Before we actually look at the schedule, a brief summary of how it will be expertly graded (but if you’ve already read this on a previous installment, please feel free to skip ahead to the schedule so that you don’t get too annoyed with the repetitiveness).
The most common ways to assign a ‘grade’ to something is by using a letter (A+ to F), or on a scale (maybe 1 to 10), or even the simple pass/fail will suffice. However, the non-conference schedule grades for all 10 Big East teams done here at Play for the Garden will be using the STEAK grade. Nope, that’s not an acronym for some fancy advanced calculation. That is steak as in the kind you eat. Why? Because I like steak and can’t think of any reason not to. Anyway, the grading scale looks like this:
Cube steak (weak): low quality piece of meat, but you gotta throw something on the frying pan on Tuesday nights
Filet mignon (getting better): very high quality piece of meat, but just not enough there
Rib eye steak (neutral): More times than none, this is what you’re probably cooking on your backyard grill. Quality piece of meat (if cooked properly), but you know there’s better.
Strip steak: (almost there): Now were talking about a large tender cut of meat with that right amount of fat infused.
T-bone/Porterhouse (strongest): Containing meat from two of the most prized cuts of beef (short loin and the tenderloin), this is the boss of steaks.
Noteworthy games: Oregon (Nov. 8 in Seoul, South Korea), at Kansas (Dec. 21), Michigan State (Feb. 1), Puerto Rico Tip-Off (Nov. 21-24) round 1 game vs. Northeastern, followed by two more games with potential opponents being: Charlotte, Kansas State, Long Beach State, Michigan, Florida State and VCU
Rest of slate: Wright State (Nov. 13), Lipscomb (Nov. 30), High Point (Dec. 5), Colgate (Dec. 7), Elon (Dec. 17), Florida International (Dec. 28)
Analysis: I haven’t looked at the entire schedule for the opening night of college hoops on Friday, November 8th, but I’m guessing that Georgetown vs. Oregon in the Armed Forces Classic on a military base in Seoul, South Korea is one of if not the premier game. Two teams expected to compete for league championships (Big East and PAC 12) on the global stage is how you start the season. I don’t think I have to make much of a comment on the Hoyas travelling down to Phogg Allen Fieldhouse to take on the Jayhawks on December 21st. That’s clearly one of the best non-conference games we’ll get in December. But JTIII didn’t stop there. He went ahead and agreed to a monster showdown right in the heart of Big East play. On February 1st, the Hoyas will take on the Michigan State Spartans on the eve of the Super Bowl at Madison Square Garden. Michigan State will likely be the Big Ten preseason favorite to win the league and will even be some people’s pick to win the national championship. And if that wasn’t enough, Georgetown has a legitimate shot at seeing either Michigan or VCU in the championship of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Put that all together and you have yourself a New Year’s Eve type meal in front of you.
Big East schedule notes:
Given that the Big East is now a 10-team conference, a true round robin format (each team plays every other member at home and away) will be conducted. There is no question about it, this is the fairest way to determine a regular season champion, but very few conferences have this ability. However, when and where these games are played still matters.
Big East schedule: DePaul (Dec. 31), St. John’s (Jan. 4), at Providence (Jan. 8), at Butler (Jan. 11), at Xavier (Jan. 15), Seton Hall (Jan. 18), Marquette (Jan. 20), at Creighton (Jan. 25), Villanova (Jan. 27), at DePaul (Feb. 3), Butler (Feb. 8), Providence (Feb. 10), at St. John’s (Feb. 16), at Seton Hall (Feb. 20), Xavier (Feb. 22), at Marquette (Feb. 27), Creighton (Mar. 4), at Villanova (Mar. 8)
The three game road stretch in mid-January of at Providence, at Butler and at Xavier will be a tough test in the early goings of conference play. And the four games to close out league play – Xavier, at Marquette, Creighton, at Villanova – may make it difficult to carry serious momentum into the Big East tournament. But however it plays out for the Hoyas, they should be well-prepared.