Saturday, February 12, 2011

An Early Analysis of WAC Commissioner's Cup Race

Five sports are complete in the Western Athletic Conference Commissioner's Cup race for this year: men's and women's cross country, soccer, volleyball and football.

With the winter sports winding down, it's a good time to take a look at the race and see where the schools are at compared to last year. The Cup recognizes the school with the best overall sports department each year. Boise State surged past Fresno State to win it last year.

After five sports, here are the standings and gain or loss from last year:

1. Boise State 31.75 (-.25)
2. Utah State 31.50 (+2.25)
3. Idaho 27.50 (+4.75)
4. Fresno State 24.75 (-3.25)
5. New Mexico State 23.25 (-4.00)
6. Hawai'i 21.50 (+2.50)
7. Nevada 19.00 (-8.00)
8. San Jose State 15.25 (+1.00)
9. Louisiana Tech 13.50 (+4.50)

Boise State is nearly exactly where they were a year ago when they won the Cup with 92.25 points, beating Fresno State by 8.50 points. The fact that Fresno is down from last year and Nevada is taking a beating bodes well for Boise State. It is still very early of course but if the Bronco basketball teams can get some wins down the stretch and the defending champion swimming and gymnastics teams can finish high, the outlook will still be good heading into the spring sports.

Bronco Tennis Team Ranked About Right

As I said in the preview for this weekend's Boise State trip in California, how they go in California determines how they go in the season. A loss to #20 Pepperdine is nothing to be ashamed about, but maybe a 6-1 loss is. The fact that the Broncos could not muster more W's (many of the matches were straight set losses) against #20 is a scary sign. Damian Hume and Scott Sears gave Boise State something to celebrate with an 8-4 upset win over the #35 doubles team in the land, Pepperdine's Finn Tearney and Hugh Clarke.

With Fresno State playing well, it appears the Broncos will again have to fight hard just to win the WAC.

San Jose State A Favorite for WAC Swimming Title

Boise State may have beaten the top swim teams in the Northwest, but their times pale in comparison to San Jose State. The Spartan women will be coming to San Antonio to steal the WAC crown from the Broncos.

The competitive nature of swimming is such that Boise State will still be fighting hard. On paper, though, they just have a few swimmers with better times than San Jose. Hawai'i, too, should be a strong factor in the Championships that start in a little over 10 days.

I'll have a further breakdown on the top times in a few days, but right now it looks like the Broncos will have their work cut out for them.

Bronco Softball Team Has Won Its Opener

A good start for the Boise State softball team!

Boise State has just beaten Loyola Marymount 2-1 in California. Boise State had five stolen bases in the game. They take on Long Beach State shortly in a second game.

Live Scoring for Boise State-Pepperdine Tennis

Boy, I think those California guys are little too sun-soaked. Their live scoring is pathetic. The match has supposedly been underway for 2 hours and it is 1-0 Pepperdine. They have three singles matches with partial results in the first set and the other three are blank....

Bronco Action Today

The Boise State track and field team is underway in Nampa in the final preparation for the WAC Indoor Championships. The Bronco men have some ground to make up to be able to top Utah State, while the women are a ways away from being in the upper half of the conference. The Bronco Challenge is at Jackson's Track across from the Idaho Center.

In a little over an hour (3 p.m. Mountain), the Bronco tennis team will test their rackets against highly-regarded Pepperdine in Malibu.

The Bronco softball team makes its season debut against Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State this afternoon in California.

And tonight, it's a doubleheader of hoops with the women entertaining Idaho at 6 followed at 9 by the Broncos and Vandals in men's basketball action.

How the Nation's Top Gymnastics Teams Fared This Weekend

As promised, here is an overview of how the top collegiate women's gymnastics teams did this weekend. Boise State of course is #12 and edged San Jose State by less than half a point, 195.925-195.550.

GymInfo will soon be ranking the teams by something they call the Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), which is akin to the BCS formula in football (although much more fair). For now, the teams are ranked by team average and it is that comparison I will focus on until the RQS takes hold.

Boise State came into this week #12 with a team average of 195.038. The score at San Jose will help them a bit--the Broncos' average is now 195.127. That probably won't be enough of a boost to raise them in the rankings, but we'll see if they fall. Here are some of the early results from around the nation this weekend.

#1 Florida travels to #4 Georgia this afternoon.
#2 Stanford downed Oregon State and UCLA with a great 196.475 score. They meet #8 Michigan and #9 Nebraska tomorrow.

#3 Utah was superb with a 196.975 last night.
#4 Georgia hosts #1 Florida.
#5 Oklahoma defeated Iowa State with a 197.225, the top score so far this weekend.
#6 Oregon State put up a 196.35 against Stanford. OSU is one team that Boise State must defeat at Regionals to make Nationals.
#7 Alabama scored 197.075 in its meet last night.
#8 Michigan and
#9 Nebraska face #2 Stanford.
#10 UCLA scored 196.3 in their meet last night. The Bruins are another team that Boise State must defeat in order to reach Nationals.
#11 Arkansas scored 195.325 in their meet against #19 LSU last night.
#12 Boise State edged San Jose State 195.925-195.550.
#13 Washington fell to #3 Utah and scored 195.475. The Broncos must also defeat Washington to reach Nationals.
#14 Kent State competes tonight in the MAC.
#15 Ohio State has a Big 10 meet tonight.
#16 Illinois-Champaign scored 195.4 last night.
#17 Minnesota has a meet slated tonight.
#18 Penn State scored 195.925 last night.
#19 LSU fell to #11 Arkansas and scored 194.875.

The current averages for the Top 15:
1. Florida 197.035
2. Stanford 196.636
3. Utah 196.300
4. Oklahoma 196.118
5. Georgia 195.950
6. Alabama 195.988
7. Oregon State 195.897
8. Michigan 195.635
9. Nebraska 195.438
10. UCLA 195.575
11. Arkansas 195.204
12. Boise State 195.127
13. Washington 195.058
14. Kent State 194.925
15. Ohio State 194.830