Pac-12 Burning Questions: Ideal Non-Conference Opponents

Posted by Andrew Murawa, Adam Butler & Connor Pelton on November 26th, 2014

There’s that smell again? No, it’s not your pumpkin pie burning; it’s just time for another edition of Pac-12 Burning Questions. On the heels of San Diego State/BYU which should absolutely be required to happen at least once a year forever from here on out, here’s this week’s Burning Question:

You’re declared commissioner of college basketball  with all-encompassing dictatorial powers. Which non-conference series do you schedule in perpetuity for which Pac-12 programs?

Originally, this question was just about naming one non-conference matchup for one Pac-12 school, but Adam Butler could not be contained and, given his dictatorial powers and what-not, he prescribed almost entire non-conference schedules for all of the teams in the conference:

  • Arizona – Forget non-conference rivalries. Let’s just ensure that Arizona and UCLA get to play twice per year. It’s been two consecutive years of just one scheduled battle. We need this. It’s for us. But of course that doesn’t fulfill the BQ’s request. We could do a non-conference dunk tank manned by ASU? We can do better. In all seriousness, my favorite (meaning the team I enjoy seeing Arizona beat the most) non-conference opponent would be Kansas. Helluva history between these two.

    Priority One Is Making Sure Arizona and UCLA Play Twice A Year

    Priority One Is Making Sure Arizona and UCLA Play Twice A Year

  • Arizona State – If we’re to predicate this on “who hates whom” then the list of schools that hate ASU is llllooooonnnnggggg. NC State and Pitt and Texas (kind of) and Wisconsin just to name a few. Not to mention all of their Pac-12 colleagues. So if you’re asking me to pick one I’d go with…. the five drunkest guys on Mill Avenue the third Tuesday of every September.
  • Colorado – Nebraska because the things I’ve heard Colorado fans say about Nebraska are NSF(Anywhere).
  • Utah – Bring the Moos into the house that does the “WE BELIEVE” chant better than any Aztecs or Americans. Utah State-Utah would be good for everyone. And while we’re at it, fire up an annual MWC throwback tournament of red vitriol including SDSU, Utah, UNM, and UNLV. Everyone wears their red jerseys and while the games are played we could also user generated mute buttons for a given fan base. Around the Horn style. I think this event would be fueled by hate. Pure, unadulterated hate. Anger.
  • UCLA – With the Arizona game fired up, I’d like to see UCLA and Kentucky perennially battle it out for banners. Similar to pink slips (of which I have no experience gambling with), the Bruins and Wildcats could lay out a felt banner with each contest. Of note: This is happening in December.

  • USC – A road game in a non-destination place. The opponent doesn’t matter. Just so long as Andy has to endure one trip to El Paso or Stillwater or Morgantown or Lubbock or really anywhere but SoCal. Which naturally means a lifetime ban from any Maui or Bahamas based pre-season tournaments. Welcome to the first annual Fargo College Basketball Classic, your host…DJ MALSKI!!!!!
  • Cal – I’m kinda digging this Syracuse thing they’ve got brewing. They’ve played three times in the last couple of years and it could really build some bi-coastal interest for both teams. MSG certainly holds greater clout than most any arena the West Coast has to offer, but if ‘The Toilet’ gains any momentum, could be a sweet one.
  • Stanford – They do it on the women’s side and it works so why not fire up Storrs-Palo Alto for the boys? They’ve done it before and Stanford even traveled across the country and beat the eventual 2014 National Champs. UConn it is.
  • Oregon – Maryland, so that we can see what sorta stuff the shoe companies can come up with. Maybe Nike would literally put wings on the Ducks’ shoes? Would Under Armour go so far as to weave strands of Gary Williams’ hair into the jerseys? Let’s get weird.
  • Oregon State – I can’t keep making the presidential jokes so I’m going to go with San Francisco as their main rival with this marquee event being played annually at the forthcoming downtown San Francisco arena that has been coined ‘The Toilet’ at which we’ll have Wayne Tinkle playing each year. Don’t flush this idea.
  • Washington – Gonzaga. PNW basketball was once in the balances and then it tipped to Spokane. And by tipped I mean spilled over poured all of the riches of CBB success into the other dog-related-fan-section-pun.
  • Washington State – Just Virginia, as a cruel and unusual teaser of all that once was and can’t be again. And then maybe Wisconsin, too. Not so much for cruelty but just like a subtle-ties reminder of what 15 consecutive NCAA tournaments looks like.

