Non-conference scheduling/RPI/Alabama A&M


Don’t know where to put this, but we’re supposedly playing Alabama A&M next season too.

This is notable because they were literally the single worst team in all of D1 last year via kenpom.

Big Ten Discussion

Apparently it’s for 12/21, winter break, which seems like the right time for it…


Sounds like the perfect game to take the nieces and nephews.




Not based on one game. And based on the difficulty of this year’s November/December schedule, especially the 23 day period where we play the pre-Thanksgiving tournament which is very tough, go to UNC and Texas, play UCLA at home AND play 2 BT games, one on the road (thanks Jim Delaney), playing a few cupcakes is fine with me.


Cupcakes are fine. Why does it have to be the worst team in college basketball?


FWIW, replace Mt St Mary’s (rpi around 151) with Alabama A&M in last year’s RPI and Michigan would drop from 25 to 32.


I love cupcakes, but this one is made out of sawdust and glue. Agreed that’s a tough stretch of games that will bolster our RPI, but - as long as the selection committee continues to use RPI - there has to be a better way to schedule guarantee games with RPI in mind.


Comparing cupcakes this to how they did in the previous season is kind of an apples to oranges comparison though. Teams in the crappier conferences can go from last to first place the very next year and vice versa. Case in point, I believe Mount St. Mary’s was around 100 spots worse in RPI the season before last.


They wrap fish in yesterday’s newspapers. Alabama A&M could be tough as nails next season, I’m sure Coach Beilein will tell he expects a tough game, and player X is a great player.


Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that Mich lost to Eastern Mich and some other alphabet (JITT)? College/University. One super cupcake team is probably a good thing for the many freshman/sophomore who will need major experience to get their mistakes out of the way.


It absolutely is a good.idea. Either they will be doing well and it won’t matter or it will be an organized needed practice. In a typical conference year they will have plenty of opportunities to recover.


It was NJIT. I certainly hope no university Is recognized by that acronym.


True, but this usually happens when teams return everyone. A&M graduated 2 of their top 3 highest usage players.


This has been my point about scheduling. The RPI is a stupid metric but the committee uses it and we could do a better job of taking advantage of the quirks in the RPI strength of schedule metrics.


That’s true, Dylan, but it’s also true that we were a top 25 team with two Alabama A&M like teams on the schedule (Howard and Central Arkansas) and 11 regular season losses. With the exact same schedule and a win over OSU at home, we jump from 25 to 19. We also lost two more home games to teams outside the top 20 (VT and Maryland)–in the former, we blew a double digit lead with under 8 minutes to go. Those losses, IMO, were far more responsible for RPI woes last year than were playing two cupcakes–they’re each counted as 1.4 losses at home.

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t consider rpi implications when we schedule–we should. I just think people focus only on what one or two cupcakes will do without considering that with 11 regular season losses including 3 at home, our rpi was going to be limited.


Those are good points, and we might not be having the annual “we need to be better at gaming the RPI” conversation, if we won 2/3 of those home losses. But we also have no say in whether or not we play those games. Yes, winning all of your home games is the best way to prop-up your RPI, but the scheduling is out of the staff’s hands.

They can control the RPI implications of their cupcake non-cons. But I also understand the argument that predicting the cupcake’s end-of-season RPI is a crapshoot. I’d be curious to see how last year’s gimme teams’ RPIs compared to their RPIs from the previous season.


Beilein likes a couple cupcakes on the schedule. He’s aware of the small but present RPI implications. He thinks the positives, whatever they are, in terms of team building, etc., outweigh the negatives. Let’s do it all again next year…


I’m not disagreeing with you… Quite the opposite. I think the impact is fairly minimal in relation to everything else.

Brian wrote this today:

He uses Minnesota as an example of good scheduling and I’d be outraged if Michigan played Minnesota’s schedule. U-M aggressively plays conference tourneys, neutral site games, home and homes, etc. Those are all things that we want them to do. They are also things that many programs don’t do (when was the last time OSU played a non-conference tourney? how many games did Minnesota play at home last year?)

Minnesota’s schedule last year was a joke and they got lucky because 3 teams that were > 200 the year before made big jumps.

Look at Michigan’s schedule this year… Maui over Thanksgiving, @ UNC the next week, Big Ten games Dec 2nd weekend, UCLA at home the next weekend, a trip to Texas mid-week. When Michigan is filling in the gaps it is clear that Beilein is more worried about timing, logistics and money and isn’t worried as much about ‘gaming the RPI’ because if you win your big non-conference games and your Big Ten games the rest should take care of itself.

From my perspective, I don’t think there’s a season where Michigan has missed the tournament, been dramatically under-seeded or anything like that because of its NC-RPI.


Although at the same time, you did mention earlier that replacing Mt St Mary’s 151 RPI with A&M’s 351 would drop our RPI from 25 to 32 last season. I definitely don’t care much about this, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t prefer him to at least look for teams that return most of their top guys if he’s gonna schedule a team in the 300s. In that situation there’s a decent chance they’ll improve a bit.

I absolutely agree with you on the Minnesota schedule thing though, I would hate that as a fan.

Yes to both of these questions.