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FreshFish
03-02-2013, 12:11 AM
Hello FS 23.

We had discussed how one might measure "tradition" and you suggested I reply to your "greatest programs" thread which is now closed, and so I started this thread in response.

If one were to try to measure and quantify "tradition", what might be key variables?

First I will suggest variables without regard to how one might measure them, then we can think about the latter....


I suggest three areas:

> historical program accomplishments
> breadth of support
> depth of support


Many areas of historical program accomplishments you've already captured in your formula, other areas you've alluded to measuring in the future:
> player achievement

-- Hobey Baker
-- All-American
-- Academic All-American
-- graduation rate
-- future NHL success
> coaching achievement
> program success

-- NCAA tournament appearances / victories / championships
-- league championships
-- program duration
-- program continuous duration, if different


Regarding breadth of program support

> student / alumni / local residents attendance at games home / away
> traveling Pep Band (especially one recognized by Sports Illustrated ;) )
> number of posts on USCHO threads devoted to a particular program ;)
> sales of advertisement on game programs, websites for game streaming, etc.
> ratings of games televised
> sales of books / memorabilia / etc about the program and its history


Regarding depth of program support

> deep-pocketed alumni bankrolling program
> school's Pep Band budget includes travelling allowance ;)
> websites devoted to program



Anyway, I think you can see where I'm going..."tradition" doesn't have to be merely some misty-eyed abstruse concept we reminisce about when we get all teary-eyed at 2 AM closing time...

We can point to certain elements that indicate how reverence for "tradition" is expressed in the shared enthusiasms of a program's fan base.

I like to think it can be done in a mutually-reinforcing way...Oh wow that is so interesting what your fans to do support your team; here's what our fans to do support ours....that kind of thing.



Now, I fully realize that certain elements I've identified might seem like I am trying to "bias" the process toward a program I like. However, that "accusation" might get cause and effect backward...suppose I am drawn to admire programs that have the criteria I value most? Do I start with the criteria and am then drawn to a program? or do I get emotionally attached to a program and then discern elements that I particularly value? or is it an organic process with self-reinforcing feedback loops?

Anyway, I get impatient with someone who mumbles about "tradition" and then evades all reasonable questions that try to identify exactly what s/he means. Some of the metrics I've suggested might sound good in theory and merely lack available data.

Another metric might ruffle some feathers in that Penn State and UAH might be seen by some to receive outlier weighting. Well, others might respond by saying "money talks."

I'm sure people could add / refine the components of the three areas I suggested above, or come up with ingenious ways to try to measure them.


Whatever the case, it's my guess that when you try to assess the "tradition" of various programs, that one particular one might not be so far ahead of other ones as certain persons might think. I'd guess there is quite a lot of breadth and depth out there for one who is truly curious. ;)

blackswampboy
03-02-2013, 01:35 AM
Let's not forget to assess deductions for conference-jumping. extra deductions if the jumping results in conference extinction. :eek:
good/poor conference citizenship should be acknowledged.

re program 'breadth of support' and 'depth of support'...meh. just another way to give extra rewards to big schools that are swimming in cash.
since those schools tend to win on-ice anyway, giving them more points for 'breadth of support' and 'depth of support' is double/triple-dipping.

much better to give extra points to a DII school that gets to the frozen four. now that's an accomplishment.
college hockey is great because the ferris states and quinnipiacs can still win on the ice, even if they can't win fat TV contracts.

French Rage
03-02-2013, 02:36 AM
- Skating treadmills.

Osorojo
03-02-2013, 07:10 AM
Still another attempt to quantify the ineffable?

burd
03-02-2013, 07:26 AM
Potential metrics?

Quantify the ineffable?

Parise, I still don't get *** the trap is.

Fighting Sioux 23
03-02-2013, 10:17 AM
FreshFish...here is the link to the Greatest Programs thread (the original had been closed, so I had started a new one)...

http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?100515-The-Greatest-Programs-of-All-Time-1-59

As for your criteria:

1) Historical Program Accomplishments - A lot of this (as you elude to) is already included in the formula. The only thing I would like to include, but cannot, is graduation rates. I've searched for a long time for that data, and as far as I can tell, it simply is not available beyond the last 15-20 years (and even then, not comprehensive). If someone can find it, I would love to include it somehow in the formula.

