Texas announced their full non-conference schedule this week:
If you prefer it in a normal table like me, a fellow old:
A few thoughts on this schedule:
- I’m still of the opinion that college sports are at best an aspirational goal given the trouble athletic departments are having across the country at keeping COVID cases out of their athletes, and that there’s a good chance the non-conference schedules get sacrificed for a chance at having conference play. We’re already seeing football commissioners hint at the possibility of moving football to the spring, so 2020 basketball games are probably also being looked at in the same light.
- The Gonzaga home game is the highlight of the schedule as they’ll likely start the season ranked in the top-10. Mark Few’s team will be an interesting early-season measuring stick to see how Texas stacks up.
- The Maui Invitational will be a solid tournament; Texas will face one or more of Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford and UNLV. It’s not quite the depth of the PK80 or similar, but it’s a chance for Texas to pick up a couple of wins over likely tournament teams.
- We can probably rule out Providence being the team to visit Texas in the Big 12/Big East challenge due to the Maui tournament, but that’s another chance for a good home game (assuming fans are even allowed to attend) against a quality opponent.
- My personal conspiracy theory based upon nothing but me having too much time to think about this: the reason Texas and Texas A&M aren’t playing each other in the neutral-site Battleground 2k20 tournament is because they’re playing each other in the Big 12/SEC challenge later in the year. The seal has been broken on these schools playing each other in every sport except football, making this game happen in College Station (Texas will be away for whoever they face) is an easy sell. They could make the 2021-2022 challenge game a return trip to Austin just as easily.
- There are a handful of smaller opponents built into the schedule, but they’re not all easy teams. Louisiana Tech was 22-8 last year and have some players, as one example.
I hope I’m wrong about the likelihood of sports this fall; if we want sports, we need to do our part to tamp down this disease. Other countries ate their brussel sprouts and they got sports as their dessert; wear a mask, stay home as much as possible, and we might be able to see Texas play a full season in your sport of choice. If nothing else, helping out might mean CDC gets to shave his Castaway beard.