Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The GLIAC President's Trophy: Rewarding nothing by mediocrity

Over on the message board, an Ashland fan posted the current President's Trophy standings through the recently completed Fall sports seasons. When I saw that Hillsdale was ranked 7th in the conference after Football and Volleyball competed on the national stage on the same weekend and the cross-country teams turned in 3rd (women) and 4th (men) place finishes, I immediately knew something was fishy.

The standings are figured by awarding points for each team's GLIAC finish in its sport. The total points are then added and teams are ranked. It is an easy formula. The results just don't pass the eye test because the standings are all quantity and no weighting for quality.

Field a bunch of sports...even ones that are really bad and you will have a better rating than a school that fields fewer but better programs. This rewarding mediocrity at its finest.

Hillsdale is 47-7 in football (9-3), volleyball (29-2), women's basketball (8-2), and men's basketball (11-0, 7th in the country) this year with the GLIAC's 3rd and 4th place women's and men's XC teams yet only ranks 7th in these rankings.

Of course the basketball seasons are in progress and don't count toward the current rankings, but still, Hillsdale only had the 7th best Fall around the GLIAC?

I am going to put on the Charger mascot head and quote Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend."

Let's take the current standings on the left and then do an average per sport on the right to get the quality ranking not just the overall point accumulation to see if things change at all.

1. GV - 84.5 pts. (7 teams - 12.07 ave. - new ranking: #1, no change)
2. WSU - 63 pts. (6 teams - 10.5 ave. - new ranking: #3, -1 spot)
3. FSU - 62 pts. (7 teams - 8.85 ave. - new ranking: #4, -1 spot)
4. AU - 61 pts. (8 teams - 7.62 ave. - new ranking: #5, -1 spot)
5. SVSU - 48.5 pts. (8 teams - 6.06 ave. - new ranking: #8, -3 spots)
6. TU - 47 pts. (8 teams - 5.875 ave. - new ranking: #9, -3 spots)
7. HC - 45 pts. (4 teams - 11.25 ave. - new ranking: #2, +5 spots)
8. NU - 44 pts. (8 teams - 5.5 ave. - new ranking: #10, -2 spots)
9. UF - 40 pts. (8 teams - 5 ave. - new ranking: #11, -2 spots)
10. MTU - 37 pts. (6 teams - 6.16 ave. - new ranking: #7, +3 spots)
11. NMU - 36.5 pts. (5 teams - 7.3 ave. - new ranking: #6, +5 spots)
12. ODU - 29.5 pts. (6 teams - 4.92 ave. - new ranking: #12, no change)
13. LEC - 13 pts. (8 teams - 1.625 ave. - new ranking: #14, -1 spot)
14. LSSU - 12 pts. (5 teams - 2.4 ave. - new ranking: #13, +1 spot)

Now that makes a lot more sense. I am much prouder to support fewer good teams, than to have lots of teams that are just okay.

Brandon Misener, the founder of and I were talking about the "balance" of Division II last night. D2 should not just be a participation level of athletics. You don't get any life lessons from sports if you don't face real rigor in their demands we agreed.

Awarding rankings points just for running a team out onto the field flies in the face of that rigor. It's like getting a bonus check for just walking into the office in the morning.

The President's trophy doesn't reflect anything more than the green field day "participant" ribbons. I don't care how many teams you can field. I only care about how good those teams are. Talk about rewarding mediocrity and the wussification of America! There couldn't be a clearer example.

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