Phil Steele's Daily Blog - Tuesday July 7th

Here is the final segment for the conference teams of the decade and I look at the MWC, CUSA and WAC. TCU was a member of all three conferences this decade. They joined the MWC in 2005 and went 8-0 their first year and won the league title! Here are the Mountain West standings for the decade.

 TCU            25-7 78.10%
 BYU            47-20 70.10%
 UTAH           45-22 67.20%
 NEW MEXICO     37-30 55.20%
 COLO ST        36-31 53.70%
 Air Force     35-32 52.20%
 SAN DIEGO ST   25-42 37.30%
 UNLV           18-49 26.90%
 WYOMING       16-51 23.90%

It is interesting that entering the decade Wyoming had not had a losing season in 7 years but they have won just 16 conference games this decade! It is surprising that 6 of the 9 teams have winning records this decade! Here are the titles or co titles won in the MWC the first 9 years of the millennium.

BYU and Utah have each won 3 while Colorado St has won 2 and TCU has won 1. This is the first conference I have gone thru that has had an outright winner for best record in the league all 9 years (no ties). BYU is my favorite to win the MWC this year and if they do they will have the most wins in the league this decade and the most titles and would win the team of the decade. If Utah repeats they would have the most titles and probably get
my vote.

The CUSA in 2000 consisted of Louisville, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Southern Miss, UAB, Tulane, Memphis, Houston and Army. They added TCU in 2001. Two years later in 2003 they added South Florida and they were an 11 team league for two seasons. In 2005 they lost Cincinnati, Louisville and USF to the Big East and Army dropped out. They added in Rice, SMU, UTEP and Tulsa from the WAC. They also added Marshall and UCF from the MAC. With 12 teams they split into two divisions the last 4 years. Here are the CUSA standings this decade.

 LOUISVILLE         30-8 78.90%
 TULSA              25-10 71.40%
 SOUTHERN MISS      46-25 64.80%
 UCF                21-13 61.80%
 CINCINNATI       23-15 60.50%
 EAST CAROLINA     39-32 54.90%
 RICE               17-15 53.10%
 HOUSTON           36-35 50.70%
 SOUTH FLORIDA    8-8 50.00%
 MEMPHIS           33-37 47.10%
 UTEP             14-18 43.80%
 UAB                30-19 43.50%
 MARSHALL         13-19 40.60%
 TULANE            21-49 30.00%
 SMU               8-24 25.00%
 ARMY              6-32 15.70%

It is interesting that of the two MAC teams that came over Marshall was the MAC powerhouse coming in but has gone just 13-19 while UCF was coming off an 0-11 season but has gone 21-13 in a tougher league. Here are the league titles for each team. For the last 4 years I gave a league title to the team that won the league but also one if a team finished with the best record during the regular season. Louisville leads the way with 3 CUSA titles and all three were outright titles. Tulsa and UCF come in with 2 each while TCU, Cincy, Houston, Rice, S Miss and East Carolina have one each. I consider this a 3 horse race for team of the decade with Tulsa and Southern Miss controlling their own destiny. If Southern Miss win they will have just two titles but will have far and away the most wins of any team in the conference this decade. If Tulsa goes 7-1 or better they would be right at the top in terms of winning percentage and tie Louisville with 3 titles or co titles and probably get my vote. If neither of those two come true then I would have to go with Louisville as they would have by far the best winning percentage in the decade and the most titles despite just being in the league 5 years.

The WAC conference in 2000 consisted of Fresno St, UTEP, San Jose St, Tulsa, Rice, Hawaii, SMU and Nevada. Fresno was considered the league power but surprisingly have not won the league title this entire decade! In 2001 they added Louisiana Tech and Boise St and stayed at 10 teams for the next 4 years. In 2005 they were raided by CUSA and lost Rice, SMU, Tulsa, and UTEP. They replaced them with 3 Sun Belt members in Utah St, Idaho and New Mexico St. Those 3 teams have combined for a record of 10-70 in their 4 years in the league vs other WAC members (not including games vs each other) which has greatly inflated the rest of the leagues team records. Here are the WAC standings for the decade.

 BOISE ST         60-4 93.80%
 FRESNO ST          49-23 68.10%
 HAWAII             47-25 65.30%
 LOUIS TECH         34-30 53.10%
 NEVADA           36-36 50.00%
 RICE               17-23 42.50%
 SAN JOSE ST        30-42 41.70%
 UTEP               16-24 40.00%
 TULSA              14-26 35.00%
 SMU             12-28 30.00%
 UTAH ST            8-24 25.00%
 IDAHO              6-26 18.80%
 NEW MEX ST          4-28 12.50%

Boise St has lost 4 WAC games in 8 years. That is remarkable. Now let me go over the WAC champs and co champs this decade. Boise St has won 6 titles (1 of those was co-title) while UTEP, Hawaii, Nevada and Louis Tech have one apiece. Fresno does have the 2nd best mark in the league but even if Fresno went 8-0 and won the WAC and national title this year and Boise went 0-8 and did not win a game all year, it would not even be close as Boise has dominated this conference this decade.

This year on I will have conference pages where you can get all of the league standings this decade as well as conference leaders, etc. Keep checking back as we get more and more information up on the site every day!