamui on 6 to give UT their 1st point. Oullette won 4 & 4 over Smith on 1 to put the Gators 1 match away. Konkic and Fago won on 3 and 4 in 3rd sets to knot the match at 3.

By that point, the match was just beginning, really. Briceno had taken the 1st set in a breaker over Hensel. Hensel hung tough and broke at 6-5 in the 2nd to force a 3rd set. They remained on serve until Briceno broke to go up 4-2. Hensel broke right back, but so did Briceno, who finally served it out at 6-3. 3 hours those 2 were on court and it was a great college match. Great weather, great battle. The young Gators continue to impress me with their effort and fight.