Sunday, April 17, 2011

Boise State Defeats Hawai'i 5-2

Since the official Boise State site does not have it yet, I'll break the news.  Boise State defeated Hawai'i in men's tennis today 5-2.

The score is the same that Boise State lost to Fresno State Saturday, so after the tough loss to #9 Stanford and the pain that comes with relinquishing the favorites' role in the WAC to Fresno State, it was gut check time and Patton's Army came through.  Congratulations to them!

Updated WAC Commissioner's Cup Standings

The results are in for the Western Athletic Conference Women's Golf Championship, and, as you can expect from this blog, I will have the most up-to-date Commissioner's Cup Standings here.

Boise State finished fourth, one stroke ahead of Nevada in the three-day event.  San Jose State captured the championship with solid play.  Combining those results with my earlier Spring projection, here are the updated results:

The Commissioner's Cup is given annually to the WAC school that has the best overall sports department for that school year.  The standings are determined by a point system that gives inverted points to the schools based on their performance in 20 sports that the conference sponsors and how many WAC schools participate in each sport.  For example, there are nine teams in football, thus the champion gets nine points, the runner-up eight points, the third-place team gets seven points, etc.  If there is a tie, the two tied teams split the points for two positions, i.e. a tie for first would split the points awarded for #1 and #2 (9 + 8 = 17 divided by 2 = 8.5 each).  

There are four WAC schools that are able to field men's indoor track, so the winner gets four points, #2 gets 3 points and so on.  Some sports, such as gymnastics, have auxiliary members (schools that are not officially in the WAC but participate in the conference in that sport).  In those cases, the auxiliary teams do not get points for the Commissioner's Cup but their places count in the point configuration.  If there are five schools that compete in a sport and Sacramento State, for example, is third, the league champion still gets five points, second gets four points, and the next WAC school, the fourth-place team, gets two points.  Men's and women's tennis, baseball and softball all split awarded points with half going to the regular season and half to the postseason championships.

Currently, Boise State has built a good lead (68.50 to 59.75) over Utah State.  New Mexico State is third with 48.25, followed by Fresno State (46.00), Idaho (42.50), Nevada (41.75), Hawai'i (37.75), San Jose State (36.50) and Louisiana Tech (33.00).  

The championships in men's and women's tennis that will be April 27-May 1 in Boise are next in line.

In coming up with the projections, I use the best available data in each sport.  For softball and baseball, the league standings are used.  For golf, I use Golfweek's weekly ratings and for tennis I use College Tennis Online's weekly rankings.  As the teams play more, the standings and weekly rankings will be more reliable.  For track, I will initially use the WAC Indoor Track Championship data but will switch to projected point totals for the Outdoor Championship based on top times once there is enough data available.  

Here are the projections for each sport:

Men's Tennis:  (April 27-May 1)
1.  Fresno State (7)
2.  Boise State (6)
3.  Idaho (5)
4.  Hawai'i (4)
5.  New Mexico State (3)
6.  Nevada (2)
7.  Utah State (1)

Women's Tennis:  (April 27-May 1)
1.  Boise State (9 points)
2.  Fresno State (8)
3.  Nevada (7)
4.  Hawai'i (6)
5.  Idaho (5)
6.  New Mexico State (4)
7.  Utah State (3)
8.  Louisiana Tech (2)
9.  San Jose State (1)
Coach Roghaar has his team playing well

Men's Golf:  (May 2-4)
1.  New Mexico State (8 points)
2.  Idaho (7)
3.  Fresno State (6)
4.  San Jose State (5)
5.  Nevada (4)
6.  Louisiana Tech (3)
7.  Hawai'i (2)
8.  Boise State (1)

Coach Kevin Burton's team hopes to improve in time for WAC Championships 

Softball:  (May 11-14)
1.  Fresno State (8 points)
2.  New Mexico State (7)
3.  Hawai'i (6)
4.  Boise State (5)
5.  Louisiana Tech (4)
6.  San Jose State (3)
7.  Nevada (2)
8.  Utah State (1)

Men's Track (May 10-13)
1.  Utah State (5 points)
2.  Fresno State (4)
3.  Boise State (3)
4.  Louisiana Tech (2)
5.  Idaho (1)

Women's Track (May 10-13)
1.  Louisiana Tech (8 points)
2.  Utah State (7)
3.  Nevada (6)
4.  New Mexico State (5)
5.  Boise State (4)
6.  Fresno State (3)
7.  Hawai'i (2)
8.  Idaho (1)

