There was some news recently regarding the scheduling of athletics involving both the football and men’s basketball programs at Michigan State University.
We’ll start with the news on the football front. The program has formally announced the completion of scheduling all of its future non-conference games through the 2020 season.
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) May 17, 2017
There’s a lot of small nuggets to take away from these scheduled games:
- The meetings against Utah State (09/01/18) and Tulsa (08/31/19) respectively will mark the first time in program history that MSU has played either school on the gridiron.
- The home-and-home with Arizona State was a previously announced series between the two schools; it’ll be the first such meetings between the two since 1985-86.
- After hosting BYU in 2016, MSU will travel to Provo, UT and play the Cougars in 2020 to complete the home-and-home. It’ll be their first ever trip to Provo.
- The Spartans will host Miami(FL) for the first time since 1989, the last time these two schools hooked up. MSU is 0-4 all-time head-to-head against the Hurricanes.
- Notable bye weeks:
It was announced earlier this month that MSU’s in-state rival Michigan completed scheduling their non-conference slate through the 2019 season.
On a smaller scale, the men’s hoops team is reportedly making a few small adjustments to its non-conference slate for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Originally scheduled was a trip to Gainsville, Florida to play the Gators. That reportedly has been pushed back to the 2018-19 season.
MSU and Florida last hooked up in 2015 at the Breslin Center as part of a home-and-home series between the two former 2000 National Championship Game participants.
On the flip side, the Spartans are reportedly adding Long Beach State out of the Big West Conference to their non-league slate for next season. MSU will host the 49ers at The Bres, time and date has not been determined yet, but it is the first confirmed non-league home game for the Spartans.
Scheduling the upcoming hoops season is in the works and has been tweaked some here and there to accommodate changes to the Big Ten conference scheduling. With the Big Ten Tournament taking place one week earlier than normal (a week before Selection Sunday), teams have been trying to figure out their allotted non-conference games, at least for the upcoming season.
Michigan State is already slated to play Duke in the latest edition of the Champions Classic early in the 2017-18 season. They are also participating in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament out in Portland, OR called the Phil Knight Invitational. This is a 16-team field featuring a laundry list of high-profile programs, and is “hosted” by Portland and Portland State.
The Spartans are also a part of the newly-scheduled doubleheader at Little Caesars Arena, where they will take on Oakland and Michigan will play Detroit Mercy. There’s also the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge as well. So it appears the “odd man out” if you will is the road trip to Florida.
Lastly but certainly not least, the Big Ten is pushing to have the Michigan State rivalry with Michigan on the hardwood be a “protected” series, meaning they would be playing twice — once in Ann Arbor and once in East Lansing — every regular season.
In recent meetings, the Big Ten coaches “unanimously” supported having the U-M/MSU rivalry as a protected rivalry; with Indiana-Purdue being another one for high consideration. This has been a bit of a roadblock in recent years since the league expanded to 14 teams and an 18-game league schedule. And while it’s only happened in three years since 1972 — all three in the last 16 years specifically — the Big Ten has added emphasis on some of the league’s premier basketball rivalries.
The upcoming schedules for all teams across the country have yet to be formally announced, so it is still very possible that Michigan and Michigan State could only meet once in 2017-18. That last such instance was in February of 2016, a 16-point road win for MSU in Ann Arbor.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is reportedly going to “actively think about” two more things regarding Big Ten men’s hoops moving forward: 1) beginning the conference slate earlier than normal (typically has started the last week of December/first week of January), and 2) expanding to a 20-game league schedule.