2) Breadth of Support - You introduce a lot of interesting and certainly credible criteria. My issue is that I don't really think it is quantifiable. Even something as simple as attendance is not calculated the same across the board, and there is certainly no way to calculate how many of the attendees in any particular situation came from students/alumni/locals. As for the traveling pep band, again, I don't think this would be feasible to calculate. Which schools currently have traveling pep bands is likely answerable, but go back 30 years, and tell me if American International had a traveling pep band...now go back 60 years and tell me if Colorado College had a traveling pep band. My guess is the research would never finish. As for number of posts on USCHO, that tells more about how much spare time the fanbase has, as opposed to how committed the program is. Plus, many programs have their own board(s) that they post on, and they choose not to post here. Additionally, there are a lot of posters who are certainly fans of one program or another, but it would likely be unclear as to what exact team they follow based on their posts. As for advertisements/webcast sales/TV Ratings, there is potential there, but again, my guess is that you could never fully complete the research...perhaps even within the realm of one program. That is a lot of work to do. Finally, as to the sales of books/memorabilia, there is potential here too, but you could probably never fully complete the research, and worse, you'd never know when to stop. Further, does a book about Ralph Engelstad's business acumen count towards this? What if it mentions nothing about North Dakota hockey? What if it briefly mentions it? What if there is a chapter? As you can see, while there is potential, it is probably impossible to actually determine.

3) Depth of Support - There is potential here as well, but again, the research may be near impossible. As for the donors to a school, that is an interesting concept, but again could be extremely difficult. I'm not sure, but my guess is that each school likely handles their donations differently. Some may see any donation to the hockey program as a donation to the "athletic department" or something of that sort. Additionally, I'm not sure how these records were kept and handled back 40-50 years ago. Again, my guess is that there may be some information out there, but probably not a complete set of information for every program. As for the pep band allowance, see my comments from above about the traveling pep bands. As to the websites, this is something that would be interesting to find out, but would have (IMO) nothing to do with the depth of support. One person could make 1000 websites. Further, tech schools would be advantaged by this. We'd have to have some criteria to separate the legit websites from the joke websites. My guess is that in trying to come up with criteria, we would make it impossible to actually come up with complete data.

Overall, there are some good ideas, but I just struggle with how to come up with something complete. Ultimately, I don't know how I would value these things. Would a traveling pep band equal a conference championship? My thoughts are that you would have to separate the Program Accomplishments from the other two and have two different rankings. My mind just doesn't like the idea of equating say a wealthy donor to any sort of on-ice accomplishment. The two do go hand in hand, but yet are completely different.

That being said, I'm open to further discuss any of these criteria or more.

Osorojo
03-02-2013, 11:50 AM
Potential metrics?

Quantify the ineffable?

Parise, I still don't get *** the trap is.

Hint: Program accomplishments & breadth & depth of support are eminently effable.

burd
03-02-2013, 12:23 PM
Hint: Program accomplishments & breadth & depth of support are eminently effable.

Suspicious frown. I don't know. I do remember in middle school that you wanted to get a girl who was effable, and that doesn't make a lot of sense with that mumbo jumbo of yours.

Maybe what effable means can't be put into words. Gurth could use pictures. Let's get him.

