Thursday, September 18, 2008

Does the OOC sked suck like a fox?

(I was looking for a picture of Bart keeping score at the alley as Homer keeps bowling gutter balls filled with booze to Moe’s, but this is the closest thing I could find. I guess one gift a week is all I can expect from the Gods of the Internet)

I admit I was skeptical Monday when the out of conference schedule was released and featured six teams coming off sub-.500 seasons as well as a game against Division III Old Westbury. But that 20-win season I riffed about may have a better chance of occurring than initially thought.

Hofstra’s best seasons since 2002-03 were the ones in which its OOC didn’t impress anyone upon its release. When the Flying Dutchmen went 21-9 and made the first of three straight NIT appearances in 2004-05, the eight Division I OOC teams on the schedule posted a collective winning percentage of .354 the previous season. Remove Syracuse (23-8 in 2003-04) from the equation and the other seven teams were 58-140—a .293 winning percentage. That doesn’t even count Longwood, which was transitioning to Division I.

The OOC was better in 2005-06, when Hofstra went 26-7 and reached the final eight of the NIT following the NCAA’s all-time screw job, but still not great: Those eight opponents were 96-132 (.421 winning percentage) the previous season and featured just one team with a winning record (Notre Dame).

Not surprisingly, Hofstra played its toughest non-conference slate in response to the NCAA's snub in 2006-07, when the eight opponents had a 127-115 (.525) record the previous season. The Flying Dutchmen went an oddly disappointing 22-10, including first-round losses in the CAA tourney as well as the NIT.

The OOC opponents were right around the .500 mark in the seasons Hofstra finished under .500: 2002-03, 2003-04 and last year. See below for the entire list of OOC opponents dating back to 2002-03; note that when determining the OOC’s record the previous season, I didn’t count the teams Hofstra played beyond the first round of holiday-time tournaments (i.e. St. John’s in 2006-07 or Marist last year).

Now of course the interesting question for a team that returns eight core players but only one sure thing is whether the Flying Dutchmen succeeded in 2004-05 and 2005-06 because the weak OOC allowed them time to gel while racking up wins…or if they thrived because of The Big Three.

(Forgive the lack of formatting here, someday I’ll figure out how to use tabs on a web page)

2008-09 (’07-’08 record)
Old Westbury (n/a)
Clemson (24-10)
Manhattan (12-19)
Fordham (12-17)
Stony Brook (7-23)
St. Francis (7-22)
UMass (25-11)
Iona (12-20)
New Hampshire (9-20)
TOTAL: 108-142 (.432)

2007-08 (’06-’07 record)
Holy Cross (25-9)
Manhattan (13-17)
St. Francis (9-20)
Fordham (18-12)
Stony Brook (9-20)
Charlotte (14-16)
Rhode Island (19-14)
Virginia Tech (22-12)
Longwood (9-22)
TOTAL: 138-142 (.493)

2006-07 (’05-’06 record)
Charlotte (19-13)
Manhattan (20-11)
Hawaii (17-11)
Siena (15-13)
Stony Brook (4-24)
St. Francis (10-17)
Syracuse (23-12)
St. Joseph’s (19-14)
TOTAL: 127-115 (.525)

2005-06 (’04-’05 record)
Florida International (13-17)
Notre Dame (17-12)
St. John’s (9-18)
Binghamton (12-17)
Stony Brook (12-17)
Dartmouth (10-17)
St. Francis (13-15)
LaSalle (10-19)
TOTAL: 96-132 (.421)

2004-05 (’03-’04 record)
Florida International (5-22)
LaSalle (10-20)
Binghamton (14-15)
Longwood (n/a)
St. John’s (6-21)
Dartmouth (3-25)
Columbia (10-17)
Stony Brook (10-20)
Syracuse (23-8)
TOTAL: 81-148 (.354)

2003-04 (’02-’03 record)
Marist (13-16)
Providence (18-14)
Maryland (21-10)
St. John’s (21-13)
Columbia (2-24)
Monmouth (15-13)
Stony Brook (13-16)
St. Peter’s (10-19)
Manhattan (23-7)
TOTAL: 136-132 (.507)

2002-03 (’01-’02 record)
Gonzaga (28-3)
St. Francis (18-11)
Lehigh (5-22)
Monmouth (18-12)
St. John’s (20-11)
Stony Brook (5-21)
Manhattan (17-8)
St. Peter’s (2-24)
TOTAL: 113-112 (.503)
Rick and Ted, as well as any other Loyal Readers, should email Jerry at

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