Ok, time to deal with the criteria the NCAA selection committee has used this year.
In past years, one key phrase has been "non-conference SoS". This year, I noticed an absence of talking about that. Yes, SoS was very important, but the overall SoS was important. Not just the non-con part of it. Of course, the non-con part is the one part a team can control. Those who were born into the royal family of conferences (I'm looking at you, Texas) obviously fares better when you ignore non-conference SoS and go straight to the regular SoS.
I'm not sure this is a good idea by the committee. Overweighting regular SoS compared to non-con SoS is a mistake. To illustrate why, let's take a look at the numbers. Here are the SoS numbers for the last 6 teams in and the first 4 out:
Ole Miss 53
Boise St 117
Colorado St 112
Old Dominion 146
So it seems obvious why Texas and UCLA moved on up. We see why Ole Miss was in, why ODU was out, and why Richmond was closer than anyone thought.
However, let's take a look at just the non-conference SoS of these 10 teams:
Ole Miss 95
Boise St 164
Colorado St 83
Old Dominion 40
3 teams with top 50 non-con SoSs were left out, in favor of teams with 95, 139, and 164. Hmm. That doesn't sit well. UCLA with (barely) a top 50 SoS in the non-con...okay, fair. Texas, however, is a bit further down, trailing all 4 of the "last four out" teams in this metric. And Dayton and Boise lag way, way behind.
Look at Old Dominion in particular. Overall SoS of 146, unimpressive. But non-con of 40. CUSA dragged them down 100 spots, and then those 100 spots were used to help justify their exclusion compared to other teams. Dayton's overall SoS of 93 doesn't stand out among the bubble candidates, but when you realize the boost the A-10 gave them, they stand out a bit more as an outlier, in the bad direction.
As for the Boise St/Colorado St comparison...overall SoS of 117 vs. 112. No real difference. But CSU has the better non-con SoS, 83 against 164, which is a significant margin. Hmm.
So, after a couple years of emphasizing non-con SoS as an integral part of the profile, the committee has backed off it, and gone to just overall SoS. This clearly benefits the big boys, in this case UCLA, Texas, Ole Miss, and Dayton, all who gained significant ground on their SoS in conference play. Teams in weaker conferences (ODU, Temple to a lesser extent) get killed by this.
I'm not sure I like this new trend from the committee. Here's to hoping they care more about non-con SoS in the future.