2009 Schedule?

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:45 pm

Maybe I have to take it back: on average, if we add Oregon to the other 10 non-conference games we think we know about and if we evaluate this year's opponents based on their last year's RPIs, our schedule is about the same as last year. We play less top teams, but less weak teams, and those two changes even out. Last year, the average RPI rank of our non-conference opponents was 45; and this year's is 44.

But, the real question for "toughness of schedule" purposes is what the ranks will be of the teams this year once they have played their games, not what they were last year.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's how the 11 last year and the 11 we know of this year compare, in terms of unadjusted RPIs:

2008 2009
UCLA 3 Penn State 9
Florida 8 Washington 13
Penn State 9 Texas A&M 15
Washington 13 Miami 30
USC 14 Rutgers 32
Rutgers 32 Illinois 34
Oregon 57 Cal 45
Kennesaw State 72 Oregon 57
San Diego State 128 Columbia 59
Northern Arizona 133 Colorado College 63
Colgate 209 Texas Tech 123

In terms of bonus points, the highest points are awarded for wins/ties against top 40 teams and the next highest points are for wins/ties against teams 41-80. If teams have the same ranks this coming year as last (which they obviously won't), we have 6 opportunities for maximum bonuses this year and had 6 last year. We had 2 opportunities for 41-80 bonus points last year and have 4 this year. However, based on the last two years, the bonus point amounts really don't make much difference in teams' relative ranks.

I think, in the NCAA scheme of things, the Penn State game is going to be very big. I'm expecting Penn State to be considerably stronger this year (due to the return of their U-20s) and possibly a contender for a #1 seed. That strikes me as a "must win" game in order to secure a #1 seed.

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Oregon's 2009 Schedule

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:58 pm

I checked out Oregon's 2009 schedule, which is posted on their website. Obviously, they play in a tough conference -- the toughest by far in my calculations, which look not only at conference teams' RPIs, but also the extent to which the conference's teams "out-perform" their RPIs. The Pac 10 is the strongest conference based on RPIs and also greatly outperforms its RPIs, as compared to #2 ACC. But still, given Oregon can be excused for playing a relatively soft non-conference schedule, how soft is it?

Here are the games, plus its opponents' 2008 RPI rankings:

Colgate 209
Colorado 16
Loyola Marymount 49
Seattle 146
Denver 27
Dartmouth 100
Portland State 224
Portland 4
BYU 18
Weber State 200

Average rank: 89.3 (as compared to the Pilots' 44)

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by mattywizz on Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:01 pm

Purplegeezer wrote: Last year, by some accounts, I think Santa Clara played the toughest schedule in D1. But they didn't win and their RPI plummeted (taking teams they played with them).

Wouldn't that make their RPI go up? Because the teams they played won, so their records actually went up.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by mattywizz on Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:02 pm

Nevermind, I was thinking SOS

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:30 pm

Here's what I've been able to piece together of the 2009 schedule so far:

August 28 v California @ Merlo (source: PilotNation), presumably at 7:00 pm.

August 30 v Washington @ Washington, noon (source: UW website)

September 4 v Colorado College @ Washington, 4:30 pm (source: UW website)

September 5 v Columbia @ Washington, 11:00 am (source: UW website)

September 11 v Illinois @ Merlo (source: UW website), presumably at 7:00 pm

September 13 v Miami @ Merlo (source: UW website), presumably at 2:30 pm

September 27 v Oregon @ Oregon, 1:00 pm (source: UO website)

Other reports on PilotNation have indicated the following possible additional games:

v Texas A&M @ College Station

v Texas Tech @ College Station (Note: In the current Spring games, Texas Tech beat Miami 2-0 and tied defending Big 12 Champion Oklahoma State 1-1.)

v Penn State @ Merlo

v Rutgers @ Merlo

Possible playing dates not already used are September 25 and October 2, 4, 9, and 11. I came up with those dates by figuring backward from the College Cup, which is December 4-6, meaning that the first two rounds of NCAA tournament games will be November 13-15. This means that if the WCC games are played over four weekends, they will start the weekend of October 16-18 and will end the weekend of November 6-8.

I can see the possibility of one more game against an as-yet un-named opponent, perhaps using the September 25 date. If I had my druthers, I'd like to see us play Washington State, as they are developing a very serious program.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:37 pm

Here's another addition to the 2009 schedule:

October 4 v Washington State @ Merlo

The NCAA, however, apparently is considering the possibility of allowing the season to begin the weekend of August 21-23, in which case the WSU game could be then instead of on October 4. In addition, word has it WSU will be playing the Pilots at Merlo on August 26, 2011.

