|These teams need not apply|
That's all beginning to change now though. The first sign of the weather change in coverage is this "must see" non-conference schedule from Jeff Goodman at CBS. (Follow Jeff on Twitter @GoodmanCBS to see his constant back and forth with Coach Mack). Listed amongst games such as Duke at. OSU are no less than four Xavier tilts. This really seems like a step in the right direction. So why am I filled with trepidation?
Anyone who reads the Goodman article carefully will notice one thing right away; only three teams from west of the Mississippi make any appearance at all. Gonzaga, Kansas, and Texas A&M are all good teams, but it seems like the Pac-10 and teams like Arizona and Kansas State may have one or two good games on tap. (Arizona v. Florida or KSU v. OSU come to mind). East Coast bias aside, there are a few more problems that come with increased media scrutiny.
Finally, the entire premise of a top 20 list of non-conference games at this point is a bit premature. I like Jeff Goodman, I really do, but a list of to non-conference games right now makes no allowance for things like teams playing horribly, like Georgetown last year, or better than expected, UC last year. Look at ESPN's story about this last year, do you think that Butler at Detroit matchup drew much of a national crowd? Georgetown also features in the article, and they disintegrated to the point they were nearly unwatchable at one point. Pre-season lists are dangerous, regardless of their intent.
So that's me raining on your parade. Be excited that your team is getting some publicity, but take it with a grain of salt. The road ahead is lined with potholes. I don't want to be writing for the next Gonzaga in two years, and you don't want to be watching Butler v. Indiana on the 27th of November wondering where Matt Howard went.