men's basketball schedule is coming into focus, way out there on the horizon, and it's been met with little fanfare, given the opponents this year.
For example, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Boilers get underwhelming Boston College. Now, don't misunderstand: I'm not saying they're underwhelming in the sense that Purdue will have no trouble with them. I'm just saying that even if Purdue wins by 30, it's not going to register much of a blip on the consciousness of college basketball fans. By comparison, last year's pounding of Clemson actually did get some attention and made people -- including us -- think the Boilers were turning a bit of a corner. Sadly, around that corner was an alley with locked doors and mean street toughs waiting to beat up our Boilermakers.
Two other highlights of the pre-con schedule include a road date at West Virginia on December 21, which will be no picnic, and the Crossroads Classic in Indy against Butler on December 14. Butler, as you'll recall, came back from a large deficit to nip the Boilers in the Classic two years ago. If nothing else, playing Butler is not nearly as gnawingly irritating as playing UND or IU. Regardless of where Butler is in the national consciousness at that point, though, it would be good PR to win that game.
The Boilers are also playing in the Old Spice Classic at Thanksgiving time in Orlando, Florida. That field includes LSU, Memphis, Siena, Oklahoma State, St. Johns, Washington State and Butler. So it's conceivable that Purdue could play Butler twice in a two week span. While some will probably say that's stupid, I actually enjoy unique scheduling anomalies. That could be kind of neat. Unless, of course, the Boilers get trampled twice.
Some of the other squads in the Old Spice Classic also appear to have a chance of being competitive/significant programs in '13-'14, so another quality matchup or two could happen in the land of Mickey and Minnie in November.
As the headline notes, several outlets have sort of turned an ambivalent attitude towards the non-con schedule, which I can't completely blame them for. However, it it helps the Boilers get out to a fast start and on their way to a 20+ win season and a return to NCAA tourney action, I'm pretty sure none of us will care.