Connor Pelton

  • Washington: Gonzaga. Used to be a great in-state rivalry.
  • Washington State: Idaho. Schools are only nine miles apart. Energy in gym is always high when they play.
  • Oregon: Creighton. That’s easy.
  • Oregon State: UTEP. Two teams had a great three game series in the CBI finals a while back. Haven’t played since.
  • California: Dayton. Don’t know why. It just seems fun.

    Dayton: "It Just Seems Fun"

    Dayton: “It Just Seems Fun”

  • Stanford: Harvard. Two smart schools. Two borderline top 25 teams.
  • USC: Florida Gulf Coast or UTEP. Either one would be insanely enjoyable.
  • UCLA: San Diego State. Two Southern California powers.
  • Arizona: Kentucky. Easy
  • Arizona State: NC State. I’m just now learning about how much hate NC State fans have towards Herb Sendek. Hate = great games.
  • Utah: Utah State. Both of these teams need to be good at the same time. When that happens, this would be awesome.
  • Colorado: Kansas. Old Big 12 rivalry. Good things happen whenever they meet up.

Andrew Murawa

  • UCLA: Give them San Diego State. The Aztecs will come up to Pauley every other year, but in exchange, the Bruins gotta go into the snake pit that is Viejas Arena. And, while we’re at it, we’re going to send UCLA to one other southern California school every year. UC Irvine this year, UC Riverside next, Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara. Once every dozen years or so, these smaller schools around the southland are going to get a crack at the Bruins in their own gyms.
  • Arizona: I’d love to send the Wildcats to Flagstaff to face Northern Arizona every now and then, but there are so many matchups that are just perfect. Their rivalry with San Diego State is beginning to call out for a yearly matchup. Sending them up to Gonzaga seems righteous. But as Butler points out, we’ve really got to prioritize getting the ‘Cats and Bruins on each other’s home court twice a season. And, given the fact that Sean Miller doesn’t shy away from going on the road (at SDSU and Michigan last year, at UTEP and UNLV this season), we’re not going to force them into anything.
  • Utah: If the Utes and BYU ever try to get fancy and cancel their annual matchups, we’ll step in and fix that right quick, but for now we’re going to make the Utes go to Logan every other year to face Utah State.
  • Stanford: As long as Johnny Dawkins remains the head coach, I’m going to make sure the Cardinal play Duke every season.
  • California: So many possibilities, but the Golden Bears have a history of going on the road for a game or two every season (they played at UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State, UNLV, Denver and Creighton in the past three years and will go to Fresno State and Nevada this year), but we’re going to lock in Cuonzo Martin to a local game against Saint Mary’s every season, with just 12 miles separating the two campuses. Tell me that wouldn’t be compelling basketball.

    The Golden Bears Going To This Bandbox Every Other Year? We Didn't Say It Should Be Easy

    The Golden Bears Going To This Bandbox Every Other Year? We Didn’t Say It Should Be Easy

  • Washington: Gonzaga it is. It will be good for the Huskies to match up against an elite program and generate local buzz around a program that is starting to go stale.
  • USC: I have no idea how we’re going to do this, or how many dozen people will show up, but with the Granddaddy of Them All basically defunct nowadays, we’re putting the Trojans against either Ohio State or Michigan on New Year’s afternoon in the Rose Bowl (assuming it is available): college basketball’s answer to the NHL’s outdoor series.
  • Washington State: Let’s send the Cougs somewhere nice. Hawaii? Florida State? It doesn’t really matter. Somewhere warmer than Pullman. Let’s just not get these guys in too far over their heads.\
  • Colorado: After last weekend, Tad Boyle’s probably got ideas about calling off that matchup with Wyoming. Not only are we not going to let him get away with that, we’re going to send him to South Dakota State every other year also. Just because.
  • Arizona State: Just so they have to see how the other half lives while they’re basking in 75 degree December weather, we’re sending the Sun Devils to Minnesota just before Christmas.
  • Oregon: Butler’s idea about the Duck/Maryland matchup is genius. Not only do they have the freaky uniform dealie in common, they’re also teams that are generally about the same level. We’ll also dial up a matchup in late December between the Ducks and Baylor, a battle between two Johnny-come-lately football programs destined to be disappointed every year about the same time. One rule: only one day-glo uniform at a time.
  • Oregon State: Yeah, I’m good with the Beavers playing Corban, Rice and Oral Roberts.
AMurawa (999 Posts)

Andrew Murawa Likes Basketball.

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