Baseball:  (May 25-29)
1.  Fresno State (7 points)
2.  New Mexico State (6 points)
3.  San Jose State (5)
4.  Louisiana Tech (4)
5.  Hawai'i (3)
6.  San Jose State (2)
7.  Nevada (1)

I will continue to do these projections on a semi-weekly basis.  As the teams get close to the championships in their respective sports, the data will get more accurate as being able to project the championship results.  As of right now, here are the projections for the final Commissioner's Cup point totals:

1.  Boise State 96.50  
     Boise State is expected to pick up most of its points in men's and women's tennis and in men's track.  The Broncos are projected to score 30 points this spring--they will need to do well to hold off Fresno State.  If those teams do not come through, we will have a tight race for the Cup.  On the other hand, since the women's golf team did better than expected, if the men's golf team can finish better than expected, Boise State's chances are dramatically improved.

2.  Fresno State 89.00
     The Bulldogs traditionally are the strongest team in the spring sports and this year should be no exception. Fresno State is expected to score 46 points in the spring alone.  Fresno is projected to win men's tennis, softball and baseball and women's tennis and they are also expected to do extremely well in men's track and men's golf.  If one or more of those teams do not come through, Fresno could relinquish the challenger's role to New Mexico State.  All those teams have to do well and Fresno State has to hope that the key Boise State sports falter for the Bulldogs to take the Cup.

Fresno State will once again provide the closest challenge to Boise State 

3.  New Mexico State 81.25
     The Aggies outdual Boise State for having the second best spring sports program to Fresno State, scoring 39 points.  The Aggies' best hope is to finish strong in their strengths and hope that their men's and women's tennis teams and women's track team can finish high while Boise State slips up somewhere.

4.  Utah State 76.75
     USU does fairly well in the spring but they aren't able to field a team in baseball, men's golf or women's golf.  Until they are able to fund those programs, Utah State will never have a serious chance of winning an overall competition.  Utah State is projected to score just 17 points this spring.  They could possibly finish third if everything goes right.

5.  Nevada 63.75
     Nevada has been a challenger nearly every year in the Commissioner's Cup.  However, poor fall programs hurt their chances severely.  They finished near the bottom in women's cross country, soccer and volleyball.  The only reason they are this high is because of their football, basketball and swimming programs.  Nevada is projected to score 26 points in the spring.

6. Hawai'i 60.75
    Hawai'i is expected to do the best in men's and women's tennis and softball.  UH should score in the neighborhood of 24 points this spring.  That's a good total, but they are too far down to climb all the way to the top.

7.  Idaho 56.00
     The Vandals have been in the middle of the pack for the last several years.  Idaho will get most of their points in men's and women's golf and men's tennis.  Idaho should get about 18.5 points this spring.  They will fight for positions 5-8.

7.  Louisiana Tech 56.00
     Louisiana Tech has climbed out of the cellar in the Cup race and will score around 23 points this spring.  They probably won't get higher than #7, but they have a shot at that.

9.  San Jose State 50.50
     The Spartans are the favorite in women's golf and they should also do well in baseball.  San Jose State is projected to score 21 points this spring.

Boise State Women Finish 4th at WAC Golf Championship

The Boise State women's golf team fought their way out of last place and finished strong in the final nine holes today in Mesa, Arizona to finish fourth at the Western Athletic Conference Golf Championship.

The Broncos shot a 310 in the first round Friday, a 309 yesterday, and improved that score to 302 to finish 69 strokes over par.  With Boise State in the clubhouse, Nevada had an eight-stroke lead but lost nine strokes to finish 70 over par and fifth place.  San Jose State shot a 294 today to win the WAC with a plus 32, followed by New Mexico State at 34 over and Fresno State 61 over.  Idaho was sixth (74 over) and Hawai'i finished 77 over.

This is the final WAC action of course for Boise State, who will find the Mountain West much more challenging next year.

Jones Finishes 2nd at Utah State Invitational

Racquel Jones had great promise when she signed her letter of intent to come to Boise State.  Saturday, Jones used her great ability in a win at the Utah State Invitational.

Jones finished second in the 200 meters in 24.30, which gives her the top time in the Western Athletic Conference this season.  Jones also won the 100 in 12.36 and, together with Destiny Gammage, Cyntrail Pierce and Mackenzie Flannigan, won the 4 x 100-meter relay with a season best time of 47.15.   

Rolando Trammel won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.48, off his best but Trammel continues to lead the WAC.  Justin Malnes was second (14.58).  Manoah Wesson was second in the 200 with a time of 21.66 and second in the 400 (48.09).  The Bronco team of Nick Tatro, Ethan Slight, Tyler Rackleff and Michael Walrath won the 4 x 400-meter relay with a time of 3:17.79.