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: Boston College (Nov. 8), Kentucky (Dec. 1 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn), at Massachusetts (Dec. 28), Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (Nov. 22 – 25) which includes a round 1 game against Vanderbilt followed by three more games with potential opponents being: Northern Iowa, Loyola Marymount, Marist, Maryland, Morgan St. and LaSalle
Rest of slate: Brown (Nov. 13), Marist (Nov. 16), Vermont (Nov. 18), Fairfield (Nov. 29), at Rhode Island (Dec. 5), Yale (Dec. 17), Maine (Dec. 21)
Steak: Rib eye
Analysis: A date with the big bad Kentucky Wildcats on a neutral court automatically makes this schedule respectable. It would have been nice to see a little bit more meat on the plate after that feast of a game, but showdowns with Boston College at home and UMASS on the road are games that’ll get my attention. And if the Friars get to see Maryland, Northern Iowa or LaSalle in the Paradise Jam, that will make for a well-rounded non-conference schedule.
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: Seton Hall (Dec. 31), at Villanova (Jan. 5), Georgetown (Jan. 8), at St. John’s (Jan. 16), Creighton (Jan. 18), Butler (Jan. 21), Xavier (Jan. 25), at Marquette (Jan. 30), at DePaul (Feb. 1), St. John’s (Feb. 4), at Xavier (Feb. 8), at Georgetown (Feb. 10), DePaul (Feb. 15), Villanova (Feb. 18), at Butler (Feb. 23), at Seton Hall (Feb. 28), Marquette (Mar. 4), at Creighton (Mar. 8)
PC gets a favorable matchup to kick off conference play on New Year’s Eve with Seton Hall at home, but they then jump right into a difficult four game stretch starting with Villanova on the road. The schedule is fairly average after that with no noticeable strong or weak stretches, but it does finish with a bang – Marquette and at Creighton. The Friars are going to surprise some people this year; they probably won’t win the league title, but they could prevent Creighton from accomplishing that feat in that last game of the season.