Kudos to the D3 Men’s Soccer Coaches Poll. Nice job this year.
We wanted to thank you for for all of your support during this, our second year of rankings and content creation in the D3 Men’s Soccer division. You have been an engaging audience and this will serve us well next year.
We are very proud of both our ranking results and original content. On the ranking front, our results in the tournament were nearly identical with the coaches poll. The amazing thing is that we, as a computer model poll, we are very comparable to the coaches poll. We understand a large value of our ranking system is our ability to provide a weekly ranking of all 410 teams. However, our consistently “good” rankings of Top 25 were somewhat internally unexpected.
This year before the tournament draw; BennettRank and the Coaches Poll had 18 overlapping Top 25 teams; with each having 7 unique picks not in the other poll. BennettRank successfully predicted a long run for Tufts, and The Coaches Poll predicted a long run for Ohio Wesleyan. Parenthetically, both polls had closely overlapping picks for the top 15 or so; with very different results for the 15-25 picks.
We think one thing is for certain; it would be a hard case to make that one ranking/poll was superior, or inferior to the other. Our apologies for slighting Ohio Wesleyan who clearly are a good team that did not make it into our Top 25 before the draw. The flip side was that we had Tufts in our Top 10 all year long, who were consistently omitted in the Coaches Poll. The Final Four had two common teams from each Top 25 (Wheaton (Ill) and Oneonta), one BennettRank unique (Tufts) and one Coaches Poll Unique (Ohio Wesleyan).
Validation came for us and our process when Tufts finally took home the championship at the end of the tournament.
By covering a number of sports and divisions across football, soccer, and basketball, we get to see how well the coaches poll and others polls perform versus BennettRank. BennettRank consistently performs better. However we offer our kudos to the members of the Coaches Poll Committee. Often we see what we consider to be “political” rankings; we didn’t see anything like that this year.
Every week we get a few pointed queries questioning the genealogy of our parents, our overall intelligence and our rationale for how we could possible rank Team A higher than Team B even thought Team B beat Team A last year and is known to have two All-Conference players. We thoroughly enjoy these discussions. We thank you for these as they do help us refine the model and point out issues.
We look forward to making adjustments to our formulas and website in the off season. We are particularly focused on improving our preseason rankings model. Your kind words, inputs, and suggestions are always most appreciated.
Where are we going next year? We will be making a major investment in our unique content and want to be the FIRST site you, your player, your player parents, and the general public goes to find any information about a specific team. We have grand plans and will be working very hard in the offseason. Where we go is in part driven to what you want, so please once again let us know by filling out he survey or direct response to me personally at Gregg@BennettRank.com
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