We Love No Other 7.18 - Unnecessary Therapy Session

We Love No Other 7.18 - Unnecessary Therapy Session

If you're someone who usually skips the podcast posts because they're short and mostly just contain episode links, you'll want to read this one. In the pod, I reference "some stats I was looking up" and I'm including those stats below.

At the end of this episode, I share some thoughts on our current status nationally. Where We Stand, if you will. When you get to that part, you're going to want to see the research I referenced, so here it is.

There's no required order here. You can read the data and then listen to the episode or you can listen to the episode – Spotify here, Apple Podcasts here, also linked at the bottom – and then look at the data. But here's the numbers.

This decade is half over. Five seasons down, five seasons to go. So in the first half of the 2020's, where does Illinois land when it comes to winning percentage among the schools in the six high-major conferences?

I'll explain the "high major" part of that real quick. Gonzaga would be #1 on this list, but Gonzaga plays in the WCC so their winning percentage can't be trusted. If, say, Indiana played in the WCC, Indiana would have a much higher winning percentage the last 5 years (and you can do the same for Gonzaga if they had to play in the Big Ten). This is not to say that Gonzaga is completely overrated – if we compared NCAA Tournament resumes, theirs is better than ours – but I can't include them when compiling a winning percentage list.

One more note: Houston needs an asterisk here. They're in the Big 12 now, but for four of the five years in the 2020's, they were in the AAC beating up on East Carolina and Tulane. If Baylor or Kansas had played an AAC schedule every year, they'd have a higher winning percentage than Houston. But since Houston is in the Big 12 now and I need to draw a line somewhere, they go on this list.

OK, here we go. The high major teams with the best winning percentage for the first half of the 2020's:

1. Houston 148-27 (.846)
2. Baylor 128-35 (.785)
3. KU 134-37 (.784)
4. Zona 126-40 (.759)
5. UConn 123-41 (.750)
6. Duke 124-42 (.747)
7. Purdue 125-43 (.744)
8. Auburn 114-47 (.708)
9. Illinois 117-49 (.705)
10. Virginia 110-47 (.701)
11. Creighton 118-51 (.698)
12. Tennessee 114-51 (.691)
13. Alabama 117-53 (.688)
14. UCLA 115-53 (.685)
15. BYU 110-52 (.679)
t16. USC 110-54 (.671)
t16. Texas 110-54 (.671)
18. Kentucky 105-52 (.669)
19. Oregon 110-56 (.663)
20. Villanova 107-55 (.660)
21. Marquette 106-56 (.654)
22. Arkansas 111-59 (.653)
23. Colorado 109-60 (.645)
24. North Carolina 110-61 (.643)
25. Iowa 106-59 (.642)

Since I have all of the winning percentages on this spreadsheet, let's look at where the Big Ten teams stack up. There are 80 teams in these six conferences, so I'll use the overall rank of each team to give you an idea of the separation between some of these programs.

7. Purdue 125-43 (.744)
9. Illinois 117-49 (.705)
25. Iowa 106-59 (.642)
27. Wisconsin 106-60 (.639)
30. Michigan St. 101-63 (.616)
34. Ohio St. 100-65 (.606)
38. Indiana 95-67 (.586)
41. Maryland 94-68 (.580)
49. Rutgers 88-69 (.561)
50. Michigan 87-72 (.547)
52. Penn State 85-72 (.541)
65. Northwestern 76-78 (.494)
72. Minnesota 70-85 (.452)
77. Nebraska 63-94 (.401)

Why is this important? Because it's very difficult to be consistently good. I'll give you an example. Take a guess where Iowa State shows up on this list. The team that we just played in the Sweet 16. Out of 80 teams, where do they rank the last five years? Have your guess?

60th. 60th-best record of the 80 teams in those six conferences over the last five seasons.

Nebraska had a good season but that just moves them to 77th. Northwestern is 65th. A formerly great program like Florida: only 36th. Oklahoma? 47th. It is very, very hard to be good year after year after year.

And in the first five years of this decade, we're 9th nationally. Ninth.

Enough said. Here's the episode: