Over on the Hot Seat thread, Collegewhispers asked some good questions. I'm setting up a new thread here for discussion in order to avoid hijacking the Hot Seat thread. Here are the questions: "Out of curiosity do you have any information on what newer programs (last 7-9 years perhaps) look like in comparison to each other? Do some have significantly better or worse trends than others? Also, over the last 3-4 seasons have there been many programs that have significantly changed their trajectories for better or worse? I’m assuming there are a fair few just curious though how many there are. I suppose ‘significant’ is subjective but maybe just as a general common sense guideline any programs that have moved significantly up or down. May see a pattern of coaches on the hot seat and those doing well enough to move onwards and upwards." I'll do this in a couple of parts. The question came from a discussion about Colorado State, which is a "new program," as distinguished from a "transitioning program," so I'll give the info I have on that question in this post. For each team, I have a chart that shows its ARPIs from year to year and a statistical straight line trend line that represents the team's progress, for good or for ill. The trend line shows the team's trended rate of improvement or decline. I also have the year the team started and the team's rank for its first year and for its most recent year so you can see the rank change. I also have the team's conference and the conference's 2018 ARPI rank, since I think that's important context for the numbers, as I'll explain after I show the numbers. This is for teams that have new soccer programs, not for teams that had soccer and re-classified to Division 1. Chicago State (2013), Western Athletic Conference, which is conference ranked #29. Trend rate of -0.0110 per year (meaning its trended ARPI rating is getting poorer by -0.0110 per year). 2013 ARPI rank of 329, 2018 rank of 334. Colorado State (2013), Mountain West #16. +0.0175 per year. Rank improvement from 297 to 179. Hampton (2015), Big South #23. +0.0350 per year. Rank improvement from 333 to 325. (Note: Although this is a big improvement per year, teams are spaced quite far apart at the bottom of the rankings where Hampton is -- at the top, too -- so the big improvement rate doesn't result in a big rank improvement.) Illinois Chicago (2014), Horizon # 28. +0.0014 per year. Rank improvement from 301 to 299. Basically, the program has stayed about the same. Kansas State (2016), Big 12 #1 (Independent for first year). +0.0125 per year. Rank improvement from 205 to 158. New Mexico State (2009), Western Athletic Conference #29. -0.0089 per year. Rank loss from 197 to 321. Texas Corpus Christi (2013), Southland #18. +0.0139 per year. Rank improvement from 307 to 230. Texas RGV (2014), Western Athletic Conference #29. +0.0312 per year. Rank improvement from 300 to 134. UMKC (2009), Western Athletic Conference #29. +0.0164 per year. Rank improvement from 315 to 130. Comment: Of these teams, I think that the rank improvements for the WAC teams are suspect. WAC is one of the poorest conferences. One of the RPI's biggest problems is that it overrates teams from the weaker conferences and underrates teams from the stronger conferences. So, I suspect that the WAC teams are overrated and thus over-ranked. It's possible that Kansas State, conversely, is underrated and under-ranked. Additional Comment: The current rank difference between Kansas State's #158 and Colorado State's #179 is relatively insignificant in that area of the rankings. They're roughly in the middle, where teams' ratings are very compressed, so a difference of ~20 ranking positions represents a small rating difference. (I see that Kansas State at home beat Colorado State 3-2 in 2017.) Of course, this is only one slice of evidence on how these teams are doing. I think another factor, especially for how a team does in its first year, is how much advance time the coach had to put the first year's team together. I assume the team's conference also makes a difference -- it seems likely it's easier to attract good players to a Power 5 conference new team than it is to a lower level conference new team. There are lots of variables.