<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\758865224\46blogName\75Hawkeye+Hoops\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75BLACK\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://hawkeyehoops.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_US\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://hawkeyehoops.blogspot.com/\46vt\0751162862754422728162', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
 
Scanning the Schedule
Last week, the Big Ten announced its conference schedule for the upcoming season. Due to the size of the league, Big Ten teams don't play each other an equal number of times. Rather, they play six opponents twice, and once against the remaining four teams. I'm not a big fan of the setup, since it can give some teams an unfair edge, but it's not going away without cutting teams (*cough* Penn State) from the conference. I thought it would be worthwhile to look over the schedule today and see if any teams are at a disadvantage.

By the way, does any school do a worse job updating its site than Iowa? Minnesota is the only other school yet to post their full season schedule for next year. Half of the league even has a Summer Prospectus (media guide) previewing next season's team. And don't get me started on Iowa's pitiful archive section. Just give me the stack of old media guides and hire me to update the records already.

Moving on, here are the four teams that each school will only play once during Big Ten play.

School

Teams

They

Play

Once

IllinoisPurdue Wisconsin Penn St.

Ohio St.

Indiana

Ohio St.

Minnesota

N'western

Wisconsin

Iowa

Ohio St.

Purdue

Michigan

N'western

Michigan

N'western

Wisconsin

Penn St.

Iowa

Mich. St.

Penn St.

N'western

Purdue

Minnesota

Minnesota

Indiana

Ohio St.

Penn St.

Mich. St.

N'western

Michigan

Indiana

Mich. St.

Iowa

Ohio St.

Indiana

Iowa

Minnesota

Illinois

Penn St.

Mich. St.

Michigan

Illinois

Minnesota

Purdue

Illinois

Iowa

Wisconsin

Mich. St.

Wisconsin

Michigan

Illinois

Purdue

Indiana



The tougher the opponent listed in the table, the easier the schedule for the school in the far left column, because they play that opponent only once instead of twice. It's hard to say just how good each team will be next year, considering the losses at Michigan State, Illinois, and Wisconsin; the newcomers at Indiana and Minnesota; and the general unpredictability of Iowa and Michigan, but I'll venture a few observations anyway.

Most Fortunate Team
Purdue - Matt Painter wins the lottery with what's probably the easiest schedule he could've hoped for in his first season as head coach. Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan State have been the cream of the Big Ten crop for the past several seasons, and Iowa returns every key player from an NCAA Tournament team. That's not to say that Purdue will finish with an impressive record, but the schedule makers couldn't have made their season much easier.

Worst Draw
Michigan State - It's pretty tough for the best team in the league to have the toughest schedule, simply because they don't have to play themselves, while most teams play them twice, but MSU might be an exception. Only getting one game against Penn State, Purdue and Northwestern outweighs that "top team" benefit. They'll have to face Illinois, Iowa, Inidiana, and Wisconsin twice. Check out their first five games -

at Illinois
at Wisconsin
vs Indiana
at Ohio State
vs Iowa

That's five teams that should be strong contenders for NCAA Tournament berths this year. Illinois and Wisconsin might be down this season, but they both protect their home court very well, and the Spartans start out on the road with both of them. Ouch.

Iowa's schedule deserves some consideration too, since their home-and-aways include Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Feel free to bookmark this page so you can reference the chart this winter when you're telling me why your team is getting hosed, or why they should be 10-6 instead of 7-9.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger