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Who Is Hot, Who Is Not

Many people believe the season is won (or lost) in February. Some teams get better, the rest get left in the rear view mirror.

But looking at win-loss records in the Last 10 can be misleading because of different schedule strengths. Here are the teams whose opponent adjusted margin-of-victory numbers are trending in the right direction:

ChOff = Change in Adjusted Offense From January 31st to February 27th

ChDef = Change in Adjusted Defense From January 31st to February 27th (I changed the sign so that positive is good.)

TotalCh = Change in Offense plus Change in Defense

Rank = Monday’s Pomeroy Rank

Rank

Team

ChOff

ChDef

TotalCh

131

TCU

5.9

0.2

6.1

65

Tennessee

5.1

0.1

5.2

32

Notre Dame

4.6

0.4

5.0

72

Oregon

4.9

-0.9

4.0

22

Belmont

1.5

2.4

3.9

113

Georgia

2.2

1.3

3.5

14

Memphis

2.6

0.8

3.4

3

Michigan St.

1.1

2.1

3.2

67

Clemson

1.6

1.5

3.1

8

Wichita St.

4.0

-1.0

3.0

Perhaps TCU won’t be a cellar-dweller in the Big 12 next year after all. After beating New Mexico on Saturday, TCU is one of the most improved teams in the nation over the last month. Notre Dame’s losing streak may have come to an end at St. John’s, but February was still a very good month for the Irish. And Michigan St. has staked its claim as one of the top teams in the nation.

Here are some teams trending the wrong direction:

Rank

Team

ChOff

ChDef

TotalCh

41

St. Mary's

-2.9

-3.1

-6.0

111

Arkansas

0.1

-4.5

-4.4

2

Ohio St.

1.2

-5.3

-4.1

70

Wyoming

-3.5

-0.6

-4.1

63

Illinois

-0.3

-3.7

-4.0

91

Oregon St.

-1.8

-2.0

-3.8

39

Creighton

0.4

-4.1

-3.7

81

Mississippi St.

-0.7

-2.9

-3.6

29

Florida St.

-2.2

-1.2

-3.4

30

UNLV

-2.4

-1.0

-3.4

77

Virginia Tech

0.6

-4.0

-3.4

18

Baylor

-2.5

-0.9

-3.4

Here are some teams that are surging on offense, but whose defense has slipped recently:

Rank

Team

ChOff

ChDef

TotalCh

28

Purdue

4.9

-2.2

2.7

51

St. Bonaventure

4.0

-1.8

2.2

49

Iona

3.8

-4.6

-0.8

86

Old Dominion

3.6

-1.1

2.5

46

Drexel

3.5

-4.1

-0.6

43

Seton Hall

3.4

-1.9

1.5

103

Mississippi

3.2

-2.3

0.9

56

Northwestern

3.1

-1.3

1.8

And here are some teams that are surging on defense, but haven’t seen enough offensive improvement to make a big jump in the Pomeroy Rankings:

Rank

Team

ChOff

ChDef

TotalCh

69

South Florida

-3.2

5.6

2.4

62

Davidson

-0.5

2.9

2.4

128

Butler

0.1

2.6

2.7

127

UTEP

-0.8

2.5

1.7

145

Valparaiso

-1.9

2.5

0.6 

So much for Travon Woodall salvaging Pitt’s season.  The Panthers offense continues to trend in the wrong direction.  Here are the teams with sagging offense that are not listed above:

Rank

Team

ChOff

ChDef

TotalCh

90

Pittsburgh

-4.1

0.9

-3.2

52

UCLA

-3.6

1.7

-1.9

15

New Mexico

-3.6

1.6

-2.0

112

Richmond

-3.5

2.0

-1.5

17

Florida

-3.0

0.4

-2.6

100

Oklahoma

-3.0

-0.3

-3.3 

And here are the teams whose defense has gone in the tank:

Rank

Team

ChOff

ChDef

TotalCh

26

Texas

2.2

-3.8

-1.6

98

Georgia St.

2.5

-3.5

-1.0

5

Wisconsin

1.3

-3.3

-2.0

116

Manhattan

1.0

-2.9

-1.9

96

Rutgers

2.9

-2.7

0.2

Trends can be reversed in a moment.  A breakout player will lead to a boost in offense until the scouting reports catch up.  Thus I wouldn’t necessarily believe these are permanent changes.  But if you believe that teams that get better in February win in March, these lists provide plenty of ammunition.

 

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