Wisko McBadgerton
03-02-2013, 02:01 PM
I personally believe the greatest value should be placed on National Championships, as that is the ultimate goal of each and every team every single year. However, this problem of comparing different era's and how to weight team's accomplishments under very differing circumstances from those era's is a universal one in sports. I believe I have come up with a sensible solution.
Pre-1968 and post-1968. Why 1968? Is it some arbitrary number I pulled out of a hat, or one that appears to give my team a specific advantage in ranking? No! Of course not!
Just think about it--1968. RFK and Martin Luther King are shot. Led Zepellin makes their first appearance. The Tet offensive. The gold standard ends. Nixon is elected. In 1968 America finds itself in the grips of a cultural, technological, and social revolution that forever changes the landscape of American life. Obviously that would include college hockey. So it only makes sense to weight pre and post 1968 success. I propose a small adjustment... say 10,000x more points post than pre-1968 winners, giving us the following greatest programs in NCAA History:


1. U of Wisconsin - 6 National Championships = 60,000 points
2. U of North Dakota - 5 NC's plus 2 pre-'68 = 50,002 points
3. U of Minnesota - 5 NC's = 50,000 points.
4. U of Denver - 4 NC's plus 3 pre-'68 = 40,003 points
5. Boston College - 4 NC's plus 1 pre-'68 = 40,001 points.
6. Boston University - 4 NC's = 40,000 points
7. Lake Superior State - 3 NC's = 30,000 points
8. U of Michigan - 2 NC's plus 7 pre'68 = 20,007 points
9. Michigan State.- 2 NC's plus 1 pre-'68 = 20,001 points
10. U of Maine- 2 NC's = 20,000 points
11. Michigan Tech 1 NC plus 2 pre-'68 = 10,002 points.
t12. Cornell, Rensselaer 1 NC plus 1 pre '68= 10,001 points
t14. U of Minnesota-Duluth, Bowling Green, Harvard, Northern Michigan U - 1 NC = 10,000 points
18. Colorado College - 0 NC plus 2 pre '68 = 2 points
t19. All other D-1 programs = 0 points.

And there you have Wisko McBadgerton's All Time Greatest College Hockey Programs.

Who knew when I started the math that the Badgers would come out on top by almost 10k points!?! Well, I'm certainly not one to argue with scientifically arrived at results.

burd
03-02-2013, 02:36 PM
I personally believe the greatest value should be placed on National Championships, as that is the ultimate goal of each and every team every single year. However, this problem of comparing different era's and how to weight team's accomplishments under very differing circumstances from those era's is a universal one in sports. I believe I have come up with a sensible solution.
Pre-1968 and post-1968. Why 1968? Is it some arbitrary number I pulled out of a hat, or one that appears to give my team a specific advantage in ranking? No! Of course not!
Just think about it--1968. RFK and Martin Luther King are shot. Led Zepellin makes their first appearance. The Tet offensive. The gold standard ends. Nixon is elected. In 1968 America finds itself in the grips of a cultural, technological, and social revolution that forever changes the landscape of American life. Obviously that would include college hockey. So it only makes sense to weight pre and post 1968 success. I propose a small adjustment... say 10,000x more points post than pre-1968 winners, giving us the following greatest programs in NCAA History:


1. U of Wisconsin - 6 National Championships = 60,000 points
2. U of North Dakota - 5 NC's plus 2 pre-'68 = 50,002 points
3. U of Minnesota - 5 NC's = 50,000 points.
4. U of Denver - 4 NC's plus 3 pre-'68 = 40,003 points
5. Boston College - 4 NC's plus 1 pre-'68 = 40,001 points.
6. Boston University - 4 NC's = 40,000 points
7. Lake Superior State - 3 NC's = 30,000 points
8. U of Michigan - 2 NC's plus 7 pre'68 = 20,007 points
9. Michigan State.- 2 NC's plus 1 pre-'68 = 20,001 points
10. U of Maine- 2 NC's = 20,000 points
11. Michigan Tech 1 NC plus 2 pre-'68 = 10,002 points.
t12. Cornell, Rensselaer 1 NC plus 1 pre '68= 10,001 points
t14. U of Minnesota-Duluth, Bowling Green, Harvard, Northern Michigan U - 1 NC = 10,000 points
18. Colorado College - 0 NC plus 2 pre '68 = 2 points
t19. All other D-1 programs = 0 points.

And there you have Wisko McBadgerton's All Time Greatest College Hockey Programs.

Who knew when I started the math that the Badgers would come out on top by almost 10k points!?! Well, I'm certainly not one to argue with scientifically arrived at results.

