Again from the infamous Joe Lunardi has his weekly updated of who's in and who's out, and this weeks has good news and bad news for the conference. He has BYU out but listed in his 'next four out' and I assume it is from the Boise State loss, and then he has New Mexico in 'last four out' and the reasoning there is because New Mexico is 9-1 against sub 150 RPI, and then he has UNLV in as the lone MWC team. The reason there is so little love for the conference in relation to the NCAA tournament is the RPI of teams. Only 3 teams have an RPI of 60 or better (New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State) and out of those New Mexico's SOS is 232. Then there is Utah and BYU who are hovering around 100 RPI and then the rest that is in the low 200's because they play teams from independent division one or teams from the SWAC, Southland, and the other one bid leagues.
This has been said many times by me but the MWC needs to schedule more like the MWC to improve their RPI to get more teams into the dance. This league is not a high major league but neither is it mid or low major league. The teams that have been scheduled have been TERRIBLE. Teams like Colorado Christian, Western States, Oklahoma Panhandle State, South Carolina Upstate, Colorado-Colorado Springs College, among others need to be replaced with teams that play in a solid league if not a high power league. Why not schedule more teams like Nevada, Fresno State, Utah State, University of Houston, Oregon State, Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, and other teams that will be willing to schedule a home and home and are from leagues with good RPI's but they are not at the top of those leagues. This type of scheduling will help the MWC's RPI because those teams play in power leagues that will boost the opponents strength of schedule in the RPI. Scheduling a few local teams like Weber State, Montana, Northern Colorado, and others that are geographically close are good for the lower ranked team but those scheduled games should be limited to a few, and the only reason for other games of lower leagues should be because of a tournament that would allow for better opponents after they win.
Hopefully the MWC's AD's figure out they can schedule wins without having to scheduling the SWAC, Big West, or Southland Conference. Look for 2 teams to make it to the NCAA tournament based upon the gaudy records some of these teams will produce. This year the MWC looks strong with 5 teams that have a legit chance to win the league.