Sunday, November 18, 2007

SOS distress call from Mustang fans

If you were planning on coming out to a Cal Poly men’s basketball game during the nonconference season, I hope you made it out to Thursday's home opener against Utah State because that might be the only good one until the start of conference play.
Utah State, favored to win the WAC this year, could be the best team Cal Poly brings to Mott Gym all season - and that's not saying much considering the tumble the Aggies are taking - as the Mustangs were able to schedule only 12 home games this season.
Cal Poly head coach Kevin Bromley was hesitant about bringing Utah State in after losing eight straight to the Aggies, but the move paid off Thursday when the Mustangs ran away with an 83-69 victory.
“Nobody in our conference will play them because they used to own this conference,” Bromley said. “But we only have 11 home games if we don’t play them and then 18 on the road – so I have to play somebody at home. Our booster club and our student-athletes deserve to have some home games.”
Well, the part about nobody playing the Aggies isn't entirely true. Utah State, sliding to No. 222 in the latest Sagarin Ratings, lost 70-51 at UC Irvine on Saturday night. Which makes you wonder, what the heck happened to Utah State?
Well, here’s what you get to look forward to from the rest of the Mustangs’ nonconference home schedule:
Dec. 2: Menlo College, an NAIA DII team that went 15-12 last year but returns five starters.
Dec. 15: Cal State Bakersfield, a team transitioning to Division I that did manage to beat Fresno State the other night.
Dec. 29: Southern Utah, a team that is a Division I program but is ranked No. 265 in the Sagarin Ratings.
For the record, Cal Poly's Sagarin Rating is 156, middle of the pack for the Big West, which ranges from 101 (Pacific) to 292 (UC Riverside). Which, if these numbers hold up, means Cal Poly fans might not see a top-100 team in Mott Gym this season. With those RPI and SOS (strength of schedule) numbers it looks like the Big West is a one-bid league again this season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cal Poly's non-conference home schedule is downright embarassing and certainly not reflective of a Division I program.

The big question is why? From what I can guess it was likely a case of no one wanting to travel to SLO to face a team that had a pretty good season last year. Apparently, mid-majors in general across the nation have a huge problem bringing in quality opponents since the big boys hold all the power.

For the big schools, I guess playing a mid-major on the road is one of those cases where they have nothing to gain, but everything to lose. That being said, I just think its pathetic that Utah St. is the "marquee" opponent on the schedule. Having the likes of Menlo and Bakersfield on the schedule is frankly unacceptable for the program since they offer absolutely nothing other than perhaps a chance to give some guys who normally don't get to play an opportunity to get into a game. Cal Poly has been Division I for 13 years now, so these opponents should never be on the regular season achedule!