One distinction that always seems to enter the discussion around Selection Sunday is how teams have performed on the road. But the supposed test of a team's ability to perform in a hostile environment has a qualitative aspect as well. Let's examine the cumulative home records for each of the top 9 RPI conferences (through January 31):
|W||L||Pct||Diff from Avg||RPI|
8 of the 9 conferences have home winning percentages between 60-70%, while the Pac-10 is a huge outlier at 50%. So, even with the advantage of a Thursday/Saturday schedule and significant travel distance, home teams only break even on the Left Coast. If that statistical pattern continues, it will mean that a "bubble" Pac-10 team (say, with a 10-8 conference record) will have about one more "good" win than their competitors in other high-RPI leagues for NCAA at-large spots.
Will it matter, and just as important, should it matter? I can see an scenario in which there are comparisions between Syracuse (1-3 road record in Big East) or Villanova (1-4 road record in Big East) and USC (3-2 road record with wins at UCLA and Oregon). I'm not sure, however, that committee members will correctly weight the abundance of road wins available in the Pac-10 this year for all teams.
The good news is that research shows that road performance is not one of the top six "highly important" determinants of at-large selection. Don't think for one minute though that Dan Guerrero won't have the road argument lined up for his fellow Pac-10 institutions when the selection committee goes behind closed doors.