Before I get to a long list of schedule links, it's time to recap at the latest chapter of As The Mountain West Turns...
The Denver Post reported that BYU would announce that they were going to make up with the MWC Thursday; however, it's now Friday afternoon and there's been no official announcement.
At Mountain West Connection, Jeremy Mauss has a post detailing "The Project" that was supposed to bring BYU to the WAC in all sports and how MWC commissioner Craig Thompson threw a boulder to those plans by inviting Fresno State and Nevada.
With the WAC's future up in the air, the third school Thompson invited, Utah State, has reapplied in an attempt to be the MWC's 12th team. Opinion among MWC fans seems to favor Houston or UTEP over the Aggies, however.
Adrian Mac, editor of SBN's UTEP blog Miner Rush, made an interesting comment in that Utah State post regarding how the mindset of MWC's membership has changed in the span of a decade.
Just insane that 10 years ago the MWC formed and it's already changed to the point where they have to add teams the original members blamed for the demise of the WAC (like Fresno). Back then, BYU & Others were upset that the WAC had been watered down and that it was spread too far - into Texas. Now, the MWC is also adding teams that never would have been added to the WAC had the original MWC 8 never left to begin with (namely the Big West's Boise, Utah State, Nevada- 1999).
Hawai'i, meanwhile, is still contemplating football independence. In terms of a home for its other sports, ESPN's Andy Katz reported that the university is discussing moving all of the other Warrior/Wahine teams to the Big West, not the West Coast Conference as rumored.
That's because the WCC wants to remain a league of smaller, church-sponsored schools, and Hawai'i is decidedly neither. On the other hand, the Big West's grouping of University of Califiornia and California State University campuses (with one private school, Pacific, thrown in for good measure) would be a better fit from an institutional standpoint, though travel could be a sticking point.
Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser writes that no matter what conference Hawai'i calls home, intercollegiate athletics will likely become a more expensive proposition for the university, even if it stays in a newly-expanded WAC,
Call them travel subsidies, stipends or guarantees, the fact is it is going to be tough to find anybody willing to regularly put their soccer, tennis, swimming, golf or softball teams on planes here without some help.
Schools in California have been cutting sports, so they aren't going to welcome the expenses of UH membership with open arms. An open wallet by UH, perhaps.
The scary thing is that UH, which does not currently pay travel subsidies in the WAC, could find itself forced to ante up even if it stays put. That's if it expects to have any company in the WAC.
In short, there are still a few decisions to be made to close out this latest round of realignment.
The good news is we're one week away from football season, which means basketball season is that much closer to tipping off. After the jump, I have a very long list of schedule links for your weekend.
On Thursday, the Big Ten and SEC both announced their conference schedules, so most of those teams released their full schedules not long afterward. (Auburn is a notable exception.) You'll find those teams in this list of schedule releases and updates. There are some single game and event notes at the bottom of the post.
The Razorbacks schedule will feature one of those five-team round-robin exempt tourneys. The Razorback invitational will see the Hogs host Grambling (Nov. 18), Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 22), and Southeast Missouri (Nov. 24). The "final" of this event will pit UAB against Arkansas in North Little Rock on November 26.
The Vandals will host a four-team round-robin, featuring Eastern Michigan, Monmouth, and North Dakota.
Be sure to head on over to SBN's new Buckeyes' blog, Along The Olentangy, even if they don't have any hoops content up yet.
Oregon State (<-SBN link)
The Vols will host a rare nationally-televised men's and women's doubleheader against Vanderbilt on Saturday, January 15.
Washington State (<- SBN link)
Single Game News
This one isn't an exempt event, just a four-team single-elimination tournament, which features the Golden Grizzlies, Eastern Michigan, Valparaiso, and Rochester College.
You probably figured that the Rochester Warriors are not Division I. That's indeed true, but this mystery team isn't even in the NCAA...or the NAIA. They members of the USCAA. The fact they're just across town from Oakland University likely contributed to their invite.
Oakland is hosting this event in honor of Keith Benson, who won last year's Lou Henson Award, which CollegeInsider.com bestows upon the nation's best mid-major player.
The Wildcats' opponents in the semifinal has not been determined, but St. John's is playing Davidson in the other half of the bracket.
That information is courtesy of the Peoria Journal-Star. Bradley is one of the four host schools, along with USC, UMass, and New Mexico State. The two teams the Braves will play in Peoria (who will happen to play in a consolation bracket in Springfield, Mass.) have yet to be named.
Finally, in a piece of postseason news, the Big East's athletic directors defied all common sense by electing to keep the idiotic double bye system in place for the 2011 conference tournament at Madison Square Garden, overruling the league's coaches.
Seeds 9-16 will continue to meet on Tuesday for the right to play seeds 5-8 on Wednesday, while seeds 1-4 sit until Thursday's quarterfinals, where they've been susceptible to the upset bug. The proposed format would have seen a true bracket, with the top four playing the bottom four on Tuesday, for the right to move on to Thursday's quarterfinals. The middle eight would have met on Wednesday to fill out the round of eight.
Perhaps next year.