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MWC football notebook: Mountain West a conference of haves, have-nots

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  • Dave
    Oct. 31, 2008 4:18 p.m.

    RE: Anonymous @ 11:03 p.m. Utah beat USC the first year Carroll became head coach. I believe that was the 2001 season.

  • RE: Anonymous @ 11:03 p.m.
    Oct. 31, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    No--not even TCU or Utah (won't even mention a certain other team in blue), in all likelihood, wouldn't beat USC this season. They wouldn't beat the Trojans in any other within the past 20 years or so, either. (See BYU's 2004 schedule--in LES--enough said, don't care who the coach was.) Not saying it's impossible--but I AM most definitely saying it's not LIKELY. So let's get real on that, OK?

    As for the rest of the Pac-10, as said earlier, BYU, Utah, TCU, and Boise State would all be strong contenders for 2nd place this year. They'd lose a game or two here and there, and playing each other would give some a few more losses, but they'd all contend well. I'd have to give the overall edge to TCU at this point and say BYU would finish the lowest, though if the Cougs ever found their UCLA-sharp focus again, that'd change.

    So there you have it.

  • Boise State @ 3:06
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:36 p.m.

    With all due respect--did you read what I wrote? No, I think I understand reasonably well what Sagarin's trying to do with his rankings.

    What I want YOU to explain is WHAT THOSE POINTS MEAN in real-world terms. The SEC is 76.54--OF WHAT? The MWC is 70.27--OF WHAT? What's Sagarin's score mean--conference coach IQ, average player yards per game, dollars spent per pre-game meal, or what? Or might it be, as I suspect, an INDEX SCORE, merely used to determine the conference rank but meaningless in and of itself?

    So based on WHAT that score means, what are we--or I might say, YOU--supposed to make of the 6.27 difference? Or does it really mean anything at all?

    Important point: YOU are the one doing the math and making the argument about the large/small gaps between conferences based on that math, not me. So please, feel both free and highly encouraged to explain yourself (including the meaning of that score) and defend your argument. Just keep in mind: You might need a fairly strong defense.

    That's it!

  • Ute Fan & BSU
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:10 p.m.

    As a Ute fan I hated the way way BSU has slapped us around over the last 10 years.

    But I honestly don't begrudge them any of their success this year. In fact, I wish them continued success. The non-BCS conference schools aren't the enemies in all this. They're allies, of a sort.

    Maybe I'm able to be so generously-minded because if Utah wins out and Boise State wins out, we'll get the better bowl game.

  • Sagarin=joke
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:07 p.m.

    Ok the dude's rankings have SEC as 4th. That is just stupid.

    Also loved the comments from real stats. MWC 8-4 vs BCS schools WAC 3-11. End of story.

    Anyone who even tries to make and argument about Hawaii last year is grasping at straws. They were awful and did damage for all non-BCS conference teams. What an embarassment. BSU is way over rated.

  • re: RE: Boise State Fan
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:06 p.m.

    I don't know when he made those up, but I think the Big East and the ACC are the two weakest BCS conferences. I think both the MWC and WAC are better conferences this year.

  • re: Uh, Pac-10 Big Brother
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:03 p.m.

    You act like TCU or Utah can't beat USC. I say they can. OSU beat them, and I say both those teams can as well!

  • RE: Pac-10 amigo
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:01 p.m.

    I see your point in the year-in and year-out observations, and that's the logic (such as it is) behind the BCS conferences' claim to deserve the big-money bowl bids. Yes, this year the MWC is head-and-shoulders above the WAC, and who's to say 5 years from now that won't change? So largely agreed.

    Still understand, though, the point with UNLV beating ASU (and thanks for the Nevada beating Northwestern example--at least I think that was you)--it's evidence of the parity that's crept into college football. That's a long-term trend, too. The SEC and Big 12 are still pretty dominant. But the Big Ten (should have included them in that previous list), Pac-10, and ACC aren't as much. The Big Least hasn't been a true football power conference for several years--either the MWC or the WAC could take them.

    Good to see increased competition, in any case.

  • re: Big brother to the rescue?
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:59 p.m.

