Monday, March 16, 2009

Tougher Than a $2 Steak.....

Just adding on what Brad was talking about, but here is Idaho State's non-conference schedule and where everyone ended's unreal. Note in the non-conference schedule only ONE team finished below .500 (Hawai'i, despite 18 home games...yikes). Also, Idaho State went from November 29 to December 29, exactly one calendar month, where every team they played eventually qualified for the postseason. The non-conference record for ISU's opponents was a staggering 291-156 (a .651 winning percentage). The average record of ISU's non-conference opponents is currently 21-11 ... yeesh. Remember, these guys are still playing too....

Eastern Oregon (25-8) -- Lost is quarterfinals of NAIA Tournament
Hawai'i (13-17) -- No Postseason
Boise State (19-12) -- CBI at Stanford (18-13)
Long Beach State (15-15) No Postseason
Brigham Young (25-7) -- NCAA 8-seed vs. Texas A&M (23-9)
Washington State (17-15) -- NIT 7-seed at St. Mary's (26-6)
Utah (24-9) -- NCAA 5-seed vs. Arizona (19-13)
Wisconsin (19-12) -- NCAA 12-seed vs. Florida State (25-9)
Green Bay (22-10) -- CBI hosting Vermont (23-8)
Utah State (30-4) -- NCAA 11-seed vs. Marquette (24-9)
Arizona State (24-9) -- NCAA 6-seed vs. Temple (22-11)
Nevada (21-12) -- CBI hosting UTEP (19-12)
Idaho (16-15) -- CollegeInsider Tournament hosting Drake (17-15)
Kansas State (21-11) -- NIT #4 seed hosting Illinois State (24-9)

and of course....
Portland State (23-9) -- NCAA 13-seed vs. Xavier (25-7)
Weber State (21-9) -- NIT 8-seed at San Diego State (23-9)

So the final tally is that ISU played against 14 non-conference opponents, and 12 of them made the postseason. All told, ISU played 23 different opponents, with 14 of them making the postseason, but 12 of 14 non-conference opponents means Idaho State truly did have the nation's toughest non-conference schedule....I'm calling it. Here's my question though....where is Montana? Really...17-12, they couldn't get into the CBI or the CollegeInsider? With that fan base? And Idaho got a home game? Double really? Really really???


Anonymous said...

Having the toughest out of conference schedule means squat. ISU is done until next year, while teams with "easier" schedules are still playing. I'd rather see a schedule which enables ISU to have an overall winning record AND a chance to play in a post-season tournament. It is interesting at how many schools turned down invites to the CBI or the other .com tournament. It tells you the value of that tournament when Idaho is allowed to host a game.

Frank Mercogliano said...

Do you have a list of the teams that turned those down? I heard Cincinnati was one ... it's just that when you have to play so many guarantee games, it hurts your chances.

Michael Strickland said...

Great analysis, Frank.

But, I hope that, in the future, our Bengal coaches will be able to do what many elsewhere have done: take the tough, valuable experience from outside the league and use it as motivation and a stepping stone to dominate the conference and win its championship.

Why do you think that ISU has not been able to do this?

Anonymous said...

In my view, and I noted this in a previous blog, it wasn't the killer teams the Bengals played in non-conference that kept them from having a winning season and a shot at the post-season -- it was losing the "winnable games." Had ISU won the four overtime games they lost, and beaten Sac State the first time around, they very well could be in a tournament right now (although Montana getting left out shows there are no guarantees.) But the Bengals didn't win the "winnable" games, and so they finished 12-19. You can blame any number of factors for that, and I'm sure we all have our own theories. Hopefully with the players having a season of experience together, and the coaching staff with a better feel for the personnel, they'll win more of those close games next year. But they will have to find replacements for the production that Stucki and Steijn gave them this year.
--Brad B.

Anonymous said...

It's a joke when the College Basketball Invitational invites one .500 team, and two teams with losing records.

Among some of the teams which turned down invites to the CBI and the .com tournament (or told them beforehand they wouldn't be interested): New Mexico State, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Alabama, Ole Miss, Miami OH, Wright State, VMI.

idaho said...

I suspect one or both of the newer post-season tournaments (the CBI and will eventually fade away, just as the old Collegiate Commissioners Tournament did back in the 1970s. The economy, for one thing, just doesn't make these third and fourth tier tournaments profitable. But I can't blame a program like Idaho, which has been down so long, for jumping at a chance to play in the post-season and host a game. Same with Oregon State. You want to show prospect recruits you're making progress.
--Brad B.

Anonymous said...

The CBI requires home teams to guarantee $60,000. In this economy, and against the lesser quality of teams, I believe you are right in that these tournaments will probably be short lived. That said, ISU would no doubt accept a bid to either of these if invited.

I think you'll see the NCAA eventually expand the tournament. Some want it to double to 128, especially since there are more DI teams than there was in 1985. Others have said to expand by 32 to 96. The top 32 (top 4 seeds in each region) get a bye, while the remaining 64 start a game early.

Anonymous said...

Make that top 8 seeds in each region.