Merry Christmas, you filthy animals. Here's some of what you might have missed from yesterday.
News is a little bit slower this close to the Christmas season, but a few interesting nuggets are still coming across the wire. Perhaps the most interesting came from respected ESPN hoops analyst Jeff Goodman, who had this to say about the WCC yesterday morning:
The WCC continues to take hits. Wonder if it could wind up being a one-bid league. Saint Mary's loses to South Carolina. Gonzaga to K-State.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 23, 2013
Sure, it's still 2013, so it's still early in the basketball season, but not THAT early, and with nonconference play just about over now, the chances for league teams to make a splash nationally is about finished.
The bad news is that the league is a little short on big wins. Saint Mary's beat a decent Boise State team (currently 36th in the imperfect RPI), but after that, their best win is...Drake? North Dakota State? They also just lost to a *bad* South Carolina team. Gonzaga beat a West Virginia team that probably won't make the NCAAs and an okay Colorado State team, but lost to Dayton and Kansas State, and has played two D2 teams. The Bulldogs *do* get a date with Memphis later in the season though.
The good news is that BYU has probably the two best noncon wins of the whole league (Stanford and Texas), and has certainly played some very quality teams tough. Their RPI ranking, for now, is fairly strong as well, along with the rest of the top half of the league (BYU is 19, Saint Mary's is 23, Gonzaga is 25 and Pacific is 33, per Live-RPI.com), but that will likely change during league play.
The risk comes if Saint Mary's or Gonzaga stumble a little during league play against the bottom half of the league, potentially robbing BYU of needed computer points. If the Cougars take care of business against Gonzaga and the rest of the WCC, they'll probably be fine, but fans could be forgiven for already sweating a little now than they were maybe two weeks ago. Once BYU drops their first league game, expect worry to balloon.
In other news, BYU had their press conference for the Fight Hunger Bowl yesterday, and we have a few particularly interesting tidbits.
First, the press conference got off to a rocky start, since BYU didn't show up on time. MORMON STANDARD TIME, AMIRITE GUYS?
BYU still hasn't shown up for FHB presser, which was scheduled for 1 p.m. PST. Bay Area traffic, reportedly.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 23, 2013
Oh, I guess it was just traffic. To be fair, traffic in San Fransisco IS awful.
While we were all waiting, we got a chance to get an important first hand look at closely the Washington Press Corps had been paying attention to BYU.
Photographers talking at presser while we wait for Cougars. One of them just asked the other if BYU is still in the WAC. I kid you not.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 23, 2013
A woman behind me just asked her friend what the Y on the white helmet stands for.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 23, 2013
WELP. Good thing we don't have those IRRESPONSIBLE NEWFANGLED BLOG THINGS at that press conference, asking all sorts of stupid questions.
Also, wasn't that ESPN deal supposed to prevent this sort of thing?
Here, we get a critical update on the financial situation of Kyle Van Noy.
BYU's Kyle Van Noy said he's flat-out broke after buying an engagement ring recently, won't be giving out many X-mas gifts.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 23, 2013
I hear you on that brother. What, the diamond wasn't enough of a present? Don't worry though, friends of Kyle. I have a hunch his financial situation is about to significantly improve.
Speaking of improving financial situations, do BYU fans have to worry about Taysom Hill leaving early for the pros?
QB Hill said he's pretty sure he will be a four-year guy at BYU, even if he shines next year and gets some attention from the pro scouts.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 23, 2013
That probably shouldn't surprise anybody. Hill has a lot to learn about accuracy before the NFL is a reasonable conversation.
UW coach Marques Tuiasosopo: "When you think of West Coast teams, outside of the Pac-12, you think of BYU."— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 23, 2013
*double checks map* *confirms Utah is not on the coast* (but yeah, he's totally right that BYU is probably the most recognizable football program in the West outside of the Pac-12. Put your hand down Boise. You are not the answer to my question).
BYU certainly seems to respect Washington, saying that this team would be the best postseason opponent BYU has played in the last nine years. The only team I can think of that might come close is the 2009 Oregon State squad, but I think Bronco is right.
Now, get off the internet and go hang out with your family.