    Yeah, the PAC 10 is that bad! OSU is currently tied for 2nd place with California. Oregon and USC are tied for first place. Oregon is crappy. They will unquestionably lose again. We are talking a team that has struggled against Perdue. I think Boise State is good, so I won't complain about your loss to Boise State.

  • re: Really...REALLY?!?!?
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:52 p.m.

    I definitely disagree with that contention. UNLV beat Arizona State who has won at least one conference game. Washington and Washington State haven't done that!

  • re: CUPCAKES
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:43 p.m.

    If that was the case, BYU would have easy wins. They haven't. That close call with UNLV is an excellent example!

  • re: Really
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:42 p.m.

    I disagree. Those Washington teams are extremely bad.

  • re: UNLV
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    I would agree with that. Maybe even 2nd place in the PAC 10!

  • CUPCAKES
    Oct. 30, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    The MWC was designed to provide BYU with easy wins.

    Easy wins keep the faithful happy.

  • Real Stats
    Oct. 30, 2008 9:00 p.m.

    As a non fan to either conference after a quick check against bcs teams, MWC is 8-4 and the Wac is 3-11. Clearly theres no need for an discussion.

    The Wac might toot their horn to more bcs bids, but they have always had the weaker conference since the start of the mwc 10 years ago. The Hawaii bid last year, was more of a travesty than anything else. How you reward a non-bcs team a bid after playing in a bad conference than playing 2 d2 teams is beyond any sort of logic for a reward.

    The mwc top half is pretty legit if not better with their top half compared to the top half of the pac10, overated east, and acc. The conference as a whole no. Just like the bottom of the wac really dilutes Boise's wins, the Mwc bottom half dilutes itself compared to other bcs conferences.

  • Sagarin Conference Rankings?
    Oct. 30, 2008 7:17 p.m.

    Did anybody else notice that the Sagarin Conference rankings above indicated that the ACC was ranked ahead of the SEC? I realize they are ranking the conference as a whole, and not just the best teams, but you've got to be kidding me.

    Oh, and combined, the MWC is 42-31, while the WAC is 34-35, and the MWC is enjoying a 3-2 record against the WAC this year.

  • The standard bearer...
    Oct. 30, 2008 7:05 p.m.

    That's just fantastic, let's turn to the BCS for all of our answers because they seem to have them, don't they?! How's that going for you? I hate polls and I hate the BCS. We need playoffs! That is beside the point...

    So you look at all of these BCS "standards" to see which conference the BCS says is better. Let's look at the teams actually in the BCS bowls:
    2004-Utah, the original Buster
    2005-no mtn or WAC team
    2006-Boise State, one of the greatest bowl games ever
    2007-Hawaii-an admitted flop, but they made it to the bowl.

    So over your time period the WAC has sent two teams to the BCS and the MWC has sent one. Actions speak louder than words. According to your "standards" the MWC should have sent its champion regardless because "that's what the BCS looks at to determine which conferences deserve a BSC Bowl Automatic Qualification"

    I must again reiterate that I am for both the MWC and the WAC. They are both good conferences. There is not much difference. Lay off the supremacy. Let's be one voice so we can no just bust the BCS, but tear down the BCS!

  • Re: Imaginary Friends
    Oct. 30, 2008 6:13 p.m.

    You say that it's up and down each year between the two? How about a 4 year average to determine which conference is better? A compilation of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007? That's what the BCS looks at to determine which conferences deserve a BSC Bowl Automatic Qualification. Who comes out ahead? You guessed it, the MWC. Here's the official word on the BCS standards:

    "The standards will be based on results from the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 regular seasons, using institutions that are members of the conferences during the 2007 season.

    The data will include the following for each conference (1) the ranking of the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings each year, (2) the final regular-season rankings of all conference teams in the computer rankings used by the BCS each year and (3) the number of teams in the top 25 of the final BCS standings each year."

    Des News doesn't allow enough space here to show the calcualtions for all 4 years for both conferences but if you don't believe me, go ahead and crunch the numbers yourself. I'll try to put together a quick and dirty comparison and post it later.

  • Imaginary friends
    Oct. 30, 2008 5:30 p.m.

