The all too early preseason rankiings are in

The Zags are @14 while SMC comes in @23. No mention of BYU anywhere.

Good, this is exactly where we want them.

I think with the level of competition for spots on this team we will be very competitive from the start and surprise many, including the half empty glass Good friend Jim Hawks.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but the supposed half empty glass has been more accurate than your styrofoam cup analysis pretty much every single year since BYU became a member of the wcc.

You see, the problem with these pre-season rankings is that the wcc, the officials, the commissioner… everyone reads and sees them and they start getting ideas in their heads about the way things will play out. They think Gonzaga will be better than St. Mary’s and St. Mary’s will be better than BYU. So right there, BYU starts the season off in a hole and at a disadvantage. Then the coaches will come out with their pre-season poll and the same thing will happen… Gonzaga will be predicted to finish first, St. Mary’s second, etc. and the hole gets a little deeper. Then you have the “Jimmer destroys Gonzaga” factor, the continued bias and the jealousy of BYU playing in an actual basketball arena instead of a high school gym and the hole gets even deeper. That is BYU’s starting point… if they can overcome the obstacles and climb out of the hole then they have a chance. I just think it’s unfortunate that every team/conference can’t start at the same, even beginning point. In order for BYU to win anything in the wcc, they have to a lot better than Gonzaga/St. Mary’s… not just a little better.

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Chris, can you explain this comment? Why is this exactly where we want them? Does BYU gain an advantage by playing from behind and with a chip on their shoulder? Do you think it will motivate the Cougars to play that much better (something they have to do) in order to have a chance at winning the wcc?

They already have so many preconceived obstacles to overcome, this is just another one. Likewise, imagine if you are one of the other teams, that was challenged by Mark Few to improve and be more competitive, and you know going in that the task is virtually impossible. You start by firing your coach but then what?

The fact that BYU isn’t even in the “others considered” group of 25 teams will not help much either…

Jim: most of the stuff you put in is pretty much on your mind is fine with me. But I, since we join wcc I hear every year “We are going to be much better and win the wcc.” Every year I hear that, but I felt the last two years it is not going to happen. Why, we all know why, those left overs, those low 6 schools (P, P, P, SD, SC, LM), those small gyms AND nonsense west coast refs. We get it, it is a JOKE! I am going to say this year we (wcc) will still not going to win it but I will say this we will do better in the pre season (non conference).

The fact that BYU isn’t even in the “others considered” group of 25 teams will not help much either…"

here you make a great comment above and then you fall back to this??? I have said it all year long, SMC is slow, white and can make 3s, BYU will mop the floor with them once our freshman get experience. SMC is near their upside…BYU, just getting started. I also have said that with Wiltjar and Sabonis gone, BYU is not that far from Gonzaga.

Read my posts…will we be better next season? I think I said yes and will SMC and Gonzaga be about the same? Yes also. So yeah, right now. both of those teams are better than BYU, way better. But BYU has about 3 levels of upside to reach so all I care about is the end of the year.

All I was trying to do was explain why, in spite of the fact that BYU will supposedly be better, they just never seem to climb high enough to actually get over the hurdle.

You say that both of those teams are way better than BYU, even when BYU beat them both this past season. In fact, BYU only lost to Gonzaga by 4 measly points in the wcc tournament, so how much better was Gonzaga? 4 points better?

The only thing I was trying to point out is that, in spite of these facts, BYU will likely never surpass those teams as champions of the wcc. This is one reason why it is kind of silly for Mark Few to get after the rest of the teams for not being competitive. I mean what is the point? To make his own team look better? so they can get a higher seed in the ncaa tourney every year? Can you imagine the outrage if one of those teams were to actually win the league? If BYU can’t do it, why would any of the other teams in the league think they can do it?

I’m not sure anyone is understanding me.

I know where you are coming from. Let me address the Few remarks first: Few is tired of the bottom feeders mooching $$ from GU winnings and yet these teams never try to schedule tough teams in the early season. BYU does, GU has always done it and to some extent, SMC does a little but as we have discussed, SMC never left home all year and that cost them a trip to the Dance. If you are going to have your hand out, at some point you have to at least try to bring something to the table.

As for BYU. We just lost the greatest TD guy in NCAA history as well as a 5th year shooting guard and we are trying to replace them with true freshmen. All I hear you say is, “Wait til next year”. Kind of sad commentary when you know full well that no matter how good these recruits are, it will take time for them to work our team kinks as well as find their college game. Just be realistic, Jim, that is all I am asking.

I have said that a sweet 16, possibly a final 4 but that is way in the future. Ask Roy Williams, It took him getting his players to commit to 3 years to get to the promised land and he has 5 star recruits. You don’t climb Everest in a day.

I say “wait till next year” only because I am parroting what everyone says EVER YEAR… and has been saying for the past 5 years. That is most definitely “sad commentary” because regardless of the supposed talent that BYU has, they never get there. Oh yeah… and neither do any of the other schools in the league.

There are a few points that are valid discussion topics and they relate to Gonzaga’s dominance over the past 20 years.

  1. It is painfully obvious that no matter what happens, Gonzaga is the star of the wcc and there is incentive to continue that tradition.
  2. As a result of their star status they are more easily able to schedule games, outside of the conference, with bigger programs.
  3. Of course they don’t want to share the big money… welcome to BYU’s world in the mwc, how does it feel?
  4. Few gets after the little schools, but that is problematic on many fronts. First, how many big programs want to play away games in high school gyms? Second, how much does it cost a little team like LMU, Santa Clara or UCSD to travel to a big time school (might explain St. Mary’s situation) and why would those big time schools want to risk losing to a lowly wcc team? There is nothing in it for them.
  5. Seriously, how does BYU benefit from being in the wcc? Other than bringing some credibility to Gonzaga’s annual ncaa tournament appearance and the wcc, how have they benefitted from it? and now we are talking sweet 16 or final 4, when BYU can’t even win the wcc?

Those are 5 realistic discussion points and there are more. There are reasons for why things are the way they are in the wcc and BYU is the gorilla in the room as exhibit 1. Go down the list and insert the Cougars into every one of those discussion points and explain to me why they continue to stay in the wcc. There is no logical reason other than - they have no other choice and they are stuck… stuck playing in high school gyms, stuck finishing 2nd/3rd every season and stuck getting an occasional lower seed ncaa berth or NIT invite that does nothing but make the ncaa a little more money.

Good discussion. I agree with Jim that the deck is stacked against the Cougars every year. The older I get, the more I understand that college athletics is, first and foremost, big business…with a lot of corruption. I just finished reading “The System” about the glory and corruption in college football. I also recently read “Pros and Cons,” which is about criminals in the NFL. Both are great reads.

The Cougars should be better next year and then even better (Sweet 16) in 2017-2018. Mike will be our best big man since Rafael Araujo (sp?)…or maybe better. TJ, Nick, and Mika will form a fabulous nucleus. Add Kaufusi and some others like Bryant, Childs, Chatman, and Dastrup, and we should be very solid. I don’t have high hopes for any of the unathletic 6’7" white guys that we always have like Nixon, Worthington, Hartsock, etc. Guys like McClellan on Gonzaga eat those guys up all day.