Why is our pre-conference schedule so weak?

The only teams most people have ever heard of in our 10-1 start are Minnesota and Texas. Neither team is that good. Why don’t we play at least 3 Top 25 teams? Does it help to build a bunch of wins against no name teams to get to the NCAA’s?

The SEC is not a great league right now…I just don’t see the harm in playing some teams like North Carolina, Duke or Michigan State or teams of that caliber. Playing a tough schedule would build interest and help our basketball program and our attendance, I think.

At this time, in my view, the people buying tickets and attending the games are getting hosed. Our home schedule has been pathetic to this point in the season.

It takes two to tango. What makes you think teams of that caliber want to play us?

Have you seen our RPI? That suggests it is not weak. Fort Wayne beat Indiana. UT Arlington beat Texas. I understand not being marquee names. But outside of that, I think Mike has done a good job of scheduling the best of the mid-majors. Hopefully, this will help come March.

I have seen weaker schedules with bigger names.

If you look at the NCAAT, teams like we have been playing are making more noise every year. Early departures from power 5 school have leveled the court for the mid -majors.

I personally think thi has been a decent non-conference schedule after watching the on-court performance of our opponents.

“Marquee” names in college basketball just aren’t as frequent anymore. The sport has become much more balanced. I’d much rather have a good strength of schedule from an RPI standpoint than name recognition. Its not the name of the opponent that stands out at the end of the year, but instead the quality of the opponent.

As for the concern about fans getting “hosed” for having to watch these games, there simply haven’t been too many teams willing to do a home-and-home with us the last few years. Say what you will about numbers, BWA is still a fairly intimidating place to play. Most schools now would rather schedule a “marquee” opponent at a neutral site than a true road game. How do the fans win if they can’t even see the game at BWA because the other school won’t play there?

Groan. Cmon.

There are no Deleware States, Southern Utahs, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, East Central Mennonite, Florida Aeronautical &Janitorial, or IUPU-French Licks on the schedule. These are ALL solid teams with a good chance of dancing themselves.

As we have mentioned several times on here, the scheduled is not great, but it is good.
It is far from weak if you delve into and actually look at the teams and who they are.
Four teams are picked to win their league, including tonight’s foe in Sam Houston State.
Five teams have been in the NCAA Tournament in the last two years.

I believe we could also call Houston(9-2) a name team.

Now that Arkansas has big-time players coming in, TV will also start getting them more made for TV games against better opponents.

Interesting you are bringing this up when we are about to play the last non-conference game before SEC play starts. Especially since this has been discussed quite a bit ever since the schedule came out and also since non-conference play started.

BTW, we play Oklahoma State later in the season. You should add that to Minnesota and Texas.

A few points:

Our administration wants 17 or 18 games in BWA each year because of the revenue from season tickets. That’s not counting the North Little Rock game, which is tonight. If we only played 15 in BWA instead of 18, that’s one-sixth of the potential income from that source lost before a single ticket is sold. The SEC schedule is nine home games, leaving 8 or 9 nonconference games to be played in BWA to meet that requirement. This year, we have 13 nonconference games total – two on the road (Minny and Okie Lite), one neutral (Texass), nine at BWA and one in NLR.

Playing a Duke, a North Carolina, a Villanova, or any other name team, requires either a home and home agreement, a neutral site deal, or a game arranged by TV. The Okie State game is arranged by TV as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. The Texas game was arranged as part of their Lone Star Shootout. But there is not much room for home and homes, or neutral site games for that matter, due to the number of BWA/NLR games required. The Minny game happened because Minnesota created a “tournament” that allows us to play three extra games that do not count against the usual limit of 28 regular season games. If we did not get one of those “tournaments”, we would have only had 10 NC games and probably would play all but one of them within the borders of Arkansas.

Right now, except for the conference challenge, we’re not good enough to attract any made for TV games like the ones a Duke or Kentucky or Michigan State might get. That may change next year if we continue to play at the rate a 10-1 start would suggest.

And, as other answers have noted, this is not a weak schedule. There will be several teams we’ve played in November and December who will be appearing on your March Madness bracket in 10 weeks or so. And the “name” team – Texas – will probably not be one of them. Right now Texas is probably about the sixth best team on our NC schedule.

I think present schedule is good for what we had in the last few years. Now that we expect a lot more talent coming in the next few years, I am thinking we start playing in some of those well known pre-season tournaments and schedule some well known programs. But first thing first. We must get into NCAA and make some noise and get some attention; the rest will follow.

Teams of that caliber won’t play us because we won’t schedule a home and home series. Jeff long has to play 9 out of 12 non conference games at home, regardless if anyone wants to show up to see the no name matchup. Same reason he won’t lower ticket prices. He gets that season ticket revenue for all the games, even when our empty stadium in an embarrassment.

You have it wrong. It is the other way around. We would be willing to play home and home against Duke, UNC, Michigan State, etc. The belief is that those three schools would be unwilling to come to Fayetteville.

It’s more than a belief. Jim Boeheim was very unhappy when Syracuse was sent here through the SEC-Big East Challenge a few years back, and that wasn’t even a good Arkansas team. They really don’t want to come here if we’re any good.

Big time programs are not going to give us the time of the day until we are up there as a recognized basketball power as in those good old days (1994, 1995). They figure playing a top caliber program, if they win, it enhances their status. If they lose, they lost to a quality program, little or no damage. We must improve the schedule as our program can handle it, as others are willing to play us.

Very, very few big-time programs want to come to Bud Walton.

The guy who makes the schedule and I have had many long talks about this.

Arkansas will play any one home-and-home and tries to do so

The two parts in bold are simply not accurate.

Tickets have been lower and there are many different packages now.

And I can promise you that Arkansas has tried to schedule many elite foes home-and-home in the last few years and it just isn’t happening on the other side.

Not sure where you are getting your info on those two points.

We could not get those big time programs to visit in the good old days either. Kansas is the only one I recall that came to Barnhill in Nolan’s second year, maybe third year. Those programs are flat scared to come over here. They feel they have everything to lose.

Teams don’t want to schedule us here because they know it’s a difficult out. Yes, they will go play neutral site games against bigger-named programs.

That game and loss are a lot easier to sell.

You forget the UNLV series, but then that UNLV team didn’t have any reason to fear playing anyone anywhere.
Also, Missouri played us home and home through '98, even after that massacre on dedication night at BWA. And we played for four years in the middle of the '00s, including the dedication game at their arena (which we spoiled), but that was after the glory days. We’ve done home and homes intermittently with OU and Texas. Wake Forest and Clemson have come here recently. But the Power 5 teams that are willing to come to BWA are a short list. We beat a ranked Michigan team in 2012 when we were really mediocre, further reminder to Power 5 teams to stay out of BWA. Right now it’s likely to take the intervention of TV to get someone good into Fayetteville (a la Texas Tech last year).