LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Here is the most inexplicable college basketball nugget that I uncovered while sifting through developments from this week:
The No. 1 team in the country is not Duke -- unless you believe the AP writers and USA Today coaches' polls.
It isn't Michigan State, unless you put your trust in the Ken Pomeroy and Bart Torvik computer formulas.
It isn't Virginia, even though some will argue the defending national champs deserve the top ranking until somebody topples the Cavaliers.
Somebody get Jamie Dixon on the line. Now I understand why UCLA wanted to hire him. TCU is the No. 1 team in the land.
Here is the disclaimer: TCU is ranked first in the discredited and discarded Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) formula that was once used by the Tournament Selection to help pick and seed the field for the NCAA Tournament.
Coaches, media members and neighborhood dogs always howled about the silliness, unfairness and irrelevance of the RPI -- and when I checked the results after the first 16 days of this season, I remembered the reason.
According to the data at CBSSports.com, here are the top five teams in the RPI:
3. James Madison
5. Ohio State
Sounds perfect to me. Give the Horned Frogs extra credit for defeating Southwestern, Louisiana and Air Force.
Truth be told, I merely did an RPI fly-by while collecting data from the computer metrics that I trust about Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky.
With the RPI placing TCU first, Louisville No. 89, Kentucky No. 32, Indiana No 249 and WKU No. 156, I've already wasted too much time on a fading metric.
Here are what the better formulas revealed about the local teams, who have a combined record of 17-1.
The Cards rank as high as No. 2 on KenPom and as low as No. 7 on Jeff Sagarin's predictor formula. They're also No. 3 at barttorvik.com and WarrenNolan.com. Chris Mack's team remained that high despite an uneven performance against South Carolina-Upstate Wednesday.
Louisville's best win came over Miami, ranked No. 60 by Pomeroy. His formula has the Cards' the second most efficient offense in the nation and the sixth best defense.
At Torvik, Louisville leads the nation in effective field goal percentage, at 63.3. If you're going to lead the nation in any stat, that one works.
There's a larger gap in the rankings about John Calipari's squad, which is not surprising considering the result from the Wildcats' game against Evansville.
At Pomeroy, UK is No. 5. Sagarin and Warren Nolan rank UK sixth. Bart Torvik is not convinced, likely because Calipari's team ranks 214th in effective field goal percentage (46.9), worst of the 10-plus season Calipari Era.
The Hoosiers remain a notch below the Cardinals and Wildcats, even though they have dispatched all of their first five opponents by at least 11 points. Of course, none of the five are ranked in Pomeroy's top 200.
Pomeroy bumped the Hoosiers from No. 34 to 29th after their 25-point victory over Princeton Wednesday. Sagarin ranks IU 37th, Torvik has IU 43rd and Warren Nolan says 58th.
The offense has been reasonable, ranked 21st in efficiency by Pomeroy. The defense needs more work because Archie Miller's team is 51st in that metric. IU's effective field goal percentage is better than Kentucky's but not as good as Louisville's. IU is ranked 18th at 58.8 percent.
If the Hilltoppers defeat Bowling Green Friday, Rick Stansbury's team will carry a 5-0 record into their game with Louisville in Nashville Nov. 29.
Bart Torvik ranks WKU No. 66. The Hilltoppers are No. 82 in Warren Nolan, No. 84 in Pomeroy and No. 98 in Sagarin predictor. WKU also has shot the ball well. At 60.2 percentage, the Hilltoppers rank No. 11 in effective field goal percentage.
But in RPI, everybody is chasing TCU.
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