Baseline Prestige Rears Its Ugly Head Topic

It's not a new problem, but I was under the mistaken impression that it had been (at least mostly) addressed. But baseline prestige appears as troublesome as ever, and it's got me on the verge of giving up the team I've by far cared the most about over the last several years.

My resume at Marshall (Rupp) is very strong -- Sweet 16 or better in 9 of the last 10 seasons, top 10 RPI in all of those seasons, and nearly a 91% winning percentage (292-30) in a conference that is top 3 in RPI pretty much every season. We send 4-6 teams to the NT and 8-9 teams to the postseason every season as well -- it's an awesome group of coaches. (I mention this because we have a B conference prestige, as good or better than all but the SEC, and I want to make it clear that conference success is not holding me back.)

After going 28-3, 4 rpi and making the S16, I just dropped from A to A-. Here's my resume over the aforementioned stretch, with the understanding that it's the last four that really matters for prestige.

62 girt25 28-3 12-1 13-0 3-2 15-1 5 4 A- Conf Champion
NT At-large Bid
NT (Sweet 16)
61 girt25 26-4 11-1 13-1 2-2 14-2 12 10 A Conf Champion
NT At-large Bid
NT (2nd Round)
60 girt25 30-2 11-1 14-0 5-1 15-1 6 3 A Conf Champion
CT Champion
NT (Sweet 16)
59 girt25 31-2 11-0 14-1 6-1 15-1 4 2 A Conf Champion
CT Champion
NT (Elite 8)
58 girt25 30-2 13-0 12-1 5-1 15-1 8 2 A- Conf Champion
CT Champion
NT (Sweet 16)
57 girt25 32-1 11-0 15-0 6-1 16-0 5 6 A Conf Champion
CT Champion
NT (Elite 8)
56 girt25 29-5 10-0 13-3 6-2 14-2 3 3 A Conf Champion
NT At-large Bid
NT (Final Four)
55 girt25 29-4 9-1 14-2 6-1 13-3 6 2 A- Conf Champion
CT Champion
NT (Elite 8)
54 girt25 26-6 9-1 13-3 4-2 13-3 11 10 B+ Conf Champion
NT At-large Bid
NT (Sweet 16)
53 girt25 31-2 12-1 13-0 6-1 16-0 6 7 B+ Conf Champion
CT Champion
NT (Elite 8)
12/4/2012 4:59 PM (edited)
If I were in a major conference, I'd likely be an A+, and I suppose I might be an A (again ... depending on my baseline ... I see you, jpmills). billyg had me clearly in the A+ level when he released his most recent dynasty rankings for each world.

But because we have a C baseline -- which is about as relevant to Marshall-Rupp as you could imagine -- I'm being held back.

To add insult to injury, I just lost another EE, after losing two (semi-ridiculous) EE's last season. So the EE machine is treating us like a top level BCS team, while the prestige system is treating us like a mid major also ran. It's a lose-lose proposition, and I've had enough.

I've been playing HD for a long time, and I'm sick of it being plagued by the same problems that it was years ago. It's ridiculous, and it has me reevaluating my willingness to keep doing this.
12/4/2012 4:59 PM
There is no reason baseline prestige shouldn't be fixed already.  Why anyone should care how popular a team was 60 years ago, at this point, is beyond me.  By WIS's logic, I should currently be turning on my TV to CBS every Saturday afternoon to check in on the Yeshiva game.*

*I'm not sure Yeshiva would play on Saturdays.
12/4/2012 5:20 PM
im going to play devils advocate for a second, but know going into it, i don't agree with the prestige system - just that my gripe is on the other end (similar net result).

i personally have NO problem with a team like this capping out at an A without a championship or two. the reality is butler is still not kentucky or UNC or duke, and even if they make 6 more sweet 16s in the next 6 years, they still won't be. even michigan state isn't kentucky, and they have been great for a long time, in a major conference.

