A Week For Reflection & Preparation

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A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by FANatic on Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:57 am

ANY THOUGHTS ON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SEASON THUS FAR ARE WELCOME HERE.

The non-conference phase of the season is done. Phase 2, the conference season, begins for the Pilots this upcoming Sunday, Oct. 12th, at Gonzaga. (7 conference matches remain to complete the regular season schedule: 3 at home, 4 away.) Phase 3, the NCAA tournament, must now be earned. (I don't think 0-7 would get us an invite!)

The goal: Win out. With that, we would be inserted into the tournament bracket, because conference champions make the playoffs automatically. Less a conference championship you must be invited, of course, and are at the mercy of the NCAA Selection Committee. (Possibly a fate worse than death.)

This team, as the forum has discussed rather thoroughly, has learned from the last couple seasons, that it is best to get a #1 seed, (1 of 4 available to the entire 300 plus teams in Division 1). By winning out, UPSF's baby, the 2008 RPI, pretty much proves we would get one of those four #1 seeds. (Is that not correct?)

With that much-coveted #1 seed, we should have 4 consecutive playoff matches at Merlo, (should we win the first 3 matches). That means, if we don't lose, we play rounds 1, 2, 3 and the Quarterfinals at Merlo.

That's a pretty sweet prize we begin playing for on Sunday. (And, not to forget, without our 10-1 non-conference record, and apparent high ranking in the 2008 RPI, we would not be in the position we are in now!)

Anyone is welcome to correct me if I have misstated anything. Very Happy

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:34 am

Well, I'm sure UPSF can answer this better than me, but I don't think it's a guarantee that we would end up in the Top 4 of the RPI even if we do win out. The WCC as a whole has been pretty weak this year, especially with Santa Clara pretty much falling off the face of the earth seemingly. Here are the current standings:

TeamWCCPTSOverall
#3 Portland0-0-0--10-1-0
#19 San Diego0-0-0--7-3-2
Saint Mary's0-0-0--7-4-1
LMU0-0-0--5-4-3
San Francisco0-0-0--5-5-2
Gonzaga0-0-0--5-6-2
Pepperdine0-0-0--4-6-2
Santa Clara0-0-0--3-8-2

San Diego has done their part as has SMC (though SMC's strength of schedule is, I'm assuming, pretty weak). But the rest of those records are pretty uninspiring. The last few years, there was maybe one or two teams with a losing non-conference record or close to it. This year there are five.

So that means that the more WCC teams we play, the worse our strength of schedule gets, while those teams in the Pac-10's will just get stronger and stronger. Of course, it's beneficial to us when our opponents' SOS improves (UCLA, USC, etc) but still... I think it's very possible that the weak WCC could bump us down. Then again, RPI isn't everything... we still could get a No. 1 seed if we end up 17-1-0 and are ranked #1 or #2.

But FANatic has it right... win out and we'll put ourselves in the conversation. A misstep in WCC play would really dampen our chances at a top seed.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:46 am

Well, UPSF's RPI shows that the WCC isn't quite as weak as our perception is. As of last week, our conference was rated third, behind the ACC and the PAC10, and ahead of such powerhouse conferences as the BIG10, BIG12, SEC, and BigEast.

Here's his list: Conferences Ranked

A quick summary is-

Pac Ten .6146
ACC .6053
WCC .5734
Big Twelve .5719
Big Ten .5667
SEC .5593
Big East .5531
Ivy .5522
Big West .5431
Mtn West .5342
Colonial .5302

So things aren't as bleak as might first appear, conference-wise. If we win out, it's hard to imagine that the second best school in those two top conferences will have a better RPI that Portland. We have a prettty good jump on the rest of the field.


Last edited by Purplegeezer on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:55 am; edited 4 times in total

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:51 am

Nice! Geezer, you just made me feel a lot better about things. Heck, about life in general! Wink It's the little things... now if only I had a breakfast burrito from King Burrito, life would be set.

By the way... somehow I missed that entire thread about conference ratings and how UP's opponents shape up. Just too many posts on here, I guess. I definitely recommend everyone to check it out... UPSF, once again, amazes.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by PilotNut on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:02 am

Stonehouse wrote:
TeamWCCPTSOverall
Santa Clara0-0-0--3-8-2

My goodness! I hadnt really been following Santa Clara... but what the heck has happened?

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:10 am

Ask their men. Same story for them, I think.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:15 am

Santa Clara has been decimated by injuries for the second year in a row. That, and a very ambitios schedule, have lead to their current record. They did tie UCLA, So remember,

Never, ever count them out......

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:16 am

The men just aren't playing well.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:45 am

Santa Clara also lost one of their top recruits from 2007. Jesse Badley didn't return to school this year. Rumor has it knee problems and some school/family related issues.
Very talented young lady, big lost to their program if she doesn't return.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:54 pm

Oh man Stoney, I totally had a breakfast burrito this morning on may way up out of town... Let me tell you it was definitely a nice pinch of sugar on my loaded Portland weekend sundae...

