Now that the first half of the NCAA swim season is complete, lets check in and see how the top college teams stack up. Earlier today, we published our simulated nationals through this point in the season. Now, let’s use the Swimulator’s methodology to do some predictions based off of that simulation. We will estimate how likely each team is to win nationals and what the overall team rankings look like.
Here’s a link to the Swimulator to see the full results.
Note that while I believe that most teams have finished their mid-season tapers, not all teams have and so these rankings are likely to fluctuate in the next few weeks as new times are added.
The Swimulator’s team ranking are determined by taking a team’s lineup, and looking at how many points that lineup would score at an average conference meet. It takes the top 10% of all times done in previous years, and sees how each of the team’s swimmers rank amongst those times. Say a time was in the 5th percentile of all times swum in that event. Then it should finish in about the middle of this virtual meet and would score 10 points (20/2). Summing the scores of all the individual swims gives us the overall team score. Scores are discounted if your teammates are excepted to beat that time.
To find the nationals win percentages, I simulate a nationals meet using the top times swum so far this year, automatically selecting three events for each swimmer. I then do what’s called a Monte-Carlo simulation on that data. I add some noise to each time and tapered the swimmers using the team’s average taper percentage from previous years. By simulating this same meet over and over, I then looked at the average number of wins for each team. The total number of wins divided by the number of simulations gives us each team’s likelihood of a national championship.
Rankings for the Women
And for the Men
The rankings will be updated throughout the season, so watch how they change as we get closer to the end of the year! If you head to the site, we also have rankings for DII and DIII teams.