I think a lot of people have not fully internalized what the P5 20 game schedules have meant for people who do Martelli's job for non-P5 programs. It has always been hard to get H/H, or even one-off neutral site games vs P5 programs. It has now become close(r) to impossible because there are just many fewer spots on their schedules.
The blueprint now has to be do whatever you can to get those games, including offering 2 for 1s (which they have tried), get "best team in X weak ass conference" games, schedule the best exempt tournament you can, and hope the rest of the A10 does its part.
And win the games you get
If you have not had a chance to read what I posted last week, then please give it a look. Martelli offered some great insight into how the scheduling sausage is made. It seems as if we constantly try just about everything.This x 1000.
With so many of the P5 & BE conferences moving to 20 game conference schedules, that means the schools only have 10 or 11 OOC games. If a school plays in an MTE, then 2-3 games are already gone. If the school is in the SEC/B12 or B1G/ACC, then they will have a designated game against the other conference. That means these P5 & BE schools then only have 6 or 7 OOC games. 4 or 5 will be complete buy games which leaves only 1-3 matchups against a solid opponent.
There are some on here who think our staff needs to "develop more and better relationships" in order to get better games. That's laughable. The fact is that our staff, having spent their entire professional lives in college basketball, except for Brent, who played professionally overseas, has all the relationships they need. As Martelli told me, the one common thread stated by those who turn down games against VCU is this: STYLE OF PLAY.
The other thing some are missing when they say they'd rather play ODU than Howard is how it could impact our at-large chances. I think every single fan would rather play ODU than Howard, but it sure sounds like a win over Howard does more for us than a win over ODU. I'm certainly not a bracket expert, but I learned that wins against tournament teams is actually something the selection committee tracks. Well, if ODU is a middle-of-the-road Sun Belt team and Howard wins the MEAC, then I'd rather play Howard, all other things being equal. I think we were 1-3 in non-conference games against NCAA Tournament teams last season. Win either the Baylor or UConn games and we may have been in last year. (I will defer to the resident bracketology experts here on RamNation as it relates to the scenario about last season.)
Also, VCU needs to play 8 home non-conference games a year for revenue/season ticket purposes. That factors into it.
Bottom line: you two are on the right track with the realities of scheduling and our blueprints for the future. That's why I loved that VCU offered to play SD State in Phoenix, Baylor in Dallas, Providence in NJ, and any P-6 in Atlanta. We just need to keep knocking on those doors and hope that another Power 6 (including Big East), other than UVA and Tony Bennett, will actually play us home and home.