Last Updated: 2017-11-01
The second conference we’ll look at is the American Athletic Conference, which features several top-tier teams, most noticeably Wichita State, Cincinnati and SMU. But there are also your Tulanes and South Floridas of the college basketball world. The first conference we looked at was the American East Conference.
American Athletic Conference Opening Power Ratings
Wichita State 97
East Carolina 75
Last year’s closing ratings had SMU and then Cincinnati, with UCF and UConn next, so the Bearcats are expected to make a little bit of a move. But both teams trail Wichita State, as the Shockers joined the conference this season. The American Athletic Conference was ranked as the seventh-toughest last season and will likely move up a spot or two if Wichita State plays as expected.
There’s also no change expected at the bottom of the conference standings, as Tulane and South Florida both failed to win 10 games last season and now will pick up two more tough conference games against Wichita State.
The Connecticut Huskies were one of those teams where there was a bit of disagreement, as there was a 10-point difference between their highest power rating and their lowest. Memphis was another team which had a 10-point difference and their rating of 79 is pretty much right in the middle.
The top three rated teams were pretty consistent in the different ratings, with an average of three to four points difference between the four sets of power ratings we used to come up with our opening numbers.
Tulsa was the most consistent team with a difference of two points between the highest and lowest ratings.
It’s possible to create the dual-tiered power ratings that we use for professional sports, but it’s probably more effort than it’s worth. While two professional teams who score 100 points and allow 95 can be given the same power rating, that’s not the case in college basketball. If Wichita State scored 83 points and allows 63 points per game and Albany does the same, you can’t expect the teams to be equal, as Wichita State will have played much tougher competition.
For most handicappers it’s hard enough to keep track of single-layered power ratings for college basketball, let alone create game-value ratings for comparing different teams. There likely isn’t enough time in the day to use the dual-tiered ratings for all 32 conferences.
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