The Non-Conference Schedule: Good, Bad Or Ugly

With yesterday's news that Detroit and William & Mary will be added to the non-conference schedule, that gives us a decent picture of what SU's pre-Big East slate will look like.

Nov. 16 - Detroit (H)

Nov. 21 - William & Mary (H)

Nov. 26 - Georgia Tech, UTEP or Michigan (N)

Nov. 27 - Georgia Tech, UTEP or Michigan (N)

Dec. 7 - Michigan State (N, or H if you're an ESPN analyst)

TBD - North Carolina State (H)

From here on out, it will get rounded out by the cupcakes and usual suspects of the SU scheduling world (Cornell, Colgate, St. Francis, Albany, etc)  but for now that's going to form the "highlights" of the OOC schedule.

One commenter on Syracuse.com says they're disappointed in the star-quality of our OOC.  He or she omits Michigan State, which is the crown jewel of the whole thing.  When you put it all together, I have to say, I'm surprised anyone thinks this is a bad OOC tilt.

I think what the issue is, is that on paper, it pales compared to last year's line-up.  North Carolina!  Florida!  Cal!  Memphis!  The thing to remember, however, is that while all of those teams looked great on paper, none of them lived up to the hype.  The Tar Heels failed to make the NCAAs.  Cal was ranked high early on but didn't quite perform as well as expected.  Florida crapped out in the first round of the NCAAs.  And Memphis was an NIT squad.   I'm not saying this was a horrible OOC bunch, only that it wasn't what it seemed to be before the season started.

So when you look at the OCC, don't be fooled based on preconceived notions.  Obviously Final Four squad Michigan State is a great opponent (in MSG, no less).  Georgia Tech will be solid (if we play them). UTEP won CUSA last year.  Michigan and NC State are good name programs that may or may not be decent.  And even Detroit and William & Mary are coming off 20+ win seasons.  That's before we even throw in the Cleveland State, Oakland and Cornell's of the world that could end up being NCAA teams.

The OOC schedule looks decent to me as of right now.  Ask me again in January and you might get a completely different answer.

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