Under the Radar: The Story of the Western Athletic Confrence
Take a minute, imagine yourself the coach of a team with an astounding record of 19-1. To your amazement, you are not ranked even 25th? A joke you probably all are thinking, but no. This is occurring to a faction this year!
The Utah State Aggies, who have been undefeated at home this entire season, and have squandered one road game, can't seem to break the jaundice image of a mid-major team.
Though the Aggies are a fantastic ensemble of talented players, it is not the only powerhouse of this camera-shy division. Both Nevada and Boise State are on two-plus game winning streaks, and enjoy positive records as well.
Nevertheless, this division has never been given the chance, or the time, to confirm their aptitude to the congregation of college hoops.
We as individuals tend to sway onto the bandwaggon of popular and "dominant" teams. Such a thing crucifies fans of secondary Universities that could possibly gleam in the sun if handed the lyme light. Never will you see the cameras turn toward Boise State or Idaho. They don't have the recognition they indubitably deserve.
Not until an organization comes along such as George Mason, and delivers a Cinderella story that every college basketball fan will decree to ever neglect, does the system begin to adjust. Mason beat a stunning path to the Final Four where they were later defeated by the Florida Gators, a spectacular sight to contemplate.
This was the first true mid-major team to capture the spotlight since the '79 Sycamores with Larry Bird. This goes to show how prodigious squads from Mid-Major divisions can be, such as the WAC, and the CAA.
What I'm trying to emphasize here is the importance of allowing smaller divisions and more importantly, smaller schools, the ability and the opportunity to justify the capability of subordinate departments.
If television broadcasters comparable to ESPN would administer the appropriate allotment to other programs, admirers of each school, big or small, popular or detested, could come to respect the athletes from teams encompassing the country.
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