February 8, 2012 12:54:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Thanks to the Southeastern Conference scheduling plan revolving around its television contract package will have less than 48 hours to prepare for a weekend home matchup
versus Georgia Saturday after facing Ole Miss this Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
In Wednesday's edition of The Dispatch, we do an in-depth look at the difficulty, controversies and the preparation surrounding the Thursday-Saturday turnaround in the conference - http://www.cdispatch.com/sports/article.asp?aid=15537&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter -
"My problem with it is if you want to get more teams in the NCAA tournament and you want to do more with your non-conference schedule, our league should not put teams at a disadvantage competitively," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "I don't think that's right to the players, to the teams that are playing. I think we all agree that we need to play Thursday-Saturday-Tuesday. But if you're trying to get more teams into the NCAA tournament, don't put the teams inside your league into a competitive disadvantage."
MSU head coach Rick Stansbury and the rest of the coaching staff have had experience and success in this gauntlet as they are 5-0 in all home games in the Saturday part of this schedule quirk since the beginning of the ESPN television package with the league.
Here's why MSU fans should feel better about their team's chances to come away with a perfect 2-0 record this weekend:
- Since 2009-10 season, MSU is one of two teams, along with Florida, who have a winning record with less time to prepare than its opponent as the Bulldogs have posted an impressive 7-1 record in that situation.
"Mentally some of those adjustments that you can make for that game, it's a quick turnaround," Stansbury said. "It is a challenge but it is part of the league and some have to do it more than others. Thank goodness we are at home on Saturday verses being on the road Saturday."
- Since the creation of the TV deal, all of the other 10 programs in the SEC excluding MSU and Florida are actually be 13-17 when they have less rest time than their opponent.
After No. 20 MSU (18-5, 5-3 in SEC) completes this quick turnaround, four other schools will be asked to complete the task (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Ole Miss) before the end of the regular season.
- Teams with at least one day of rest more than their opponents recorded a 44-41 record over the three-year span (including games played this season). That is a winning percentage of 51.76 percent, only a 1.76 percentage-point increase. Moreover, teams playing in the dreaded Thursday-Saturday turnaround recorded a 22-19 record in the Saturday games, a winning percentage of 53.7 percent.
So while clearly Stansbury and every other coach in the league would rather not face Ole Miss Thursday night and then Georgia Saturday afternoon, there's a history that they can survive such a stretch to it and it may not be as much of a disadvantage as the veteran coaches in the conference would suggest.
"I learned a long time ago not to worry about anything you can't control," Stansbury said. "I just think it needs to be balanced for everybody. There's some advantages and disadvantages, now. None of us like it. You ask me if I like it? No, it's tough. As long as it's balanced for everybody, you live with it."
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.