While we still await confirmation from the schools themselves, it’s great to see Baylor and Pitt on the docket. I dare say all of us hope to see multiple top-flight opponents dot the schedule later this year, but that’s easier said than done. Obstacles include: long standing contractual commitments made with other institutions, travel costs, open date match-ups, and – of growing significance this year – the willingness of an opponent to take-on the risk of perhaps losing to a mid-major program such as ourselves. Congrats to Coach Reed and Company for nailing down the Bears and the Panthers. Playing each will certainly enhance our national standing and recognition. But, will there be more? Let’s hope! Perhaps we’ll receive an invite to play in one the many MTEs that highlight November play. We distinguished ourselves in the Gazelle Group’s 2K Sports Classic last year and deserve – one would thing – another shot in 2012. You’ll recall that Bucknell was awarded back-to-back appearances in similar programs in 2010(CBE Classic) and 2011 (Legends Classic). FYI, Gazelle is again sponsoring the 2K Sports Classic this year along with two other events – the Legends Classic and Gotham Classic. Host teams have been chosen for each and their names appear below. How nice would it be to see one of those teams added to our OOC schedule? It’s not out of the question.
2K Sports Classic: Villanova, Purdue, Alabama, Oregon State
Legends Classic: Georgetown, Indiana, UCLA, Georgia
Gotham Classic: Syracuse, Temple
As for the mid and low-major programs, I expect to see return matches with such first time (2011) opponents as FDU and UMES. If an alternating format were followed, FDU would come to Stabler and we would travel to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 2012. Other possibilities would include: a 4th in what might be (no confirmation of same) a four-game contract with Quinnipiac (away this year), the 3rd in what would be (no confirmation of same) multi-year contracts with a Cornell, Fordham, Wagner, St. Peter’s, and Bryant. Who knows, maybe we’ll renew acquaintance with: Monmouth, Stony Brook, Marist, Yale, and NJIT – all of which we last faced in 2010. Or maybe even those we last played in 2009. Namely: Rider, Columbia, and Dartmouth. Or going back to 2008, maybe even: Albany and Princeton.
For those obsessed with our OOC Strength of Schedule numbers, here’s a look at the 2011 numbers from Pomeroy. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not good but not as bad as once feared and often advertised. Like most, I’d like to see us a hundred points higher in 2012, but you can’t argue with the success we had playing the teams we did in 2011.
215 Holy Cross