Rethinking SOS

  • For years I’ve harped ( to my wife, kids, pastor, cashier at Dillons ) that it is to our benefit to play the toughest teams we can all year long, here, there, anywhere.

    I was wrong.

    Because I haven’t been disgusted enough with basketball the past few weeks, I decided to look at the top 10 strength of schedule schools. Some things are better left alone. According to ESPN, here’s the top 10 strength of schedules for 2013-2014.

    SOS Team AP Rank (as of 3/14/14)

    1 Kansas 10

    2 Alabama NR

    3 Wisconsin 12

    4 Kentucky NR

    5 Minnesota NR

    6 Maryland NR

    7 Arizona 4

    8 Duke 7

    9 Colorado NR

    10 Baylor NR

    Is this a fluke? Do we need to jump to the Missouri Valley and play the Sisters of the blind 18 times per year? It seems to work for some teams.

    I’m sorry to be so negative lately. We’ve had a family tragedy and I’ve noticed I get a little cranky after 42 hours with no sleep.

    But maybe we should consider lightening the schedule for a while…?

  • @nuleafjhawk no we’re good, we shall know soon! Prayers for your family!

  • @nuleafjhawk

    So sorry about your family’s tragedy. As a member of the extended Jayhawk family, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Get some rest.

  • I’ve been cranky about our team even before Joel got hurt. If you don’t win enough of those tough games then you’ll watch march madness mad that you didn’t win enough of those tough games. Some of those schools listed there would probably be shoe ins for a bid had they won more of their tough games. Minnesota is an example.

    The risk of a tough schedule like KU has played is losing the tough games and having confidence flag because of the losses. That’s where we are at right now. Fans are grumpy, players are grumpy, the writers are grumpy, coach is grumpy, and unless we suddenly figure out how to guard the three line and the layup line, I suspect we’re going to be grumpy well before the final weekend of the dance.

    I offer my condolences to you and your loss. I pray for you that you will experience peace and comfort.

  • Thank all of you for your prayers - it helps! My wife’s dad passed away Friday morning, so we’re dealing with that the best way we can. He had been very sick for a long time and suffered terribly the last year, so it’s a blessing, but it’s still her dad.

    Kind of puts the whole basketball thing in perspective. (but I still wish they’d play defense, dang it !!)

    Thanks again - I don’t know any of you, but it sure feels like I do somehow.

    God bless!

  • @nuleafjhawk - Yes, some sleep might help a bit.

    I think you are right on point here. This was not a good season for such a schedule. Really, I don’t think any season is a good season for such a schedule. It is hard to schedule and know for sure how good some teams may end up being.

    I’m not a fan of hard scheduling like we did this season. I recalled that our schedule when we won the national title wasn’t that crazy, so I decided to look at the last 10 seasons of national champs.

    1. Louisville #6
    2. Kentucky #8
    3. UConn #4
    4. Duke #1
    5. UNC #3
    6. Kansas #58
    7. Florida #66
    8. Florida #21
    9. UNC #5
    10. UConn #47

    In the last 5 seasons, clearly, a top 10 schedule seems to fit the national title norm. In the 5 seasons before, not so much. KU’s in 2008 wasn’t that great.

    In hindsight, perhaps the Florida game and the Colorado game would have been nice games to trade out for maybe a California and LaSalle at home. SOS is also obviously guided by the strength of the conference in that particular season, which is totally out of Self’s control.

    But I’m with you. I’d schedule some tough games, but I wouldn’t go 30+ days away from Allen, and I’d lighten it up a bit.

  • @HighEliteMajor I think you are right about not being at home for so long, but this was a really young team and adding Black add another to the newbie group.

    It might pay off though while traveling for the tournament. leave on Wed comeback late Sunday night. Leave again on Wednesday come back again on Sunday and so on.

    I always thought that all that time away from home brought this team closer together let them bond more and become brothers. Last year the team went over seas and I think that helped forge a bond too.

    I don’t know though, it also took its tool on this team this year. Ahhhhh so many good things about it sooooo many bad things about it.

  • @nuleafjhawk-Take it one at a time nuleaf, we’re thinking of you. It does sometimes feel as we know each other after years of talking hoops, smack, krap & sometimes just whatever important comes to mind at times. Just allow that distinguishing sense of humor take back over & let it all hang out whenever you can. We’ll always lend an ear or a kind thought when needed.

  • @HighEliteMajor-Am not normally a big fan of Mellinger at the kcstar, but his piece about Self & his coaching adaptation is somewhat revealing. Though he’s seemingly not changed in ways that you or I would specifically prefer, he has somewhat adjusted to a group of youngsters urgently trying to master the game at a much more difficult level than they’ve ever seen before. While his usual plan is not normally trial by fire for more than one freshman at a time, the SOS has left room for little option this year. And this may very well be the wave of the future with Bill & his pursuit of the proverbial OAD’s on the radar. But backing off that SOS a tad might also be another adjustment we see going forward. Like stated, you really can’t tell in advance as well as in the past with as much transferring as there is now in CBB.

  • @nuleafjhawk My condolences go out to you and your

    @HighEliteMajor We may have over done it a tad for this year, but I do like harder scheduling, and I think the data you brought up bears that out for the most part. Teams that schedule well tend to over-perform their seeding in March. This is especially true for 1 and 2 seeds. 2s that scheduled tough tend to perform more like 1s, and while 1s that schedule well don’t necessarily win more games, they’re significantly less likely to be upset compared to 1s that scheduled weak.

    Even Self considered his nonconf scheduling a joke, and I would have to think that goes doubly so for such a young team, but I prefer these schedules to the ones we saw in 2011, 2013, and 2006. Self generally does a good job of tough scheduling. I think you want to remain in probably the top 10 to 15 range if you’ve got a serious contender on your hands. I hope that we have a top 10 schedule for next season because I think that team will be more likely to win it all than this team. We’ll see what happens though. Gotta keep those fingers crossed.

  • @nuleafjhawk Sorry about the loss and difficult year. Prayers to you and your family.

    As for SOS, I guess I Ike the middle of the road. A few BIG games, a few challenges, and a few cupcakes like helping out a former Jayhawk bringing his small program to experience AFH.

  • @JayhawkRock78 think we have to decide in a few weeks if it benefited us! I hope. Tough league too!

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