Convincing, Wisko. And thanks for the 2 point bump over the Empire. A little can mean a lot sometimes.

Wisko McBadgerton
03-02-2013, 03:25 PM
Convincing, Wisko. And thanks for the 2 point bump over the Empire. A little can mean a lot sometimes.

No, thank you, burd. Considering all the time (11 minutes) and expense (half quart of thinner) I went through in compiling these statistics, it's nice to see it appreciated.

I was really surprised at the outcome. Not just Wisconsin coming out on top, but WCHA teams finishing 1-4. Not to mention 100% of the current WCHA teams finishing in the top twenty all-time! What a tribute to a great conference in it's last year. Who would have thought?

But, you know --> Science!

Tipsy McStagger
03-03-2013, 11:45 AM
Suspicious frown. I don't know. I do remember in middle school that you wanted to get a girl who was effable, and that doesn't make a lot of sense with that mumbo jumbo of yours.

Maybe what effable means can't be put into words. Gurth could use pictures. Let's get him.
redacted. Better save it for the café

FreshFish
03-04-2013, 04:33 PM
FreshFish...here is the link to the Greatest Programs thread (the original had been closed, so I had started a new one)...

http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?100515-The-Greatest-Programs-of-All-Time-1-59

As for your criteria:

1) Historical Program Accomplishments - A lot of this (as you elude to) is already included in the formula. The only thing I would like to include, but cannot, is graduation rates. I've searched for a long time for that data, and as far as I can tell, it simply is not available beyond the last 15-20 years (and even then, not comprehensive). If someone can find it, I would love to include it somehow in the formula.

2) Breadth of Support - You introduce a lot of interesting and certainly credible criteria. My issue is that I don't really think it is quantifiable. Even something as simple as attendance is not calculated the same across the board, and there is certainly no way to calculate how many of the attendees in any particular situation came from students/alumni/locals. As for the traveling pep band, again, I don't think this would be feasible to calculate. Which schools currently have traveling pep bands is likely answerable, but go back 30 years, and tell me if American International had a traveling pep band...now go back 60 years and tell me if Colorado College had a traveling pep band. My guess is the research would never finish. As for number of posts on USCHO, that tells more about how much spare time the fanbase has, as opposed to how committed the program is. Plus, many programs have their own board(s) that they post on, and they choose not to post here. Additionally, there are a lot of posters who are certainly fans of one program or another, but it would likely be unclear as to what exact team they follow based on their posts. As for advertisements/webcast sales/TV Ratings, there is potential there, but again, my guess is that you could never fully complete the research...perhaps even within the realm of one program. That is a lot of work to do. Finally, as to the sales of books/memorabilia, there is potential here too, but you could probably never fully complete the research, and worse, you'd never know when to stop. Further, does a book about Ralph Engelstad's business acumen count towards this? What if it mentions nothing about North Dakota hockey? What if it briefly mentions it? What if there is a chapter? As you can see, while there is potential, it is probably impossible to actually determine.

3) Depth of Support - There is potential here as well, but again, the research may be near impossible. As for the donors to a school, that is an interesting concept, but again could be extremely difficult. I'm not sure, but my guess is that each school likely handles their donations differently. Some may see any donation to the hockey program as a donation to the "athletic department" or something of that sort. Additionally, I'm not sure how these records were kept and handled back 40-50 years ago. Again, my guess is that there may be some information out there, but probably not a complete set of information for every program. As for the pep band allowance, see my comments from above about the traveling pep bands. As to the websites, this is something that would be interesting to find out, but would have (IMO) nothing to do with the depth of support. One person could make 1000 websites. Further, tech schools would be advantaged by this. We'd have to have some criteria to separate the legit websites from the joke websites. My guess is that in trying to come up with criteria, we would make it impossible to actually come up with complete data.

Overall, there are some good ideas, but I just struggle with how to come up with something complete. Ultimately, I don't know how I would value these things. Would a traveling pep band equal a conference championship? My thoughts are that you would have to separate the Program Accomplishments from the other two and have two different rankings. My mind just doesn't like the idea of equating say a wealthy donor to any sort of on-ice accomplishment. The two do go hand in hand, but yet are completely different.

