Sports Illustrated's "A Madness to the Method?" RPI article in March 3, 2003 issue relied heavily on content provided by CBN
SI devoted a full page to the top 100 of CBN's Adjusted RPI
Make sure that you take a look at the March 3, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated (with Kobe Bryant on the cover). SI devoted 8 pages to the article "A Madness to the Method?", which was writer Alexander Wolff's take on what's right and wrong with the RPI. Along with many quotes and thoughts by Editor Jim Sukup, CBN had a strong presence in the article. Subscribers to The RPI Report will notice that numbers from the Report were superimposed upon the photo of NCAA chief statistician Gary Johnson, who was in charge of Division I men's basketball statistics at the time, including the the RPI. The photo and menagerie of numbers from the report span the lead 1-1/2 pages of the article.
The table on page 50 titled "What's Behind the Numbers", which lists the top 100 of the Adjusted RPI, was provided to SI exclusively for use in the article. The Strength of Schedule Rating and Rank in the table are identical to those that the NCAA calculates; do not be misled by other claims of how the NCAA calculates schedule strength. CBN also contributed a few of the anecdotes for the teams listed therein and on the adjacent page.
CBN also provided the RPI information in the Numerical RPI graph for Alabama and Butler that compares the two teams' four-digit RPI numbers on a weekly basis since December 31 through February 23. This is an interesting comparison between the two teams, with a graph on the left showing Division I winning percentage and the numerical RPI graph on the right. The Bulldogs lead in the winning percentage graph while the Crimson Tide lead in the RPI graph.
Jeff Sagarin gets prominent mention in the article as well. As CBN's subscribers to The Women's RPI Report know, Jeff and CBN cooperate in producing The Jeff Sagarin/CBN Women's College Basketball Ratings that can be found on the CBN web site. The 2016-17 season is the 18th thirteenth consecutive season that Sagarin and CBN have been teaming up on this project. In the article, Sagarin proposes using a ratings system altogether different from the RPI in calculating a ratings system that does not use victory margin for basketball.
Sukup is quoted in the article as saying that game scoring margins should play some role in the RPI rating system. However, Sukup knows that the NCAA will not use such a system, and that there is another factor that should be included in the RPI. That is taking into account where games are played, also known as the home court advantage, where men's teams regularly win about 66 percent of their games. That became reality during the 2004-05 season when the NCAA began using a weighting system that takes into account where the games are played.