Preseason Polls and the Final Standings
Is there a correlation between them for the Mountain
West Conference Women’s Volleyball Teams?
I took the Preseason Poll and matched it with the Final Standings for the Women’s Volleyball
teams for all eleven years that the Mountain West Conference has existed (1999 – 2009).
I calculated the sum of the differences between the preseason rank and the team's place in
the final standings. Then I computed the correlation coefficient.
The correlation coefficient ranges from 1 to 1. A value of 1 implies that a linear equation
describes the relationship between X and Y perfectly, with all data points lying on a line
for which Y increases as X increases. A value of 1 implies that all data points lie on a
line for which Y decreases as X increases. A value of 0 implies that there is no linear
correlation between the variables.
In examining the data below, the coaches and sportswriters did an excellent job of predicting
the final standings for the Women’s Volleyball teams in the Mountain West Conference. For most
of the years, the correlation coefficient was near 1. The best year was the year 2000 when the
correlation coefficient was .97, and every team finished in the order predicted (there were some
ties which prevented the correlation coefficient from being 1.0). The worst year was the first
year of the conference when the correlation coefficient was only 0.59592. Air Force and New Mexico
were predicted to finish 8th and 6th, respectively, but actually tied for fourth place.
The coaches and sportswriters predicted the conference champion correctly only four times out of
the eleven years (in 1999, 2000, 2004, and 2005).
Air Force was predicted to finish in last place all eleven years and actually did finish there in
all but two of those years.
Click here for the data for the years 1999  2009
