By LARRY VAUGHT
Count John Calipari as one of the few Southeastern Conference coaches who seems to have no problem with the SEC offering help/guidance about the type of non-conference schedules teams are playing.
“I think what the league wants to do is be a resource to help guys that are struggling with their scheduling, to be a sounding board more than, ‘No, you shouldn’t schedule that team.’ I think what the league wants to do is, if you are confused, is this a good game or not, call us. Call us, and we’ll tell you. If you are in a jam and you have to schedule X, Y, Z, explain it to us. Why are you scheduling this team and not that team? Why would you not go for a two-for-one versus what you’re doing? Maybe you should play a Division II school versus playing that team?” Calipari said.
“And I think it’s good in that they’re being a resource for us. I doubt seriously that this league, knowing the commish like I do, would ever step up and say, ‘Nope, you’re not scheduling those teams. I just don’t see him being that way. But he’s saying to us, ‘Use us. We have some expertise now. Ask us. We have guys that understand the RPI, and we’ll help you walk through this.’ I think it’s more that than anything else.”
Of course, having SEC playing stronger non-conference schedules and hopefully elevating their RPI can only help UK in a typical year when the Cats hope to contend for a national title. The higher the overall SEC power ranking, the higher UK’s strength of schedule will be and that could make a difference in NCAA seeding.