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Austin Index 7

January 10, 2004 Columns No Comments

The Austin Index (formerly the TMPG Thursday Power Poll)

by Dean Austin

One of the challenges of bringing my own formula to a column is communication. That sounds a little silly for a columnist but the problem is that this formula has been my way of tracking the over rated and under rated for a number of years. I’m used to it, but communicating it to others is new to me. It’s taken me a few weeks to figure it out but I believe I now have a bit of a better handle on this. First, I’ve renamed this column the Austin Index which is much better than calling it a Power Poll. Second, I’m introducing a more formalized way of discussing the potential upsets by listing a team’s Upset Quotient, or UQ for short.

Upset Quotient (UQ)

The Upset Quotient takes a team’s ranking in the Hoopville Top 25 and compares it with its placing in the Austin Index. One point is awarded for each place difference. So for example, Connecticut is #1 in the Hoopville Top 25, but does not appear in Austin Index. The Huskies UQ is +25, the maximum possible. Duke on the other hand is ranked #2 in the Hoopville Top 25 and #8 in the Austin Index. Therefore the Blue Devils have a UQ of +6. And so forth.

Here are the ten teams from the Hoopville Top 25 with the highest UQ.

25	Connecticut
23	Wake Forest
18	Saint Joseph's
16	Cincinnati
13	Kansas
12	Georgia Tech
12	North Carolina
10	Gonzaga
 9	Syracuse
 6	Duke

Now the inverse is true. A negative number when comparing the Austin Index to the Hoopville Top 25 indicates that a team is capable of producing an upset. Let me repeat that; is capable of producing an upset. Not will produce an upset, not certainly will produce an upset, but capable.

Here are the ten teams from the Austin Index with the best negative UQ.

-25	Xavier
-17	UNLV
-16	Oklahoma State
-13	Tennessee
-12	Wisconsin
-12	Alabama
-10	Florida State
- 9	Hawaii
- 8	Texas
- 8	SMU

So let’s for the moment say that everything stays the same between now and the 17th of January when Xavier plays Saint Joseph’s. Do I think Saint Joseph’s will win? Actually yes I do, but the formula says take another look. It does not say Xavier will win but rather the Austin Index is a tool that I use to decide to look at that match up in more detail.

There are no absolutes in College Basketball save for one, whom is crowned the National Champion.

I also got a request from Laurent this week for a clarification when it comes to two teams in the index that are close together and play each other.

Here’s the situation.

1. A
2. B
3. C

A and C play and C wins.
B doesn’t play.

What Laurent wanted to know was the following, “So C takes A’s place in the poll and A moves down half the distance, so here 2nd spot. But what about B? Does A take the 2nd spot and B 3rd or does A take the 2nd spot but since B didn’t play, it doesn’t move and A takes 3rd spot?”

The first part is correct, team C would take the place of A, A would move down to position 2 and B would move down to position 3. This is how teams at the lower end of the Index move out as teams above them lose and move down.

Again to summarize:

1. If you beat a higher ranked team you take their spot. The higher ranked team moves down half the distance between its old ranking and the victor’s old ranking.

2. If you lose to a higher ranked team you move down 1 position.

Austin Index

January 8th, 2004

1. Xavier
2. Stanford
3. Arizona
4. Oklahoma
5. Florida
6. Wisconsin
7. Louisville
8. Duke
10. Oklahoma State
11. Texas
12. Kentucky
13. Tennessee
14. Alabama
15. Pittsburgh
16. Florida State
17. Hawaii
18. SMU
19. Maryland
20. Georgia
21. Georgia Tech
22. Boston U
23. Nevada
24. Marquette
25. Montana State

See you all next week.


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