Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Current Projections for WAC Women's Track Championships

I will do one more after Utah State's meet this weekend.  I will also update the WAC Commissioner's Cup Projections to reflect these changes.

1.  Nevada 138
2.  Louisiana Tech 131
3.  Utah State 122
4.  Fresno State 105
5.  New Mexico State 103
6.  Idaho 92
7.  Hawai'i 74
8.  Boise State 64

Boise State Is One Decathlete Away From Winning WAC Track

I have done the latest projections heading into the WAC Men's Outdoor Track Championships, which are a week and a half away.

I came across an interesting statistic--The team race is nearly dead even looking at every event except the decathlon.  No one from Boise State has participated in the grueling 10-event competion this year, so consequently the lion's share of the projected points go to Utah State and Fresno State.  If Boise State had a student-athlete finish third or fourth in the decathlon, the team race would be a virtual tie between Utah State, Boise State and Fresno State.

As it is, Utah State is projected to get 168 points with no Boise State entry in the decathlon, while Fresno State is projected to score 161 and Boise State 156.  Louisiana Tech is on track to get 91 points and Idaho 72.

Up-to-the-Minute WAC Commissioner's Cup Standings & Projections

Another sport has been decided in the WAC Commissioner's Cup race (men's golf) and here is the update giving you current standings and projections.  (Note:  I have changed the baseball and women's track projections slightly.  The maximum points that Fresno State can score is 96.  That is right now the number that will clinch the Cup.)

Just four sports remain in the school year (softball, men's and women's track and baseball).  The men's golf championship this week went almost exactly as seeded so there is little change in the projections.There are five WAC schools that are able to field men's indoor track, so the winner gets five points, #2 gets four 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.

Here are the current standings following men's golf:

1.  Boise State 83.25
2.  New Mexico State 69.50 
3.  Fresno State 69.00
4.  Utah State 64.25
5.  Idaho 56.50
6.  Nevada 53.25
7.  San Jose State 48.00
8.  Hawai'i 46.25
9.  Louisiana Tech  42.00 

Here are the Projections for the remaining sports:

Softball:  (May 11-14)
1.  Fresno State (6 points)
1.  Boise State (6.25 points)
1.  New Mexico State (5.75)
4.  Hawai'i (5)
5.  Utah State (4)
6.  San Jose State (3)
7.  Louisiana Tech (2)
8.  Nevada (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.  Nevada (8)

2.  Louisiana Tech (7 points)
3.  Utah State (6)

4.  Fresno State (5)
5.  New Mexico State (4)
6.  Idaho (3)
7.  Hawai'i (2)
8.  Boise State (1)

Baseball:  (May 25-29)
1.  Fresno State (6.5 points)
2.  Hawai'i (6.5 points)
3.  San Jose State (5)
4.  Nevada (3)
5.  Louisiana Tech (3.5)
6.  New Mexico State (2.5)

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 93.50  
     With tennis expected to provide the majority of the spring points for Boise State, the Broncos are nearing the finish line but about out of gas.  Softball is the only sport that will provide significant points.  Boise State is expected to pick up 10.25 more points the rest of the spring but they have some upside built in.  

2.  Fresno State 90.50
     The Bulldogs traditionally are the strongest team in the spring sports and this year should be no exception. Fresno State was forecast to score 45 points this spring and they are right on target.  Even after golf, there is another 21.5 points in reserve.  They are still projected to win the baseball and softball tournaments.  If they do well in women's track, the Cup is too close to call.  

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

3.  New Mexico State 81.50
     The Aggies out dual Boise State for having the second best spring sports program to Fresno State, scoring 12 more points in the four remaining sports.  The Aggies' best hope is to finish strong in their strengths and hope that their women's track team can finish high.  Still, the odds of NM State winning are not good.   

4.  Utah State 79.25
     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 15 more points this spring.  They could possibly finish third if everything goes right.

5.  Nevada 66.25
     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.  They have passed Idaho, but that could be as high as they get this year.  Nevada is projected to score 17 more points in the spring.

6.  Idaho 60.50
     The Vandals have been in the middle of the pack for the last several years.  Idaho should get about 4 more points this spring.  They will fight for positions 6-8.

7. Hawai'i 59.75
    Hawai'i has solid teams in both softball and baseball.  UH should score in the neighborhood of 13.5 more points this spring.  That's a good total, but they are too far down to climb all the way to the top.

8.  Louisiana Tech 56.50
     Louisiana Tech has climbed out of the cellar in the Cup race and will score around 14.5 more points this spring.  They probably won't get higher than #7, but they have a shot at that.

9.  San Jose State 56.00
     The Spartans should also do well in baseball.  San Jose State is projected to score 8 more points this spring.

Justice Department Sends Antitrust Inquiry to NCAA

The Justice Department has launched an inquiry into anti-trust allgations against the Bowl Championship Series, a department spokesman has just announced.

Following a meeting with Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, Attorney General Eric Holdern disclosed that his department has written a letter to Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA asking, among other things, if there are aspects of the BCS system that are unfair and do not serve the interests of fans, universities and players. 

The NCAA does not have to respond to the questions, but their answers will form the basis as to whether a full investigation should occur.

Boise State Men Finish Tied for 7th at WAC Golf Tournament

Boise State closed strong with 3 under on the last hole to tie Hawai'i for 7th place in their final WAC men's golf tournament.  While it would have been better of course to pass Hawai'i, even the tied points are better than finishing next to last.  Fresno State, the team that is neck-and-neck with the Broncos in the race to win the WAC Commissioner's Cup, finished third.  Both finishes are exactly as projected, meaning there is no change in the Cup race--it will go down to the wire.

1.  New Mexico State +11 Final
2.  San Jose State + 24 Final
3.  Fresno State + 25 Final
4.  Louisiana Tech +37 Final
4.  Idaho +37 Final
5.  Nevada +49 Final
7.  Hawai'i +57 Final
7.  Boise State +57 Final
9.  Utah State +86 Final