If we assume that the Pilots will be playing in a tournament at Texas A&M against TAMU and Texas Tech, this means that the apparent dates are October 9 and 11, since that seems to be the only remaining available weekend. It also suggests that the Pilots will not be playing both Penn State and Rutgers, at least not in back-to-back games on the same weekend. The available dates for those games would be September 25 and October 2. The only big unknown is whether the NCAA will approve the begin of play the weekend of August 21-23, which could result in some schedule changes.

I had been thinking that WSU has decided to make a push to the top level of NCAA Division I. I think the scheduling of games in 2009 and 2011 with the Pilots is part of their push. In addition to the Pilots, next year (I think 2010, not 2009), WSU will be playing Florida State and Texas. Way to go WSU!

(I wonder if that means FSU could be coming back to Portland in 2010.)

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by gnarly on Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:32 pm

We now know a new opponent from their schedule on their website

Montana at Merlo Oct 2nd 8pm.

They weren't too good last year. They only graduate 3 seniors so they should improve and their 15 freshmen from last year will have a year of experience.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:41 pm

Wow, gnarly, good catch!

Hopefully, the Pilots' schedulers know what they're doing and Montana will be much better in 2009, as they were #230 in the RPI for the 2008 season. On the other hand, they definitely are trying to upgrade their schedule. In 2009, they'll be playing Iowa (Big 10), Iowa State (Big 12), BYU (Mountain West), Minnesota (Big 10), Portland (WCC), and Washington (Pac 10). For a Big Sky team, that's pretty good. Still, I hope I don't end up doing calculations that show the Pilots winning the game but better off from an RPI perspective not playing them. Iowa was very weak last year; Iowa State was ok; and Minnesota had a terrific record although against a middling schedule. We can anticipate that BYU and Washington will be good. So, the question will be, for RPI purposes, how will Montana do in the Big Sky Conference. We may have to be rooting for Montana to run the table!

Also, this suggests the Pilots will not be playing both Penn State and Rutgers this year, if indeed the Pilots will be playing either of them. The only date left is September 25 (unless the NCAA has approved starting the season a week early, for which I have found no evidence). If my calculations are right and the NCAA has not approved an early start, the only game we don't have yet is one on September 25.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by pms275 on Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:00 pm

Just received the season tickets renewal letter from Athletics. Looks like the "unofficial" home schedule is as follows:

8/28 - UC Berkley
9/11 - Miami (Nike Invite)
9/13 - Illinois (Nike Invite)
9/25 - Oregon State
10/2 - Montana
10/4 - Washington State
10/10 - Gonzaga
10/23 - St. Mary's
10/25 - San Francisco
11/7 - San Diego

Road games this year are Washington, Columbia (UW Tourney), Colorado College (UW Tourney), Texas A&M, Southern Methodist, Oregon, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:46 pm

So, are coaches and insiders predicting that Santa Clara will bounce back this season? It's tough to keep that program down, especially with Chastain playing in front of her home crowds in the WPS for Bay Area. The team is playing their games on the SCU campus, and I'm sure she's a huge PR person for them right now...

The SCU road game might be the toughest game on the schedule if that program bounces back...

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by Auto Pilot on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:03 pm

We are playing our weakest non-conference schedule since I have been following the program. We better have a really good record on the road because that is where we will be playing come post season.

Expect Santa Clara to bounce back from the last two years but I don't think anyone can stop this years Pilot team. This year only the Pilots will be able stop the Pilots. Meaning we will not be short on fresh players. We will not be short of our best players. If we can bring last year's mentality to this years team. I am going to book college station. A great indicator will be the game against the u-23s. Last year coach said we got exposed. If we do better this year which I think we will, that will speak volumes going forward.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by pms275 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:53 pm

Autopilot, I was thinking the same thing in regard to the non-conference schedule. Barring a multitude of injuries, Portland should have a good shot at going undefeated, but I also think they're likely to play on the road in the playoffs, regardless.

There is a fan forum telephone conference with Coach Smith on Tuesday night. It will be interesting to see if anyone brings up the schedule and its implications.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:12 pm

don't get too cocky.

