How Good are Mid Season Conference Projections?

by Andrew Mering 3

January 24th, 2017 College, News

We’ve done a lot of projections of conference meets based on in season times, (D1 big conferences, D1 small conferencesD2, D3 part 1, D3 part 2) but haven’t really quantified how reliable those projections are.

Swimulator has two methods for scoring out a conference meet, using swimmer’s best time so far this season or a swimmer’s average time in each event so far this season. How does each perform? Which is better? To answer this I looked at 10 D1 men’s conferences and compared the Swimulator scores last season through 1/24/16 for the average and top times to the actual scores at conference meets (which include diving, so there’s some unaccounted for variance).

The average times performed a bit better (though both methods performed pretty well). A regression of average time scores on actual scores gives an R^2 of .85; whereas, a regression of top time scores on actual scores give an R^2 of .79 (R^2 is the % of variance in the data accounted for in the regression). I also compared team’s places with each projection method to their actual place. Average time was again a bit better with and average place miss of 1.1 with a standard deviation of 1.1 vs an average place miss of 1.2 with a standard deviation of 1.1 for top times.

Top Times vs Actual Score

Average Times vs Actual Score

Here is the conference level data I used:

ACC

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
NC State 1056 1229 1401
Louisville 1162 945 1067
UNC 606 934 897
Virginia Tech 517 594 892
Georgia Tech 681 598 776
Virginia 787 734 737
Notre Dame 436 459 677
Duke 668 771 643
Florida St 738 505 606
Pittsburgh 449 338 345
Boston College 206 199 192

Atlantic 10

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Massachusetts 767 580 671
St. Bonaventure 364 328 482
La Salle 465 482 473.5
St. Louis 326 286 457.5
GW 221 266 398
George Mason 330 460 396
Davidson 341 362 371
Fordham 271 321 165

Big East

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Xavier 744 783 832
Georgetown 616 618 781
Seton Hall 693 706 672.5
Villanova 465 474 469
Providence 286 220 196.5

Big 10

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Michigan 1089 1348 1475
Indiana 1261 1113 1304
Ohio St 934 777 1293
Minnesota 498 603 919
Wisconsin 947 982 832
Purdue 630 641 725
Iowa 689 638 515
Northwestern 282 307 462
Penn St 351 326 357
Michigan St 431 377 230

Horizon

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Oakland 800 771 840
Cleveland St 597 443 597.5
Wright State 484 568 585
Illinois-Chicago 297 333 399
Wis.- Milwaukee 477 473 382.5
Wis.- Green Bay 310 374 366
Valparaiso 0 3 153

Ivy

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Princeton 1243 1126 1520.5
Harvard 1123 1290 1499
Penn 1379 1362 1213.5
Yale 740 791 836
Cornell 545 474 790
Columbia 469 486 786.5
Brown 752 753 672
Dartmouth 525 494 491.5

Pac 12

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Stanford 524 679 808
Southern Cali 398 415 700
California 770 706 628
Arizona 633 529 569
Arizona St 269 326 402
Utah 491 430 295

SEC

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Auburn 923 1036 1223
Georgia 1069 1120 1010
Alabama 864 858 915
Florida 1074 889 909
Missouri 904 689 901
Tennessee 598 649 745
South Carolina 540 600 574
Texas A&M 393 440 532
Kentucky 286 381 530
LSU 495 484 526

Patriot

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
U.S. Navy 880 862 951
Army 691 686 650
Boston U 406 434 487
Bucknell 365 393 469
Loyola (MD) 266 247 300
Lehigh 201 252 249
Colgate 225 141 172
Lafayette 7 20 157
Holy Cross 98 95 100
American 146 155 99

WAC

Top Times as of 1/24/16 Average Times as of 1/24/16 Actual Score (w/ diving)
Air Force 764 682 717
Wyoming 579 677 690
Grand Canyon 653 611 650
UNLV 348 335 578
North Dakota 317 277 344
CSUB 258 313 309
Seattle U 142 166 183

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Margo

Horizon League is missing Youngstown State.

WaitAMinute

I believe this is the men’s data

YoungFish11

So, essentially this article speaks on the averages of the “top times” vs. “average times”? Hard to validate without knowing how much rest (shaving,suits,etc.) were used for the “top times.” Since most teams don’t fully taper for mid-season meets, those “top times” don’t really show the full story. So i can see why the “average times” are more reliable at this time of the season.

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