How it's done
The formula for calculating the RSCI rankings is quite simple and completely objective. Here’s how it works:
The process begins with a single top 100 list from one of the experts.
The players listed are assigned points based on their position on that list. The top ranked player is given 100 points, #2 gets 99 points, #3 gets 98, and so on with #100 getting 1 point.
Repeat step 2 for each of the top 100 lists.
Finally, add up the scores based on all the lists and sort the players by their score in descending order.
It’s not exactly rocket science but it does achieve the desired effect of providing a more unbiased, consensus ranking, which one might argue, is even more accurate than any of the single top 100 lists alone.
However, this process is not without its pitfalls:
The RSCI formula is objective but the underlying ratings it is based on are not. This subjective aspect should never be underestimated.
Some experts include 5th year and prep school players (denoted by “*” in the RSCI rankings) in their top 100 lists and other don’t. This means that a really great 5th year player might be ranked #10 by one expert and not listed at all by the others, thereby dropping his RSCI ranking dramatically. In other words, RSCI rankings of 5th year players aren’t worth much.
By its very nature the RSCI rankings get less and less accurate the further down the list you move. The reason is twofold. First, the affect of a single, high rating from one expert can effectively override the prevailing opinion of the other experts that may have left the player off their lists entirely. Also, a player that just narrowly misses making 1 or more top 100 lists receives no points from those lists and is not effectively distinguished from all the others that were not ranked. For example, a guy ranked #101 gets the same zero points as a guy ranked #250 even though they clearly aren’t that close. Stated simply: “a miss is as good as a mile.”