Santa Clara could be back. Jerry was talking about how he had the best recruiting class since the Ali Wagner years. They beat up on us pretty bad, then. We're better than back then, but so are they.

A&M is pretty tough in their own place. They only lost 3-2 to UNC last year and they have almost everybody back like we do and a couple of good recruits coming in. Their crowds have rivaled ours the last few years, (numbers and noise) they just underwent a seat expansion so they can try and reclaim the top spot in attendance, and it'll probably be hotter than blazes in College Station in mid September. We wilted pretty bad in Florida a few years ago because of that.


SMU has been getting tougher and reputedly has a pretty good class coming in. They are trying hard to get back to where they were in the 90's when they were perennial contenders. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we fill their stadium as well, (it's a pretty nice one). they will be gunning.
Add the hotter than blazes thing there, too

Then there's the 5 Pac Ten Schools. Even if they aren't at the top of the conference, they can compete and CAL looks pretty darn good.

USD might surprise. They haven't beaten us in a while, but they have looked pretty good the last 2-3 years.

I guess I sorta reject the cupcake schedule idea....


Last edited by Purplegeezer on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by fan from afar on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:34 pm

I don't think people here are considering the schedule a cupcake schedule. At least, that is not my point. My concern is about the possible (or probable) lack of a top 4 team on the schedule. As UPSF said, what probably did us in last year as far as getting a number 1 seed was not beating a top 4 team. As you say, though, we'll know at the end of the season. And, as someone else said, if we are to be a championship team, we'll win regardless of where we play.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:22 pm

I don't think that you can keep a program like Santa Clara down. I expect them to climb above USD and the other challengers. What impresses you about Cal, PurpleGeezer? I believe they lost to the Bay Area WPS team quite badly in a recent game. Granted, that's a pro team...and they had to deal with Tiffany Milbrett battling for a roster spot at the time, I believe.

If we continue to develop finishers to make up for Rapinoe's production (since she's in the WPS), I think we're a Final 4 team again this year... but, it's really early to say that. We have to be rolling on all cylinders to go undefeated. I love this team, but, I honestly don't know if we have a finisher of the same calibur as Christine Sinclair; we have to do it by committee...

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:59 pm

athleticjames wrote:I don't think that you can keep a program like Santa Clara down. I expect them to climb above USD and the other challengers. What impresses you about Cal, PurpleGeezer? I believe they lost to the Bay Area WPS team quite badly in a recent game. Granted, that's a pro team...and they had to deal with Tiffany Milbrett battling for a roster spot at the time, I believe.

Well, OK, but that's a pro team with Sinclair and Milbrett, among others. I don't know how well UP would have fared against that.

I'll remind you of our performance last year against the u23's , and I'll reserve judgement on that sort of comparison until we play them again this weekend.

Cal suffered a bit last year without Alex Morgan, but she's back. She got a golden - something - at the u20 World Cup. And they have some pretty good players coming in.
Also a couple of freshmen, including Daniel Brunache have a year under their belts, and generally the team plays at a pretty high level.

I don't think you take them lightly.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by bluffer on Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:36 am

Athleticjames wrote: If we continue to develop finishers to make up for Rapinoe's production (since she's in the WPS), I think we're a Final 4 team again this year... but, it's really early to say that. We have to be rolling on all cylinders to go undefeated. I love this team, but, I honestly don't know if we have a finisher of the same calibur as Christine Sinclair; we have to do it by committee...

I went back and reviewed the statistics from 2005 onward and I think Rapinoe’s value wasn’t so much in goal scoring but the way she played the game and created havoc for the opposing team in midfield. She ended her career statistically with 30 goals and 28 assists with a 5 goal 13 assist 2008 while playing 1683 minutes. I think the Pilots have proven finishers in Michelle (35/28) with 7/7 in 2008 while playing only 793 minutes, Sophie (24/14), Kendra (19/7) and injured all of 2008, and Danielle (16/6) so the Pilots offense will be better than ever, especially with Michelle, Keelin and Ellie back for a full season. I think the offensive production would be even better if Michelle and Sophie were playing in their natural positions, Michelle at forward and Sophie at mid. If you ever see Sophie play attacking mid you realize how dominate she can be at that position. With Keelin at holding and Michelle and Danielle at forward the Pilots would be unstoppable. Add the wings and I think the Pilots would average 3-5 goals a game. Absent that I believe Sophie and Michelle at forward together would be my wish for the upcoming season (think of the last goal vs UW last weekend) They seem to intuitively know what each is doing and are both willing to make that last pass to ensure a goal. As for having a finisher of the same calibur as Sinclair, I think Michelle is faster and more athletically gifted and would be every bit as productive if she were allowed to play as many minutes at forward (Sinclair played over 2000 minutes in 2005) her senior year.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by Auto Pilot on Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:43 pm

I wouldn't take any Cal team lightly especially one with Alex Morgan and Katie Oakes on it. Both are very creative with the ball. I don't know much about the rest of the team other than they were playing a sweeper type formation last year. I am not sure than you can be very successful with that against a team that attacks and defends like we do.

