Fresno St. Alum wrote:
The problem is they play 18 games vs the BW. Just like we knew there was no way Murray St. was going to get a 1 or 2 seed. Gone are the days where BW had Tark's Pro UNLV team where NMSU, UCSB and USU were also solid schools.
Well, they WILL play 18 games with Hawaii and then SDSU replacing Pacific the following year.
The 18 games isn't the problem on the west coast as much as geography is.
There's simply not enough teams on the west coast for the Big West to judged by the same measure of success.
Look at the distribution of teams in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cbd1.PNG
There's 36 teams in the Pacific Time Zone, about 50 in PTZ/MTZ and they beat the hell out of each other.
Look at the list of conferences who are almost ALWAYS one-bid leagues. There's ONE in the West Coast (Big Sky).
Compare the CAA and BWC for a second. Seems crazy. The CAA is really good and the BWC sucks, right?
The CAA has tons of one-bid leagues around them (Am East, A-Sun, Big South, Ivy, MAAC, MEAC, NEC, PAT, and SoCon).
Combined, they went 50-29 (63%) vs one-bid leagues.
The Big West played won 60% vs one-bid leagues. They only played 25 total games. (8-5 vs Big Sky, 7-5 vs CTZ/ETZ).
Why are the east coast one-bid league teams going to fly out to California for a one-way game? They can bus across town to get paid by a mid-major league.
A conference can work together to build RPI through scheduling… but it can't be done on the west coast. There's not enough cupcakes.
College baseball is the perfect example. Last season, Stonybrook won the AmEast with a 40-12 record. They played three games vs ranked teams in the regular season. Lost all three by a combined score of about 40-10. The make the NCAA Tournament and are the four-seed in a regional in the South. They get smoked in two games, outscored like 15-5.
Now look at Fresno State a few years back. They win the WAC and get a 4 seed in a regional. Because the NCAA seeds it regionally, they're the #4 in a group with three ranked teams. My S-curving the regional bracket, they supposed to be the #61 overall seed in the entire tournament. They won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
If the 24 schools in California chipped in and built a huge dorm on I-5 and flew in two Northeast conferences a weekend for the first six weeks, the west coast could get 30 teams in the NCAA baseball tournament. Pacific has played seven games against teams outside the PTZ/MTZ in baseball this season. They're 5-2. Against the PTZ, they are 6-28.
It's a completely different animal on the west coast.
In basketball, 18 games hurts their RPI. But it almost doesn't matter. They're essentially in one big conference anyway with the Pac-12, WCC, MWC, Big Sky, and WAC (minus La Tech).