however, its not just something i would limit to marshall. vanderbilt, clemson, michigan, illinois, texas - schools like that, from big programs to smaller ones, who are not traditional basketball powers - i don't think they should hit an A+ with your resume either. the reality is, none of those schools today, except maybe (and somewhat inexplicably) texas (due to rick barnes having some recruiting mojo magic), none of those teams really have much recruiting advantage over a gonzaga or xavier or similar. the problem is, in HD, there are maybe 15 A+ schools in a world - absolutely ridiculous. on my scale, girt, id give you an a-, but there'd probably be only 10 schools ahead of you. you should still have a disadvantage to the elites of the world (which again, there are too many of), if they are being well coached. and you should still have a disadvantage to a program with a similar resume with a title or two sprinkled in - thus, there needs to be room for schools to have an edge over you - so i argue your a- is not the problem.

the real problem is all those schools ahead of you. i have south carolina, and have benefitted someone from this ridiculousness, i made a couple 2nd rounds and that got me to an a-. its insane. the simple reality is south carolina and marshall, they don't have much benefit from their brand. maybe with your resume, south carolina should be an A to your A-, but no, they'd be an A+. neither has a strong brand, and you can't sell recruits off that name. its more about the coach and recent success for just about all the schools in the world. hell, maybe all of them. i mean look at kentucky under tubby smith. they were good by an absolute standard, but not relatively, and recruits weren't just coming to kentucky because its kentucky, you need more than that - they should have been an a- or something in his later years - but in HD, they'd easily be an A+. thats the problem, baseline prestige is just too much a factor in propping schools up. i dont think it is too much a factor in holding schools back though (at least not schools with c- baseline or better). your program isn't A+ material in my book, somewhere in that borderline a-/a range. but im sure if you pick out the A programs, in my ideal system, 80% of them would have lower prestige than you. so i agree its a problem - just i look at it a little differently. 
12/4/2012 5:36 PM (edited)

Billy, on your actual scale that you developed, I was better than 10th. And as you point out, that would be good enough for an A+. But to drop to an A- ... come on.

We basically agree, just taking slightly different approaches.

I agree with jeff ... I don't see what baseline has to do with anything. (And if you want to play the real life card, in real life, Marshall would be an elite program. None of the real life Gonzagas, Butlers, etc. have had a sustatined run of excellence that compares with what we've put up over a 10-yr period.)

12/4/2012 5:41 PM
i agree with that last bit girt. you definitely have a higher level of success that those other mid majors. your great records and rpi too, maybe you would even be an A on my scale - yeah, you probably would be. id have them be a lot more selective, for As and A+s - effectively, the rough calibration i'd use is this. if you take a program like yours, with a great resume, id have them 1 partial grade under a mid bcs program with the same resume, and 2 below an elite. thats it. you are about 2.5 below a mid bcs program and 4 below an elite. thats just way too much. if you had a medium resume though, id have you at least 2 below a mid bcs program, and 3 if it was a **** resume (i think a program like marshall should go to a D a lot faster than a texas or michigan should go to a C-). 

the scale you talk about of mine - thats an unbiased scale (which i think you'd rank a lot higher than 10 on, now), which does not include prestige. i do think baseline should have SOME relevance - but smaller, like the scale I was talking about. when i play south caroilna and take them to what, 3 straight 2nd rounds, and thats good for an a-, i think thats insane. i dont think elites should be a+ with just mediocre success either. to me, an a+ is for an elite who is strong - at least making an occasional final 4, with NT appearances every year and a bunch of s16s and stuff - something on that level. or, for a decent BCS program, say illinois, if they make a bunch of final 4s in a short period, or win a championship with a pretty strong resume around it. or, for a mid major who wins a championship or two with a really strong resume around it. so i just hold those top prestiges in higher regard than HD - almost all of their As should be at best A- in my book - well, at LEAST all the BCS programs, and often i put them 2 grades lower, at a b+. when my south carolina hit an A on a single s16, or maybe it was 2, i dont know - i even had a PIT year in there when I was AWOL, it was like, really? i mean i was happy to have it but its ridiculous. i would put them at a B+ with the resume I had, and probably a low one, at that.

