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Did John Calipari Make a Terrible Mistake Dropping Both North Carolina and Indiana? RPI and Strength of Schedule will Suffer

We knew that at least one team (North Carolina, Louisville and or Indiana) was getting the chop in the 2012-13 season. What the BBN did not expect was the fact that two of those powerhouse programs would be dropped. Of course we do not have the final schedule for the 2012-13 season and Calipari may surprise the BBN by scheduling a couple of other powerhouse programs, presumably at a neutral site.

If Calipari replaces Indiana and North Carolina with two powder-puff teams then Kentucky will have a long tough road to travel in the upcoming season. Not because we will lose those powder-puff match-ups but because our RPI and Strength of Schedule will hover near the basement among D1 schools in the upcoming season. We know the RPI and SOS is basically witchcraft math but that doesn't dismiss the fact that the NCAA Tournament selection committee considers these numbers to be important. They like to claim that the RPI and SOS weighs little in their decisions but we all know that is not the case.

Kentucky already struggles in the realm of RPI and SOS because of the conference we play in. The SEC is consistently underrated and we cannot expect that trend to change. Yes, we can kick and scream and compare our record to the Big East or the Big Ten but that will not change a thing. The SEC will always be the 4th or 5th best conference in major college basketball. Another scary factor will be the fact that the Pac-12 will be considered a better conference than the SEC next year. So we can speculate that the conference ratings will be:

  1. Big Ten
  2. Big East
  3. Pac-12
  4. SEC
The SEC may actually be rated 5th considering the probable ascension of a mid-major non BCS conference. At the end of the day we know the SEC will at very least (or most) be considered the 4th best basketball conference going into the 2012-13 season. And considering the elimination of Indiana and North Carolina from UK's schedule Kentucky may be a bottom dweller in the RPI and SOS, especially if we drop 7 or 8 games next season, which is plausible. If Kentucky drops 10 or more games, and if our RPI and SOS is in the seventies or eighties, then we will be in danger of receiving a very low seed. If UK drops over 11 games we may actually miss the tournament all together.

I am sure the BBN will lash out at my analysis here but this is math intermingled with speculation. You can write the following in your Bible; if UK drops 11 or more games and we do not replace UNC and IU with quality opponents next year the BBN will be biting their fingernails come selection Sunday and you can take that to the bank.

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  1. Very true. The only notable non-conference games we have right now is against a deep, experienced Duke team in Atlanta, and @ Louisville. We will probably be the underdog in both games. Where will our quality non-conference wins come from?

  2. Duke never loses neutral site, non-conference games early in the season. Last year they swept thru Maui, beating Tennessee, Michigan, and Kansas. Then they beat Michigan St at Madison Square Garden. LAETTNER CURSE~!

  3. Once the season gets into full swing, bias is totally taken out of the equation. So if the SEC finishes 4th in RPI as a conference, it's not because they're perceived as the 4th best, it's because they ARE the 4th best. The SEC is really suffering in parity and has some truly terrible teams. It's not at all a stretch to say that a .500 Missouri Valley team could finish ahead of South Carolina.