I was fooling around with some ideas about the season and decided I would put out some rankings for the fall half of the season. Sure I could write something or maybe use UTR, but what do college tennis players like even more than tennis? That’s right, video games. So in honor of this, I decided to use Microsoft’s Trueskill algorithm to rank how the fall season went (based on what has been entered into the ITA database as of this morning–11/11).
For those of you not hip to Trueskill, Microsoft uses this algorithm to track the skill of gamers in order to place them in competitive matches. On the Microsoft Research website it explains that the ranking system is characterized by two attributes: a players average skill level (ranking) and the degree of uncertainty in the gamer’s skill (this would be the variation in the players level). If you would like to read more, it can be found at the Microsoft Research website, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/trueskill/
As with any algorithm, there are several ways you could implement it. I decided in the first trial I would start of with no priors. This means all teams started the season with the base ranking. Since I also program primarily in Python, I decided to use the Trueskill package developed by a South Korean game developer named Heungsub Lee. It seems to be well-written and moderately documented.
I am only going to post the top-25 here for now. I also threw out any players who played few than 5 matches. Their matches counted, but the players were not placed in the rankings.
NCAA DIVISION I TRUESKILL RANKINGS
|RANK||NAME (SCHOOL)||FALL RECORD||TRUESKILL|
|1||#11 Mike Redlicki (University of Arkansas)||17-2||444|
|2||#8 Petros Chrysochos (Wake Forest University)||6-1||427|
|3||#1 Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State University)||7-2||423|
|4||#33 Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State University)||5-1||420|
|5||Christian Sigsgaard (University of Texas)||16-3||413|
|6||Brandon Holt (University of Southern California)||16-2||410|
|7||#43 Nuno Borges (Mississippi State University)||12-3||407|
|8||Chema Carranza (University of Wisconsin)||12-1||404|
|9||Zach Lieb (Penn State University)||5-0||403|
|10||#45 Jose Salazar (University of Arkansas)||11-3||400|
|11||#38 Gage Brymer (UCLA)||11-3||398|
|12||Piotr Baranski (Southern Illinois, Carbondale)||10-1||396|
|13||#6 Tom Fawcett (Stanford University)||4-2||394|
|14||#77 Filip Bergevi (California)||11-2||394|
|15||#7 Skander Mansouri (Wake Forest University)||9-2||393|
|16||#109 Emil Reinberg (University of Georgia)||18-3||389|
|17||Diego Quiroz (Winthrop University)||14-2||388|
|18||Josh Pompan (University of Pennsylvania)||14-2||387|
|19||#61 Billy Griffith (California)||11-2||387|
|20||Christofer Goncalves (New Mexico State University)||15-2||385|
|21||#14 Nicolas Alvarez (Duke University)||9-4||382|
|22||Chris Vrabel (Cornell University)||11-2||380|
|23||#65 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State University)||8-2||380|
|24||Arnaud Valentin (University of Connecticut)||5-0||380|
|25||#17 Andre Goransson (California)||12-4||379|
Just for kicks, here’s the current ITA top-25.
|1||0.00||Mikael Torpegaard||Ohio State University||Big Ten Conference||So.|
|2||0.00||Cameron Norrie||TCU||Big 12 Conference||Jr.|
|3||0.00||Aleks Vukic||University of Illinois||Big Ten Conference||Jr.|
|4||0.00||Thai-Son Kwiatkowski||University of Virginia||Atlantic Coast Conference||Sr.|
|5||0.00||Christopher Eubanks||Georgia Tech||Atlantic Coast Conference||Jr.|
|6||0.00||Tom Fawcett||Stanford University||Pacific-12 Conference||Jr.|
|7||0.00||Skander Mansouri||Wake Forest University||Atlantic Coast Conference||Jr.|
|8||0.00||Petros Chrysochos||Wake Forest University||Atlantic Coast Conference||So.|
|9||0.00||Arthur Rinderknech||Texas A&M University||Southeastern Conference||Jr.|
|10||0.00||Ronnie Schneider||North Carolina||Atlantic Coast Conference||Fr.|
|11||0.00||Mike Redlicki||University of Arkansas||Southeastern Conference||Sr.|
|12||0.00||Konrad Zieba||Northwestern University||Big Ten Conference||Jr.|
|13||0.00||Florian Lakat||California||Pacific-12 Conference||Sr.|
|14||0.00||Nicolas Alvarez||Duke University||Atlantic Coast Conference||Jr.|
|15||0.00||William Bushamuka||University of Kentucky||Southeastern Conference||Jr.|
|16||0.00||Wayne Montgomery||University of Georgia||Southeastern Conference||Jr.|
|17||0.00||Andre Goransson||California||Pacific-12 Conference||Sr.|
|18||0.00||Gustav Hansson||University of Mississippi||Southeastern Conference||Jr.|
|19||0.00||Collin Altamirano||University of Virginia||Atlantic Coast Conference||Jr.|
|20||0.00||Martin Redlicki||UCLA||Pacific-12 Conference||Jr.|
|21||0.00||Daniel Valent||Vanderbilt University||Southeastern Conference||So.|
|22||0.00||Elliott Orkin||University of Florida||Southeastern Conference||Sr.|
|23||0.00||George Goldhoff||University of Texas||Big 12 Conference||Sr.|
|24||0.00||Andrew Harris||University of Oklahoma||Big 12 Conference||So.|
|25||0.00||Or Ram-Harel||University of Tulsa||American Athletic Conference||Jr.|
As you can see, this varies greatly from the current ITA top-25. Sure there are a bunch of guys who are taking the fall off for a variety of reasons (school, playing the tour, injuries) or played a little of both.
There’s also a group of guys who did play, but had an ‘off’ fall season.
This brought me to the concept of who should be in these fall rankings and a plethora of questions. Should the players not playing the fall season be included? Should they not be added until they actually play a match in January? Should the previous season(s) count in these beginning rankings? If so, how much?
I am not sure where I stand on this at the moment, honestly, but I have enjoyed debating these thoughts i my head. I welcome any ideas other may have, as only more of these types of discussions only improves the game and how it is reported.