Statistical Analysis: Ranking the women’s conference championships

Earlier today, USA Swimming Stats released a chart on Twitter tracking the relative top-end depth of each of the major women’s conference championships that took place over the weekend. The chart, copied below, shows the 1st place and 8th place time in each event at the conference championships, giving a brief glimpse into what it took both to win, and to A-final in, the 5 conference championships listed:

Event Place AAC ACC Big Ten IVY SEC
50 Free 1st 22.61 22.02 21.68 22.44 21.54
8th 23.14 22.51 22.64 23.14 22.27
100 Free 1st 48.47 48.54 47.78 48.92 47.51
8th 50.32 49.33 49.33 50.52 48.41
200 Free 1st 1:44.73 1:44.43 1:44.11 1:45.69 1:41.83
8th 1:49.08 1:46.66 1:46.76 1:49.08 1:46.49
500 Free 1st 4:43.02 4:34.35 4:36.91 4:44.00 4:34.63
8th 4:52.66 4:42.30 4:45.00 4:52.66 4:40.68
1650 Free 1st 16:35.63 15:47.99 15:55.20 16:20.21 15:40.77
8th 17:05.48 16:20.67 16:18.64 16:40.01 16:15.14
100 Back 1st 52.97 51.50 51.65 52.83 50.91
8th 55.45 52.43 53.84 55.51 52.85
200 Back 1st 1:54.07 1:52.37 1:51.43 1:55.70 1:50.62
8th 2:01.16 1:55.66 1:56.74 1:59.79 1:55.05
100 Breast 1st 59.88 58.46 59.80 1:01.05 57.28
8th 1:03.64 1:01.47 1:01.16 1:03.17 59.97
200 Breast 1st 2:10.10 2:04.34 2:06.66 2:14.55 2:05.19
8th 2:18.74 2:13.91 2:14.11 2:18.71 2:09.89
100 Fly 1st 51.73 52.19 51.56 52.73 51.58
8th 55.14 53.74 53.24 55.00 53.11
200 Fly 1st 1:53.94 1:55.01 1:53.95 1:57.33 1:52.19
8th 2:04.21 1:58.73 1:58.45 2:01.50 1:57.39
200 IM 1st 1:56.34 1:54.92 1:56.91 1:58.74 1:52.87
8th 2:03.83 1:58.99 1:58.98 2:02.67 1:58.64
400 IM 1st 4:04.96 4:08.96 4:07.42 4:15.17 3:59.26
8th 4:26.90 4:14.96 4:14.58 4:21.11 4:13.37

(Data courtesy of USA Swimming Stats)

 

You can see the original tweet here, but it should be noted that the 1st place times are taken from finals, while the 8th place times reflect prelims, to account for any finals or prelims swims that were coasted or sandbagged.

Those numbers give a great insight into the conference meet action, but we at SwimSwam wanted to look even deeper. We’re all swimmers, with the classic compulsive swimmer’s need to rank everything, so why not apply that idiosyncrasy here?

Ranking the Conferences on Top-End Depth

The following two charts rank each of the times provided by USA Swimming with respect to the other conferences. The fastest winning time is ranked 1, the slowest 5. Same with the 8th place times in the second chart. The bottom row of each chart shows the average ranking for each conference over the entire swimming schedule of the conference championships.

Some of the numbers likely won’t surprise you much. The ultra-fast women’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) is easily the top-ranked conference in 1st and 8th place times. The Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conferences (ACC) are predictably close, with the newly-formed American Athletic Conference (AAC) and Ivy League trailing.

Other numbers are a bit more interesting, though: This year’s Big Ten appeared a little faster than the ACC in terms of winners, while the ACC was a tick faster in 8th place qualifiers. The Ivy League, while significantly behind the AAC in winning times, was solidly ahead in 8th place finishes, probably a product of an AAC featuring just 6 teams and a relatively unbalanced team competition with Louisville far out front.

Of course, there are plenty more ways to analyze last weekend’s results. A look at “true” depth would probably look all the way back to 16th or event 24th, considering both the ACC and SEC scored down to the C final. On the other hand, top-end times could be somewhat thrown off by how rested the top-tier athletes in each conference were (always a hot topic of discussion among swim fans).

This coming weekend will wrap up major women’s Division-I conference championships, and will help fit the remaining conferences into the puzzle. The Big 12 looks kind of like the AAC on steroids: one dominant program (Texas) and a small conference numbers-wise. Expect it to be fast up top but lacking some in depth. The big question for the moment, of course, is where the women’s Pac-12 will fit into things. You can bet it’ll be somewhere around the SEC tier, and we’ve no doubt our commenters will have no shortage of opinions on which conference will come up stronger. Check out the graphs below and fire away, SwimSwammers!

 1st Place Ranking Averages

Event Place SEC Rank Big Ten Rank ACC Rank AAC Rank Ivy Rank
50 Free 1st 1 2 3 5 4
100 Free 1st 1 2 4 3 5
200 Free 1st 1 2 3 4 5
500 Free 1st 2 3 1 4 5
1650 Free 1st 1 3 2 5 4
100 Back 1st 1 3 2 5 4
200 Back 1st 1 2 3 4 5
100 Breast 1st 1 3 2 4 5
200 Breast 1st 2 3 1 4 5
100 Fly 1st 2 1 4 3 5
200 Fly 1st 1 3 4 2 5
200 IM 1st 1 4 2 3 5
400 IM 1st 1 3 4 2 5
Avg 1st 1.2 2.6 2.7 3.7 4.8

8th Place Ranking Averages

Event Place SEC Rank Big Ten Rank ACC Rank AAC Rank Ivy Rank
50 Free 8th 1 3 2 4 4
100 Free 8th 1 2 2 4 5
200 Free 8th 1 3 2 4 4
500 Free 8th 1 3 2 4 4
1650 Free 8th 1 2 3 5 4
100 Back 8th 2 3 1 4 5
200 Back 8th 1 3 2 5 4
100 Breast 8th 1 2 3 5 4
200 Breast 8th 1 3 2 5 4
100 Fly 8th 1 2 3 5 4
200 Fly 8th 1 2 3 5 4
200 IM 8th 1 2 3 5 4
400 IM 8th 1 2 3 5 4
Avg 8th 1.1 2.5 2.4 4.6 4.2

5
Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Jay

This is incomplete…let’s see how they do at NCAA’s

Former Cat

Thank you for the great information! Interesting you chose the Ivy league for your 5th conference…my guess is the Mountain West was both faster and deeper than the Ivy.

Former Cat

Just realized that USA Swimming chose the original data…

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!