Yesterday, Fairfield beat Lafayette, 13-11. If you’re a Fairfield fan, this is good news. But if you’re not such a big Fairfield fan, why should you care?
If, when you think about who are the best teams in D1 Men’s Lacrosse, you base your who is better than whom on “your gut”, then you shouldn’t care. This game is too distant from your favorite team(s). And, for 99% of all human-based Polls (e.g. Quint thinks UVA is better than UNC who is better than etc.), Fairfield beating Lafayette will be irrelevant. For the innumerable computer-based Rankings that include gut-based components, Fairfield beating Lafayette will also be relatively irrelevant. But for FanLax Computer, a system that is 100% computer-based and relative-based (i.e. the Rankings are based on whether A is better than B is better than C is better than etc.), Fairfield’s win means quite a bit.
Early in the season, UNC and Duke beat Denver. Our gut tells us, Denver is good. FanLax Computer tells us, Denver is better than Utah, the only team Denver had beaten at this point in the season. And that is it. Little more. But how good is Utah? Utah is better than Bellarmine. But how good is Bellarmine? Bellarmine is better than Mercer who is better than Cleveland State who hasn’t won a game yet this season. Bottomline, we know how good Denver is based on who their Best Wins and their Worst Losses, based on their relativity against other teams.
So, back to Fairfield beating Lafayette. Thus far this season, Lafayette has played two games, hasn’t won a game, and they’ve lost to Fairfield and VMI. In other words, we do not know a lot about Lafayette and will learn much more as the season progresses. Currently, what we do know is that Fairfield is better than Lafayette, Providence is better than Fairfield, Denver is better than Providence, and UNC, Duke, and Georgetown are better than Denver. So, if you’re a UNC, Duke, or Georgetown fan, Lafayette’s upcoming games against seemingly irrelevant D1 Men’s teams may seem irrelevant, but this most certainly is not the case. Most certainly, Fairfield beating Lafayette has very real implications for UNC, Duke, and Georgetown. Well, at least for FanLax Computer. For you and I, keeping track of these degrees-of-separation is next to impossible. Bit for FanLax Computer, this is the heart of what FanLax Computer does.