Off the Block reveals new RSF ranking system for 2012 season

Off the Block has developed a new system for ranking men’s volleyball teams that will be used in the upcoming season.

The Off the Block Relative Strength Factor is a mathematical equation created to give an accurate representation of the best Division I-II men’s volleyball teams in the nation.

The formula uses numerous factors to determine the strength of a team with an emphasis given to the team’s match results and the winning percentage of its opponent entering their match. Other elements also factored into this equation include whether a match was at home or on the road, the amount of travel required to play a match and the overall strength of the opponent’s conference.

The RSF is formula system and does not use voters to establish its rankings.

Unlike other NCAA sports such as women’s volleyball, men’s volleyball does not use the Ratings Percentage Index — a formula that ranks teams based on a team’s record and strength of schedule. The RSF is similar to the RPI, but it is customized to reflect the differences in NCAA men’s volleyball compared to other sports.

The RSF for the 2012 season will be updated weekly on the Off the Block website beginning the third week of the regular season.

If the RSF was used during the 2011 season, USC would have ended the regular season No. 1 in the rankings. BYU, Ohio State, Penn State and UC Irvine would have also ended the regular season in the top five of the RSF.

The RSF was created independently of the NCAA and is not one of the criteria the selection committee uses to determine the one at-large team and seeding for the NCAA Tournament.

For more on how a team’s RSF is calculated, check out the full RSF formula breakdown.

Below is how teams from conferences with an automatic bid to the 2012 Division I-II NCAA Tournament would have fared in the final RSF of the 2011 regular season.

2011 Final Off the Block Relative Strength Factor rankings
1. USC — 2.566
2. BYU — 2.226
3. Ohio State — 2.224
4. Penn State — 2.160
5. UC Irvine — 2.071
6. Hawai’i — 2.065
7. Ball State — 1.888
8. Loyola — 1.847
9. George Mason — 1.827
10. Long Beach State — 1.818
11. UC Santa Barbara — 1.816
12. Lewis — 1.794
13. ULCA — 1.684
14. Stanford — 1.596
15. IPFW — 1.498
16. Pepperdine — 1.446
17. Pacific — 1.132
18. Cal State Northridge — 1.093
19. Rutgers-Newark — 1.039
20. UC San Diego — 0.949
21. Sacred Heart — 0.919
22. St. Francis — 0.878
23. Quincy — 0.711
24. Princeton — 0.547
25. Grand Canyon — 0.351
26. Harvard — 0.339
27. NJIT — 0.081