Personally, I am not a fan of the new WAC Resume Seeding System. More specifically, I’m not a fan of how it’s been executed. It easily could have been so much better.
When announced prior to the season, this new WAC Resume Seeding System (RSS) had massive promise of changing things for the good, not only for the WAC but potentially for many other conferences around the country who reportedly were “keeping an eye” on how this new system would pan out.
However, I’m not so sure the RSS has impressed like we hoped it might.
As a retired sports consultant, here’s my thoughts of two concepts I think would make the RSS much better:
While the RSS was, according to innovative Commissioner Brian Thornton, designed to “…protect the highest résumé with the highest seeds,” it turns out the RSS falls just short of that goal.
Yes, in Vegas all 12 teams will be seeded for the tournament based on their RSS standing. Unfortunately, that’s where the current system ends. And that’s also where it falls short.
If the WAC, in my opinion, had truly wanted to be innovative and “protect the highest resume,” then the teams should be re-seeded after each tournament round.
Yes, the top four earned their respective seeds and a first round bye. Well-done.
But, how about we reward the highest seeds even further and re-seed after Tuesday’s first round games, and then again after Thursday’s quarterfinals too?
That way, the WAC gives its advancing highest seeded teams the best chance of making it to the championship game instead of a possible, albeit unlikely, scenario where one semifinal might have #2 vs #3 while the other semi might have #9 vs #12 thereby guaranteeing a less than stellar championship game.
A fully implemented RSS re-seeding would’ve put the semi matchups as #2 vs #12 and #3 vs #9. This way, the RSS did its job of protecting the highest resume!
A re-seeding after each round would additionally raise eyebrows around the country and, I fully believe, provide the credibility bounce that this new WAC Resume Seeding System truly deserves.
Frankly, it seems a bit inconsistent to implement a new season-long RSS to seed the tournament but then abandon the system and run the tournament like every other conference.
We can’t really have it both ways. Are we innovative or just gimmicky?
Unfortunately, right now and for the near future, the WAC is a one-bid league. The new RSS comes close, but falls just short of being amazingly great at potentially changing that fact.
The execution of the RSS can certainly be better in one key aspect…. fan involvement. This season, conference games have been played every day of the week except Tuesdays.
The WAC usually releases the RSS standings on Friday and Sunday. So all teams, and fans, have been forced to sometimes wait days after a game to see where their team “stands” in the RSS. This has created massive confusion and frustration among the fan base. And that is not good.
Years ago when NASCAR was implementing changes, Dale Earnhard said, “If the fans can’t understand it, then it ain’t a good idea.”
Actually he added a few more colorful words. However for this discussion, I’ll go with the FCC-approved version. His words proved prophetic as the new changes resulted in the immediate beginning of a downward trend in ratings/attendance which has taken years to reverse. Many fans were lost for good.
The sentiment applies here to the WAC Resume Seeding System.
If the fans can’t understand it, it’s a bad idea. The RSS is based on an algorithm that the average fan, like me, cannot grasp. And when those of Einstein-like intelligence who do understand and attempt to explain, it only makes the fan’s eyes gloss over. That too, is not good.
The good news? There’s an easy fix.
The RSS standings should be instantly updated after every game with easy to understand numbers showing how/why each team changed positions. Bingo. Done. Happy day. No waiting endlessly. No frustration. And no speculation. No thinking the system is rigged.
Any fan, or coach/player, should be able to pull up a single page website at anytime and see how their latest team’s results, or how their previous opponent’s results, or their opponent’s opponent’s results, has affected their standing in the WAC Resume Seeding System.
Currently the Kenpom.com website instantly reflects 363 teams’ KP standing after any game anytime, anywhere.
So, it should be an easy thing for the WAC to emulate a site for the RSS standings. This would immediately increase fan involvement and make the whole conference season much more enjoyable.
I really do applaud the WAC office for their attempt at innovation with this WAC Resume Seeding System. I just hope the execution gets better. For the fans’ sake.