After ESPN's Andy Katz released his choices for the top 50 college basketball teams in the country for the 2002-03 season, Utah State fans had good reason to be outraged. Stew Morrill's team, which will feature experienced talent with a proportionate mix of new excitement is expected to perform very well throughout the season, and most likely finish at the top of the Big West Conference like in years past.
Either Katz doesn't agree, or he just decided to disregard any team from the Big West Conference, as UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine, the other Big West "powerhouses" failed to make the list as well. The list and article is viewable at http://espn.go.com/ncb/s/2002/0701/1400967.html
Perhaps Katz said it best though in a July 3rd update to his article when he stated that "you can't please everyone." Fans from Ohio State, Georgetown, and mid-major conferences MAC and MVC flooded Katz' e-mail complaining about their teams not getting the respect, and not making the cut. Katz re-affirmed that his choices were his opinion, but opened up a feedback forum displaying the arguments made by the fans from the various schools. Sadly, there were no responses from Utah State fans.
There is no question that speculating on the top NCAA teams in July is much like throwing at a dart board while being drunk in a dark room. Was Katz wrong in not including Utah State in his Top 50? Only time will tell; however, the next time anyone doesn't offer Utah State the respect that fans believe it deserves, making some noise on the topic would certainly help. Katz can't give Utah State recognition and praise if he doesn't realize that Utah State fans are reading...can he?