    Awsome friend!! You can ignore them along with those Wyomings and SDSUs and UNLVs and New Mexicos--all teams in the MWC with overall losing records.

    I never said the WAC was as good as the MWC this YEAR. The MWC is having a better YEAR. That is not the first time I have posted that either. You have been hearing what you want to hear and misrepresenting my position. Are you a politician? I am saying that the mtn is not better than the WAC. It is not the same WAC that those schools left. It is better. I think the MWC is good. I think the WAC is the same.

    It is my position that the two conferences need each other. If the mtn supremacists would realize this and stop putting the WAC down then together they could have a powerful voice. Instead they have to play the school bully and feel better about not being a BCS conference by picking on other non-BCS conferences.

    I also believe that it is in the Pac-10's interest to have good teams in the west. They will never break with the BCS talking points, but they need to overcome east.

  • Re: Intimidation
    Oct. 30, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    Hahaha! You're hilarious! You should take the show on the road! Obviously I'm incapable of convincing someone even of the nose on their face so I guess that's my problem. Oh well! I'll just admit defeat and say the WAC is just as good as the MWC this year, no doubt about it, and I'll ignore the existence of those Utah States and Idahos and Louisisan Techs and New Mexico States et. al. Yeah, they don't exist! Therefore the WAC rules!!!

  • Intimidation?
    Oct. 30, 2008 3:09 p.m.

    RE: Re: Bigger Picture | 2:55 p.m. Oct. 30, 2008

    Thank you for you definitive opinion. Tell all the voices inside your head thanks as well. You must also be a ventriloquist if you did not say all those things. Either that or the dummy.

  • Re: Re: Boise State Fan
    Oct. 30, 2008 3:06 p.m.

    You're not understanding how Sagarin comes up with his ratings. The MAC and Conference USA or not 'up' because of one respective team in each conference. Sagarin rates more on the middle teams to assess overall conference strengh, in order to avoid elite teams from skewing an overall rating. Why else would the SEC be considered fourth? Especially since so many national pundits will say it is the toughest conference? Because the bulk of the conference is in the middle to bottom of the CFB pack. How could the ACC be so high considering they only have one team in the top 20? Because they are closely lumped together and have few very poor teams. So when comparing the WAC and MWC, why is there a five point difference? Because the MWC is much more top heavy with teams like Utah, TCU and BYU, whereas the WAC only has Boise. And then you see the bottom dwellers, although comparable to the MWC, still drag the WAC down further.

  • Pac-10 amigo...
    Oct. 30, 2008 3:01 p.m.

    The MWC is having a solid year, no doubt about that. My intention was just to curb some enthusiasm by providing a little bit different perspective. Would you have said the same things about the MWC last year? Maybe, but I doubt it. Could you have said those same things about the WAC last few years? I think so. Maybe not about the bottom of the conference, but definately about Boise, Fresno, and Hawaii. Is the MWC better than the WAC this year? I think so. However, over time they have been, and always will be, essentially the same. One year one is better, the next year it switches. Sometimes one league holds on for a couple of years. I'd hold off before saying that the UNLV win over ASU is the reason that the MWC is better than the WAC. I'm not so much trying to discredit or downplay the MWC (although it may have seemed that way in order to prove a point) as I am trying to give the WAC some credit. Good job MWC, but also good job WAC. As a Pac-10 fan it is good to have other West Coast Conferences be nationally competitive.

  • Re: Bigger Picture
    Oct. 30, 2008 2:55 p.m.

    You're arguing with more people than you think. I didn't say all of those things. I'm merely trying to point out to you that the MWC is a better conference competitively this year than the WAC. No contest. End of story.

  • RE: Boise State Fan @ 1:13
    Oct. 30, 2008 2:53 p.m.

    Just a question about the Sagarin ratings. Just what precisely do those points mean in real-world terms? If you can't explain that, you don't have a logical basis for arguing any conference is "closer" to any other--because you don't know whether those ratings figures are actually capable of supporting that particular argument. (Yes, I DO have a background in statistics and measurement. Thanks for asking.)

