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: Wisconsin (Nov. 8 at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Syracuse (Dec. 15), Barclays Center Classic (Nov. 29 – 30) includes a round 1 game against Penn State and a possible round 2 game against Ole Miss
Rest of slate: Wagner (Nov. 15), Bucknell (Nov. 19), Monmouth (Nov. 22), Longwood (Nov. 26), Fordham (Dec. 7), San Francisco (Dec. 18), Youngstown State (Dec. 21), Columbia (Dec. 28), Dartmouth (Jan. 18)
Steak: Filet Mignon
Analysis: There are a couple nice pieces to this schedule, but it could have been better. Wisconsin and Syracuse are great games for the Johnnies as they will be tested in two extremely different ways – the slow burn by Wisconsin and Syracuse’s 2-3 zone – but they don’t have a single road game. Yes, they have to travel to the middle of the country to take on the Badgers, but it’s still a neutral site game. And the Barclays Center Classic packs a small punch. The rest of the games are fluff that will present little challenge to the Red Storm. So just like a filet mignon, there are some high quality games, but it leaves you wanting more.
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: at Xavier (Dec. 31), at Georgetown (Jan. 4), Villanova (Jan. 11), at DePaul (Jan. 14), Providence (Jan. 16), Seton Hall (Jan. 23), at Butler (Jan. 25), at Creighton (Jan. 28), Marquette (Feb. 1), at Providence (Feb. 4), Creighton (Feb. 9), at Seton Hall (Feb. 13), Georgetown (Feb. 16), Butler (Feb. 18), at Villanova (Feb. 22), Xavier (Feb. 25), DePaul (Mar. 2), at Marquette (Mar. 8)
Big East play for St. John’s starts fast with three challenging games, but that is followed by four straight favorable contests. The Storm lost six of their last seven conference games last year; I don’t see that being repeated for a second straight season. And as was stated in the Marquette schedule post – don’t be surprised if that last game of the season is for a conference championship. Yeah, it’s possible that St. John’s finally does something with all that talent this year.