Bobcat fans and followers,
The 2010-2011 chapter of Bobcat Athletics officially closed, but the start of the 2011-2012 chapter is right around the corner, and will be the final year that Texas State will be in the Southland Conference. Let the countdown to the WAC begin! Recently, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson announced that Seattle will join the conference effective July 1st, 2012, which brings membership to nine schools: Texas State, UTSA, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, Utah State, New Mexico State, and two non-football schools in Seattle and Denver.
Did you know that Seattle plays basketball at the KeyArena? An NBA arena that the Seattle Supersonics used to call home, and with the Sonics (ahem) no longer occupying the building, the fans in Seattle are basketball hungry and show a lot of support for the Redhawk program: their men’s team averaged over 4,600 fans a game this past season. Pretty cool to think that the Bobcats and Redhawks will play in the same arena that hosted Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 1996 NBA Finals which featured the 72-10 Chicago Bulls.
So once Seattle accepted its invitation into the WAC, it got me thinking of how Texas State stacks up against the competition…
- Football: None of the returning teams had a winning record this past season (juggernauts Nevada, Fresno State, Hawaii and Boise State had a lot to say about that), San Jose State had 1 win (Southern Utah), New Mexico State had just two. UTSA hasn’t played a down yet, so one would like to think that this conference could very well be up for grabs and could see Texas State competing for the WAC title under Coach Franchione soon.
- Men’s Basketball: Tough conference. Utah State is the bully of the WAC with back-to-back-to-back-to-back regular season titles and three WAC tournament titles the last six years. New Mexico State has been to the NCAA Tournament twice the last five years, with 7 seasons of 20 or more wins since 1998. Both Idaho and San Jose State had winning records this past season. The bar has been raised significantly in this sport.
- Baseball: Returning WAC members La Tech, San Jose St and New Mexico St won 34, 35, and 34 games respectively this past season. Sacramento State, which plays in the WAC in baseball only, finished 20 games below .500. Utah State, Denver and Idaho don’t have baseball. I think the Bobcats can compete right away in this conference who’s RPI was below that of the Southland’s this past season.
- Women’s Sports: La Tech’s women’s hoops program is historically good …Denver’s women’s team made the WNIT this season…the best volleyball team in the conference (and one of the best programs in the country) is leaving (Hawaii), Utah State won 24 matches this season, New Mexico State and Seattle each won 18…La Tech (15 wins), Idaho (14 wins) and San Jose State (12 wins) are all coming off pretty good seasons in women’s soccer…BYU will be a WAC member in Softball and won 40 games this season, New Mexico State won 44.
That’s a look at the competition the WAC has to offer at least for now…By the way, I’ve been a father for over a month now, and for those who are wondering, Zoey’s doing great! Being a parent changes a lot, and you turn into the kind of person you never thought you would. I am a dog person however, and that won’t change. Zoey can’t have cats. Why have cats when you can have this, this and this (pics of our dogs…more shameless photos, I know). Bobcats however, are perfectly fine.
Eat ‘Em Up!
- Brant (e-mail me at email@example.com)