Sun Belt basketball RPI talk

12 05 2010

Just an FYI as I’ll have a full story on this topic in Sunday’s Daily News. 

As many of you already know, RPI has become quite a problem throughout the Sun Belt Conference – especially this season, when not one squad was able to crack the Top 100. 

I’ve openly commented on this situation here on the blog, and this week, I spoke with Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters and WKU athletic director Ross Bjork about the very subject.

 – We discussed the importance of aggressive scheduling (something WKU is fully involved in for next season, as Bjork mentioned Memphis, Bowling Green (Ohio), Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt as possibilities for next season today – along with the already known games against Louisville, South Carolina and the group of high quality opponents that could include North Carolina or West Virginia during a preseason tournament in Puerto Rico).

– We talked about the need to evoke an RPI clause within the conference’s overall non-league scheduling policy. Waters spoke of a former policy that basically forced member schools to compile a non-league schedule with an average RPI of 149 or lower (based on the previous three-year RPI numbers) and how something like this may be re-introduced after league-wide meetings in Florida later this month. 

–  We talked about the importance of the league becoming a perpetual two-bid league, and how increased RPI numbers might be the only way to achieve that. Now I know, this may seem ridiculous to some considering recent RPI issues throughout the league, but remember – in the 2004-05 season, the Sun Belt had five teams inside the RPI Top 100 (WKU No. 42, Louisiana-Lafayette No. 48, Arkansas-Little Rock No. 73, Denver No. 83 and Middle Tennessee No. 90). 

There will be much more to come in Sunday’s story, so keep an eye out as the week moves forward.

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