MWC back up to No. 2 in RPI, up to No. 5 in Sagarin

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountain West Conference has slipped a bit in other rankings, but the MWC moved up in the Ratings Percentage Index this week - and the league moved up a spot overall to No. 5 in the Sagarin ratings at US Today as well. MW Connection has the analysis.

The Mountain West Conference has been a top three league in the Ratings Percentage Index recently, sticking as high as No. 2 for a period. So when the Big East Conference passed the MWC up a few weeks ago, it looked like the MWC would be sliding down the RPI ladder.

Well, not actually.

Even after a tough weekend of basketball where marquee teams the San Diego St. Aztecs and UNLV Runnin' Rebels fell in league play, the league was back up to the No. 2 spot in Tuesday's rankings.

Rank Conference Avg. RPI Avg. SOS SOS Rank Teams
1 Big Ten 0.5916 0.5766 1 12
2 Mountain West 0.5886 0.5605 3 9
3 Big East 0.5875 0.5669 2 15
4 Atlantic Coast 0.5756 0.5603 4 12
5 Big 12 0.5680 0.5587 6 10
6 Pacific-12 0.5677 0.5597 5 12
7 Atlantic 10 0.5545 0.5458 7 16
8 Southeastern 0.5468 0.5411 8 14
9 Missouri Valley 0.5350 0.5313 9 10
10 West Coast 0.5324 0.5269 10 9

Anyone who's followed the MWC (and the Western Athletic Conference before that) knows that teams like SDSU, UNLV and the New Mexico Lobos typically got punished in the past for losing league games. But that trend seems to have been suspended this season.

That's one of the benefits of having seven teams in the RPI Top 70, I suppose.

RPI Rk Mountain West Conf All RPI SOS Rk SOS
5 New Mexico 6-1 19-3 0.6745 4 0.6111
15 Colorado St. 5-2 16-4 0.6361 41 0.5674
Up 2 From Last Week 17 UNLV 4-3 16-5 0.6307 21 0.5840
Up 4 From Last Week 29 San Diego St. 4-3 14-5 0.6091 42 0.5670
51 Boise St. 3-4 13-6 0.5869 82 0.5397
62 Wyoming 2-6 13-6 0.5742 77 0.5446
Down 1 From Last Week 69 Air Force 5-2 12-6 0.5684 97 0.5326
Up 2 From Last Week 131 Nevada 2-5 10-10 0.5229 84 0.5388
Down 2 From Last Week 175 Fresno St. 1-6 5-13 0.4947 56 0.5596

Over at USA Today, Jeff Sagarin has rated the MWC as high as No. 2 but demoted the league to No. 6 last week.

But the MWC seems to have benefited from a week of tough play. edging out the Pac-12 on Tuesday.

RANK

CONFERENCE

RATING

1

BIG TEN

84.90

2

BIG EAST

83.21

3

BIG 12

82.35

4

ATLANTIC COAST

81.66

5

MOUNTAIN WEST

80.72

6

PAC-12

80.65

7

SOUTHEASTERN

79.65

8

ATLANTIC 10

78.69

9

MISSOURI VALLEY

76.75

10

WEST COAST

75.55

The biggest factor seems to be the ascension of the Air Force Falcons, who broke Sagarin's top 100 after their win over the weekend against San Diego St. The Boise St. Broncos bounced back a bit as well with their win over UNLV.

RANK

TEAM

RATING

RECORD

25

San Diego State

85.59

14-5

26

Colorado State

85.34

16-4

28

UNLV

84.91

16-5

34

New Mexico

84.35

19-3

77

Wyoming

79.33

13-6

86

Boise State

78.72

13-6

98

Air Force

78.26

12-6

131

Nevada

75.06

10-10

159

Fresno State

73.23

5-13

We'll see how things go. If the MWC can keep a super majority of teams in the Sagarin Top 100, maybe we won't see the league gradually slip down in Sagarin rankings, which is usually the norm. If the Colorado St. Rams can keep it up and the Wyoming Cowboys can ... um... cowboy up, the MWC will keep getting Sagarin love.

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