Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Guru's College Report: Conference AP Women's Poll History Shaken by Member Switches

(Guru's note: An update to make one fix moving current affilation of La-Monroe -- no switch but had been listed wrong -- with 31 rankings from Southland to Sun Belt, creating an 11th-place tie with 209 apppearances in front of the Atlantic 10 with 203 rankings.)

By Mel Greenberg

Well the database history of the Associated Press women's rankings in the giant excel file of the Guru has been updated to reflect the current affilation column and put the 24 teams in ranking history with their new leagues.

Remember a column still exists telling what conference a team was in at the time of the ranking with denotations back to the AIAW era and structure when the Guru launched the poll.

In terms of total rankings by members: On Sunday night the old Big East had 1,489 appearances putting it in the upper group. After the split the Big East continium as we move forward with those teams now have a group total of 406 though nine of the ten teams have been ranked.

DePaul is the runaway leader within the group -- not near the Big Dogs in terms of team overall performance -- but the Demons are at 137 while the next best is newcomer Xavier with 67.

The American pumped by UConn and for the moment until next year also helped by Rutgers and Louisville is at 947 with seven of the 10 members having a ranking history.

Though the heavyweights of the past in Old Dominion and Louisiana Tecxh don't get much ranking attention for now, their moved to Conference USA caused a major leap in appearances as C-USA went from 148 to 858.

C-USA would even be higher had not Memphis and Houston left for The American.

On the other hand, the Western Athletic loss of the Techsters saw the appearance total for the league drop from 455 to eight while likewise ODU's exit from the CAA along with Georgia State, which had a one-time appearance, saw that total fall from 363 to just 68 all from James Madison and the Delaware/Delle-Donne era.

The Atlantic Coast got even fatter off Notre Dame's arrival along with some additions with Big East emigres Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

The loss of Temple and Xavier dropped the Atlantic 10 from 296 to 203 out of a historical combination of Saint Joseph's, La Salle, Fordham (once), George Washington, Dayton and Saint Bonaventure.

However, if you looked at how the A-10 stands in the conference affilation at the time of the ranking it fares better because a chunk of Penn State and Rutgers numbers come from their time in the league.

Next year Maryland will take 379 appearances plus what ever numbers the Terps add in 2013-14 to the Big Ten while Rutgers heading that way currently has 348 appearances under Theresa Grentz and C. Vivian Stringer.

The Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 had no movement this time around but not only are they in the leadership but every SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 school has been ranked while Washington State is the only team in the Pac-12 absent from the database.

After Princeton broke the ice for the Ivy League in the final poll of 2012, the only conferences never to gain a member with a ranking either at the time or through acquisition are the Patriot, Northeast, MEAC and Big South of the 32 Division I conferences.

Incidentally, though not listed here, there are 338 appearances made by teams no longer in Division I but were powers in their day such as C. Vivian Stringer's Cheyney team in suburban Philadelphia, and likewise from the area, Immaculata, Delta State, Wayland Baptist, Montclair State, Queens, Mississippi College, Southern Connecticut, William Penn, and Valdosta State.

Here is the rundown on conference totals.

1. Southeastern, All Teams 3,316 fueled by overall poll leader Tennessee
2. Atlantic Coast, All Teams (including newbies) at 2,537
3. Big Twelve, All Teams at 1,883
4. Big Ten, All Teams at 1,763
5. Pac-12, 11 teams at 1561
6. Though The American won't have a current team ranked until the fall, it acquires a total of 947 to still be among the heavy hitters.

7. Conference USA, involved in weekend movement, is next at 858 with eight members with history -- Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion (together again), Florida International, Tulane, Middle Tennessee, UTEP, and Southern Miss., and East Carolina.
8. The new Big East still in the upper part of the overall crowd is, as mentioned, at 406.
9. The Big West fueled by the Joan Bonvicini-era coaching Long Beach comes in at 333 with other appearances turned in by UCSB, Hawaii, and Cal-State Fullerton.

10. The Mountain West at 244 edges the Southland with UNLV, San Diego Sttate, Boise State, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado State.

11. The Southland group of past power Stephen F. Austin, and members Southeastern Louisiana and Oral Roberts (coached by Debbie Yow), and Lamar totals 209, which for now also gains a tie with the Sun Belt, temporarily helped by Western Kentucky and also includes the one past appearance of newbie Georgia State and past appearance of Arkansas State.

13. The A-10 is right behind after its changes at 203.

14. A big drop off next to the Missouri Valley at 92 with Ill. State, SIU, Ind. State., Drake and Missouri State.

15. The Horizon at 81 gets its total mostly from Wis.-Green Bay and in an earlier time Detroit.
16. The CAA at 68 was addressed above.

17. Next, the West Coast at 58 got its numbers from Gonzaga, BYU, Santa Clara and San Francisco.

The remainder are:

18. The Ohio Valley 36 appeaarances were built by Tennessee Tech.
19. Mid-American 44 from Bowling Green, Toledo, and Nortthern Illinois.
20. The Big Sky's 23 is all Montana.
21. The MAAC gets 18 out of Marist and Saint Peter's while the America East ties it with the the work of Vermont and Jen Rizzotti's Hartford team.

23. The Atlantic Sun has 14 out of the Mercer of yesteryear, which is heading elsewhere next year.
24. The Summit League 11 comes from South Dakota State.
25. Then it's the WAC remainder at eight from Idaho and New Mexico State.
26. SWAC with four out of Jackson State is matched by the Southern Conference total of four all from Tennessee-Chattanooga, three decades ago.
28. Finally, there was the breakthrough one spoken to from the recent powerhouse in the Ivy League.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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