In the last two to three weeks, we've slowly been seeing information trickle out about next season's non-conference schedule. After a 2014 season where we played the weakest in the nation, Fred Glass has sworn to the Hoosier faithful that it will never happen again. From what we now know about Indiana's schedule next year, if it happens again, it won't be this coming season.
The Hoosiers already have five, what I would call, premier games lined up for next season's non-conference slate. We've known for awhile that Indiana will be hosting Pittsburgh the first week of December in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This game will be happening in Bloomington for the first time in 3 years. Add to the Pittsburgh game a home showdown with Larry Brown's SMU and you've got an already pretty decent slate for home games. Of course there are going to be some cream puffs sprinkled in. Lamar and New Orleans will be coming to town and they should be far from competitive. However, that's going to happen with every major team's non-conference schedule. Those four games make up roughly half of the home schedule. If the Hoosiers can get one more above average team into Assembly Hall we should be pretty happy as far as purchasing season tickets go.
Outside of Assembly Hall, we don't know if the Hoosiers will be playing a true road game. They will however, be playing in some marquee match-ups. Indiana has Butler in the Crossroads Classic this season and still owe them for that crazy game two years ago where a former walk-on hit a walk-off layup. This time though, I wouldn't expect as much punch from Butler. They've had a very odd off-season as well with a bevy of transfers and key players graduating.
Along with the Crossroads Classic, Indiana will be traveling out to New York City two separate times to play two major opponents. As a part of the Jimmy V Classic the Hoosiers will be facing off with a top 10 opponent in Louisville. Then the Hoosiers will head back out to NYC to play Georgetown at the end of December. Georgetown is in somewhat of the same boat that Indiana is in. A marquee program that had a very unexpected down year last season (18-15) and have something to prove coming back this year.
That's seven of what is likely thirteen non-conference games already on the books. Already it looks a ton better than last season. However, Glass and company shouldn't be satisfied. If you stack the other six games with opponents that look more like Lamar and New Orleans than Butler, you're just tying an anchor to the aesthetics of the schedule. The Hoosiers shouldn't be playing anymore 300 level teams unless it is a favor to a program. We already have Lamar and New Orleans on the schedule, Indiana can't afford to pack in a lot more no-name schools. They're going to be a potential bubble team and we've seen that selection Sunday is now being used to set an example for teams that don't play anyone out of conference. The administration seems to be well aware of that with our schedule so far, but they can't be satisfied yet.