October 19, 2017

Two for the Price of One Today: Regional Rankings & Rule Changes

By Ryan Harmanis

Thoughts on NCAA Regional Rankings

The home stretch of the regular season is upon us with the release of the NCAA regional rankings. Christan Shirk wrote another comprehensive article on it, but the bottom line is that these rankings determine who receives at-large bids to the NCAA tournament. A few brief thoughts:

Stay Calm. This is only the first week, and the rankings do not include teams’ record versus ranked opponents. That metric is key for NCAA selections, so expect changes when it comes into play next week.

Strength of Schedule. The NCAA thankfully removed the home/away multiplier, so this metric should be easier to forecast. The committee has always rewarded teams that play difficult schedules, but only if they win some of those games. A combination of ranked wins plus a decent strength of schedule is the best route to the NCAA tournament—aside from an automatic bid, of course.

Ignore the Noise. Barring total collapse, a few teams (Messiah, Tufts, Rowan, etc.) have wrapped up at-large bids. Everyone else has work to do. But coaches and players should just ignore the rankings right now. Every team still controls its own destiny, whether to beat ranked teams and increase their profile, or to simply win the conference tournament and make the at-large rankings irrelevant. In this case, at least, winning solves everything.

Rule Changes: Eliminating the Long Throw-In

The Problem

You hear many positive comments after a soccer game. “We played well.” “Great goal!” “That was exciting.” One comment I bet you’ve never heard: “I wish we’d had a few more long throw-ins.” If I had my way, you’d never see one again.

If you’re a neutral or cheering for the defending team, you know that flash of annoyance. The game stops for any throw on the attacking side of midfield. Centerbacks slowly jog into the box. The left fullback jogs...

[read more]


Ryan Harmanis


Ryan Harmanis played for Ohio Wesleyan from 2007 to 2010 where he was a three-year captain. Following graduation, Ryan continued to follow the D-III landscape before joining D3soccer.com in 2013. He combines an analytical background with a passion for writing and the game of soccer. [see full bio]

Questions or comments?

»  E-mail D3soccer.com
Oct 19: Two for the Price of One Today: Regional Rankings & Rule Changes
Oct 13: A Very Dark Day
Oct 6: Change and the end of the red card/penalty combo
Sep 12: Ruminations returns for another season
Dec 1: Interview: Michael Coven, Brandeis men's coach
Dec 1: Interview: Ryan Souders, Calvin men's coach
Nov 30: Interview: Jon Lowery, St. Thomas men's coach
Nov 30: Interview: Josh Shapiro, Tufts men's coach
Nov 11: Missed at-large predictions and NCAA games to watch
Nov 7: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Oct 28: Substitution Rules and Playing Time
Oct 21: On the home stretch: mental toughness and NCAA rankings
Sep 30: Tactics Board: Pressing, Vol. 3
Sep 23: Likes, Dislikes and Pressing Breakdowns
Sep 16: Tactics: Pressing, Vol. 1—The Rewards
Sep 9: Week 1 take-aways, week 2 anticipation
Sep 2: Welcome back to Ryan's Ruminations
Jan 19: My Final Four Thoughts for the 2015 Season
Dec 2: Interview: Iain Byrne, Oneonta St. men's coach
Dec 2: Interview: Ryan Souders, Calvin men's coach
Dec 1: Interview: Justin Serpone, Amherst men's coach
Nov 30: Interview: Dan Rothert, Loras men's coach
Nov 13: At-Large Snubs & Surprises; Must-See Matches & Upset Alerts
Nov 8: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 6: Playoffs, rankings, and at-large berths
Oct 30: Note to Seniors and Best Conference, Part III
Oct 23: Strength of Schedule matters a lot in NCAA Rankings
Oct 16: Best Conference, Part II: Numbers and Beyond
Oct 2: Countdown from Thirteen
Sep 25: Best conference? Tackling the great debate.
Sep 18: Favorites and Early Season Polls
Sep 11: Welcome to Ryan's Ruminations
Feb 23: Trinity's Matt Cardone on trial with Orlando City
Dec 4: Interview: Dr. Michael Giuliano, Wheaton (Ill.) head coach
Dec 4: Interview: Dr. Jay Martin, Ohio wesleyan head coach
Dec 4: Interview: Josh Shapiro, Tufts head coach
Dec 3: Interview: Iain Byrne, Oneonta St. head coach
Nov 18: The Anatomy of an upset: Rose-Hulman downs #1 Ohio Wesleyan