New Mexico State football upset New Mexico and came close against Arizona State and Troy, so hopes to compete in Sun Belt football, but it is basketball season that they dominate, and Value Add gives them the biggest edge of any conference - ranking them 98 spots ahead of the rest of the conference.
The Christian University, with strong Southern Baptist backing, was cited by the Governor for increasing surrounding home values by 30 percent while lowering the crime rate by 30 percent after the purchase took the school from 1,000 to almost 20,000 students. While a title would be a surprise, if Joshua Braun takes conference Player of the Year the team could build on its season-ending upset of the other WAC basketball power, Cal State Bakersfield, to compete for a conference title and NCAA bid.
Value Add projects Grand Canyan and Utah Valley as the best of the yes. New Mexico State's Eli Chuha (worth 6.27 extra points per game) nudges out GCU's Joshua Braun for preseason conference Player of the Year, but six of the eight teams have one of the top seven preseason players in the conference.
Here is where Value Add ranks each Western Athletic (WAC) team for the season, and the Massey Rankings have New Mexico State near the bottom of the FBS football ratings at 123rd, versus the basketball teams strong rating of 68th out of 351 D1 programs. Updates will be provided here:
|Team - 2017 Seed||Hoops||Football|
|New Mexico St. 14||68||123|
|Cal St. Bakersfield||200|
|UT Rio Grande Valley||226|
Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.
|15 MVP in WAC||Value Add||School||Ht|
|Eli Chuha 22||6.27||New Mexico St.||`6-07|
|Joshua Braun 2||6.00||Grand Canyon||`6-04|
|Isaac Neilson 22||5.99||Utah Valley||`6-11|
|Nick Dixon 4||5.83||Texas Rio Grande Valley||`6-02|
|Jemerrio Jones 10||5.54||New Mexico St.||`6-05|
|Fred Sims Jr||5.00||Chicago St.||`6-04|
|Brent Wrapp 1||4.68||Cal St. Bakersfield||`6-03|
|Zach Lofton 2||4.28||New Mexico St.||`6-03|
|Keonta Vernon 24||4.20||Grand Canyon||`6-06|
|Sidy N'Dir 13||4.00||New Mexico St.||`6-02|
|Aaron Menzies 41||3.57||Seattle||`7-03|
|Damiyne Durham 23||3.36||Cal St. Bakersfield||`6-04|
|Matej Kavas 5||3.12||Seattle||`6-08|
|Akolda Manyang||3.00||Utah Valley|
|Zachary Moore 30||2.66||Seattle||`6-05|
Ken Pomeroy ranked the WAC as the 17th best of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.
Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.