Mountain West Conference Basketball Coach Rankings
Now that all nine schools are into the second half of Mountain West Conference play for the 2009-2010 season, I thought I would go ahead and do a rundown of my coaches' rankings.
These rankings primarily based off of what they have accomplished this season, but I will take previous actions into account.
With the MWC being the second-best conference west of the Mississippi River, behind the Big 12, this league is on the rise as a basketball conference.
9. Heath Schroyer (Wyoming)
I'm sorry, but I have to say it. I don't know if there is a bigger idiot amongst college basketball coaches nationwide than Heath Schroyer.
Now in his third year as head coach at Wyoming, Schroyer and the Pokes are sitting in eighth place, ahead of only Air Force.
Granted, the Cowboys did find a way to pull off home wins over Utah and San Diego State, they were the ones who allowed Air Force to break their 22-game MWC losing streak.
Before the Border War on Saturday, the Casper Star-Tribune reported that Schroyer's job is safe for now. Why? We have no idea.
8. Jeff Reynolds (Air Force)
Jeff Reynolds' head coaching jump from Division II Wingate University to a program who had been to the NCAA Tournament just two years prior hasn't been a smooth one.
While he did find a way to go 16-14 overall and 8-8 in the MWC when he took over during the 2007-2008 season, it appears that success came from leftover talent that remained after Jeff Bzdelik took the job at Colorado.
Reynolds spent two seasons as an assistant under Bzdelik, but that hasn't appeared to be enough to push the Falcons back in the spotlight.
Air Force is currently in last place in the MWC standings and 9-13 overall. Any hope for another regular season win this season is obscure.
7. Jim Christian (TCU)
To be fair, Christian is only in his second year at TCU after coming to Fort Worth following a successful job at Kent State.
In his first season as head coach, Christian and the Horned Frogs finished in seventh place in the MWC standings at 14-17 overall and 5-11 in conference play.
He's done a great job so far with sophomore Ronnie Moss, who is a threat to catch fire every time he touches the basketball.
Christian is still getting used to a tougher conference, but if he gets a handle on things at TCU and can annually start putting them in the top four of the MWC standings every year, he would fit well at a Baylor or Nebraska should those jobs eventually become open.
6. Jim Boylen (Utah)
"The Man of a Million Faces" is a nickname given to comedic actor Jim Carrey. Who it should belong to now is Utah head coach Jim Boylen, just look at any photo you can find of him...you'll find some doozies.
This season hasn't been the greatest for Ute fans and compared to last year's Mountain West Conference Championship victory over San Diego State, it's been a fall from grace as Utah is starting to finally see what it's like to not have a dominant 7-footer on your roster.
Right now Utah is 3-5 in conference and 10-12 overall. Losers of three straight, things don't get any easier with games at TCU on Wednesday and hosting New Mexico Saturday.
5. Steve Alford (New Mexico)
Before you post 20 comments about how wrong I am to place Steve Alford fifth when the Lobos are tied for first place in the Mountain West Conference standings, just hear me out.
To me, New Mexico has been the biggest disappointment of the MWC this year. The winners of seven in a row, the Lobos (21-3, 7-2 MWC) have had too many close calls this season.
Yes, a win is a win, but if UNM can't start finding a way to get those dominant wins on a consistent basis, come Tournament time, things might not fall in their favor.
Two-point wins over Wyoming and San Diego State and a close call against BYU, one of these times an opponent is going to hit a buzzer-beater to really shake up the Lobos.
The loss to Oral Roberts didn't do much for Alford either in my book.
4. Tim Miles (Colorado State)
What Tim Miles has done in his third season compared to his first two has been a complete 180.
Now with his recruits, the Rams are looking like a rising force in the Mountain West Conference, sitting in fifth place at 14-9, 5-4.
If CSU wouldn't have let the game against UNLV slip away, a post-season berth would appear even more likely at this point.
Led by junior forwards Travis Franklin and Andy Ogide, the Rams have won their last two games and are looking for their first three-game MWC winning streak of the Tim Miles era when they head to Air Force on Tuesday.
With limited guard play this year, CSU will look even more stout in 2010-2011 as they graduate on Harvey Perry and Mame Bocar Ba, neither of whom see much playing time.
Next season, point guard Jesse Carr returns from injury and Iowa State transfer Wes Eikmeier will be eligible to play.
3. Lon Kruger (UNLV)
While football in the Mountain West Conference has its "big three" in Utah, TCU and BYU, basketball's is the trio of UNLV, SDSU and BYU.
Lon Kruger and the Runnin' Rebels are currently tied for first place in the MWC standings with BYU and New Mexico, but have two tough match ups this week with the Lobos and Aztecs that could shake up those standings.
Coming off of an upset over No. 12 BYU on Saturday, it's obvious that the Rebels are for real this season and should make it back to the NCAA Tournament in March.
2. Steve Fisher (SDSU)
Remember earlier when I said that previous actions can play a part in a coaches ranking? Well now is one of those times.
Fisher is the Grandfather of coaches in the MWC, and I'm not saying that because of his age.
Now in his 11th season in San Diego, Fisher and the Aztecs are set to make a late season run in the MWC standings, in an attempt to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005-2006 as they've settled for the NIT the past three seasons.
Currently sitting at fourth place in conference, the Aztecs nearly pulled an upset over New Mexico in The Pit on Saturday. SDSU has two winnable games this week as they host Wyoming and UNLV.
1. Dave Rose (BYU)
Was there any other choice for number one aside from BYU's Dave Rose?
Now in his fifth year as head coach of the Cougars, he's taken BYU to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, finishing the regular season no lower than second place in the MWC standings.
Rose has been with the Cougars since 1997 as an assistant and is the type of coach who you assume will never leave the program unless someday he's forced out.
BYU has been ranked as high as No. 10 in the nation this season, currently sitting at No. 12, though that will drop as the Cougars lost to UNLV this weekend in Vegas.
Thanks to star offensive players like Jimmer Fredette and Jonathan Tavernari, BYU is definitely the team to beat in the MWC this year.
BYU is off this week, but hosts Air Force on Saturday before traveling to Colorado State next Wednesday, a team the Cougars beat by 44 in Provo.