With the release earlier this week of the first RPI rankings of the 2017 men’s volleyball season, we can start to break down conference rankings in a more objective way.
The reality is that with only 4 conferences, the stratified nature of men’s college volleyball means that most fans could guess how these rankings would come out and be right, as compared to the women’s rankings that are a little more unpredictable. But, by looking at the average ranking of each conference’s teams can help determine just how big the difference is between the conference.
The MPSF, where 11 out of the 12 member institutions are ranked in the top 19 in the RPI (Cal Baptist at 32 is the lone exception), is far-and-away the top-ranked conference. Their teams, on average, are ranked better than 11th nationally.
The MIVA, led by #1 Ohio State and #7 Lewis University, is 2nd, keeping in mind that while the MPSF is deeper, the MIVA is responsible for the last 3 NCAA champions in men’s volleyball (Ohio State, Loyola, and Loyola).
Next year, parity across conference should improve when teams from the MPSF splits in half by way of the Big West’s adding sponsorship of the sport. That means CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UCSB, Hawaii, and UC San Diego will all be gone from the conference (though one would presume they’ll still have a lot of cross-over in competition throughout the season
See below, each conference ranked by their average team ranking in the latest RPI rankings.
|CONFERENCE||NUMBER OF TEAMS||Total Ranking Points||Average Ranking|