After the Big Ten jumped the Pac-12 in last week’s Conference RPI rankings, holding a narrow leave over their west coast foes, the best of the Midwest blew the ratings wide open this week, putting more than a 2-point gap between the two best conferences in the country.
The average Big Ten team was ranked just lower than 51st in the latest RPI rankings, while the average Pac-12 team was ranked just lower than 53rd.
Overall, the top 10 of the latest conference RPI rankings remained unchanged this week. This first swap was that the Big West jumped the Horizon League for the 12th-best conference in the country. That conference is led by a 20-5 (13-1 conference) Hawaii team that has the 36th-best RPI ranking this season.
The Rainbow Wahine have won the Big West in 5 of the 6 years in which they’ve played volleyball in the conference. Barring something drastic, the Big West is likely to only get 1 bid to the NCAA tournament, which would go to the conference champion – Hawaii as it sits now. Cal Poly (RPI #56) is the conference’s second-highest rated team, but at 3 games behind Hawaii in the losses column, they’re unlikely to make up enough ground to win the conference.
Long Beach State, at 11-2 in Big West play, has 3 Big West games left. Two are against the conference’s last place teams, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside; the 3rd is a rematch of a September 24th game against UC-Irvine that has required a replay after a protest was lodged, and upheld, over a miscalled substitution penalty by a referee. With no games left against Hawaii, they’d need help to win the conference.
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