State of '08: Utah
Duke or Carolina? BC or UMASS? Gonzaga or Washington.. or Washington State? What is the best program in each state? While there's not much competition in Hawaii.. there are great debates to be had in loaded regions like California, North Carolina, and Texas. The State of '08 is a ranking of every program in every state.. based mostly on recent success (the last five years) mixed in with subjective factors such as conference prestige, historical success, and overall program direction.
For more info, check out the State of '08 introduction.
BYU - The 2000's have been kind to BYU with 8 postseason trips, including 5 NCAA Tournaments. Last year, the Cougars finished in the RPI Top 25 for the second straight season, but the program hasn't won an NCAA game since 1993. BYU has tied or finished ahead of Utah in 5 of 6 seasons.
UTAH STATE - Under Stew Morrill, the Aggies have been perennial postseason participants. In fact, Utah State has made the last 9 postseasons, including 5 NCAA Tournaments. Those 9 teams all won at least 20 games, finished over .500 in conference play (Big West and now the WAC), and topped 80th in the RPI.
UTAH - Under Rick Majerus, this was one of the country's premier programs, making 10 of 11 NCAA Tournaments and reaching National Title game in 1998. But the last three teams have merely been pedestrian (finishing under .500 in the MWC), and the next step is simply returning to the NIT. Utah has lost to Utah State in 5 of the last 8 meetings.
WEBER STATE - The Wildcats have long been one of the best programs in the Big Sky conference, with 17 league titles. In the last decade, Weber has finished .500 or better 9 times in Big Sky play. The team most recently reached the Big Dance in 2007.
UTAH VALLEY STATE - As far as independents go, the Wolverines have been as good as it gets. In 2007, they went 20-7 against D1 teams and finished 130th in the RPI. Last year, Utah Valley tied for the independent lead with 13 (D1) wins. They've also beaten SUU in 2 of 3 tries.
6. SOUTHERN UTAH - Since making the NCAA Tournament in 2001, there's been little to get excited about in Cedar City. 2002 was the last time the team finished above .500 in the Summit (Mid-con), and they haven't topped 200 in the RPI in that period as well.
Last: Texas - Next: Virginia
State of '08: The Introduction (& State list/links)