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.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Guru's College Report: Conference Shuffle Lands Big 10 Second in Terms of Current Members Ranked in AP

By Mel Greenberg

Between #Chilling4Charity, the start of the Philadelphia/Suburban Women's NCAA Summer Basketball League and the hiring of a new WBCA executive director as well as ongoing WNBA coverage, it has been a busy June into early July.

But, on Saturday night, the Guru did find time to update the all-time Associated Press women's basketball poll database to reflect the column that shows what current conferences teams have earned rankings and how many.

There is also a column in the spreadsheet that shows what conferences teams had membership affiliation at the times they actually got ranked.

Things were not as wild as last year in terms of the number of teams that had to have conference re-adjustments but on the short of it -- more later when there's time to really put things under the microscope -- there were still some interesting things associated with the moves.

The departure of Rutgers and Louisville from The American took a combined 453 rankings of which Rutgers' 352 total and Maryland's 399 coming out of the Atlantic Coast Conference gave the Big 10 751 additional ranking appearances among current members.

That puts the Big 10 into second place but a distant one way behind the Southeastern Conference.

The ACC got 101 back with Louisville.

East Carolina and Tulane heading out of Conference-USA to The American bring 39 rankings for an AAC total of 577, since heavyweight Connecticut is still part of the group.

Actually, The American has seven teams with rankings history -- UConn, Houston, East Carolina, Memphis, Temple, Cincinnati, and Tulane, though only UConn is current.

Conference USA, in picking up 176 from Western Kentucky for a leap into a total of 1001, following the moves a year ago of Old Dominion out of the Colonial Athletic Association and Louisiana Tech out of the Western Athletic Conference, though none of those teams have been ranked in a long time.

Most of the lower numbers in conferences were not even earned at the time of the ranking.

As for the remaining shifts, Idaho brings two from the WAC to the Big Sky, while New Mexico State brings six from the WAC to the Sun Belt.

And, Mercer, though earned a long, long time ago, brings 14 from the Atlantic Sun to the Southern Conference, and Oral Roberts brings its Debbie Yow total of one from the Southland to the Summit League.

The Guru says that about the North Carolina State athletic director and sister of the late Kay Yow because when she was at Oral Roberts, as coach, the squad finished the regular season unbeaten on a light schedule and earned a spot to make her the first coach to lead three different teams into the rankings -- something the Guru continuously heard about on his many trips to Maryland where Terps teams had many natiional successes while she was the AD there.

Also, a large group of coaches moved up at least one spots and as many as three in total poll appearances on the Guru's active list since Pam Orton did not return to Minnesota, Debbie Pattterson, let go from Kansas State, is now an assistant at Northern Colorado, and Cathy Inglese did not return to Rhode Island, though her total of 98 was built at Vermont and Boston College.

And Jeff Mitte remains on the list but is now at Kansas State, replacing Patterson after moving from TCU.

For now, here is the total of rankings for each conference built from their current members.

1. Southeastern 3422
2. Big Ten 2593
3. Atlantic Coast 2342
4. Big 12 1956
5. Pac-12 1623
6. Conference USA 1009
7. American 577
8. Big East 415
9. Big West 333 (Long Beach of yester-year and some Hawaii)
10. Mountain West 244
11. Southland 239 (Mostly Stephen F. Austin of yester-year)
12. Atlantic 10 205
13. Missouri Valley 92
14. Horizon 81 -- Mostly Wisconsin-Green Bay
15. West Coast 76
16. Colonial 68 (James Madison & Delle Donne, er, Delaware)
17. Mid-American 45
18. Ohio Valley 36
19. Big Sky 25
20. American Easst 18
20. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 18 (Mostly Marist)
120. Southern 18
23. Summit League 12
24. Sun Belt 8
25. Southwestern Athletic Conference 4
26. Ivy League 1 (Princeton)

X-DI 338 Such teams gone from Division I as Cheyney, Immaculata, Delta Sate, Queens, Wayland Baptist, and a ffew others.

Conferences whose teeams have never been ranked: Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeastern, Big South, Patriot.

The Western Athletic Coonference had teams prior to the move and had teams get ranked when they were members.

Likewise the Atlantic Sun but no Atlantic Sun team ever got ranked at the time of its membership.

That's it for now.

Which means he only thing left to do still being held are some of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame speeches the Guru taped last month in Knoxville.

But on Sunday, it's on to New York again as the Liberty battle the Minnesota Lynx.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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