By Jeff Portnoy
As UH gets ready to travel to Kauai to take on Pac West opponent, Chaminade, the second of two games against Div 2 opponents, I thought this would be a good time to see how the Big West and Diamond Head Classic teams are doing in the RPI and Pomeroy rankings. In a nutshell, the Big West is not doing well while the Classic will have a few top 100 teams.
First, the Rainbow Warriors. As we know, against div 1 teams they are currently 5-2. In significant games, they have beaten N. Arizona on the road, lost to Missiouri on the road, lost to New Mexico State at home, and beat Montana at home. They have an RPI of 189 ( out of 351 div 1 teams) and a Pomeroy ranking of 131. Of the teams they have beaten, none has a Pomeroy ranking better than 168 ( Montana). The two losses have come against teams ranked 40 ( Missiouri) and New Mexico State ( 75).
Hawaii has the 4th highest RPI in the Big West behind Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and Cal Poly. In Pomeroy, Hawaii ranks ahead of everybody in the Conference except Santa Barbara. The first four schools have a Pomeroy ranking in the top 150, while he bottom 5 rank from 220 ( Long Beach) to 309 ( UC Davis)..
In the RPI, Big West schools, except for Santa Barbara, rank in the bottom half,but the Gauchos are 17th in the College Insider.com Mid major Poll and Hawaii received 8 votes which puts them in 41st place. All in all, the Conference is not doing well so far, but the good news is that Hawaii looks to be a top 4, if not better, team in the Conference.
As far as the Classic is concerned, Hawaii's first round opponent, Boise State, just lost to Kentucky on the road, but not too many teams will beat the Wildcats this year. Boise is ranked 60 in the Pomeroy rankings. Others in the tournament rank from undefeated Iowa state ( 21) to undefeated St Marys (36) to George Mason ( 136). Hawaii has the second lowest Pomeroy ranking in the Classic field, but is playing at home and always steps it up in this tournament.
So for all of you who ask me how good is this team, I continue to say ask me after the Classic. Hawaii needs to beat some top 100 teams. So far, the game against Missouri , in my opinion, has been its best effort. The wins have come against lesser quality teams. The jury is still out, but voting has begun.
Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents but this blog reflects his personal opinions.