Beefing up the Non Conference Schedule

Now that we've added <b>Syracuse</b> to the <b>Wildcats'</b> non-conference schedule, maybe its time to look at adding other nationally known team or two to opponent list...

Now that Northwestern has added Syracuse to the non-conference schedule - Steve Truog ruminates about other teams we could play in September...
I think Stanford would be another ideal Non Conference opponent for the Cats. We used to have Boston College and Stanford as regulars on the schedule. Those two programs, along with Syracuse, Air Force and perhaps Maryland seem to be good matches for NC games.

I dunno about Ivies or Army, as they just seem to be a step below the others in program prestige and we can get east coast exposure through schools like BC and the Syracuse Orangemen.

Now I'd like to see NU try to get some series started in the south and Texas areas. TCU is a pretty good matchup, but it'd be nice to see another Tejas school added to the annual rotation to get more exposure in that recruiting bed. Rice is a little too low profile, Texas a tad too high at this point (and I doubt we'd even get into the front door). Maybe A&M? Maybe a bit further north in the Big XII (I like the idea of a KSU purple wildcats series -- though since we're not I-AA, Snyder might not schedule us). And a Colorado series with Barnett would be good for fans at least to vent.

As for the southeast, the only SEC school that really fits is Vandy, but with the rest of the schools, you never know which will be on probation for a certain year in that league and the Commodores are a bit too low profile. Georgia Tech could be a great choice with the Atlanta market, academic profile and good name.

Out west, I'd like to start a series with Washington in the purple vein, plus it's always nice to see the Big Ten / Pac 10 non conference games. But Stanford just makes more sense for west coast and Pac 10 exposure.

And I do like to see at least one (or in a 12-game season, 2 games) of the non-conference sked be a more "winnable" game -- and for those, I wouldn't look to far-off schools that don't draw much interest for a competitive game or for their name (such as Duke), but I'd go for the nearby MAC schools like Northern Illinois -- they bring fans to the gate, usually make for a highly competitive game and increase regional interest for both schools.

You can't schedule three killer Non Conference games or you put yourself down three games entering the league slate, but three cupcakes won't work either (not that anyone's a cupcake for us!) -- Syracuse is a great step to beef up the sked. Getting a rotation of schools like 'Cuse, Stanford, GaTech, Maryland, Colorado, etc. for the highlight games along with smaller schools closer to hope to boost regional interest would be perfect.

Stephen J. Truog has is own NU/Movie oriented web site - SjT Online
and is a regular contributor to the NU Sports List and Purple Reign

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