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Dirtbags Surge In ISR/RPI, Strength of Schedule Now 6th


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dirtbags Surge In ISR/RPI, Strength of Schedule Now 6th

Long Beach State has jumped from 67th to 27th in Ratings Power Index (RPI), and from 21st to 10th in Iterative Strength Rating (ISR) as calculated and published by BoydsWorld. The Dirtbags Strength of Schedule has risen to 6th most difficult.

The RPI is one of the tools used by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee to select at-large teams for Regionals, and to seed the field. The ISR is an attempt (a good one, in my opinion) by Boyd Nation, the proprietor of, to correct for bias against teams in the west. That bias, the ISRs and the psuedo-RPIs (Boyd's calculation of the RPI) are explained here. The official NCAA document on the baseball RPI is here (click to download it, it's a Word document...thanks to BoydsWorld for hosting it on their server). The following from the NCAA document describes the basic parameters of the RPI (there are some bonuses and penalties, but they are minor compared with the following):
An institution's RPI ranking consists of three factors that are weighted as follows:

1. Division I Winning Percentage - 25 percent of the RPI.
2. Opponents' Winning Percentage - 50 percent of the RPI.
3. Opponents' Opponents' Winning Percentage - 25 percent of the RPI.
From this you can see that the most important factor in the RPI is not a team's own record, but it's opponents' records. This explains the surge in the Dirtbags RPI, in large part. By taking the series from Wichita State, not only did Long Beach State improve its own winning percentage, but the 49ers benefited from WSU's 19-5 record. And the series win over Baylor continues to pay dividends. Baylor has improved its record to 15-7, and just swept a 3 game series over Texas (previously the #1 ranked team in Division I). Texas is now an "opponents' opponent," so the Dirtbags have the benefit of its 21-4 record. The upcoming series against Fullerton will further burnish the Beach's RPI (and ISR). Fullerton, now the #1 team in the country, is 16-4, #6 in RPI, #1 in ISR, and has the 17th strongest schedule.

Here are the Division I W-L records through March 20 for each of the Dirtbags opponents to date (with number of games against Long Beach State in parenthesis after the team name):
Team                Wins Losses W-L%
Arizona State (3) 16 12 .571
St. Mary's (3) 8 12 .400
USC (2) 13 6 .684
Cal. (3) 16 9 .640
San Diego State (3) 7 17 .292
Pepperdine (1) 14 8 .636
Baylor (3) 15 7 .682
LMU (1) 7 12 .368
Houston (3) 9 12 .429
Wichita State (3) 19 5 .792

Total 124 100 .556
The worst win-loss record in the bunch has been posted by San Diego State. SDSU is likely to help down the road. They play in the weak Mountain West Conference, where they are favored to win the title. They played a brutal non-conference schedule (currently 7th most difficult), given the relative strength of their team. They will end up with a winning record, and their opponents' records will also held the Dirtbags.

posted on 3/22/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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