    My suggestion: You're better off sticking to the rankings alone. Just a few thoughts.

  • What does MWC stand for?
    Oct. 30, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    Much Worse Conference...LIKE...EVER!!!!

  • RE: Boise State Fan
    Oct. 30, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    I am not a BSU fan. You sir make too many assumptions. I guess you must be a BYU fan. Oops, there I go contradicting myself again. I love reason, which is why I have been trying to provide some. Are you capable of listening?

    The ratings for the MAC and CUSA are up because of Ball State and Tulsa, respectively. Great achievements and I respect them.

    I swear I read somewhere that someone said the MWC was better than the ACC and the Bib Least. I guess you proved that wrong! Thanks!

    Funny thing is...you want to use your chart to prove that the mtn is better than the WAC, yet still argue that the mtn is better than a few BCS schools? Great "reason."

    The MWC is still over 3 points behing the Big Least. I guess "close" is relative. You want to lump the mtn in with the Pac-10 when the difference between the Pac-10 and the MWC is roughly the same as it is between the MWC and the WAC? I guess the distance looks a lot shorter when you are looking up rather than LOOKING DOWN ON someone (including the MAC and CUSA).

  • What does WAC stand for?
    Oct. 30, 2008 2:11 p.m.

    Worst Athletic Conference EVER!!!!

  • Uh, Pac-10 Big Brother @1:29...
    Oct. 30, 2008 2:10 p.m.

    ... the point was that the MWC is much more competitive against the Pac-10 than the WAC. To gauge a conference's OVERALL effectiveness in this way, you take the performance of its LOWER-ranked teams into account. So looking at what the LOWER-ranked MWC teams have done against the Pac-10 is embarrassing but true. It's the evidence on the field--ultimately the only evidence that counts.

    The competitiveness at the TOP of the Pac-10, if you ignore USC, is more or less equal to the MWC. TCU, Utah, and BYU would all be strong competitors for 2nd in the Pac-10 this year. So would Boise State, but ONLY Boise State from the WAC. That's the real deal.

    So even most of the lesser MWC teams have had success against the Pac-10 this year--what you see in a strong conference. The WAC bottom-feeders, though, would still supply the Pac-10 across the board with an automatic W. No doubt about that.

    As for saying "the Pac-10 is in real trouble when its fans start comparing it to the MWC," well, yes. Exactly. I couldn't agree more. Time to admit it: Parity has caught up with the Pac-10, Big Least, and ACC.

  • Bigger picture
    Oct. 30, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    If the Horned Frogs beat Utah, then Utah will drop below Boise. If it wasn't obvious by my "biased thinking and flawed logic" comment that I hate the polls, well...I hate the polls. I just think your rankings are worse. That's your opinion though. As long as we are downplaying signature wins...what is BYU's signature win?

    Fresno's close call against USU does say it all: that the bottom of the WAC is not as bad as you want to make them seem. No winless in conference teams in the WAC right now. USU also played BYU tougher in Logan than most people thought was possible. That score "ALMOST and should've" been 34-21. BYU is better than Fresno, but probably not by much.

    So you want to give your pundit friends some dap when they talk good about your conference, but discredit them when they ignore you? I believe this same conversation last year was about the WAC among the lower BCS conferences with no mention of the mtn. It's the same song with different lyrics. Like I have said before, the WAC and the MWC are basically the same and need each other. Cooperation not separation.

  • Big brother to the rescue?
    Oct. 30, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    I am a Pac-10 fan too, and the Pac-10 is in real trouble when its fans start comparing it to the MWC...

    There are no winless teams in the WAC this year. The point of the article is that the MWC is top heavy. Your shining example of success in OOC games is UNLV? They lost to in-state rival and WAC member Nevada AT SAM BOYD STADIUM. Oops. Your other examples are a buch of top of the heap mtn schools beating lower tier Pac-10 schools. Boise beat Oregon and Fresno beat UCLA...same thing.

    Let me get this straight...your standard of success is "when a winless-in-conference WAC (or MWC) team has...beaten a BCS foe?" Seriously? I'll play along for a second. Last year at 0-2 in the WAC, Nevada had already claimed a victory at Northwestern. Hey, just like your example it was a team from Nevada!

