The Big West Conference has fallen on some hard times, but for a kid who isn’t getting offers from the powerhouse conferences it probably isn’t a bad consolation, as it includes annual trips to Hawaii and some of the Southern California beach towns. The conference is under-performing a little bit when factored against where it was ranked before the season began and a lot of that has to do with the bottom three teams, who simply aren’t that good and three low-rated teams in a nine-team conference is going to drag you down a bit.
Big West Conference Power Ratings
Fullerton State 72
Long Beach State 70
Cal-Poly SLO 62
Big West Conference Two-Tiered Ratings
Cal-Irvine 71 – (-9) AOPR 73
UCSB 74 – (-12) AOPR 67
Hawaii 72 – (-4) AOPR 72
Fullerton State 78 – (-3) AOPR 74
Long Beach State 71 – 4 AOPR 79
UC-Davis 58 – (-5) AOPR 72
Cal-Poly SLO 66 – 0 AOPR 74
Cal-Riverside 62 – (-4) AOPR 70
Cal-Northridge 80 – 11 AOPR 66
Irvine was predicted to be the class of the conference and the Anteaters have done exactly that so far, putting a bit of separation between them and the next rated team, which is Santa Barbara and it’s hard to argue against the Gauchos being ranked where they are despite playing a bit of a soft schedule.
Fullerton was expected to be second and they’re tied for third, although what they’ve done on the court so far has been a little more impressive than Hawaii, so they should probably be ranked a bit higher, as they’re scoring more and allowing just one more point against tougher foes than the Warriors.
Hawaii usually gets a decent collection of preseason opponents, as what team doesn’t want to make the trip to the islands? They have played a little bit better than was expected, but that’s about it and Long Beach has struggled a bit but have played a much tougher schedule than anybody else in the conference so far. It remains to be seen if that helps them or not, but on average, they’ve played tougher teams than Irvine, although they don’t really have much to show for it except a 3-7 record.
UC-Davis and Riverside are in dire need of scoring, while the Matadors of Northridge need to play a little bit of defense. Allowing 85 points per game to the level of competition they have played so far is pretty bad. UC-Davis is probably one of the more disappointing teams so far, as they were expected to finish in the top four of the conference, but that’s not going to happen unless they start putting the ball in the basket.