What has me concerned is losing Kassi until next year. In my view she was the dominant central defender. Hopefully Clohee will fit the bill.

Texas A&M will have the fans backing them but if we play to our potential it might be a very quiet crowd.

WSU may be making a push up into DIV I but they better make it a shove unless they are willing to waiting for some good recruiting. Santa Clara will be good because they get good players not for Chastain or any of her cries for attention. Jerry Smith seems like a nice enough guy I just think his best coaching days are behind him.

Agree about Megan being more of play maker type than Sinclair. We will miss her spirit but someone will pick up the mantle I am sure.

Michelle should be in a position where she can put defenders one on one and I agree Sophie ought to be in the attacking mid. I hope Danielle has a good spring season and fall as she started out gangbusters last year but could not quite keep the barrage going all year long.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by fan from afar on Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:30 pm

I agree with AJ about needing that special finisher like Sinclair. The Pilots will have plenty of scorers this fall and will score plenty of goals, but in a tight game, where maybe things aren't going real well, there is no substitute for having someone who can take the ball against the run of play and, maybe without much help, just knock in into the net. I am thinking of the Stanford game, where we were pretty clearly being outplayed, and where a player like Sinclair might have scored anyway. What a difference that could have made. There are very few players who can do that, but Sinclair was (is) one - witness her goal against the US in the Olympics. Nothing much was happening, the ball came to her somewhere near the box (as I recall), a quick turn, and all of a sudden there was the goal. The Pilots will be scoring by committee this fall, but it really is a potent committee, so hopefully we won't need a Sinclair. The problem COULD come against a top team which is able to get us out of our possession game (Stanford again), so that we're needing someone who can just take the ball without much help and score on an individual effort.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by Auto Pilot on Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:45 pm

FFA respectfully, Stanford didn't just get us out of our possession, they were relentless with the pressure. I would have liked to see them against UNC. If we see Stanford again anytime this year. I'll make a bet we win that one.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by fan from afar on Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:01 pm

I agree on both counts AP. The pressure Stanford exerted on us is probably the best way to get a team out of the type of long debilitating possessions we often threw against teams last year. But, don't forget, we were missing three pretty important players last year (understatement), and I don't think Stanford was missing anyone, were they? I think Stanford was probably the most impressive team I saw last year, and I think we will be better than them this fall. It sure would be a fun game to see. And, I too would have loved to see them play UNC last year. I think they would have won.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by Indigo Kid on Thu May 14, 2009 3:31 pm

I was as disappointed as anyone when Penn State did not schedule the Pilots here in Portland. Penn State just announced their fall schedule and they will have their hands full with the pre-season. Hopefully, next year they will come here.
PSU Schedule
http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/w-soccer/sched/psu-w-soccer-sched.html

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Thu May 14, 2009 6:24 pm

That looks like a challenging schedule. We're familiar with James Madison from the tourney, and UConn is always tough too. I wish we had a video feed like you do at the Penn State site. That's pretty sweet. I love those small video feeds like the one at the US National Team site...

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon May 18, 2009 7:19 pm

FANatic has pointed out to me that according to the schedule on the Pilots' website, the Oregon game has been moved up from September 27 to Saturday, August 22 @ 7:00 pm in Eugene. I remember reading that it was possible something like this might happen, if the NCAA decided to allow games a week earlier than usual. (Geez, was it you who mentioned that possibility?) I guess that's what the NCAA decided.

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Re: 2009 Schedule?

Post by purple haze on Mon May 18, 2009 9:47 pm

Changing the Ducks game to Aug. 22 alters the plan Poop Deck Pappy and I have for taking a road trip to Eugene. Looks like it's moving up a month, Poop Deck. It simply means the Pilots will beat the Ducks a month sooner than expected.

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