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Undefeated Wyoming Looks To Crack Top 25 Polls

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The Cowboys will finish the 2012 portion of their schedule with their perfect record intact. Will they finally crack the polls this week?

Lance King

With two more victories this week Wyoming to 12-0 on the year. On Saturday they saw the group of undefeated teams continue to shrink. Wyoming was the only undefeated team that wasn't ranked. Will that still be the case when the new polls are released on Monday?

The Pokes perfect record is a huge source of pride. Being ranked would show that Wyoming has done enough to gain national recognition and respect for their accomplishments.

Here are where Pokes currently in the AP Poll:

  • Others receiving votes: Oregon 176, Pittsburgh 158, Kentucky 41, Wyoming 14, Marquette 8, Virginia Commonwealth 7, Wichita State 6, Connecticut 4, Murray State 4, Miami (FL) 3, Maryland 2, Bucknell 1

And the USA Today Coaches Poll:

  • Others receiving votes: North Carolina State 84, Pittsburgh 74, Oregon 45, Virginia Commonwealth 11, Wyoming 8, Connecticut 6, Wichita State 5, Murray State 3, Oklahoma 2

The list of unbeaten schools took a big hit on Saturday. #3 Syracuse, #10 Illinois and #16 New Mexico all lost. The first two will certainly stay in the Top 25. It will be interesting to see how far the Lobos drop after losing to the South Dakota State in The Pit. The Jackrabbits had to take a 1,220 mile bus trip to Albuquerque and still beat the Lobos. How far New Mexico falls will play a huge factor to determine if Wyoming is able to move in to the top 25.

Oregon was #26 in the AP and they lost to UTEP earlier in the week. Can the Cowboys leapfrog Kentucky and Pittsburgh? 9-2 Temple is also certain to get votes now after beating previously unbeaten Syracuse.

I think we'll certainly see Wyoming gain more votes in both polls this week. However they'll still end up outside that coveted 25th spot. Two wins over sub 500 teams will not do much to convince voters of the Cowboys strength.

Here are the Pokes current rankings that many voters will look at:

RPI - 37

Strength of Schedule - 282

By playing five teams with RPI's over 200 the Pokes have made it hard on themselves to boast a high strength of schedule. Once conference play starts then Wyoming is expected to have their strength of schedule eventually improve to 78. Any team that consistently wins in the Mountain West this year will be playing in the postseason.

Here are the five remaining unbeaten teams.

  • #1 Duke: RPI - 1 SOS - 2
  • #2 Michigan: RPI - 3 SOS - 18
  • #4 Arizona: RPI - 21 SOS - 203
  • #11 Cincinnati:RPI - 28 SOS - 255
  • Wyoming: RPI - 37 SOS - 282

The Cowboys are rated lowest in both RPI and SOS. Surprising to see Arizona and Cincinnati with a SOS that is above 200. Name recognition can also play a big role in voting. The Wildcats and Bearcats are both consistent winners while Wyoming was struggling to reach 10 wins up until last year. If Shyatt continues to build the program it will make it easier for future teams to gain votes.

Case in point #18 San Diego State who is 10-1. The Aztecs have a current RPI of 81 and SOS of 313. Wyoming is well ahead in both figures but Steve Fisher has turned SDSU into a consistent winner and voters are used to seeing that team succeed.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Right now the Cowboys just need to take things one game a time. Keep winning and the accolades will eventually catch up.