  • Boise State Fan
    Oct. 30, 2008 1:13 p.m.

    Hey BSU fan, it's funny how critical you are of others for being too biased when you yourself are completely incapable of listening to reason. Maybe this will help. These are Jeff Sagarin's Conference Ratings:

    1 BIG 12 (78.18)
    2 BIG TEN (77.24)
    3 ATLANTIC COAST (76.97)
    4 SOUTHEASTERN (76.54)
    5 PAC-10 (74.33)
    6 BIG EAST (73.44)
    7 MOUNTAIN WEST (70.27)
    8 I-A INDEPENDENTS (67.33)
    9 WESTERN ATHLETIC (65.57)
    10 MID-AMERICAN (65.18)
    11 CONFERENCE USA (63.31)
    12 SUN BELT (61.11)

    Notice how the Mountain West is closer to the PAC-10 and Big East conferences than they are to the WAC. In fact, the MAC is breathing down your neck and Conference USA isn't too far behind either.

  • Re: Some things never...
    Oct. 30, 2008 1:06 p.m.

    TCU's only loss was to #4 Oklahoma and they beat then #8 BYU. That's why I think they're better than Boise State. BSU's only signature win was over then #16 Oregon. But go ahead and switch TCU and BSU in my rankings, if it makes you feel better, it doesn't really change anything. By the way, don't be surprised if TCU jumps Boise State in the 'polls' (that you like so much) if the Horned Frogs beat Utah in seven days.

    As far as Fresno State goes, they have been nothing but a HUGE disappointment. Who cares if they are still receiving some votes in whatever poll, they ALMOST and should've lost to Utah State! That says it all right there! It's ironic though how you'll try and use a national perspective to try and prove your point when the consensus among national pundits this year is more centered around the MWC possibly being better than the ACC and Big East, with no mention of the WAC anywhere in that discussion.

  • Really...REALLY?!?!?
    Oct. 30, 2008 1:02 p.m.

    "Really"...you sound like you are trying to convince yourself of this "fact."

    There is no way any of the Wash teams are worse than the MWCs bottom half. In fact outside of TCU the Wash teams would probably finish 2-3 in the mtn. UW had BYU beat! Anyone who is remotely intelligent would know that wyoming and sdsu are worse than Utah State at least.

    (You see, this arguement is a two way street and proves nothing, which is my point. "1 man's perspective")

  • What's the WAC?
    Oct. 30, 2008 12:51 p.m.

    Fair question from a Pac-10 fan. Oh, yeah, you've got Boise State--which IS legitimate--and those one-hit wonders, the Hawaii Rainbows, who forget what a football is the second they leave the islands. Fresno's OK, but nobody trembles in fear when they hear the name, either. So--Who else? Seriously. Idaho? Utah State? San Jose? La Tech? Keep trying to defend THAT and give us all a laugh, will ya?

    Also seriously--the Mountain West IS a better conference, at least THIS year. Look at UNLV, winless in MWC play, beating ASU in Tempe. Granted, ASU's a disappointment, and the Pac-10's having a down year--BUT then again, New Mexico beat Arizona, BYU smashed UCLA, and Utah topped Oregon State. The MWC's plenty competitive this year, tell ya that much!

    So--aside from Boise State, let's hear all about the WAC's signature wins over BCS opponents. Tell us all when a winless-in-conference WAC team has ever, EVER beaten a BCS foe. You WAC folks, make your case! ON THE FIELD, TOO!

  • Some things never change...
    Oct. 30, 2008 12:46 p.m.

    RE: Re: Turn about... | 11:19 a.m. Oct. 30, 2008 and all you other MWC supremacists:

    Your rankings lose all credibility at the very top. Boise is ranked above TCU in EVERY major poll. Your rankings are therefore based on your own biased opinion regarding the MWC. Fresno has been disappointing, but they are still receiving votes and should be ranked ahead of Colorado State. So you make your own poll to "prove" your point? You are delusional...

    What surprises me the most is that MWC supremacists use the same biased thinking and flawed logic to assert their greatness that the BCS cartel uses to claim dominance. Yet the MWC supremacists whine and moan when their own logic is used against them!!!

