Stanford new No. 1 in Relative Strength Factor rankings

Stanford’s two road victories against then-No. 1 BYU was enough to move it atop the Off the Block Relative Strength Factor rankings.

Stanford (7-2, 4-1 MPSF) jumped four spots to No. 1 in the new RSF that Off the Block released Monday.


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

Stanford finished 0.14 points ahead of No. 2 Lewis, which maintained its No. 2 RSF ranking for the second consecutive week. BYU (6-3, 4-2 MPSF) following its two losses to Stanford dropped to No. 4.

UC Irvine stayed at No. 3, while UCLA moved up one spot to round-out the top five.

The RSF will be updated each Monday on the Off the Block website throughout the regular season.

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.

Off the Block Relative Strength Factor rankings — Feb. 6
1. Stanford — 2.872
2. Lewis — 2.732
3. UC Irvine — 2.608
4. BYU — 2.503
5. UCLA — 2.453
6. USC — 2.136
7. Penn State — 1.834
8. Loyola — 1.811
9. Ohio State — 1.485
10. Long Beach State — 1.478
11. Hawai’i — 1.346
12. IPFW — 1.347
13. George Mason — 1.258
14. Harvard — 1.250
15. Pepperdine — 1.234
T-16. Cal State Northridge — 1.188
T-16. UC Santa Barbara — 1.188
18. Pacific — 0.997
19. Lees-McRae — 0.960
20. King — 0.900
21. Quincy — 0.889
22. St. Francis — 0.864
23. Mount Olive — 0.792
24. Cal Baptist — 0.763
25. Grand Canyon — 0.681
26. NJIT — 0.642
27. UC San Diego — 0.574
28. Lindenwood — 0.531
29. Ball State — 0.280
30. Princeton — 0.113
31. Sacred Heart — 0.046
32. Barton — -0.917
T-33. Rutgers-Newark — N/A*
T-33. Limestone — N/A*
T-33. Pfeiffer — N/A*
*Team yet to play enough matches to establish a valid RSF ranking

4 Replies to “Stanford new No. 1 in Relative Strength Factor rankings”

  1. RSF is silly here. The Stanford win at BYU w/o Taylor Sander out isn’t the same as a win with him in, no disrespect intended. I am lead to assume the RSF is a simple math model that has a limited number of inputs, and is unable to factor a very obvious and important attribute of the BYU team.

    1. Ricky,

      No hurt feelings. We are the first to admit that the RSF is not perfect ranking system. This is the first year of the new system and I’m sure over time we will work out some of the kinks. Something like the Sander’s injury is almost impossible to include a mathematical formula like this.

      The great thing about college men’s volleyball is that the RSF or any ranking system doesn’t determine the national championship, unlike another college sport.

  2. These rankings are laughable…Lewis ahead of BYU, Irvine, and UCLA (a team that beat them on a neutral floor). Also, Irvine ahead of BYU, really? Last time I checked, BYU housed Irvine on their own floor, jus sayin.

    I just cannot see how these rankings will ever be relevant. We are a third of the way through the season, a decent sample size, yet the rankings are still way off. Really, they are a disservice to the game and could not be more misleading.

  3. I’m pretty new to following volleyball news but I actually like this ranking, I think it provides some additional context to the AVCA rankings. It certainly shouldn’t be taken at face value on its own, I agree with that. But given the strengths of opponents UCLA has played, and having watched them play, I’m not convinced that they fully deserve the current #1 ranking, and this #5 ranking exposes some of their weaknesses. Thanks for this analysis and keep up the good work.

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