The ACC offers up one great example of non-conference scheduling this year and several more that need a significant amount of work.
Once again, the bottom of the league scheduled like it has no interest in pushing the league toward more consistent recognition as a power conference.
Nine of the conference’s 10 teams have non-league slates that rank among the top 150 in the country—an impressive total for a power conference.
When looking at this season’s non-league slates, the Big East’s powers largely did what they needed to do, but the conference’s bottom-feeders could be left in the lurch come March if they improve as much as expected.
Stop the presses! The Big Ten didn’t do a horrible job of scheduling for November and December this season.
After exiting last March’s festivities, the conference is largely setting itself up for more disappointment this spring based on some of these schedules.
The majority of the league’s coaches aren’t taking kindly to the "football league" epithet being thrown their way and are showing their displeasure by beefing up their non-conference scheduling.
While UMBC made history in last March’s NCAA Tournament, it’s perennial league power Vermont that built the best non-league slate for this season—and it wasn’t particularly close.
As usual, defending A 10 Tournament champ Davidson will challenge itself during November and December, as will VCU and Saint Joe’s. But while preseason favorite Saint Louis built a decent slate, George Mason didn’t really prepare itself for a title (or at-large) challenge.
2018 champ Lipscomb managed to put together top 10 non-league slate despite not participating in an exempt tournament this season.
With the conference going to 20 league games, non-conference scheduling has suffered a bit. But defending champ Montana will still test itself during November and December.
Radford, the league’s 2018 NCAA Tournament representative, has its best non-conference schedule by a considerable margin.
In an upset, t’s defending champ Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis, not Long Beach State, who leads the Big West in non-league scheduling this season.
While the defending champs from College of Charleston will challenge Northeastern for the 2019 crown, the Huskies enter the new season with a superior non-conference schedule.
Even with a new head coach, Middle Tennessee once again leads the way when it comes to C-USA scheduling, but both 2018 NCAA rep Marshall and Western Kentucky, an NIT semifinalist a season ago, built slates that could help push them into the at-large picture in 2019.
The two teams favored to challenge for the conference title this season didn’t do themselves many favors in the non-league schedule department.