College basketball fans are familiar with the Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI, which is a computer ranking of teams based on their winning percentage, their opponents’ winning percentage, and the winning percentage of their opponents’ opponents. It’s a way of more objectively comparing the more than 300 teams playing NCAA Division I basketball based on their records and strength of schedule, instead of just relying on the opinions of coaches or sportswriters.
For example, while Michigan State is currently 12-2 and ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, the Spartans are at number 7 in the RPI based on their strength of schedule, which has been the 14th-toughest in the country. Even though Baylor is undefeated and ranked 10 spots higher in the polls, the Bears’ weaker strength of schedule (69) has them just two spots ahead of the Spartans in the RPI.
Minnesota high school sports have a similar computer ranking, called the Quality Results Formula, or QRF. It likewise is based on wins and losses and the opponents’ record, but only takes into account games against Minnesota teams. The QRF also recognizes that wins against Class AAA teams are worth more than those against Class AA teams, and wins against highly ranked Class AAAA teams get the highest recognition. With a final record of 14-12 last year, the Austin Packers came in at #31 of the 64 Class AAA teams in the season-ending QRF.
The first QRF rankings for 2011-12 came out last Monday, and the Packers (4-1 in Minnesota games) debuted at #5 on the Class AAA list. As the week progressed, the Packers crept up the list as teams above them lost, and as teams they had already played went 8-5 in holiday tournaments. Wins against Mankato East (now 6-1) and New Prague (6-3) have been important factors in building the Packers’ QRF score.
As the Packers come off an 11-day holiday break, the computer now has them ranked #3 in Class AAA:
After the 11-day period with no games, the Packers now get into the meat of their schedule, with 5 games in 11 days starting Tuesday when they host Waseca. And while the Packers haven’t yet cracked the top 10 in the Minnesota Basketball News poll, if they keep playing well it won’t be long before they get recognized by the voters, too.
Be sure to come out and support the Packers Tuesday night!