Tag:Mountain West
Posted on: August 30, 2011 11:52 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Two CSU Rams arrested at 'mega party'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When there's a party taking place that involves between 2,000 to 4,000 people, the odds are pretty good that there will be an arrest or two. When that party is taking place on a college campus, the odds that at least one of the arrests involves a football player skyrocket. So guess what happened when there was a "mega party" organized on Facebook in Fort Collins, Colorado this weekend?

That's right, two Colorado State players got arrested.

Starting linebacker James Skelton and reserve defensive lineman Zachary Tiedgen were among the four arrests at the weekend party. Skelton was cited for third-degree assault while Tiedgen was cited for disorderly conduct.

According to Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild, both players practiced on Monday and that he's still gathering information on what exactly happened.

"I'm aware of the incident," Fairchild said. "I've looked into it, we are looking into it and we'll comment further when we know more."
Posted on: August 25, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 1:43 pm
 

PODCAST: 2011 BCS Busters

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With at least one non-AQ team (and sometimes two) breaking the BCS glass ceiling every season since 2006, it's no longer a question of "will we get a BCS buster?" as much as "which BCS buster will it be?" In this edition of the College Football Podcast, Adam Aizer and myself break down the candidates: Boise State or TCU in the Mountain West? UCF or Southern Miss in Conference USA? What about BYU? And though they don't qualify as a BCS buster, is it time to expect a "Return to (BCS) Glory" for Notre Dame?

We answer all of those questions and more, and one of us -- OK, it's me -- predicts a historic national title game appearance for one of the lucky teams listed above. Listen below, download the mp3 version, or open our popout player for easier browsing. You can also subscribe to the College Football Podcast on iTunes. Enjoy:


Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Preseason poll study shows Boise most underrated

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For all the critics out there that enjoy claiming Boise State receives too much attention, a study of the last five years' worth of preseason AP polls has a little surprise in store.

According to Pollspeak.com and their review of the AP's initial ballots from 2006 through 2010, no team in the nation has been more underrated in the preseason than the Broncos, who have outperformed their initial ranking by a collective 38 spots in the final poll. 2010 aside (when BSU slipped six spots thanks to Kyle Brotzman's infamous shank job against Nevada), the Broncos haven't received enough preseason attention--particularly in 2006, when Boise entered the season unranked and finished it fifth after their legendary win over Oklahoma.*

If there's a common thread among the study's most underrated teams, it's that they come from outside the sport's traditional power programs. Cincinnati came in second behind the Broncos thanks to three straight years of Brian Kelly's overachieving, followed by TCU, Utah, Stanford and Oregon.

The most underrated team in the SEC? Alabama, despite last year's plunge from No. 1 to 10, thanks to massive underrating three of the four previous years.

On the flip side, the most overrated team also comes as something of a stunner: the Cal Golden Bears, who failed to outperform their preseason ranking all five years and finished well short of it three times. That's a lot of preseason mileage Jeff Tedford appears to have gotten out of those classic USC battles from the mid-Aughts, but it hasn't helped him much once the season starts.

Coming in behind the Bears on the overrated list? Texas, USC, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Florida State. Of course, it's not really so much of a disgrace to appear in this space; when you're ranked as high as USC has been, for instance (6th, 1st, 3rd, and 4th in the first four years of the study) there's almost nowhere to go but down.

Still, it doesn't seem wise to bet on the Bears or Trojans (or top-ranked Sooners) to wind up maintaining their preseason expectation this year. And as for Boise? The preseason AP ballot isn't released until this Saturday, but if the media follows the coaches' lead in placing the Broncos seventh, one win over Georgia would have BSU well on its way to proving the pollsters wrong ... again.

*Would you like to watch the highlights of that game right now? Of course you would. Here you go:



HT: Idaho Statesman.


Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:41 am
 

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Just as predicted by numbers guru Phil Steele back in February, Oklahoma will begin the 2011 season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Sooners grabbed 42 of a possible 59 first-place votes in the coaches' preseason ballot, released Thursday morning, but still hold just a 40-point lead over second-place Alabama. The Tide took 13 first-place votes, with the remaining four split evenly between No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 LSU (who just so happen to be playing in Dallas on the season's opening Saturday). Florida State rounds out the top five, further cementing Jimbo Fisher's program as the new ACC favorites. (Virginia Tech is the next-highest ACC team at No. 13.)

