Monday, April 26, 2010

What about Boise?

Boise State and the Mountain West seem like such a natural fit, don't they? Both parties have what the other is looking for: the MWC would give Boise the big-league home they deserve, and Boise would give the MWC one more premiere program to put it over the top in it's fight for BCS inclusion. From time to time, this here blog has lobbied for the Broncos to be given an invitation to the MWC, and why not? Patterson vs. Petersen I & II were both pretty epic- think if it was an annual showdown!

It may not be meant to be, however, as Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman pointed out last week. Just as TCU's future is uncertain with the conference realignment gong ringing loudly in Big Tenland, so is Boise State's. Could they end up in an expanded Pac 10 or Big 12? Will they end up in the MWC as they've wanted for a while now? Will they end up as a replacement part in a BYU/Utah-less MWC?

Busting the BCS?


Mike Locksley: Jockin' the Bitches/Slapping the Hoes/Holding back the MWC since 2009.

Last week, as I'm sure we're all familiar with, the Wizards of Oz behind the BCS curtain finally released their requirements for a non-BCS league to gain automatic qualifier status during a four year evaluation period. I, like many of you, wondered the same thing - why was it such a closely guarded secret? It was pretty much the exact method that everyone had assumed it was anyway. To refresh, there are three qualifications, dumbed down strictly for the MWC.

  1. TCU, Utah or BYU - one, not all - must rank higher in the final computer rankings than the best team of at least one other major conference. Since God invented the ACC and Big East Conferences, this should be a no brainer.
  2. All of the teams in the MWC must average out higher in the final regular season computer rankings than the average of one or more of the six BCS conferences. Since God invented New Mexico, UNLV and San Diego State, this is also a no brainer, but in the bad sense.
  3. TCU, Utah and BYU must finish in the Top 25 each year and hope that at least one of the major conferences does not place as many teams in the Top 25, or, if they do, they'll have a lower cumulative ranking.
The actual rules are outlined here in this article by SI.com's Andy Staples, and this is the article I want to discuss here. Obviously the major question on our minds when this came out was, "If the evaluation period ended today, how would the MWC fare?" In short? We don't get in. Fortunately though, there are two more years left in the evaluation period for us to make up ground.

The MWC currently qualifies under requirements one and two, but are a distant, distant seventh under the second. And this is where having Utah, TCU, Air Force and BYU in such an unbalanced football conference is a double edged sword. On the one hand, without them, you never qualify under rules one and three, but, with a more evenly balanced conference, perhaps the bottom feeders rise up from the muck over time. On the other, with them, said bottom feeders are guaranteed at least three losses in most years and, once they cannibalize one another, the bottom gets stirred a little, but never rises. And while it's great that a team like New Mexico is playing tough out of conference games against Tech and aggy, when you lose those games, you may as well have scheduled a D-1AA team and gotten a W.

So what needs to happen? For one, TCU, Utah and BYU need to continue to do what they do best which is win non-conference and bowl games, with at least one making a BCS bowl each of the next two years being the icing on the cake. Fortunately though, at this point in the evaluation, making a BCS game probably isn't a necessary requirement as much as beating teams from other power conferences is. None of those three teams are looking to have down years anytime soon, and especially not the next two with so much on the line.

The biggest concern, though, is what happens at the bottom of the conference? Air Force doesn't get enough mention when it comes to the Big 3 and, in due time, they will probably push it to the big 4. Still, you have to beat the best to be the best, isn't that what Ric Flair taught us? Further down the line, Wyoming looks to be on a decent upward trajectory, and it's only a matter of time before Brady Hoke gets his Aztecs out of the cellar as he did with Ball State. Colorado State, despite their short comings last year, are typically good enough for at least bowl eligibility as well. Unfortunately though, UNLV will take their lumps with a new coaching staff and, despite a decent recruiting haul, I can't see New Mexico busting out anytime soon either. I hope I'm wrong because, if they can't do any better, we're probably stuck the non-AQ abyss with the WAC and CUSA.

So, for the time being, the best thing we can do is beat up on the major conference teams we do play this year out of conference and, just for fun, I've put together a list of who plays who and the projected result according to this guy:

TCU - vs Baylor , vs. Oregon State .
Air Force - @ OU .
BYU - vs. Washington , @ Florida State .
CSU - vs. Colorado ,
UNM - @ Oregon , vs. TTU
SDSU - @ Mizzou ,
UNLV - vs. Wisconsin @ WVU .
Utah - vs Pitt , @ Notre Dame .
Wyoming - @ Texas .

So, according to what I think will happen, the MWC should end the non-conference slate against current BCS competition with 8 wins to 6 losses. I don't think this is where it needs to be - and with STRETCH calls with UNLV/WISC and WYO/UT, this number could easily get its inversin' on - so I guess we just need to pray that we win all of our other non conference matchups. It should be noted that Wyoming hosts Boise State in Laramie this year, which, if they pull that shocker, would be a HUGE non conference win over a likely top 5 team. Also, how treat is Utah's out of conference schedule? I'm giddy if I'm a Utes fan.

I'm a little depressed after reading this article as I thought the road to AQ status was a lot more direct than it is at present, but seeing as how we're going to be in the Big 12 by then anyway, I suppose this whole post is moot.

Frogs remain at #11...again

For what feels like the 100th week in a row, the Frogs are #11 in the Baseball America Top 25 poll. They're now 30-8 after the weekend sweep of UNLV, which was helped by Matt Curry's walk-off home run on Saturday (pictured above). The weekend turnstile counted 8,815 fans, making it the second most-attended weekend series in school history.

The Frogs will finish up their ten regular season games against Big 12 teams this week with two against Baylor. They'll host them at Lupton tomorrow night, then will travel down to Waco Wednesday evening to make up the game that was postponed back on February 23rd. Paul Gerrish, who's been the Frogs' main midweek pitcher the past few weeks, is surely going to start one of those games- but I'm not sure who'll start the other, as Greg Holle came in to pitch on Sunday. Maybe Schloss tinkers with the weekend rotation a bit to enable Purke to go against Baylor???

Hodge looking to rebound after "redshirt" year

With pro football fans from coast to coast admiring their shiny new toys after this weekend's draft, which included 3 Frogs being selected, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News took a look at the Cowboys' four "redshirt rookies"- including former Frog Stephen Hodge, and how they'll look to contribute after recovering from injuries that wiped out their first year in the league.

Morning Dump

TCU drops UNLV 7-1 to complete sweep Star-Telegram

Three Frogs strike free-agent deals
GoFrogs.com

No. 8 TCU dominates in sweep of UNLV, wins 7-1
GoFrogs.com

TCU women honor team award winners
GoFrogs.com

TCU plans additional housing, upgrades continue
FW Business Press