RPI after Sunday listed in parentheses.
Best uRPI Non-Conference Win
26 – UConn (Boston College)
52 – Rutgers (Princeton)
63 – Memphis (Samford)
71 – Louisville (Butler)
77 – UCF (Washington)
121 – South Florida (South Alabama)
127 – SMU (TCU)
139 – Cincinnati (Cornell)
202 – Temple (Binghamton)
289 – Houston (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi)
Average uRPI Non-Conference Win
122.0 – UConn
134.4 – Rutgers
138.1 – Memphis
153.4 – UCF
196.5 – Louisville
204.8 – Cincinnati
212.4 – South Florida
218.4 – SMU
257.0 – Temple
289.0 – Houston
The good news? Rutgers is flying really high right now. The bad? Their profile has a ton of downside and not a lot of upside. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Princeton isn’t going to finish in the uRPI Top 60 and William & Mary aren’t going to finish in the uRPI Top 30. If the Scarlet Knights are able to finish in the top half of the AAC, I think they’ll be fine…but they’re far from safe right now given their profile.
UCF has the draw at Georgetown and nothing else really on their profile right now. None of their losses are remotely bad, but at-large bids are doled out largely on positive results, which could be worrying. As long as the Hoyas don’t collapse, and if Washington can rebound down the stretch, UCF should be fine. But the Knights still need to keep winning to be sure of a spot in the Big Dance, though they’re probably in much better shape than some of their conference rivals.
Would you believe UConn has the AAC’s best non-conference win so far? Yeah, the Huskies are the only team in the conference to have beaten an opponent in the uRPI Top 50 so far. It remains to be seen if UConn’s wins over Syracuse and La Salle will hold up, but at the moment, they’re still contributing to a pretty solid profile. The Huskies do have four losses to their name, which could be a problem if they struggle in the league, but I think their odds of making it in are pretty good for a team in their RPI position right now.
Shaky? Shaky. The Tigers are largely going to be hoping that Missouri gets a whole lot better in SEC play, because I’m not convinced the Samford win isn’t going to erode in value over time. Memphis may also be weary of that Vanderbilt loss looking worse and worse if the Dores struggle in the SEC. It’s not an awful profile by any means, but the AAC newcomers really need to avoid bad losses in the league and win a few big games in conference play as well.
(62) South Florida
Who needs a win of consequence when you’ve got a draw with Florida on the docket? That alone should push USF into the field of sixty-four if they’re in range, but that’s the part that’s up in the air. The Bulls don’t have any bad losses, but the club’s lack of quality wins is submarining its RPI right now. USF just needs to get on the bubble, but to do that, they’re probably going to need to win six games or so in the league.
The Mustangs are benefitting from their lack of bad losses on their resume, but there’s nothing resembling a quality win on there unless TCU has a hell of a league season. Is an at-large bid impossible? No, but the Mustangs would probably have to come close to running the table in the league.
Louisville’s best win is over Butler. In other words, yikes. The Cardinals do get a potentially lifesaving boost by the draw with Virginia Tech, but they need more quality wins (or any quality wins really) to get within range of the bubble. As is the case with South Florida, they need just to get to the bubble to make it in probably. Like USF though, the Card might need a lot of wins to get there.
Oh, Cincy. If they hadn’t have swallowed that bad loss to UC Santa Barbara, they might have a scant chance at an at-large bid. The wins aren’t exactly great, but they’ve been enough to keep the club off RPI rock bottom in the AAC. Net a couple of upsets, and they might actually crack the RPI Top 100 come season’s end.
Temple won four in a row to open the season against some pretty bad competition…and they’ve lost four of five since, though none of those losses have been by multiple goals. That’ll probably change in the league, but an upset or two could have them finish in the uRPI Top 200 for the first time in ages.
The Cougars have been somewhat abysmal this season, with their lone win coming against first-year Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The only truly horrific result was the draw with Houston Baptist, but again, we’re talking about a team with one win right now. I think they have a little room to move up, but they’re still miles out of the at-large bid discussion.
Preseason Predicted Finish
6. South Florida
Post Non-Conference Predicted Finish
6. South Florida