Conference-by-conference, the poll features eight teams from the SEC, five from the Big Ten, five from the Big 12, two each from the Pac-12, ACC and Mountain West, and one independent in Notre Dame. The Big East went unrepresented in the top 25, with West Virginia finishing "No. 27" as part of the "Also Receiving Votes" category.

Some immediate reaction:
  • When it comes to getting the benefit of the doubt, it still pays to be the biggest-name program possible. Georgia, Florida, Texas and Penn State combined for a whopping 25 losses last year, but all four still find their way into the preseason ballot as teams Nos. 21-25.
  • Despite the SEC's lofty reputation, it's the Big 12 with the top billing in the top 10. In addition to Oklahoma edging the Tide for top spot, both Oklahoma State and Texas A&M squeeze into the top 10 while only LSU joins Alabama from the SEC. The Cowboys and Aggies will have a lot to prove, as recent Big 12 dark horses like Nebraska last season and the '09 Cowboys have failed to live up to their preseason ranking.
  • Ohio State's off-season turmoil has left Wisconsin and those same Cornhuskers as the only Big Ten teams in the top 15 of the poll. Given the league's apparent parity -- the Huskers were recently named the league favorite despite coaching turnover and major losses on defense -- even that may be generous.
  • The top two teams in the final poll of 2010 slid a combined 31 spots, with national champion Auburn coming in No. 19 and No. 2 TCU checking in at No. 15. Auburn may be ranked entirely too low if you subscribe to the "champions until they lose" doctrine, and entirely too high if you believe the combination of a brutal schedule and extremely young roster will result in a struggle to even make the top 25. Which means they're probably ranked about right for a poll like this.
  • With USC ineligible and Arizona State and Utah each finishing in the "Also Receiving Votes" category, no team from the new Pac-12 South was included. Guess the "Sun Devils = divisional favorite" offseason chatter didn't mean a whole lot to the voters, just as West Virginia's status as the presumptive Big East favorite didn't. But should it really have meant less than Penn State's expected running-in-place season after a 7-6 season a year ago?
  • For that reason, this blogger will go with the Nittany Lions as the poll's most overrated team, and a tie between Nos. 13 and 14 -- Virginia Tech and loaded Arkansas -- as the poll's most underrated.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:12 pm
 

You can vote for Wyoming's uniforms

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's what we know about Wyoming's opening game of the season against Weber State. The game will be on September 3rd, and it will be against Weber State. What we don't know is what uniforms that the Cowboys will be wearing during the game, but we could have a say in it.

Wyoming is holding a poll that allows fans to vote on which uniforms the school should wear in the season opener.
Head coach Dave Christensen and the University of Wyoming football team have invited Cowboy fans to help decide which uniforms UW will wear for the season opener on Sept. 3 against Weber State. Fans may vote for one of six uniform combinations and one of three helmets. Voting will conclude the week before the Weber State game, when a winner will be announced.
"Only six options?" says an obnoxious Oregon fan somewhere.

Personally I'd roll with the all brown option, including brown helmet, just because I can't think of any other team who wears nothing but brown. Plus, there's no yellow helmet, so the all-yellow option isn't available. Which is a shame.

Get to work on that, Wyoming.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Boise AD talks about abandoning blue uniforms

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this week it was announced that Boise State would not be allowed to wear all blue uniforms during home games on the school's blue turf now that it was a member of the Mountain West. As you'd expect, this decision didn't go over very well with a lot of Boise State fans, as they've felt that wearing all blue on a blue turf helps the team because it works as a sort of camouflage.

A theory I've never understood all that much because last I checked, you play football on a field at the same eye-level as your opponent, not from a blimp flying above the field. Sure, maybe the blue on blue made watching game film a bit annoying at times for opposing coaches, but on the field I don't see how it could have an impact.

Still, the Mountain West asked Boise State to abandon the practice, and being the new kid on the block, Boise State agreed. Though if you were to listen to Boise AD Bob Kustra talk about it, the school might not have made the same decision if it were joining the Mountain West now.

"One thing I think people have to understand is the Mountain West we were going to had TCU, BYU and the University of Utah sitting at the table," Kustra told the Idaho Statesman. "And when I first met with TCU’s, BYU’s and Utah’s presidents, it was a pretty inspiring moment. I knew I was sitting with the top dogs of that conference.

“When they come to you and give you a bottom line, a year ago, we didn’t have a lot of elbow room. There really wasn’t much give. If that same conversation were to take place this year, I’ll guarantee you we wouldn’t be talking about no blue uniforms on the blue turf unless somebody decides how to keep green uniforms off the turf in Fort Collins and any place else where there is such.

