WEEKEND PREVIEW: It’s Conference Championships Weekend!
Welcome to Conference Championships Weekend!
While we have seen a number of teams vie for league glory so far across each collegiate division, we’ll witness the largest majority of them tangle this weekend.
Starting today, there will be 50 conference championship meets split between NCAA Division I (22), NCAA Division II (8) and NCAA Division III (20). Those athletes in both the NAIA and the NJCAA are resting up in advance of the national championship meets next weekend.
You might find it hard to focus with so many meets.
Well, checking out the Conference TFRI is a good place to begin.
Conference TFRI is a slimmed-down version of our National TFRI that pits teams in each conference against each other, not against the rest of the nation.
Therefore, if you’re just looking at the National TFRI, you’re only getting half the picture.
Let’s use the race for the women’s team title at the SEC Indoor Championships as an example. There are five of the top-6 teams in action from the most recent National TFRI: No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 6 Kentucky. The National TFRI would lead you to believe that the Tigers are projected to win the conference title, but one look at the Conference TFRI shows that the Razorbacks are expected to reign yet again with LSU a distant second.
How about we look at the MIAA in NCAA Division II? You’ll see six top-25 teams in action, including three in the top-10: No. 2 Lincoln (Mo.), No. 7 Missouri Southern and No. 10 Central Missouri. Based on the National TFRI, the Blue Tigers have the edge – but the Conference TFRI shows No. 11 Northwest Missouri and Missouri Southern in a dead heat.
It doesn’t get much closer in the Conference TFRI than what we see between men’s teams in the NCAA Division III WIAC. You’ll see No. 1 UW-Oshkosh and No. 2 UW-La Crosse headline that meet with three other top-20 teams in the mix. But the Conference TFRI shows the Eagles with a negligible 2.67-point advantage, which means it’s anybody’s guess to wins come Saturday.
So, go ahead and buckle your seat belt.
It’s going to be quite an adventure this postseason.