Thursday, September 15, 2005

Volleyball - Contrarian Thinking

There's a weird thing that happened last February in ACC Volleyball - the league decided to abandon the post-season ACC tourney. Weird because the reasoning was that the ACC tourney actually hurt the ACC's chances of getting more teams in the NCAA tourney. Even weirder because it's not losing that hurts teams chances - it's actually WINNING. The argument is that having the top ACC teams play the cellar dwellers in the ACC hinders their RPI, even if they win. The lower RPI ranking keeps more teams out of the dance. In place of the tourney, the league will play a complete home-and-away round robin during the regular season. This would have been good for the Jackets last season, who swept through the ACC undefeated, only to lose in the ACC tourney.

But why is volleyball different than other sports? What I figure is that the ACC is just plain weak against most of the other conferences. If the ACC was one of the top 5 in the nation in volleyball, then maybe this wouldn't happen. Of course being fair, most of the other top conferences don't hold a conference tourney either. So there is a precedent here.

I just find it very strange the logic that makes perfect sense to those in the world of collegiate volleyball but would be taboo to ever mention in men's hoops. Interesting.