Net Ranking Debut: Boise State out to prove doubters wrong?
Boise State leads the conference in first Net Rankings of the season
The first NET Rankings of the season are out, with four Mountain West schools in the top-100 and a shake up on top.
The first NET Rankings of the year were released on Monday and as in the past a Mountain West team cracked the top-25, this time around it is the Boise State Broncos.
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) January 4, 2021
The NET is the NCAA metric and it gives the selection committee an idea of team’s performances based on the combination of four ratings. It takes it’s own metrics and those of KenPom, BPI, the Sagarin ratings and team’s strength of schedule to give us a full ranking.
Of course along with the release date in early January, which is a tad later than last year. Things are a bit different everywhere this year, given the Ivy League and several other programs deciding to opt-out of the rest of the season, things are going to be a bit unorthodox and we just have to get used to it.
🚨 First NET ratings are out. 🚨
13. Boise State
40. Colorado State
41. San Diego State
85. Utah State
258. New Mexico
264. Fresno State
287. Air Force
330. San Jose Statehttps://t.co/GkPiOQv6gM
— Mountain West Wire (@MWCwire) January 4, 2021
Even taking a look at rankings around the Mountain West, things are a little scarred to say the least. Maybe the surprise of the conference out front is the Boise State Broncos at No. 13.
There were plenty of folks, myself included, that were extremely high on the Broncos coming into the season. With the preseason player of the year Derrick Alston Jr. returning and a plethora of high major and impact transfers on this year’s roster. But the preseason respect wasn’t neccesarily carrying over for this Bronco squad. A talented team at 8-1, their only loss was an early one to a very talented Houston Cougars squad (ranked No. 7).
Where the twitter conversation tends to get a bit hostile is suggesting that the San Diego State Aztecs still be atop the conference given their two registered losses to Colorado State this past week (now ranked one spot ahead of them at No. 40) and old conference foe BYU prior (ranked No. 51).
The argument may be rooted in reference to the industry standard KenPom, a metric website, which still has a 43 space gap between the two schools, with San Diego State coming in at No. 29 and Boise State at No. 72.
For those not fond of these type of these type of metrics and prefer the debate be settled on the court, be patient. The back-to-back series between these two schools won’t take place until the end of the season on February 25th. It will be highly anticipated, but until then Bronco fans will take this as a win, and Aztec fans will refer back to KenPom.
Around the rest of the conference things look recognizable to this time last year. One notable drop would be, New Mexico who this time last year was a top-60 squad in the NET Ranking’s debut now at No. 227. But, this may be directly attributed to only playing three different D-I schools this season with only one win. A notable rise would be the Wyoming Cowboys, who last year debuted at No. 289 and this sit at No. 153 in their first year under head coach Jeff Linder.
Mountain West NET Rankings:
13. Boise State 8-1 (4-0)
40. Colorado State 6-2 (3-1)
41. San Diego State 7-2 (1-1)
85. Utah State 7-3 (4-0)
145. Nevada 8-3 (3-1)
153. Wyoming 7-2 (1-1)
232. UNLV 1-4
227. New Mexico 3-4 (0-4)
264. Fresno State 3-3 (1-3)
287. Air Force 3-5 (1-3)
330. San Jose State 2-6 (0-4)
In this crazy 2020-2021 college basketball season, things are anything but normal. Initial rankings like these are doing the best they can with the unorthodox data being presented, still the NET and others like it are what will be used by the NCAA tournament selection committee come March.
So regardless of the data, metrics or controversy between fanbases they are something to keep track of and you can do so below.