Marquette has finished announcing all of the non-conference games on the 2012-13 schedule. Last year, we took a look at the schedule in light of the final KenPom.com rankings of the teams in the previous season and compared it to the previous seasons under Buzz Williams.
If that doesn't sound like an idea for a recurring feature, I don't know what does.
Hit the jump, and we'll draw some comparisons.
So here's what we calculated on the first four years of Buzz Williams' tenure as head coach at Marquette. "Lowest" refers to the best ranked team and "highest" refers to the worst ranked team. Any games not preset on the schedule (namely tournament games that aren't known until after MU wins or loses) are not counted.
Lowest ranked team: Wisconsin (5)
Highest ranked team: Houston Baptist (342, one higher than KP's worst team)
Average of MU's 13 opponents: 178.6
Median Opponent Ranking: 185
Low: Xavier (20)
High: South Dakota (345, one higher than KP's worst team)
Average of MU's 10 opponents: 216
Median Opponent Ranking: 257
Low: Duke (1)
High: Mississippi Valley State (326 of 347 teams)
Average of MU's 12 opponents: 185.9
Median Opponent Ranking: 207
Low: Wisconsin (7)
High: Norfolk State (302 of 345 teams)
Average of MU's 11 opponents: 151.8
Median Opponent Ranking: 156
As we noted last year, Marquette's schedule in Buzz's first year was very solid, but that was to be expected given the senior leadership that he had on that team. It stepped back a bit as the team was in flux from a recruiting standpoint, but stepped back up last year as Buzz seems determined to challenge his program on a regular basis.
That brings us to this year.
Low: Ohio State (2)
High: UMBC (339 out of 345 teams)
Average of MU's 10 opponents: 163.4
Median Opponent Ranking: 176.5
So even with three 300+ KenPom.com teams on the schedule, this year's schedule is shaping up to be better than any of Buzz's years at the helm with the exception of last year. It's worth noting that once the Maui Invitational bracketing is announced, Marquette's first round match up can be added to these calculations. Only USC (KenPom ranking of 235) and Chaminade (a Division 2 school, which would get them a ranking of 346 here) would cause the average and median to increase, so this schedule could be even better than it looks right now.