Monday, November 8, 2010

Ranking The Big 12 Non-Conference Schedules

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Half of the Big 12 conference made the NCAA tournament last year due to their strength of schedule. Although, there was a power shift, the programs notable for tough schedules still embrace the big games needed for head in to conference play.

However, there are also teams that did not do so well on scheduling significant games for their program.

Here is an in-depth look on the Big 12 non-conference schedules, worst to best.

12. Nebraska Cornhuskers - Vanderbilt Commodores, USC Trojans 

The Cornhuskers will continue with the weak non-conference schedule. The Huskers will have two notable games with Vandy, and USC. The most interesting thing is that none of the Huskers non-conference games are on the road.

11. Iowa State Cyclones - California Bears, @Virginia Cavaliers

The Iowa State are returning from one of the more promising seasons they've had in the Big 12 in a while. However, that was until their players departed and left the program with barely any talent. Their non-conference schedule is not comparable to last years. They will not play any ranked opponents, or any major programs.

10. Colorado Buffaloes - @Georgia Bulldogs, Oregon State Beavers

Compared to last years non-conference schedule, this years is soft. The Buffs will travel on the road to take on a fierce SEC power in Georgia for the biggest game on their non-conference slate of games. Oregon State should also challenge the Buffs' with their size inside.

9. Texas A&M Aggies - No. 17 Washington Huskies, Arkansas Razorbacks

The Texas A&M Aggies will be at home most of the time during non-conference play with only one away game. However, the Aggies will welcome in the No. 17 Washington Huskies, and Arkansas Razorbacks. The Aggies played four ranked teams last year during non-conference play, only one this year.

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders - Liberty Flames, @No. 17 Washington Huskies, UTEP Minors

Last season, the Red Raiders played prominent programs, and ranked teams during their non-conference slate of games. However, there are only a few games worth watching this time around. Texas Tech continues its series with Washington, New Mexico, and UTEP. But also welcomes the Flames to their non-conference slate.

7. Baylor Bears - No. 12 Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Baylor Bears will not spend any time on the road this non-conference slate as they did the year before. However, the Bears will welcome in No. 12 ranked Gonzaga, in hopes, to pull away with a prominent non-conference victory. After that, no other game is worth noting for the Bears.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys - DePaul Blue Demons, Alabama Crimson Tide, @No. 12 Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Oklahoma State Cowboys has a tougher non-conference schedule than they had a year before. They will welcome in two young teams in DePaul, and Alabama. However, out of the three times the Cowboys travel, Oklahoma State will play the biggest game in their non-conference on the road against No. 12 ranked Gonzaga.

5. Oklahoma Sooners - @No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats, @Arkansas Razorbacks, @Arizona Wildcats, Cincinnati Bearcats

The Sooners were selected to finish close to last in the Big 12, but still managed to accumulate one of the tougher schedules in the conference. The Sooners will travel to a tough No. 10 Kentucky team loaded with five-star freshman. Arkansas, and Arizona are both young teams that have talent and should pull it together this year. Cincinnati's tough playing style could pose a problem for the Sooners as well.

4. Kansas Jayhawks - Arizona Wildcats, UCLA Bruins, No. 19 Memphis Tigers, USC Trojans

The Jayhawks will only travel twice during their non-conference slate of games. But will welcome in talented teams such as the No. 19 ranked Tigers that could possibly challenge their home win streak. Arizona, one of the younger talented teams could surprise with a balanced attack, and UCLA and USC are always prepped for a good basketball season.

3. Missouri Tigers - No. 21 Georgetown Hoyas, No.16 Illinois Fighting Illini 

The Tigers will embrace the chance to play two ranked teams during non-conference play. The Georgetown Hoyas, and Illinois Fighting Illini. Both teams are stacked with a lot of talent, and if Mizzou could pull off a win from either of the two, it would be significant headed into conference play.

2. Kansas State Wildcats - No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies, No. 12 Gonzaga Bulldogs, @No.11 Florida Gators, UNLV Rebels

Due to the recent success, the Wildcats will now play a tougher non-conference schedule than in recent years. The Wildcats will travel to a No. 11 Florida team that can match their depth, and guard play. They will also play tough teams in Virginia Tech, and Gonzaga. This non-conference slate of games will have the Wildcats fully prepared for a test in the Big 12.

1. Texas Longhorns - No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini, @No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels, @No. 2 Michigan State Spartans, Connecticut Huskies

The Longhorns may not be the No. 1 team in the Big 12 but they do grasp one of the tougher schedules. The Longhorns will travel to take on two top-10 ranked squads. Texas will also welcome in sixteen ranked Illinois, along with the rebounding UConn Huskies. If they Longhorns can get key wins in non-conference play I suspect a tough Texas team headed into conference play.

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