Smart scheduling, or how to manipulate the RPI in three easy steps

Every year I get into arguments with people about how not to schedule like an idiot. But this year, just when I was about to sit down and rip Florida State for scheduling a game versus Louisiana Monroe, the Twitter feed @ivyball simultaneously began tweeting ideas from a similar vein. Not only were they interesting to read, as the school he was talking about – Columbia – plays in a small conference while FSU is a high-major, but also, he just nailed it.

So these are coming from small-school perspective, but the basic idea is still the same. And that's this: the RPI is easily manipulated, and since it's such a big part of the Selection Sunday process, failing to do so is inexcusable. For example, FSU scheduling a game vs ULM means that the Noles' RPI is going to be lower at season's end, even if they win that game by 50 points. ULM is going to be horrible. They're pretty much a lock to have an RPI over 300. It would be much smarter to schedule a non-Division I opponent, as those games aren't counted in the RPI. Plus, a lot of Division II and NAIA teams are better than ULM. Simply playing the game vs. ULM could drop FSU an entire seed come the NCAA Tourney, or – if they're on the bubble – be the difference between that and the NIT.

Regardless, here's what @ivyball had to say: