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The RMAC at the break

December 29th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

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It’s not the halfway point of the season but it’s the Christmas break, so it’s a good time to take a look at the RMAC standings and see which teams have been living up to, not living up to or exceeding expectations.

Early on in the season, entering RMAC play, there were some definite surprises, especially Metro State, who didn’t have a winning record, in fact they were 2-4. MSUD was picked to win the RMAC overall beating out CSU Pueblo by 7 overall points although both received 5 first place votes. On the other side, Westminster was not expected to do much, although part of that may have been due them just having joined the RMAC; but they exceeded early expectations by getting off to a 5-0 start then coming up with big wins over MSUD and Colorado Mesa to open the RMAC season.

But as usual, give teams time to get back into a rhythm, get players back from injury and get into the routine of the RMAC schedule and things will start to return to ‘normal’; for the most part.

MSU Denver moved back to the top of the Rocky Division tied with UC Colorado Springs at 4-1. UCCS has a solid 20 pt road win over Mesa, lost to Metro and dealt Westminster their only home loss of the season. Their other wins are at home against lowly Regis and middling Chadron State. Don’t expect them to sit on to of the division for too long as they hit the road against undefeated Ft. Lewis and then to Adams, with Mines, Westminster, and Mesa on the horizon.

Metro has what should be a good win against Mesa and easy wins against Regis and Chadron; they’ll also face FLC and ASU as they are UCCS’s travel partners. We’ll find out just how much better they are soon.

The continuing surprise, underperformer is Colorado Mesa, which warms the cockles of our hearts. Despite having Ryan Stephan, the 6-10 259 Sr, pre-season player of the year and an absolute beast; they are 2-3 in the RMAC and 6-5 overall. They have played a tougher schedule with losses to Metro and UCCS as well as Westminster in SLC but got a good win over Mines in OT. They have South Dakota Mines and Black Hills at home, not easy wins but they should get the W’s before facing Metro, UCCS and Ft. Lewis. They could conceivably be out of the running early if Stephan doesn’t get any help.

NM Highlands is clearly the biggest surprise of the year so far, sitting atop of the Mountain Division at 5-0. They were picked to finish 10th overall in the pre-season poll and 6th in the Mt division. Don’t get too excited yet Cowboy fans, their current record is built on easy wins, WNMU being one of those. But also wins over the Dakota schools, Western Colorado and a solid win over Pueblo; although I’d say that Pueblo may not be as good as everyone thought they would be; based upon what we did to them. But they have Mines and Christian with before they go back to Pueblo and Western State. They’ll lose 3 of those 4 and come back to earth before getting Regis and some easier matches again.

FLC is also slightly exceeding early expectations; they were picked 6th overall and 3rd in the Mt division. They are 4-1 and 9-1 overall. They feasted on home cooking and easy games against Haskell Indian and Evangel in the non-conference schedule before getting good wins against Mines and Pueblo along with Western Colorado and Christian. Their lone loss was at rival Adams State to open the conference schedule. They have Springs and Metro at home which are winnable before 4 road games at Christian, Mines, Mesa, and Westminster; not any easy ones in that grouping. We’ll know a lot more about the Skyhawks but not for a few weeks.

Everything else in the RMAC is about what you thought with the Chadrons, Regis, Dakota schools and everyone else in the middle of the pack or bringing up the rear.

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