OK, so the Jays schedule was released Monday and I have had a few days to think about it. Maybe I was too harsh or maybe I was missing something. Paul Suellentrop from Pass the Rock thought the schedule wasn’t too bad and that it was a solid effort. True the teams they are playing have a lot of players coming back and several had 20 win seasons last year. So I guess good point. Matt Perrault from Big Sports 590 posted on his blog that he gave Creighton a B+ for their schedule. Something still bothers me though.
I guess it is just the feeling that it is basically the same non-conference schedule just a different year. I know I already talked about this, but I’ll reiterate:
- Fresno State–5 out of the last 7 seasons (Though have to blame Bracketbusters on that one)
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff–4 out of the last 5 seasons
- Mississippi Valley State–last 3 seasons
- Depaul–3 of the last 4 seasons (possible)
- Dayton–3 of the last 4 seasons (and actually it will be 4 out of 5 counting next year’s return game)
So after hearing an interview on Big Sports 590 today with Coach Altman they were discussing the schedule and the troubling part was that the only major conference team that was considering a game with the Jays was Clemson. And as I posted the other day, it looks like Liberty pulled that game off the table when they were scrambling for a game. Matt asked if Creighton calls all the major teams about scheduling games and Coach said that they “don’t call all the teams” because there are several that have said they wouldn’t play the Jays “anyway anytime.” So that means that they just give up and don’t try to call the next season? I contacted several schools over the summer, including Duke, about what it would take to get them to play the Jays. What it came down to was some creativity or “made for TV” type of scenario. All those places were pretty positive about Creighton and even expressed interest to play in some way.
So I guess for this year I have no choice but to get off my scheduling soapbox and see what happens this year. I’ll definitely be there to support the team and in the back of my mind, I feel like it might turn out to be the 2002-03 season all over again. A somewhat solid schedule with an experienced team of Kyle Korver, Michael Lindeman, Mike Grimes, Joe Dabbert, Brody Deren, Larry House, DeAnthony Bowden and a young Nate Funk had a magical season in my mind (other than what the heck happened in the NCAA tournament?) It was one of the most exciting seasons I have experienced as a Jays fan. Some people probably enjoyed the season before and the Terrell Taylor heroics in the NCAA tournament. The 2008-09 team looks eerily similar to the 2002-03 team. So after all my rambling, I’ll rate the schedule as a B- right now, but if St. Joes and Dayton enter the games with the Jays undefeated after victories the Maui and Chicago Invitational respectively, then I will eat crow and upgrade to an A- and I’ll quit complaining about the scheduling thing.
One last thing on scheduling–The other day right before the schedule was released, I was commenting on the BluejayCafe on what a hectic road schedule Mississippi Valley State was looking to have. In fact, I had talked to someone at one of my favorite sites–Rush the Court–about this little tidbit. Well anyway, they were interested enough to have me contribute a story on this. Ends up being ironic finding out later that the Jays will be playing them this season. MVS hasn’t released their schedule yet, but it will be interesting to see the rest of their money making travels lead them. This may not be of much interest to the Jays fans reading this, but I will be the Big 12 correspondent for Rush the Court this season. I tried to get the Valley, but someone else beat me to it. However, it should be fun.
- Creighton filled their assistant coach opening with former Jay and local Bellevue University coach Todd Eisner. I have never met the guy, but sounds like this is something well deserved and has led Bellevue to many conference championships and NAIA tournament appearances.
- A couple other things from Matt’s interview with Coach Altman today–The closed scrimmage with Iowa St. is November 1st and it looks like right now there will be an exhibition game on November 9th but not finalized yet.