Home > Bracketology, Current Updates, Team News > Bracket Bits: TCU and Wyoming face NC SOS challenges

Bracket Bits: TCU and Wyoming face NC SOS challenges

dave1Come Selection Sunday, TCU and Wyoming could face non-conference strength-of-schedule (NC SOS) challenges.  Either or both could do enough in conference play to mute the issue, but it won’t be easy.  Here’s why: Beginning play today (Jan. 3, 2015), the Horned Frogs (No. 348) and Cowboys (No. 341) have two of the worst NC SOS numbers in the nation – as calculated through the RPI (per ESPN). Historically, those type of figures have been frowned upon by Selection Committee members.

Think back to last year … Southern Methodist (SMU) put together a 23-9 campaign (against D-1 competition) and had four wins against the RPI Top 50.  The Mustangs’ NC SOS – No. 303.  SMU went to the NIT.  Let’s also mention Utah, which came on strong and went 9-9 in the Pac-12 (19-11 overall), and also had four Top 50 wins.  The Utes’ NC SOS – No. 347.  Utah missed the NCAAs.  Then there where was Louisiana Tech’s No. 286 NC SOS that halted a 26-7 campaign short of March Madness.

In 2013, Virginia (No. 298) was left home despite eight wins against RPI Top 100 teams and a 21-11 mark overall.  Maryland (No. 297) and Arizona State (No. 283) were two other teams heavily discussed in relation to their non-conference SOS numbers.  Neither made the Field of 68.

Given the apparent strength of the Big 12, TCU will have ample opportunities to overcome a non-conference performance that may not mean much.  Wyoming faces a slightly tougher challenge simply because the Mountain West isn’t as deep as the Big 12.  Could both make the NCAA tournament?  Sure – if their overall resume’s are among the 36 best at-large hopefuls.  We’ve seen teams with 300-plus NC SOS numbers make the Field, but it’s rare, and generally requires a noteworthy effort during the conference campaign. The margin for error is often razor thin. We’ll see how it plays out.

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