Break up the Mountain West basketball league!
Yeah, its early yet. But the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll both reflect the conference's good standing 33 days into the 2012-13 college basketball season as all three ranked teams - the San Diego St. Aztecs, UNLV Runnin' Rebels and New Mexico Lobos moved up in the polls.
In the Associated Press poll, SDSU moved up to No.17 up from No, 23, UNLV moved from No. 21 up from 24 and UNM moved to No. 18 up from 23rd last week. The surprising Boise St. Broncos came in unofficially at 35th with 22 votes. the Colorado St.Rams and the Wyoming Cowboys were tied unofficially for 40th with 5 votes each.
A similar thing happened in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. SDSU moved up to No. 15 up from No. 21, UNLV went up to No. 18 up from No. 20 and UNM landed at No. 20 up from No. 23. The Coaches unofficially had Wyoming at 34th with 9 votes, Colorado St. at 41st with 3 votes and Boise St. at 42nd with 2 votes.
As if to prove our point from yesterday, the Pac-12 now has just one teams ranked in the either Top 25 - Arizona is ranked 8th in both polls.
BOISE STATE LOVE
Boise St. has become a national sweetheart over the last few days - and not the football team.
We're talking the 6-1 basketball team that has caught the attention of bloggers from ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, CBSSports.com and NBC Sports' College Basketball Talk blog and sits atop this week's MW Connection MWC Power Rankings.
CBSSports.com's Non-Power League Pyramid puts the unheralded boys from Boise at No. 2 - highest among the five MWC teams playing the Pyramid:
Why it's here: Well -- it gave the No. 3 team its only loss of the season to date. Plus, Derrick Marks is turning into a mid-major star. The Boise State sophomore guard threw down 35 against Creighton.
Rob Dauster over at NBC's College Basketball Talk also talks up the Broncos today.
Boise State was supposed to finish near the bottom of the Mountain West this season... It looks like we’re going to have to make space now, as Boise State put together one of the more impressive performances of the young season as they went into Omaha and smacked around a very good Creighton team.
And then Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Eisenberg named BoiseSt. fourth his list of "Five Teams that have most exceeded expectations this year." Tho he's not completely convinced:
Are they legit or a mirage? I'm buying Boise State as a vastly improved team that will give every visiting Mountain West team fits this winter. I'm not quite ready to anoint the Broncos as an NCAA tournament team or a top four Mountain West squad just yet.
Of course these guys are late to the party.
CBSSports.coms' Jeff Goodman and the Chuck Norris of CBB coverage, ESPN's Andy Katz (remember: Katz doesn't sleep. He lies in wait), already jumped on the Boise bandwagon after their win at Craighton -- and propped up the MWC in the process.
Boise State has proven that it may just be relevant in men's basketball after all, not just in football. The timing could not have been better. The Mountain West is one of the top leagues in the country with depth nearly eight teams down.
8-0 Wyoming also got a "Shout out" in the same article from NBC after its 76-69 win over Colorado Saturday:
Boise State isn’t the only MWC surprising people early in the season. Wyoming is as well. After rolling through seven their first seven games, the Cowboys finally had a chance to make a statement, and they did just that against Colorado.
Of course all the love and accolades have a price, as you can see with CBSSports.com's "Breaking Down the Unbeatens" offering today. Jeff Goodman says the jury is still out on 8-0 New Mexico while 8-0 Wyoming are "Frauds," calling out the Cowboys early schedule:
Larry Shyatt loves to schedule with Charmin...The last win, though, came against a previously ranked Colorado Buffaloes squad. Shyatt does have a couple of players in Leonard Washington and Luke Martinez, but this team's record is completely deceiving.
Life in the spotlight is harsh.