Third-place finishes in the women's softball tournament and women's outdoor track and a runner-up performance in men's track put the Broncos over the top. The Lady Broncos finished third in the WAC Tournament in only the second year of the program.
That strong placement meant that if the Boise State track teams could keep pace with New Mexico State and Fresno State, the Broncos would be able to clinch the Cup this weekend. Coach J.W. Hardy's group did that and more.
The men put in a solid performance in scoring 141 points at the WAC Championships hosted by Louisiana Tech in Ruston. Going into the meet, Utah State was favored by 70 points over Boise State. While the final margin was 32, at one point last night, the Broncos were within 17 of the Aggies and had a slim chance of actually erasing that 70-point deficit. Fresno State finished fourth with 113 team points.
The Bronco women's performance was perhaps even more remarkable. One year ago, Boise State finished last of the eight teams competing. Coach Hardy brought the team all the way up to a third-place finish with 93 points. Host Louisiana Tech won its sixth consecutive team title with 194 points.
Boise State came into the week with a six-point lead in the Cup Standings over New Mexico State, which is enjoying its best sports year since joining the WAC. Boise State had 79.25 points to 73.25 for the Aggies. Those totals included the regular season of softball.
The Commissioner's Cup is calculated by giving points in reverse order according to the finish by each conference team in 19 league-sponsored sports. Some sports, such as the aforementioned softball, split their total points with half awarded during the regular season and half in the postseason.
Boise State won WAC titles in football,women's soccer, swimming and women's tennis. Boise State's football team enjoyed the first 14-0 season in its history, capped by a 17-10 win over #3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. The 14-0 mark by the Broncos was the best in the nation since Ohio State was 14-0 in 2002.
Titles in soccer, swimming and women's tennis were the first WAC championships won by Boise State in those sports and showed that the success achieved by the Bronco football team over the past decade is spreading.
In addition, Boise State finished third in men's tennis, third in men's cross country, second in indoor men's track and won the regular season in women's gymnastics. Add to this the fact that both Boise State's men's and women's basketball teams have recently won WAC championships and it is obvious that Boise State has a very attractive and consistent athletic record.
Baseball is the only sport still to be decided in the WAC and that Tournament is ten days away. Although plans are underway for Boise State to add baseball in the future, the Broncos do not currently field a team. Nevertheless, Boise State has enough Commissioner's Cup points to clinch the trophy.
Here are the complete Commissioner's Cup Standings including all results this weekend:
1. Boise State 92.25
2. Fresno State 77.25
3. New Mexico State 76.50
4. Utah State 74.00
5. Nevada 71.75
6. Idaho 68.00
7. Hawai'i 63.00
8. Louisiana Tech 55.00
9. San Jose State 48.25
Boise State also won the WAC Commissioner's Cup in the 2005-06 season, finished second in 2006-07 and 2007-08 and finished a narrow third last year.
Boise State's four conference titles are still short of a school record.
Last season, Boise State won two regular season titles (football and men's tennis) and won two tournament titles (gymnastics and men's indoor track). They also won the Pac-10 title in wrestling for a total of five.
In 2006-07, the Broncos won football, both indoor and outdoor men's track, the men's tennis title and the women's basketball title for a total of five.
In 2005-06, Boise State won football, gymnastics, both indoor and outdoor men's track and men's tennis for a total of five also.
In 2007-2008, Boise State won the WAC Tournament in men's basketball, gymnastics and the outdoor title in men's track as well as the Pac-10 wrestling championship for a total of four.
Attention now turns to the Learfield Cup, which awards points to all colleges and universities based on their national rankings in all sports sponsored by the NCAA.
Boise State finished #49 last year in the Learfield Cup, its highest finish and ahead of several major colleges. The Broncos were #57 last week prior to the NCAA men's and women's tennis tournament which featured both Boise State teams. BroncoCountry will publish the next Learfield Cup Standings as soon as they are updated.