Monday, March 20, 2017

First RPI of the season has Fresno State 30th, and 5 MW teams in the top 100

RPI Top 30 (click to enlarge)
The NCAA released its first Ratings Percentage Index numbers of the 2017 season today, and Fresno State lands at No. 30, tops among Mountain West teams and within sights of an NCAA at-large bid should it become necessary down the road. While the Bulldogs are the only MW team in the top 50, a total of five Mountain West teams are in the top 100 of the RPI, and seven are in the top 107, with two on the cusp of the top 100.  Only one Mountain West team resides outside the top 150 in today's RPI release.

The NCAA also released Strength of Schedule data this morning, and the Bulldogs have played the nation's 28th toughest schedule.  Both Fresno State's RPI and SOS numbers lead the rest of the Mountain West by a wide margin.

Additionally, the Bulldogs are one of just four teams from non-power conferences to rank among the country's Top 30 RPIs.  Fresno State still has a 2-game non-conference series remaining in April against Cal, which sits at No. 18 in the RPI.

San Diego State finds itself 58th in the latest RPI, definite bubble territory when it comes to NCAA seeding, but with a lot of room still left to move up.  The full RPI can be found here.  Colorado State (82), San Jose State (92) and Boise State (98) all rank in the top 100.  Utah State (104) and UNLV (107) are close to being inside the top 100, with Nevada (135) and New Mexico (164) rounding out the conference.

When it comes to Strength of Schedule, the Aztecs (54th) are behind only the Bulldogs (28th), as both Kathy Van Wyk and Linda Garza continued to have the two traditional powers play national-caliber schedules.  Jen Fisher and Colorado State have played the nation's 80th best schedule of 295 teams, according to the NCAA.

Strength of Schedule - National rank in red (click to enlarge)
At the other end of the spectrum, three Mountain West teams have faced some of the country's weakest overall slates.  New Mexico has the nation's 258th ranked schedule, Utah State the nation's 273rd, and Boise State the country's 287th.