Are You Smarter Than a D-I Coach?

Are You Smarter Than a D-I Coach?
March 20, 2014

Quiz time. It’s a simple one. Many folks, including coaches, media, fans and “experts” use RPI strength of schedule (“SOS”) to describe a schedule’s “toughness”, “difficulty”, “level of challenge”, etc.

Indeed, SOS is used interchangeably with other descriptors when many argue how difficult a team’s schedule was.

Let’s pretend you’re Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and your 2014-15 schedule is set with one exception. Coach K, Tyus Jones and Duke have agreed to play the Gophers and left it up to you as to where you want to play – Williams Arena or Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Which game location will make Minnesota’s RPI SOS stronger?

The answer is neither. Minnesota’s strength of schedule won’t change at all no matter where they play their games. RPI SOS doesn’t care where you play your games.

What about all those folks who would equate a “top-ten SOS” with a “top ten toughest schedule”?

Those people would also say this: Minnesota hosting Duke (or any other team in the nation) at Williams Arena represents the exact same level of challenge as playing Duke on the road.

This is just one of many examples of why equating a high SOS with playing a tough schedule is at best dangerous and often incredibly stupid.

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