Monday, July 30, 2007

Holy Creampuff, Batman! (update)

I just saw the Florida Gator's men's basketball schedule for the first time, and I have to admit, I was surprised even though I expected a light non-conference Gator schedule.

Names like North Dakota State (127), Tennessee Tech (169), UNC-Central (first year as Div-I), Rutgers (166), North Florida (333), Stetson (302), Florida A&M (256), Georgia Southern (205), Charleston Southern (316), and High Point (170), Jacksonville (244), Vermont (148) make up the Hostess Twinkie portion of the schedule. And I thought UK's non-conference schedule was weak. Only two teams in the top 100, 2 in the top 150, three > 200 and three > 300.

The strongest teams on the NC schedule are Ohio State (definitely a tough one) and Florida State, who is certainly nice competition for the young Gators. But wow, Billy D. is going to need a full-time dentist to fill all the cavities from this pastry-laden schedule.

To be fair to the Gators, they lost their entire starting rotation plus their top sub, so they are basically starting over. I really don't fault Billy D. for weakening the schedule, but he'd better hope his team matures fast. If he anticipates the need for a schedule this weak, he may believe he is facing an NIT bit. But after two national champs in a row, I suppose he could be forgiven for that.

I was a little miffed at UK's comparatively easy schedule, but if Barnhart and Gillispie had cooked up a schedule like Florida's, the UK faithful would have really let them have it. Fortunately for Billy Donovan, he has a lot of good will built up, as the Gator faithful have long since forgotten his dalliance with Orlando this summer.

So what are the SEC blogs saying about this? Well, not much so far, but I am expecting some reaction later. I'll update this post when I have it.


Some UK fan blogs are scoffing at Florida's schedule:

The lone Florida dissenter so far is Andy Staples of He says the weak schedule could come back to haunt the Gators.