SCHEDULING NOTESKudos to whomever disconnected the cryo-chamber in Walnut Creek, for it appears that the chardonnay-swilling weenies at the Pac-10 have arisen and discovered the concept of inter-conference challenges in basketball. Huzzah, indeed - good work, old men. You're a decade too late, but good show nonetheless.
Of course it's not clear that any of these games will be on the WWL, so the Pac-10/Big 12 matchups probably won't get 1/5th the publicity of the ACC/Big 10 challenge. Instead we'll force the broadcast stylings of Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini on the good people of the Plains states, which will thank God those two rarely invade the Fox Sports Wasteland channel.
Here's hoping against hope that this thing can be marketed to make it truly worthwhile for the conference's schools. There are actually some interesting matchups here (in '08, the matchups will flip - i.e., Cal will travel to Mizzou).
11/25/07: Arizona at Kansas
11/29/07: Oregon at Kansas State; Oklahoma at USC
11/30/07: Washington State at Baylor; Iowa State at Oregon State
12/1/07: Washington at Oklahoma State; Missouri at California
12/2/07: Arizona State at Nebraska; Stanford at Colorado; Texas at UCLA; Texas A&M at Arizona
12/22/07: Texas Tech v Stanford (Newell, we suppose)
Cal (Tennessee, at Colorado State, La Tech) - not bad, one tough game, one OK game on the road, one gimme - B
Arizona (at BYU, NAU, New Mexico) - BYU and New Mexico were bowl teams, NAU is embarrassing. C+
ASU (San Jose St, Colorado, San Diego St) - In fairness, this schedule looked a lot better when it was put together and Colorado was a somewhat functional program. No road games gets a demerit, though. D+
Oregon (Houston, at Michigan, Fresno State) - No screwing around here. Houston's the breather, and they were in a bowl this year. Fresno will be back. A-
OSU (2 open dates + Utah) - I guess the Beavers just forgot about the whole putting together a schedule thing. Actually, what happened is they dropped a series with Georgia, which earns them negative points. Utah's a reasonable game, but we're assuming the other two teams will be gimps. D
Washington (at Syracuse, Boise State, Ohio State) - Have fun, Huskies. Your one winnable non-con game is being played six hours away in an airplane hangar. A
WSU (at Wisconsin, SDSU in Seattle, Idaho) - Wisconsin's going to be scary good next year. The other guys, not so much. B-
Stanford (at TCU, SJSU, at Notre Dame) We've always thought TCU-Stanford was such a natural rivalry. 'Bout time they set that up. B-
UCLA (BYU, at Utah, Notre Dame) Very solid - UCLA has moved on from the SDSUs of the world, as they should. B+
USC (Idaho, at Nebraska, at Notre Dame) - The Vandals stick out like a sore thumb, and SC is trying to get a new opponent. Assuming they can't, its one gimme and two really difficult road trips. Adds up to about an A-.
We'll soon take a closer look at the courageous scheduling choices of other BCS conferences, including the Mighty SEC, which will undoubtedly lead the weenie list again in 2007. Here's a little teaser:
Arkansas Razorbacks: (Troy, North Texas, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Florida International)