Fran McCaffery has told us Iowa will schedule better nonconference teams when his program is ready for the opposition.
That season apparently isn't the coming one.
Fri., Nov. 9 UT-Pan American IOWA CITY
Mon., Nov. 12 Central Michigan IOWA CITY
Thurs., Nov. 15 Howard IOWA CITY
Sat., Nov. 17 Gardner-Webb IOWA CITY
Tues., Nov. 20 vs. Western Kentucky Cancun, Mexico
Wed., Nov. 21 vs. DePaul/Wichita State Cancun, Mexico
Tues., Nov. 27 at Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va.
Sat., Dec. 1 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi IOWA CITY
Wed., Dec. 4 South Dakota IOWA CITY
Fri., Dec. 7 Iowa State IOWA CITY
Sat., Dec. 15 vs. Northern Iowa Des Moines, Iowa
Wed., Dec. 19 South Carolina State IOWA CITY
Sat., Dec. 22 Coppin State IOWA CITY
That, folks, is a who's-who of who's-not-who in college basketball with a few good teams mixed in, like Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and probably Wichita State.
Here are the 2011-12 records of these teams:
UT-Pan American 11-21 overall, 5-5 in the Great West Conference
Central Michigan 11-21, 5-11 in the Mid-American
Gardner-Webb 12-20, 6-12 in the Big South
Western Kentucky 16-19, 7-9 in the Sun Belt (The Hilltoppers did win their league tourney and go to the NCAAs, albeit with a losing record)
Wichita State 27-6, 16-2 in the Missouri Valley
DePaul 12-19, 3-15 in the Big East
Virginia Techá 16-17, 4-12 in the ACC
Texas A&M-Corpus Christiá 6-24, 4-12 in the Southland
South Dakota 10-18, 5-13 in the Summit League
Iowa State 23-11, 12-6 in the Big 12
Northern Iowa 20-14, 9-9 in the Missouri Valley
South Carolina State 5-26, 0-16 in the MEAC
Coppin State 14-16, 9-7 in the MEAC
I don't know where to start. Three teams from the MEAC, the 30th-strongest conference of 32 according to the end-of-season Sagarin Ratings? And none of those three teams finished as high as fifth in the MEAC?
There's only one team from the 31st-ranked conference, the Great West.
The bright side? No team from the No. 32 league, the Southwestern Athletic Conference is coming to Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season. Somehow.
If Iowa plays Wichita State instead of DePaul in Cancun, the total 2011-12 record of the Hawkeyes' nonconference foes will be 181-234 and their cumulative conference mark will be 88-124. If it's DePaul, those numbers drop to 166-247 and 75-137.
Iowa's going to have a winning record for a second-straight season, or else the seas have melted and the rocks have burned.
Of the nine nonconference matchups in Carver-Hawkeye, that Iowa State-Iowa game should be good. The other eight? Bring on the Big Ten season.
There were 345 Division I men's teams last season. Here are the final 2011-2012 Sagarin rankings for Iowa's upcoming foes (or possible foes in the cases of Wichita State and DePaul):
15. Wichita State
27. Iowa State
75. Northern Iowa
78. Virginia Tech
192. Western Kentucky
255. Central Michigan
271. Coppin State
286. South Dakota
306. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
311. Texas-Pan American
326. South Carolina State