Who Will Fill the Scheduling Void?

Corey Nicholsover 9 years


Aritcle written by:Corey NicholsCorey Nichols
It's empty, because I don't have anywhere to go. With both the Indiana and North Carolina series..s...'es likely coming to a close, two of the best non-conference games in the country are gone, and our loaded non-conference schedule got suddenly unloaded faster than Ricky P. in a back room.  Although those games were dropped, unlike trash on the road and girls from New Jersey, there's a possibility that they could be picked up again in the near future.  But until they are, the question becomes: who's gonna fill those spots? It's been mentioned here before that a primary motivator for Calipari's scheduling tendencies is recruiting, and that only makes sense.  You want to play games in highly visible spots that have a bevy of talent around them, so those players can come see your team in person without having to travel hundreds, even thousands of miles.  But you still want to play good teams, so that you get the most attention possible nationally.  With Indianapolis and another unnamed neutral site as the locations, what are the best options, and who would you want to play? Indianapolis Obviously, this location is a little more limited in its options available, but that doesn't mean we can't try to maximize it.  With IU out of the picture, there are plenty other Indiana schools around that could make for a great game.  Purdue, Notre Dame, or even Butler (neutral arena, anyway), would be appealing in-state schools to play that would be able to get media, and recruits', attention.  While those teams won't be as good next year as IU was expecting to be, it would still be a marquee matchup with either a Big Ten, Big East, or A-10 (if that's effective next season) school.  Also, it's not impossible to think that we couldn't get a school that's not even from Indiana to meet us there to play.  The Ohio schools are still relatively close by, particularly Cincinnati, and they may want to get a foot in the door with Indiana recruits, too.  I'd be very excited to see a Kentucky-Ohio State matchup in Indianapolis next year, and I think it'd be a windfall for both programs, both monetarily and as an attention-getter. Unnamed Neutral Site This is where you have the freedom to let your imagination run wild, and I'm very eager to see what Cal does with this slot.  In a perfect world, we'd see a big game with a team from a conference not already on our schedule, just to diversify our interests.  So, because we're playing Duke already, it probably wouldn't behoove us to grab another ACC team.  Big East would likewise give diminishing returns, since we're already guaranteed to play at least two BE teams (Louisville and SEC-Big East Challenge).  However, the prospect of playing a Big Ten, Big 12, or Pac-12 team is certainly appealing.  Matt Jones mentioned yesterday the possibility of playing UCLA, and that sounds like a great idea to me.  The two most storied franchises, playing a trans-continental game in, say, Denver (or wherever, I just picked that arbitrarily), in an early-season matchup.  Not only would that garner a ton of attention, but it'd give Shabazz a chance to see what could have been.  Or there's always Kansas in St. Louis, but after we beat them twice last year, they may not be so keen to schedule us again very soon.  If we did decide to schedule a Big East team, Syracuse or Georgetown would both give us solid opponents in talent-rich areas.  There are just so many options with this game, it's hard to predict what Calipari will do. Although I'm disappointed to see the two rivalry games left off the schedule, more-so UNC, the open slots are really intriguing and open up a world of possibility.  I'm very eager to see what Calipari does in the void, and we can rest assured that whatever he chooses, it'll be in the best interest of the program.  So rest easy. But in the meantime, if you were coach, who would you schedule?

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