Checking in with the Rest of the West

First and foremost: Welcome, to our Pac-West and CCAA visitors old and new.

There are so many fun things planned for next week that we’re gonna go ahead and do the official check in with the other two West Region conferences this week.

The first place we’re gonna start is the NABC rankings:

11. Cal Baptist
13. Azusa Pacific
24. BYU-Hawaii

No CCAA and no GNAC representation at all and while it’s hard to speak to the CCAA about whether or not teams could enter into the rankings -going off the fact that the worst team ranked has three losses, it seems unlikely when every CCAA team has a minimum of four.

Current CCAA standings:

Stanislaus -losses are from Chico State & Pomona. Okay.
Pomona -losses are from UCSD, Chico State, CSU-LA. All within a possession. Sure.
Chico State -losses are from Stanislaus, UCSD, Humboldt. Less okay; some of their wins also were far too close for comfort.
UCSD -losses are from Monterey Bay, Stanislaus, and Pomona -acceptable.

So essentially they’ve all beat up on each other with a couple of fluke losses; Humboldt is 6th this year, so hardly a waste. There’ve been a lot of really close games, much like the GNAC. Also much like the GNAC -parity doesn’t mean prosperity. If I’m a CCAA fan, I’d rather have less parity and more odds of making the tournament -right now it’s basically a race to the bottom in regard to the GNAC & CCAA. Luckily for the Californians -they had us beat, hardcore, in non-conference while not doing too badly against the Pac-West.

Current Pac-West standings:

Azusa Pacific -Lost to Dixie State
Cal Baptist -Lost to Dixie State
Dixie State -Lost to Hawaii-Hilo & Cal Baptist
BYU-H -Lost to Hawaii-Hilo & Dixie State
Point Loma -Lost to Cal Baptist, Dixie State, & Azusa Pacific
Hawaii Pacific  -Lost to BYU-H twice, Point Loma, and Holy Names

Oddly enough -that’s all good for the GNAC. I personally have never seen more than four teams from one conference make the tournament, but there’s a first time for everything. And those schools look really good. Hawaii Pacific is 6th in conference and the only one called into question. Every other team in the conference has a losing conference record, which doesn’t mean anything in regard to the auto-bid. It’ll be curious to see if Dixie State is peaking too early, and then where the losses fall.

For those from other conferences wanting to know about the GNAC:

Current GNAC standings:

Western Oregon -lost to Seattle Pacific
Seattle Pacific -lost to Western Washington & Central Washington
Central Washington -lost to Northwest Nazarene & Western Oregon
Alaska Anchorage -lost to Seattle Pacific & Western Oregon
Northwest Nazarene -lost to Seattle Pacific & Western Oregon

After that it drops off into 2-5 teams.

Western Oregon -their loss to Seattle Pacific was close and on the road; this week they take on Simon Fraser and Western Washington. WWU is a notoriously difficult place to play and then SFU has their new gimmicky offense but shouldn’t present much of a problem.

Seattle Pacific -both losses were fairly close and in rivalry games. They’ve played an even mix of home and away games -the team they’re yet to play is travel partner MSUB.

Central Washington -their team is deep. Their losses also were fairly close -one was on the road, one was at home. They’ve played almost all home games and as such -their road’ll be more difficult from here on out.

Alaska Anchorage -got blown out by both SPU and WOU, however both games were played on the road and they’ll have far more home games coming up. The Alaska schools are another notoriously difficult place to play.

Northwest Nazarene -on the rise. They got positively blown out by SPU at home and then kept it close against WOU on the road. The SPU loss was a while ago and it’s likely they’re kicking themselves being at home for it -it’ll be hard to get a win against the Falcons on the road, but with the way they’re playing now a win at home seems obvious.

The rest of the teams? There’s still a great deal of parity. In terms of our conference tournament, because Alaska Fairbanks is ineligible, only one team is gonna stay home. We still honestly don’t know a lot because we have no real expectations and so many teams are tied; four teams are tied for second, three teams are tied for seventh, and two teams are tied for ninth. Lots of parity. We’ll take a more in-depth look next week.

Finally, the current bracketology predictions:

Cal Baptist
Dixie State
Azusa Pacific
Point Loma*

Cal Poly Pomona

GNAC team X
GNAC team Y*

Ten teams are listed; asterisks denote bubble teams. Somehow the GNAC has made its way into a second bubble team largely because WOU and Seattle Pacific got at least a couple of wins against the Pac-West and Dixie State is starting to kill everyone. From a GNAC perspective -SMU kept it SO close against Dixie, that loss is likely going to haunt our conference on the whole.

Seeding is still too close to call. Five Pac-West teams seem possible. Maybe not likely, but definitely possible. The only GNAC teams that have done enough in non-conference to get that at large bid are Seattle Pacific and Western Oregon, and it always comes down to the question: Who would you rather play? Answer it and you’ll find your answer of who’s in and who’s out.

In terms the GNAC, much more analysis will be posted next week once the final bit of the first round robin is completed; not sure on the day yet, but if you’re a Pac-West or CCAA person that’s not subscribed -check back on Tuesday or Wednesday.

If you’re a GNAC person that’s not subscribed: SUBSCRIBE! You won’t regret it. There’s so much parity this year that in order to have a clear idea of your team, you have to know about all nine other teams. And that my friends, is the birds and the bees of how the blog was conceived. There might’ve been an undergraduate degree, some arm twisting, and peer pressure involved too, but ya know.

Once again: thank-you for your visits Pac-West & CCAA people. GNAC folks -there’ll be a discussion post tomorrow, so look forward to that; should be posted around 11.

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