While the debate continues over at the Bluejay Cafe on the Jays scheduling practices, let’s take a look at what some of the other Valley schools are doing:
- Texas Tech has released their non-conference schedule. One of their visitors is Valley foe Wichita St. From what I can tell, it doesn’t appear to have a return game tied to it, but a quality team to play from the Big 12.
- Bradley is taking part in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks Alaska this year. Other teams who have signed contracts to participate in the three-game-per-team event in addition to Bradley are Stanford, Central Florida and Alaska-Fairbanks. Tentative participants at this point are Winthrop, Miami of Ohio and Stephen F. Austin. BU and Stanford will be placed in opposite brackets. Not too bad of a field, but somewhat similar to the Las Vegas Classic. Bradley is still looking to secure 4 non-conference games and Coach Les is hoping 3 of the 4 can be at home. Bradley is also scheduled to play @Michigan State and Butler at home.
- Northern Iowa is taking part in the Chicago Invitiational The other seven teams are Auburn, Bethune-Cookman, Chicago State, Dayton (the same Dayton team the Jays are playing at home this season), Marquette, Mercer and Texas Southern. With Auburn and Marquette in the mix, this tournament looks more attractive than the Vegas tourney.
- Missouri State gets to open their new JQH Arena with a game against Arkansas. 4 years ago when the Qwest Center opened, the best Creighton could get was San Diego.
- It is reported on Valleytalk that Evansville is playing a 1 and done deal at North Carolina. In this case, I think it is a good thing. Playing a top 5 team on the road and most likely getting blown out is nothing to be ashamed of. At least the chance is being taken.
- And finally, Southern Illinois is one of the headlining teams for the Coaches vs. Cancer. The other main teams in the field are Duke, Michigan, and UCLA. There are more details to come out on this, but this is a great opportunity for Southern and the Valley.
So as it looks right now, many valley teams have some great quality games lined up against bigger name opponents and conferences compared to the Jays who have their obligatory game with Nebraska as the only BCS team scheduled at this point unless they get matched up with Depaul in the Vegas Tourney. If there is an opportunity for Creighton to still get a “big” game, I think they should.
If the other Valley teams are successful in these games above that are being played, I don’t think the Jays should be able to expect to ride on the coattails of these teams. With the non-conference battles and experience, this could really hurt the Jays come conference time. And isn’t the non-conference supposed to prepare you for the conference season. These other teams may be more prepared.
Oh and one other thing. Check out this cool commercial for Dayton basketball. They won the 2007-08 gold medal at the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) in the Group II awards ceremony at NACMA’s 17th Annual Convention, June 10 in Dallas, Texas. You will have to go to the site and there is a link to watch the commercial. It was a commercial advertising season tickets for Dayton basketball. Very cool. It would be great to see the Jays do something like this to advertise or even for the big board at the Qwest Center.