Well, here’s an interesting story that is branching off of a recent quote from New Mexico head coach Steve Alford.
Alford, whose Lobos were the only team listed in the week’s AP Top 25, told the Albuquerque Journal, “I’m amazed with the rankings. Just looking at the rankings and we only have one team ranked. To be the third-best league in the country and only have one ranked team is bothersome, it really is.”
For starters, the Mountain West Conference has a lot of good teams and it’s not a matter whether or not the league will once again get multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament, it’s about just how many teams will be selected. On the flip side, Alford’s squad is currently the highest ranked among them, so what’s the big deal?
It’s clear that Alford is trying to voice his opinion on just how difficult the league is and not to mention its worth, while competing with leagues across the country, most notably the power-six. Yet, teams like San Diego State and UNLV, both of whom have suffered recent setbacks, have spent most of this season within the nation’s top 25. Those recent losses are not a setback for the conference, it’s only showing just how difficult it is to win within league play.
In fact, the Aztecs were even still considered a member of the top 25 this week if you go by the USA Today Coaches Poll. There shouldn’t be any cause for concern over this week’s positioning, let alone it being bothersome. Alford has the highest ranked team in the conference for the time being and building off that recent success should be his only worry.
Even judging by their approaching schedule which includes a home game at Colorado State and then back-to-back road trips to both San Diego State and Wyoming, it is clear that there are no days off and that the MWC does deserve the credit. However, with that being said, is Alford worried about losing his own team’s current rank should they drop a few contests themselves? Maybe, but that’s usually how it works.
The Mountain West has proved its worth and college basketball fans are well aware of the dangerous squads that make up the league, so no need to worry, Coach.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS