Saturday, September 27, 2008

Early Scheduling Update

Three Big Ten programs have released their 2009 baseball schedule. Indiana, Iowa and Michigan have announced their '09 opponents (the inevitable alterations notwithstanding, of course). Kudos to all three for getting this information out so early. I'll probably be reviewing these in greater depth at some point down the road, so click on the links and get a look at what the Hoosiers, Hawkeyes and Wolverines face in the coming year.

I should also note that the long-awaited Big Ten/Big East baseball challenge has been finalized and will begin play next year. While this will never be as big as the ACC/Big Ten basketball challenge, I love the concept of this baseball tournament.

The reason for my interest is that I believe that the Big East gets the traditional "east coast media bias" even in college baseball. This format provides the Big Ten with the opportunity to display how they stack up against their fellow (mostly) northern foes. (With or without global warming, USF isn't going to be in the snowbelt anytime soon.)

Yet, this series probably could not come at a worse time for the Big Ten, as one would expect the conference to take another step backwards this year. I'm not sure how the Big East stacks up in '09, but I'm not expecting the Big Ten to provide more than one NCAA tournament team next year. (The good news is that I'm often wrong. The other piece of good news is that it's only September. I've got plenty of time to retract my prediction.)

I haven't heard if there will be any television coverage, but it would seem like an ideal situation for the Big Ten Network. Although, that would require the conference to commit money to baseball, which they are generally opposed to.

Here's the tournament schedule:

BIG EAST/BIG TEN CHALLENGE MATCHUPS
February 20-22, 2009

Day 1 - Friday, February 20

Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
Penn State vs. St. John's
Illinois vs. Iowa
Michigan State vs. Connecticut
Michigan vs. South Florida
Northwestern vs. Georgetown
Minnesota vs. Seton Hall
Indiana vs. West Virginia
Purdue vs. Cincinnati

Day 2 - Saturday, February 21
Michigan vs. Cincinnati
Purdue vs. South Florida
Penn State vs. Northwestern
Ohio State vs. Connecticut
Indiana vs. Georgetown
Illinois vs. Notre Dame
Minnesota vs. West Virginia
Michigan State vs. Seton Hall
Iowa vs. St. John's

Day 3 - Sunday, February 22
Michigan vs. St. John's
Ohio State vs. Cincinnati
Minnesota vs. Michigan State
Northwestern vs. Connecticut
Indiana vs. South Florida
Iowa vs. Georgetown
Purdue vs. Notre Dame
Penn State vs. Seton Hall
Illinois vs. West Virginia

3 comments:

kowisja said...

While the St. John's/Michigan game is the top billing against the conferences (at least based on last year), I'm looking forward to the Michigan/Purdue game in Florida as well. It should be a great non-conference matchup to gauge how well Michigan should be poised for the new season.

BaseballBucks33 said...

The 2009 Penn State baseball schedule is on their baseball web page if anyone is curious to see it. Can't wait till the spring baseball season.

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