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Showing posts from September, 2008

What Predicts Early-Season Poll Rankings in Women's College Volleyball?

The women's college volleyball season has now been going on for a few weeks, so it's time to jump in with some statistical analysis. To mark the occasion, I've scanned some schedule posters I've collected and displayed in my office over the years and edited them into a collage. I hope you like it!

Competition thus far has been exclusively of the nonconference variety, so lacking conference standings, we have only the national polls to judge which teams are doing well.

Today's entry seeks to get inside the heads -- indirectly, of course -- of voters in the September 8 poll of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The poll presents a Top 25, but also reports voting points (i.e., 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 for second, etc.) for additional teams ("Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots").

We thus have voting point totals for 37 teams, from No. 1 Penn State's 1,500 points down to unranked Georgia Tech and Arizo…