    Still think the MWC measures up?

    The mtn, who the heck are you people trying to convince of your power. (Insert dominant team on given year, say...BYU for the last few years) and nobody else period, zero, notta. You all are just rung's on a ladder for (initials of dominant school...BYU). Convinced yet?

    In the spirit of full disclosure, due to Idaho's vicotry over New Mexico State they get a 1 week reprieve from the bottom 10.

  • Really
    Oct. 30, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    Wyoming and SanDiego are terrible, but anyone who is remotely intelligent would know that there is no way they are worse than utst, nmst, idaho. Theres no way. Also has ESPN's bottom 10 become a national poll? If I remember its just 1 mans perspective for fun instead of legit. No way any of the Wash teams are worse than the WACs bottom half. In fact outside of Boise the Wash teams would probably finish 2-3 in the Wac.

  • WAC???!!
    Oct. 30, 2008 12:14 p.m.

    The wac, who the heck are you people trying to convince of your power. Boyzee State and nobody else period, zero, notta. You all are just rung's on a ladder for BSU.

  • MWC and WAC
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    I'm surprised that anyone would argue that the WAC is as good as the MWC this year. Split the conferences into three tiers; elite, middle, bottom and you'll see it's not even close: Utah/TCU/BYU are collectively head and shoulders above Boise State/San Jose State/Fresno State. Air Force/Colorado State/New Mexico are much better than Hawaii/Nevada/New Mexico State. And the bottom three of each, UNLV/SDSU/Wyoming vs. Louisiana Tech/Utah State/Idaho, is a wash. Convinced yet?

  • Re: Turn about...
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:19 a.m.

    Are you seriously arguing that the WAC is as good as the MWC? Combine the two conferences and this is how they would rank from top to bottom:

    1. Utah
    2. TCU
    3. Boise State
    4. BYU
    5. Air Force
    6. Colorado State
    7. San Jose State
    8. Fresno State
    9. New Mexico
    10. Hawaii
    11. Nevada
    12. UNLV
    13. New Mexico State
    14. Lousiana Tech
    15. Utah State
    16. San Diego State
    17. Wyoming
    18. Idaho

    Still think the WAC measures up?

  • WAC?
    Oct. 30, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    The MWC has two teams in the bottom 10 but the WAC only one? I agree that both Wyoming and SDSU deserve to be there but Idaho is probably the worst team in the country. And do you think Utah State is better than Wyoming and SDSU, if they are it's by a razor thin margin. Not so sure I'd be on my WAC soap box to brag about that...

  • UNLV
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    would probably be in third place if they were in the PAC-10.

  • Turn about's fair play?
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    I swear this is the same arguement used by MWC supremacists to disparage the WAC. Supposedly the MWC is supposed to be the greatest conference ever because it is sooooo balanced. The WAC is supposed to be second rate because it only has a few good teams and a bunch of garbage. Besides, Boise supposedly is leaving the WAC for the mtn. HA HA HA HA!!! I wish the MWC homers would realize that the success of the MWC and the WAC are tied together nationally and stop trying to put everyone else down (BYU fans I'm looking at you). It is no accident that all the BCS "busters" have been either WAC or MWC. Maybe now the supremeacists will have to find a new attack line (maybe they can have McCain work on one after Nov 4).

  • This is why
    Oct. 30, 2008 10:10 a.m.

    giving the Big East and ACC automatic bids to the BCS bowls is such a farce. Lots of average and medicre teams, but no really good teams, and yet the Big East and ACC still get a guaranteed berth in a BCS game.

  • This is why
    Oct. 30, 2008 8:17 a.m.

    This is why the BigEast and the ACC are still ranked ahead of the MWC by the computers. They don't have as many ranked teams, but they don't have as many gimmies either. The MWC has two teams in ESPN's "bottom 10" list. Even the WAC only has one.

  • records are useless
    Oct. 30, 2008 7:43 a.m.

    Anyone who has watched these teams play know that several of them are very good and barely lost to top 20 teams. They will improve, its only a matter of time.