FDA warning: Reading the following post may cause headaches, extreme fatigue, nausea, chest palpitations and insomnia.
Because it's a somewhat slow period for Hog news and because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to take a peak at where the basketball team ranks in the Ratings Percentage Index, more commonly known as the RPI. The index ranks teams based on their winning percentage, their opponents' winning percentage and their opponents' opponents' winning percentage. It plays a significant role in the selection and seeding of teams for the NCAA Tournament.
We all know that the Hogs aren't much of a threat to participate in March Madness this season. But even with that stipulation out of the way, it is still depressing to see just how low on the RPI totem pole this year's squad is.
Out of 347 Division I teams, Arkansas ranks 305th. To put that into some unpleasant context, that's behind all of the state's other four Division I teams (UALR is no. 149, ASU is no. 164, Central Arkansas is no. 266 and UAPB is no. 279).
That's also behind every other member of the SEC. The nearest conference team - Georgia - clocks in at no. 126.
Now, the caveats: the RPI has its critics, and it can come up with some goofy results (call me crazy, but I still think the Hogs would beat winless UAPB). Furthermore, it's early, and the Hogs are bound to start moving up the index once conference season begins, even if they continue to lose, since the quality of their opponents will increase.
Having said all that, the RPI still provides a jarring indication of just how weak the teams that have defeated the Hogs are. So give that holiday egg-nog an extra kick. I think you're going to need it.