The Mountain West Conference finally broke through into the Top 3 of Matt Norlander's Mid-Major Power Pyramid this week - but overall the league is down a bit with only five teams representing in the Pyramid.
The New Mexico Lobos checks in at No. 3 but Norlander seems to be reticent about the MWC league leader.
Give credit to UNM for staying on the good track and mostly dodging the minefield of the Mountain West. Lobos are now 6-1 in the league and making me look good for putting them above all other MWC teams more than a month ago.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The Colorado St. Rams check in at No. 6. the UNLV Runnin' Rebels stand at No. 7, the San Diego St. Aztecs, good enough for "A Cut Below" status and the Boise St. Broncos move back up to No. 11 to earn "Base Block" status.
Norlander seems to have a soft spot for the Broncs:
The Broncos could become an interesting petri dish study if they continue to give and take in league play and, say, don't win an MWC tournament game... Will low numbers and good league wins (plus beating Creighton) be enough?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs sit atop the Pyramid and No. 1. The Creighton Bluejays are No. 2.
As far as CBSSports.com's Top 25+1 rankings goes, the MWC only warrants one team, New Mexico, which clocked in at No. 16 this week. Top 25+1 collaboraters Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman say this about UNM:
The Lobos have a one-game lead in the otherwise cluttered Mountain West Conference standings.
Clutter is for the garage guys. Why not say "Competitive?"
BTW, the Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan Wolverines and Duke Blue Devils come in 1-2-3 in the Top 25+1.
Over at this week's ESPN Power Rankings, New Mexico is also the lone MWC team in the Top 25. ESPN seems to have a little more regard for los Lobos than CBS:
Not exactly sure how Steve Alford's team registered just 34 points in a loss to San Diego State last week. But the Lobos have won their past two, and with a defense that's ranked 20th in adjusted efficiency per Ken Pomeroy, they're certainly capable of earning another Mountain West title.
The rest of the MWC clocks in like this: Colorado St. unofficially at No. 27, San Diego St. at No. 33, and UNLV at No. 40. Indiana top the ESPN Power rankings followed by the Florida Gators at No.2 and Michigan at No. 3