so, i basically agree with you, that relatively, your school should be ahead of all the bcs programs at your prestige. but, i just think its more that they should be lower, than you higher, and often by a good 2 full partial grades, maybe even more. its ridiculous a kentucky type program can barely make the NT 4-5 times in a row and sit at an A. thats just stupid. or that a low end BCS school can break into the A range without making it out of the first weekend (no S16s). you should have to earn it, no matter where you are.
12/4/2012 6:02 PM (edited)
I can understand your frustration over the prestige drop to A-, but given the baseline effect still underlying the prestige system, it makes some sense to me that the apparent ceiling for Marshall is an A right now in lieu of deeper NT runs.  However, I wouldn't have guessed you'd drop to an A- from an A after this completed season.  That part seems off to me given similar previous seasons had you at an A. 

Nevertheless, the EE's from your program are totally within the realm of having an A prestige, so I don't see why that part is frustrating you.  With seble's tweaks a while back, isn't the rule of thumb that EE's only affect schools with B+ or better prestiges?  With your A prestige, that would make you susceptible to EE's as well.

Lastly, you said in the OP that it's the last 4 seasons that really matter for prestige, but didn't seble change that to a 10-year lookback for D1?  Not that this really changes the argument in this situation, just saying.

12/4/2012 7:27 PM
It's a 10 season window as well from what I read. And if you use a weighted system where most recent seasons weigh more, Marshall did indeed drop in cumulative value. As for EE only affecting B+ and better, that's not true. Wake in Knight lost 1 EE recently with a PIT run and B- prestige, while Maryland in Phelan just lost 2 at B prestige, and PIT berth.
12/4/2012 8:36 PM
That is just stupid. And I remain convinced that lower baseline prestige schools get harder hit by EEs than higher-prestige programs with the same level of success. So they end up doubly screwed.
12/4/2012 8:54 PM
If it's a 10-yr window, my argument actually gets much stronger. Because there may be a small handful of schools with a better last couple years, but almost no one can match that full 10-yr window. If that's true (and somehow I thought that the 10 seasons was for jobs, but not prestige), it's way, way worse. Taken in a 10-yr window, it's tough not to argue Marshall as an A+ given only what happened on the court.

(And tianyi, now that I think about it, no way is it a 10-season window, because if it was, you could not have Tulsa at an A-.)

jdno, I'm not mad about losing EE's in general (although I wasn't happy last year when I lost two super questionable ones, including a soph, that both went at the very end of the second round). But what I'm saying is if I'm going to have to worry about EEs every year like a big-time program, then they need to treat me like a big-time program when it comes to prestige, too. It's not right to have the drawbacks of a big-time program but not the benefit. The good and bad should come together.

12/4/2012 9:02 PM
OK, good to know on the EE prestige thing.  Maybe there's a reason it's more of a rule of thumb rather than an absolute rule on the B+ thing.  That Center for Maryland was a real beast and I can see why he's going early.  Perhaps there's a Big 6 component inherent to the EE process as well.  From my time in Rupp, I think I've seen maybe just 1 or 2 kids go EE when not on a B+ or better team in the last 4 or 5 seasons.
12/4/2012 9:05 PM
Oh, and B prestige can lose EE's, it's just less common. That said, I've seen it happen this last season in both Allen and Rupp, the two worlds I'm in.
12/4/2012 9:09 PM
I think you're right girt, the 10-yr window is for jobs, not prestige I guess. 

And I understand your beef here about wanting your cake and eating it too, it's just the baseline prestige issue is in the way here...again
12/4/2012 9:12 PM
Which school in Rupp lost an EE with a B prestige last night?

Edit:  After checking, I see S. Carolina (B), Kentucky (B), and Indiana (B-) all lost an EE last night.  Again I wonder if there is a BCS conference element to the EE process as well.

12/4/2012 9:18 PM (edited)
12/4/2012 9:16 PM
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