Bob Huggins is on the rubber chicken circuit, and upon returning from my vacation I noticed he said something interesting in Martinsburg the other day.
“… we’ve got a brutal schedule,” Huggins said. “It’s a very, very challenging non-conference schedule and hopefully we didn’t bite off more than we can handle.”
I’d heard a little or a lot about the schedule and wondered 1) if what I’d heard was true and 2) is reality actually brutal?
Well, let’s find out: The 2015-16 schedule came out today and includes Northern Kentucky (13-17 last season), James Madison (19-14) in Charleston, a pair of tomato cans as the preliminary part of the Las Vegas Invitational (I’ve heard of the four teams listed it’ll be Bethune-Cookman [11-21] and Liberty [8-24]), Kennesaw State (10-22), Louisiana Monroe (24-14, CBI runner-up!), Marshall (11-21) in Charleston and Eastern Kentucky (21-12, but Jeff Neubauer left for Fordham) as home/sorta home games. Yuck. That’s as unappealing a non-conference home schedule Huggins has had since his first year or two at WVU, when some of the scheduling process was out of his control. WVU has played at least one non-conference home game against a major-conference opponent in every year since not doing so his first two seasons.
When that happens, there’s a side-effect. The major conference opponents are formidable, and not one is at home. The Vegas opponents (again, unannounced) figure to be Cal in the first game and then either San Diego State or Richmond in the second (I doubt the organizers want a Cal-SDSU or WVU-SDSU game in the opener). Virginia is in Madison Square Garden and Virginia Tech and Florida are on the road.