“People tend to forget it was a different context in which this decision had to be made and we had literally minutes in which to make it in. They were clearly doing their vote.”

In other words, Boise State didn't feel as if it were the big dog at the table last year when Utah, TCU and BYU were still around. Now that those schools are gone or on the way out, Boise State would have had a bit more of that "we'll do what we want because you really need us at the moment" leverage.

Either way, no matter the timing, this is a bit too much fuss over the color of a uniform to ever have.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Which school has the best homefield advantage?



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Every summer many college football fan's anticipate the release of Phil Steele's annual preview magazine as much as they do the college football season itself. If you're unfamiliar with Phil Steele, he's a man that enjoys doing three things: watching college football, doing math and writing about college football and the math he's done. It was these three hobbies of Steele's that helped him figure out which school has the best homefield advantage in the country.

Using a number of different factors including stadium capacity, attendance and home records, Steele was able to determine which schools have the biggest edge at their place, and it turns out that three schools are tied atop the rankings. None of which will come as that big of a surprise.

According to Steele, the three teams with the best homefield advantage in the country are Oklahoma, Oregon and Boise State. Those schools are followed by Ohio State and Virginia Tech to round out the top five. Eastern Michigan can lay claim to the worst homefield advantage in the country.

Now, while Steele's formula for figuring all of this out -- you can read all about it and see the entire list of rankings here -- is solid, I do have a small problem with it. He breaks every category down into a rating between 0 and 6. Which leads to a lot of ties in the final rankings. Personally, if I were going to do something similar, I would break the ratings down from 0 to 10. I'm sure there would be some ties, but not nearly as many as Steele currently has.

Though don't expect me to sit down and do it myself. I don't hate math, but I'm not looking to spend all of my time with it either. 
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:53 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 12:18 pm
 

MWC forbids Boise from all-blue look at home

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When San Diego State head coach Rocky Long called the combination of Boise State's home Smurf Turf and their all-blue uniforms "unfair" this past April, we applauded his candor but also assumed he was giving voice to run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes sour grapes. If Boise hadn't been so good, and their opponents on the blue turf hadn't lost so many times, no one would care about the color of the field or uniforms, right?

Maybe not. But as it turns out, Long is far from the only coach to believe the Broncos' home color-coordination gives them an unfair advantage. In fact, so many of the coaches in Boise's new Mountain West Conference home complained that the league prohibited the Broncos from wearing all-blue uniforms in their conference home games as a prerequisite for their entry into the league.

While the Bronco administration had little choice but to sign off on the agreement (what, they were going to stay in the WAC over their uniforms?), you couldn't have expected the MWC's plan to go over well in Boise. And it hasn't, with even usually soft-spoken head coach Chris Petersen railing against the decision at MWC Media Days Tuesday:
“I thought it was ridiculous,” Petersen said of his reaction. “… That’s our colors. That’s who we are. That’s who our fans have wanted us to be since I’ve been at Boise State. That’s what it’s been through and through.”

The MWC's explanation?

Said commissioner Craig Thompson: “What we had heard from our coaches is ‘a competitive advantage.’ It’s as simple as that.”
Again: color us skeptical the Broncos' "competitive advantage" in Boise has anywhere near as much to do with the field or the uniforms as the long travel, players like Kellen Moore, and coaches like Petersen. And we're particularly skeptical the coaches' gripes are based in legitimate competition issues -- rather than a conference-wide sort of rookie hazing -- when we read the following:
One complaint from coaches is that it’s difficult to watch video of the Broncos’ home games. Petersen said that’s true, but shouldn’t be an issue as schools switch to high definition.
It's a little more difficult to watch film of their games, so you're going to tell the Broncos what uniforms they can and can't wear at their own stadium? Really?

Really. As a neutral viewer, we shouldn't complain; the all-blue look on the blue turf does take a few series' of visual adjustment (even in HD), and monochrome uniforms in bright colors aren't exactly the height of football fashion no matter the color of the field. But quirky home-field advantages have always been a part of college football, and this one seems even more quirky and innocuous than most.

So: we anxiously await confirmation from the MWC that as part of their invitations to join, Hawaii will be playing their home games in California, Nevada will be playing theirs at sea level (and only in September and October, what with those chilly November/December temperatures in Reno), and at theirs Fresno State will force Pat Hill to coach clean-shaven.

 
 
 
 
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