Hello narrative, we've missed you! After the Utah loss, some Cougar fans are now openly wondering if this team, one with high expectations just a few weeks ago, might potentially be in danger of missing the Big Dance once again. This Cougar fans would probably do well to remember that it's DECEMBER, but when has that stopped anybody from rampantly speculating?
Hey, not us right? We are a sports blog, after all. So let's take a look at ESPN's newest bracket projections, which came off the presses yesterday. Of note for Cougar fans, Weber State sits at a 16 seed, Saint Mary's as an 8 seed (projected to face 9 seeded Virginia), Gonzaga a 5 seed (against 12 seeded Drexel), and the Cougars as a 10 seed against the 7 seeded Missouri Tigers.
That's hardly a cause for alarm, and many fans would be pretty happy if the WCC can snag three bids this season, an impressive feat, considering The American will be snatching up one of the previously allotted at large bids this year. That projection is probably assuming BYU can pick up a few wins against the Oregon/Gonzaga/Saint Mary's group, along with potentially spicy Pacific. But we can worry about that when we get there.
Loyal Cougars has taken an even closer look at the math behind BYU's position right now, checking out the RPI, KenPom (an invaluable resource for basketball nerds) and a deep dive at the schedule. The conclusion? Things really aren't so bad, and there are plenty of chances to get more quality wins.
Speaking of quality wins, grabbing a W against Oregon is going to be a little tougher, now that suspended guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter will be back. The duo will get their first game action of the season in tonight against UC Irvine.
In football news, Cody Hoffman and Kyle Van Noy have accepted invitations to play in the prestigious Reese's Senior Bowl, on January 25th. The Senior Bowl is a major opportunity to showcase talent before the NFL draft, and both players will be looking to make a strong impression. They'll be joined by some of the top players in the country, like Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, and Fresno State QB Derek Carr, just to name a few. Should be a fun game.
Finally, in other football news, former Cougars Justin Ena and Steve Clark will move from the staff of Southern Utah to Weber State, to join the staff of newly hired coach Jay Hill. These may be young coaches to watch, especially if there are openings on BYU's staff in the not-so-distant future.
Did we miss anything? Have any HOT RPI TAKES? Let us know in the comments.