Iowa's nonconference men's basketball schedule is not good

From 'The Hlog': Too much MEAC, not nearly enough meat.


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.

Here is the Hawkeyes' non-Big Ten schedule for the season ahead:

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

Howard 10-21, 6-10 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

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 Tech  16-17, 4-12 in the ACC

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi  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.

Three teams from the MEAC? Texas-Pan American and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi?

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

155. DePaul

192. Western Kentucky

255. Central Michigan

266. Gardner-Webb

271. Coppin State

286. South Dakota

306. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

310. Howard

311. Texas-Pan American

326. South Carolina State  

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