Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tipping Point

It's not often that you would find The Nihilist in Golf Pants agreeing with editorials from the New York Times and Washington Post. But in the cases highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, he would wholeheartedly concur with their views:

When tipping first caught on in the U.S., late in the 19th century, it was the old-world, aristocratic overtones of the practice that drew the most ire. An 1897 editorial in the New York Times declared tipping to be the "vilest of imported vices." The paper lamented not only that "we have men among us servile enough to accept their earnings in this form" but that others were willing "to reward the servility." Joining the chorus against "flunkyism," the Washington Post denounced tipping as "one of the most insidious and one of the most malignant evils" of modern life. Tipping was seen to foster a lord-and-vassal relationship that the prouder professions resisted. Well into the 1910s many bartenders refused gratuities as an insult to their status.

Ah yes, I can imagine the Nihilist is pining for the good ol' days now.

Speaking of the NIGP, I'm surprised he hasn't been whining about this yet: PairWiseSM Rankings (PWR)

Rk Team PWR Rk W-L-T Win % Rk RPI
1 Michigan 24 2 27-5-4 .8056 1 .5896*
2t New Hampshire 22 3 22-7-3 .7344 5 .5781
2t North Dakota 22 5 22-8-2 .7188 2 .5882
4t Colorado College 21 4 24-9-1 .7206 3 .5852
4t Miami 21 1 29-6-1 .8194 4 .5813*
6 Denver 19 7 22-11-1 .6618 6 .5657
7 Clarkson 17 9 20-10-4 .6471 8 .5429
8t Michigan State 16 6 23-9-5 .6892 7 .5581
8t Boston College 16 11t 16-10-8 .5882 9 .5401
8t St. Cloud State 16 20 17-14-3 .5441 10 .5376
11 Minnesota State 13 15t 17-13-4 .5588 12 .5362
12 Minnesota 12 28t 14-13-9 .5139 14 .5281
13t Wisconsin 11 28t 15-14-7 .5139 13 .5323
13t Minnesota-Duluth 11 35 12-13-6 .4839 15 .5252
15 Providence 10 24t 14-13-5 .5156 18 .5180
16t Notre Dame 9 10 22-12-4 .6316 11 .5363
16t Princeton 9 14 17-12-0 .5862 16 .5220

The Irish on the bubble with eight WCHA teams in front of them, including five with worse records? Sounds about right to me.


Blogger Nihilist in Golf Pants said...


Ask yourself why college hockey doesn't get any coverage from the national sports media. A ranking system like this is one answer. Stupid and illogical rankings remove all credibility from the sport. I'll give you a non-WCHA example so your bias won't blind you.

Notre Dame is listed as tied with Princeton in this ranking. The Irish have a better record and play in a tougher league (one that boasts the #1 and #4 ranked teams in the nation). Notre Dame went on the road and swept Princeton by a combined score of 11-2.

By what logic could they possibly be tied?

Now to get personal. Minnesota has won 3 of their last 14 games. They are in seventh place in their division. Yet they are ranked #12 in the nation, according to this poll. Rankings are supposed to be based on performance, not preseason rankings.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous MFB said...

This isn't a poll. It's a statistical analysis that helps determines the seeding for the tournament. Actually the Gophers are not ranked in the top 15 in polls and ND is 11th. The PWR are by no means perfect, but they usually do a pretty job identifying the best teams. If stupid and illogical rankings remove all cred from a sport, than how to explain the popularity of college football?

8:26 AM  
Blogger Nihilist in Golf Pants said...

If it's a statistical analysis, how do you explain the fact that ND and Princeton are tied? Can you point out any data point that suggests Princeton is a better team?

Unfortunately, college football is declining in popularity because of their lack of credibility in ranking teams.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous MFB said...

Here's the definition of the PWR rankings and how they work:

The PairWiseSM Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament. The PWR compares the top 25 teams in the RPI Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), judging them by four criteria: record against common opponents, head-to-head competition, record against other top 25 teams if the team has faced at least 10 top 25 opponents, and the RPI.

You may not like it, but it is objective.

By the way, data from the Harris interactive poll on sports popularity doesn't back up your claim about college football. In 1985 10% said it was their favorite sport compared to 13% in 2005. College basketball meanwhile fell from 6% to 5% during the same time period. No data on college hockey specifically, but hockey overall was up from 2% to 5%.

11:14 AM  

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