As each conference gets started with games by Saturday, it’s a good time to look at who is likely to win each of the 32 D-I leagues. I’ve run the season 10,000 times using the current ratings and then recorded how many times each team finished at the top of its conference. If teams shared the top spot, I gave them the appropriate fraction for that trial. (Because of these fractions and the rounding I do at the end, totals for each conference may not add up to exactly 10,000. Also, some teams can be listed as having zero titles because they were involved in a single multi-team tie for the top spot.)
The count listed for the favorite is going to be somewhat inflated since it assumes that the team’s current rating will remain constant for the remainder of the season. But everyone’s level of play is going to change, and it’s more likely that one of the three or four contenders in each conference will improve than it is for the favorite itself to improve.
What follows is the list of teams that won at least one simulation for each conference season. This is presented in order of least to most competitive races. This is Part 1. Part 2 will contain the more interesting races.
21. Big West
Long Beach St. 7308 UC Santa Barbara 1596 Pacific 970 UC Davis 55 UC Irvine 51 Cal St. Northridge 8 Cal St. Fullerton 7 Cal Poly 5
Long Beach State has already beaten UCSB on the road. Thus, they’ve assumed the clear favorite role.