That being said, I'm open to further discuss any of these criteria or more.

In other words,

For some situations we have good data that is easily accessible.

for some situations while the data theoretically exist, it is not easily accessible.

For some situations the exact data itself is not easily at hand, we'd have to come up with a proxy.

I was trying to give a high-level overview in some situations. Attendance for example we know you'd have to weight by school enrollment: a school with enrollment of 5,000 who average 2,000 fans per game vs a school with enrollment of 60,000 who average 10,000 fans per game.

Part of my post was a tongue-in-cheek riposte to certain narrow-minded folk who maintain "it is all about how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel inside and therefore you cannot measure it at all." That's a weak cop-out. If you cannot measure it at all, how do you know it even exists and is not merely a hallucination?

Another part of my post was a reminder that a "program" is not just the coaches and players, it is also the institutional support given by the school and the students, and the post-graduation support of the alumni base. Certain narrow-minded people seem to dismiss from their awareness that different schools have different traditions that are very important to their stakeholders.

I'm generally fine with your formulas. I'm not suggesting you change them. You make it clear what you set out to measure in the first place. At the same time, certain traditions have nothing to do with winning or losing, they are about how enthusiastically you participate. That matters too.

Fighting Sioux 23
03-04-2013, 04:58 PM
In other words,

For some situations we have good data that is easily accessible.

for some situations while the data theoretically exist, it is not easily accessible.

For some situations the exact data itself is not easily at hand, we'd have to come up with a proxy.

And in some situations, all three of these would apply to one piece of criteria.


I was trying to give a high-level overview in some situations. Attendance for example we know you'd have to weight by school enrollment: a school with enrollment of 5,000 who average 2,000 fans per game vs a school with enrollment of 60,000 who average 10,000 fans per game.

I tend to agree here, but should we also look at the profile of the sport at the University? For example, the enrollment at Minnesota is just over 50k. Their attendance is right around 10k. However, that 10k is capacity. Meanwhile, at Colorado College, their enrollment is only 2k, while their attendance is over 7k. That 7k is also near capacity. Should that mean that CC's 3.5 to 1 ratio of attendees to students should blast Minnesota's 1 to 5 ratio out of the water?

What about the difference in market? For example, North Dakota averages above capacity at 11,634/game. Yet, there is really no competition. Meanwhile, BU averages roughly 75% of capacity, but plays in a metro area where on any night, the casual fan could go see the Bruins play, or potentially one of the several other colleges located in the immediate area.

I'm sure something could be worked out to come out with an attendance metric. There are just a lot of questions to be answered first.


Part of my post was a tongue-in-cheek riposte to certain narrow-minded folk who maintain "it is all about how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel inside and therefore you cannot measure it at all." That's a weak cop-out. If you cannot measure it at all, how do you know it even exists and is not merely a hallucination?

I certainly agree that there can be ways to measure it. I just prefer choosing criteria that can be accurately and completely found. In this realm, it may not be possible. But I agree, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.


Another part of my post was a reminder that a "program" is not just the coaches and players, it is also the institutional support given by the school and the students, and the post-graduation support of the alumni base. Certain narrow-minded people seem to dismiss from their awareness that different schools have different traditions that are very important to their stakeholders.

I'm generally fine with your formulas. I'm not suggesting you change them. You make it clear what you set out to measure in the first place. At the same time, certain traditions have nothing to do with winning or losing, they are about how enthusiastically you participate. That matters too.

I completely agree. However, I would suggest two separate formulas. One for accomplishments and on-ice achievement (which I think my formula does fairly well), and another for tradition. You've got some good ideas for how to measure tradition. I'm really not sure what else I'd add. I'm sure others may have metrics that they'd like to see put into a formula. Perhaps open this thread up for those suggestions, and then have some sort of debate about what should be included and what should not? Then we can develop a formula, then compile the data. I'll gladly help wherever I can.