As far as SCU... Injuries and an ambitious schedule are pretty much a recipe for 3-8-2... That said they are definitely never to be taken lightly (Haha which is probably part of the reason why their record is so poor, nobody does!!)

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by FANatic on Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:07 am

In the Reflection aspect of this thread, I have to think a 10-1 non conf record with the only loss being to highly regarded and true title contender UCLA, 1-0, is quite the accomplishment. It also sets us up for a potential, (possible), #1 seed if we can sweep the WCC.

We beat USC, defending national champ and ranked #1 at the time, 1-0, and also had quality wins over Florida, Rutgers and Penn State.

Our schedule is home-heavy, something we have earned by becoming a perennial elite team. At home so far this season we are 6-1, road 2-0 and neutral, 2-0.

In WCC matches, this year we have 3 home games and 4 on the road.

One of our home matches is against Santa Clara, who has been decimated by injuries and has a very uncharacteristic record of 3-7-2. (But like Geezer always says.......in other words prepare for war with our #1 conference foe.)

The Pilots and Broncos have dominated the WCC for many, many years. This year, it looks like they won't even make the playoffs. Wow - that's going to feel really weird to the players, coaches and fans of that team!

Bottom Line: Our 10-1 non-conf record against some real quality teams put us in the position we are in today. Remember that next year. And always keep your foot on the opponent's throat. The Pilots have definitely ingrained that principle in their winning culture. (If only other teams I follow would do the same...)

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:23 am

FANatic, your observation about the Broncos maybe not making the tournament this year are correct. The NCAA has a rule that a team must have at least a .5000 record in order even to be considered for an at large position. For the Broncos to accomplish that, they must go at least 6-1 in the conference, which would give them a record of 9-9-2. So, their only route to the tournament is either to go 6-1 or to win the conference outright. Every game for them will be desperation time! (Given the very tough schedule they've played, it's possible they might get an at large spot if they go 6-1. Too early to tell.)

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by purple haze on Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:34 pm

If Santa Clara goes 6-1, I know who will give them the 1.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by FANatic on Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:03 am

You're killing me, purple haze. Who?

Okay - I figured it out ph. Thought you meant #1 seed or something.

(Brain not functioning well today.) I'm old!

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Preparation For WCC Season

Post by FANatic on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:23 am

PREPARATION

It's Friday morning and Sunday's (10-12-2008) WCC opener for the Pilots at Gonzaga at 1pm is starting to come to life for me.

I think most of us agree, based on UPSF and the NCAA's RPI rankings, both placing Portland at #1 in the country, that if we win all seven conference matches, we probably will win a most-coveted #1 seed.

A conference sweep, not an easy task and certainly not to be taken for granted, would give us an auto- matic berth in the tourney, and the RPI numbers would appear to give us one of the four critical #1 seeds.

You don't need a #1 seed to win the national championship. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe either of our national title teams had #1 seeds, (2002 & 2005).

However - a #1 seed is a tremendous advantage, as you get home field advantage, as long as you continue to win, in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounds, as well as the Quarterfinals. Sweep your four home playoff games, and you're off to the College Cup Final Four.

For two straight years we have suffered very tough losses AT UCLA in the Quarters. So we know first hand what an advantage it is to play at home. (Especially in the friendly confines of Merlo Field.)

It starts Sunday. Assume all conference games will be battles. Win seven games. Then watch the NCAA Selection Committee put up the brackets on ESPN/ESPN2. Shocked

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:38 am

FANatic wrote:PREPARATION


You don't need a #1 seed to win the national championship. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe either of our national title teams had #1 seeds, (2002 & 2005).

UP wasn't seeded at all in 2002. Ranked around #8 in all the polls, Portland didn't even get one of the 16 seeds.

In 2005 we did get a #1 seed. We had to go on the road anyway the first two games because of the the travel rules. The next year the rules were changed, because the NCAA realized a #1 seed was no advantage under the old system. They also instituted the "no same conference" rule for the first two rounds to appease the BCS schools.

We've seen first hand the last couple of years what a disadvantage for Portland not getting a 1 seed is. We get the high altitude games. I think the team is determined not to let that happen again.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by VillaGorilla on Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:47 pm

Actually UP was seeded #8 in the 2002 playoffs, but were still sent on the road for the first two matches. The seeding did allow us to host Richmond in the third round. At the time we were the lowest seed ever to win the national title.

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Re: A Week For Reflection & Preparation

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:16 pm

Yeah I guess you are right, but the travel rule negated that. Being a #8 seed would guarantee games at home through the first two rounds. Then if games went like seedings, the games would have been on the road. We hosted Richmond because they beat someone seeded higher.

UP was on the road for those two rounds, so gained non of the perquisites of a seed.

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