The next installment in our 2012 lookback takes us to the Mountain West Conference. The league said goodbye to a traditional power TCU, but welcomed in three teams from the WAC (Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada). In 2013, the league will welcome two more WAC schools (San Jose State and Utah State) and play a conference championship game. Here is a link to last year's Mountain West post.
First here are the 2012 Mountain West standings.
And here are the 2012 Mountain West SDPI standings. The standings are sorted by
total SDPI with ranking for each category (out of 10 teams) in
We had a three-way tie at the top of the heap with a rock/paper/scissors situation as Boise beat Fresno, who beat San Diego State, who beat Boise.
So Who Was Better Than Their Record Showed?
Nevada was statistically the third best team in the conference, but only managed a .500 mark in league play. The Wolfpack were not extermely unlucky either, posting a 3-2 mark in one-score conference games. We'll just have to chalk this one up to the vagaries of an eight-game conference season and a very poor defense.
So Who Was Worse Than Their Record Showed?
This one is pretty easy to answer. San Diego State enjoyed a solid season, ranking fifth in the conference in SDPI. However, teams of their ilk usually do not lose just once in conference play. The Aztecs won both of their close conference games, using a two-point conversion to stun Nevada in overtime, and a kickoff return touchdown to upset Boise on the Smurf Turf.
Best Offense: Fresno State 1.62
These guys were fun to watch (until the bowl game of course). Quarterback Derek Carr threw 37 touchdown passes and now has more in his Fresno career than big brother David. Running back Robbie Rouse had nearly 1500 yards on the ground and matriculates as the school's all-time leading rusher. Freshman receiver Davante Adams hauled in over 100 passes and caught 14 touchdowns.
Worst Offense: Hawaii -1.71
Norm Chow continues to tarnish his reputation as an offensive guru by leading teams like this. The Warriors failed to top 400 yards of offense in any conference game.
Best Defense: Boise State 1.83
Despite a host of attrition, the Broncos boasted the best defense in the league. At one point, they held five consecutive league foes below 300 yards of offense.
Worst Defense: Wyoming -1.38
The Cowboys surrendered yards in bunches, allowing half their league foes to gain at least 500 yards of offense.
Where is the Hawaii Homefield Advantage
Last post, I examined the strong homefield advantage June Jones has built at SMU. This week I want to look at what he left behind on the islands. Jones coached the Warriors for nine seasons (1999-2007), and during that time, his teams went a stellar 28-9 against league foes at home and in his final six seasons, that mark was 21-3. Since Jones left following the 2007 season, the Warriors have still won more than they have lost in their exotic locale. but their home record against league foes is a more pedestrian 11-8. See the table below for the full rundown.