Posted: 1:13 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013
By Zach Bell
Social media has done so much for sports. The main thing it has done is make 'official' announcements of events old news. For example, yesterday the Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the signing of Elias Harris even though we all knew about that deal in late July. Another thing we know all about is next season's schedule. Gonzaga is historically a bit slower to release its official schedule but we have sluethed enough to get an understanding of where the Zags will be next season.
As a quick point before getting deep in this post, I find schedule discussions to be relatively mundane, boring, and pedestrian. My two cents on what is to come below is that it is good enough albeit it is not as a strong as years past but I don't think it is materially worse than last season's slate. At the end of the day, as long as Gonzaga has to play 18 games against West Coast Conference opposition, I will always be somewhat unimpressed by any schedule I see. With that said, let's piece this together.
Getting the conference out of the way, Gonzaga will play 18 games next year against WCC foes. That number is obviously up from last year as the vaunted Pacific Tigers have joined the fold
Now to the non-conference slate...
October 25th...Preseason...vs. Simon Fraser (not so fun fact: their nickname is the Clan)
November 9th....vs. Bryant
November 11th...vs. Colorado State
November 17th...vs. Oakland
December 1st...vs. Coppin State (still a rumor but sounds legit)
December 7th...vs. New Mexico State
December 10th...at West Virginia
December 14th...vs. South Alabama (Battle in Seattle)
December 21st...at. Kansas State
February 8th...at Memphis (College Gameday)
That's it (unofficially)!!!
As we've tweeted for the past few weeks, the only real bummer game for me is South Alabama in the Battle in Seattle. I am a firm believer that in your one showcase game on the western side of the state, you need to consistently have great opposition. It has been hit or miss for the past few years but this is a pretty big whiff. There have been rumors of a bigger opponent falling through but, either way, it is not a great way to show off your product in Seattle.
One of the things that Mark Few has seemed to really push towards is giving his team the opportunity to play at home in the early season. Aside from Maui, Gonzaga doesn't leave Spokane until December 10th against West Virginia. In year's past we have seen the Zags be a traveling road show but they are definitely letting the schedule come to them lately. In this years instance, that attitude has netted a lesser caliber of early year opponents but I expect to see more big time programs agree to play at the Kennel in non-conference in years to come.
The good news is that Gonzaga will once again be featured on College Gameday when they play Memphis in February 8th. The Tigers should be one heck of an opponent but hopefully the Zags can go down there and get a win. As we all know, winning against Memphis has always been tricky for Mark Few's club.
Love it? Hate it? Or are you like me and don't really care?