As Mountain West Connection reported Monday, the Mountain West Conference is rated as the second best league in the country by USA Today's Jeff Sagarin.
But the MWC is also highly regarded in Monday's Ratings Percentage Index rankings as listed by realtimrpi.com, rated behind the top-rated Big 10 Conference and No. 2 Big East Conference and ahead of traditional power conferences the Atlantic Coast Conference (No. 4), the Big 12 (No. 5) and the new media darling the Atlantic 10 Conference (No. 7).
|RPI Rk||Mountain West||Conf||All||RPI||SOS Rk||SOS|
|33||San Diego St.||2-2||12-4||0.6045||41||0.5627|
Like Monday's Associated Press poll, the ESPN Power Rankingss and CBSSports.org Top 25+1 both only have one MWC team in their rankings - the New Mexico Lobos (No. 15 in the CBS plus 1 ranking and No. 19 in the ESPN ranking, up three spots from last week).
ESPN is somewhat complimentary of the Lobos:
In the unpredictable Mountain West, the Lobos are holding serve, and that's pretty impressive. New Mexico won at Boise State in overtime to remain the only undefeated team in that crazy league.
ESPN has four other MWC schools receiving votes -- the San Diego St. Aztecs unofficially at No. 27, the UNLV Rebels at No. 29, the Colorado St. Rams at No. 30 and the Wyoming Cowboys at No. 35.
Finally, the CBSSports.com Mid-Major Power Pyramid this week still has six MWC schools in the top 11 of the 15 team pyramid rankings with UNM leading the way at No. 4. Matt Norlander is just an flumoxed by the MWC this season as ESPN is -- maybe that's why, in this morning's blog, he ran a pic of SDSU's The Show and initially labelled it as fans from The Pit claiming Lobo fans had dubbed center Alex Kirk "The Gingeraffe" (Sadly, not true - tho I guess we can always hope.)
But Norlander does have a good analysis of New Mexico's situation and NCAA seeding chances:
What's really going to help New Mexico this season -- and years past have shown the selection committee to be skittish in the way it hands out its seed to the Lobos -- is the No. 7 RPI and No. 9 overall strength of schedule as of today. The Mountain West isn't going to let those numbers take a big dip, either. Lobos are tracking toward a No. 4 seed or better by now.
The Pyramid has UNLV ranked 5th, SDSU 7th, the Boise St. Broncos 8th, the Wyoming Cowboys at 9th and the Colorado St. Rams at 11.
Norlander also had a good breakdown of why the Aztecs are the paradox that they are:
An examination of the team's profile on KenPom.com shows now that the Aztecs don't do anything particularly well except not turn the ball over. That's the kind of quality that prevents losing more than enhances chances at winning. SDSU's win over UCLA only has so much mileage.
Norlander is pretty well balanced but you have to wonder where he's coming from at times -- in this week's Pyramid Norlander has the Creighton Bluejays ranked ahead of Wichita St. Shockers - despite the fact that the Shockers defeated the Bluejays over the weekend. That's just... not right.