Much Ado About Scheduling

OPINION: We will never know if a tougher schedule would have helped or hindered our upcoming Big West conference play, but it may be a surprise to some that history is on our side.

During the Bob Burton era, scheduling has been a yearly topic of debate and every year the debate gets more heated. This year it seems that the schedule-makers sent some over the tipping point and numerous postings on many different message boards indicate that this schedule will actually hurt Cal State Fullerton's chances in Big West play.

At first glance, this year's schedule seemed overly easy but how much different is it from other prior successful years?

Using StatSheet.com I was armed and dangerous and immediately took a look at our last really successful season, the NCAA Tournament year of 2008. We won the Big West conference with a 12-4 record, went 24-9 overall and had a senior/junior-laden group (Frank Robinson, Scott Cutley, Ray Reed, Marcus Morgan, Josh Akognon, Marcus Crenshaw, Gerard Anderson, et al.) who were arguably the best and most talented team since the 1977-78 cinderella season of Cal State Who?

It may come as a surprise to many that we had a very easy non-conference schedule. In fact, on December 29 of that year we were 7-3 and had an RPI of 188 and a Strength of Schedule (SOS) of 344. Compare that to this year's team (8-3, 202, 330) and if you are like me, you are scratching your head thinking, "Hmm, maybe there's more to it than scheduling tough teams."

Let's take another look at one of my favorite teams, the magical NIT run of 2004-05 with Ralphy Holmes, Bobby Brown, Yaphett King, Jermaine Harper and Jamaal Brown, among many others. On December 30, 2004, the Titans RPI was 250 with an SOS of 356! We finished conference play in third place with a 12-4 record and won a then unprecedented 21 games. (Note: That was one of the few years the Big West sent three teams to the post-season.)

Bottom Line

Coaches seem to have two philosophies when it comes to scheduling. Boost confidence and schedule as many wins as possible or schedule tough teams, make yourself some extra cash and hopefully build some character in the process. There are many other valid arguments for both.

Yes, I would like to play some better competition, especially at home, but it's not my call (or my job on the line) so I will moan once or twice and move on. But if people really believe that playing tougher competition equates to better conference standing, perhaps they need to think again. In fact, if history is on our side, we just finished up a very satisfying pre-season and have as good, or better, of a shot to end up in one of the post-season tournaments.

\r\n

\r\n\tAt first glance, this year's schedule seemed overly easy but how much different is it from other prior successful years?

\r\n

\r\n\tUsing StatSheet.com I was armed and dangerous and immediately took a look at our last really successful season, the NCAA Tournament year of 2008. We won the Big West conference with a 12-4 record, went 24-9 overall and had a senior/junior-laden group (Frank Robinson, Scott Cutley, Ray Reed, Marcus Morgan, Josh Akognon, Marcus Crenshaw, Gerard Anderson, et al.) who were arguably the best and most talented team since the 1977-78 cinderella season of Cal State Who?

\r\n

\r\n\tIt may come as a surprise to many that we had a very easy non-conference schedule. In fact, on December 29 of that year we were 7-3 and had an RPI of 188 and a Strength of Schedule (SOS) of 344. Compare that to this year's team (8-3, 202, 330) and if you are like me, you are scratching your head thinking, \"Hmm, maybe there's more to it than scheduling tough teams.\"

\r\n

\r\n\tLet's take another look at one of my favorite teams, the magical NIT run of 2004-05 with Ralphy Holmes, Bobby Brown, Yaphett King, Jermaine Harper and Jamaal Brown, among many others. On December 30, 2004, the Titans RPI was 250 with an SOS of 356! We finished conference play in third place with a 12-4 record and won a then unprecedented 21 games. (Note: That was one of the few years the Big West sent three teams to the post-season.)

\r\n

\r\n\tBottom Line

\r\n

\r\n\tCoaches seem to have two philosophies when it comes to scheduling. Boost confidence and schedule as many wins as possible or schedule tough teams, make yourself some extra cash and hopefully build some character in the process. There are many other valid arguments for both.

\r\n

\r\n\tYes, I would like to play some better competition, especially at home, but it's not my call (or my job on the line) so I will moan once or twice and move on. But if people really believe that playing tougher competition equates to better conference standing, perhaps they need to think again. In fact, if history is on our side, we just finished up a very satisfying pre-season and have as good, or better, of a shot to end up in one of the post-season tournaments.

\r\n","mobileBody":"

During the Bob Burton era, scheduling has been a yearly topic of debate and every year the debate gets more heated. This year it seems that the schedule-makers sent some over the tipping point and numerous postings on many different message boards indicate that this schedule will actually hurt Cal State Fullerton's chances in Big West play.

At first glance, this year's schedule seemed overly easy but how much different is it from other prior successful years?

Using StatSheet.com I was armed and dangerous and immediately took a look at our last really successful season, the NCAA Tournament year of 2008. We won the Big West conference with a 12-4 record, went 24-9 overall and had a senior/junior-laden group (Frank Robinson, Scott Cutley, Ray Reed, Marcus Morgan, Josh Akognon, Marcus Crenshaw, Gerard Anderson, et al.) who were arguably the best and most talented team since the 1977-78 cinderella season of Cal State Who?

It may come as a surprise to many that we had a very easy non-conference schedule. In fact, on December 29 of that year we were 7-3 and had an RPI of 188 and a Strength of Schedule (SOS) of 344. Compare that to this year's team (8-3, 202, 330) and if you are like me, you are scratching your head thinking, \"Hmm, maybe there's more to it than scheduling tough teams.\"

Let's take another look at one of my favorite teams, the magical NIT run of 2004-05 with Ralphy Holmes, Bobby Brown, Yaphett King, Jermaine Harper and Jamaal Brown, among many others. On December 30, 2004, the Titans RPI was 250 with an SOS of 356! We finished conference play in third place with a 12-4 record and won a then unprecedented 21 games. (Note: That was one of the few years the Big West sent three teams to the post-season.)

Bottom Line

Coaches seem to have two philosophies when it comes to scheduling. Boost confidence and schedule as many wins as possible or schedule tough teams, make yourself some extra cash and hopefully build some character in the process. There are many other valid arguments for both.

Yes, I would like to play some better competition, especially at home, but it's not my call (or my job on the line) so I will moan once or twice and move on. But if people really believe that playing tougher competition equates to better conference standing, perhaps they need to think again. In fact, if history is on our side, we just finished up a very satisfying pre-season and have as good, or better, of a shot to end up in one of the post-season tournaments.

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