Blog Entry

Thompson tells bottom of MWC to shape up

Posted on: January 28, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 2:49 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It was just yesterday that UNLV's reported upcoming stadium announcement gave us an excuse to look at the Runnin' Rebels' sorry 2010 season, one that finished at 2-11 with zero victories that didn't come at home against Wyoming or New Mexico, Vegas's partners in mediocrity at the bottom of the Mountain West standings. Between the three of them, the Rebels, Cowboys, and Lobos combined to win just one game against the rest of the conference, Wyoming's season-ending blowout of Colorado State, a team that itself won just one game against teams that weren't MWC bottom-feeders.

All together, the bottom four teams in the Mountain West went a staggering 2-34 against all other FBS competititon, the only victories Wyoming's five-point win at Toledo and Colorado State's two-point escape against Idaho.

So it's no surprise that as his conference scrapes and claws for a BCS automatic bid, with every game its members play either helping or hurting its argument, MWC commissioner Craig Thompson isn't real pleased with how his bottom three teams are performing. He said as much in an interview yesterday with ESPN's Andrea Adelson , where few words were minced (emphasis added):
It’s never been an issue at the top. We’ve been in the Top 10. We’ve played in BCS games, but I read a recent Q&A with John Swofford of the ACC. Their strength is 12. I am not badmouthing any of our teams, but we need to have our six, seventh and eighth finishing teams have better seasons, period.
Well, no offense Commish, but that seems like you kind of are badmouthing those sixth, seventh, and eighth teams (i.e. CSU, UNLV, and Wyoming). (Why the No. 9 Lobos are spared, we're not sure, unless Thompson has joined the rest of the country on simply giving up on the Mike Locksley's train wreck of a program.)

But that's fine; their 2010 efforts deserve some badmouthing, especially when -- as Thompson's Q&A makes clear -- they're such a major stumbling block to a BCS bid that for now looks just slightly out of reach. The MWC needs to come in at sixth or better in the BCS polls and the BCS computer rankings to qualify for the bid, and in the 2008-2011 evaluation period, Thompson says they've hit that bar in the polls but don't have the computer juice (finishing seventh). Where the 2010-2013 period is concerned, they've cleared it in 2010, but just barely--and how much better will things get without Utah, BYU or TCU?

Without the necessary rankings, the MWC would have to apply for a waiver from the current BCS conferences, and though Thompson doesn't dismiss the possibility the guess here is that such a waiver will be granted when pigs rule the skies. The league's best bet is to put together a smashing 2011 that puts them in the top six for 2008-11, and they simply can't do that if the bottom four teams can't pull some tiny measure of their weight.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2011 7:32 pm

Thompson tells bottom of MWC to shape up

The difference between comparing a major versus second class school out of conference schedule is ridiculous.  All the majors play cupcakes for out of conference games, sometimes playing a major, but not very often, because they play the meat of their schedule in conference games.  The second class schools such as TCU and Boise don't have that luxury because their conference schedules suck and don't belong in a BCS game let alone being talked about for the NC.  If Indiana played Boises conference schedule they'd go undefeated, even Duke would be bowl elligible.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2011 9:41 am

Thompson tells bottom of MWC to shape up

This is a lot easier said than done.  I suggest that the MWC Commish Craig Thompson look for the reasons why the MWC hs problems with it's bottom feeders, and recruiting should be #1 on the list.  He also may want to check the overall record of these teams.  Wyoming won three games last season, but played and won a bowl game in 2009.  UNLV won only two games this past season, but managed 5 wins the previous two seasons.  Colorado State and New Mexico have had najor problems in the past two seasons, having won 7 games between the two schools in the two previous seasons.  How bad was that?  Well, in the 2008 and 2009 9 seasons, Pac 12 teams Washington and Washington State won a total of 8 games. 

Thompson also may want to take a look at the non-conference schedule some of this teams play.  Last season,Wyoming played So. Utah, at Texas, Boise State, and at Toledo.  The Big 10's Indiana played Towson, at Western Kentucky, Akron and Arkansas State.  Even mighty Ohio State faced Marshall,Miami, Ohio U, and Eastern Michigan, all at home.  Perhaps the MWC bottom feeders should not be scheduling games against the likes of Texas, Oregon, Boise State, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. 

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