Friday, December 13, 2013

All of next year's schedules revealed


Every Mountain West softball team has now released its 2014 schedule, and there are some marquee opponents dotting nearly everyone's slate.

Fresno State will face a difficult schedule in 2014, returning to a non-stop onslaught of national powers in non-conference play.  Five of the eight teams that reached the Women's College World Series in 2013 will be Bulldog opponents this season, a Mountain West high.  Fresno State will have six games against those five teams, as it will face SEC power Tennessee twice, and Washington, Arizona State, Texas and Nebraska once each.  Also on the schedule for the Bulldogs:  Arizona, Oregon, Virginia, Houston and Ohio State, to name a few.

Defending conference champion San Diego State is set to face a typically demanding schedule to which the Aztecs have become accustomed.  Easing things a bit is the fact SDSU will play 29 games at home.  San Diego State, which went 18-5 in 23 games at home a year ago, will host the likes of California, Tennessee, Utah, Ole Miss and BYU.

Colorado State will play 16 consecutive games away from Fort Collins to begin the season, and won't open its home schedule until the second weekend of March.  Highlighting CSU's 2014 schedule:  Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Ohio State.  The Rams will meet the Big Ten's Buckeyes on one of two trips it will take to Fresno this coming season.  Not only will CSU face the Bulldogs there in a 3-game MW conference series, but the Rams will also be one of seven teams to play in the Fresno State Classic in mid-March.

Boise State will play 23 home games, weather permitting, during the 2014 season -- a staggering number for a program that had just 15 at home a year ago.  Included is a 14-game homestand in March.  After finishing up at the St. Mary's Classic on March 2, the Broncos will not be on the road again until traveling to Colorado State on March 28.  The 26-day stretch between road games is the longest for Boise State in program history.  A highlight of the Broncos' slate:  a February 20 meeting in Palm Springs with defending NCAA champion Oklahoma.

San Jose State, which joins the Mountain West after winning its first WAC championship in 2013 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, will play its first 10 games of the year in Tempe, Arizona.  The Spartans will play in consecutive tourneys at Arizona State to open the year, facing teams such as Washington, Michigan State and Indiana.  In a surprising scheduling move for a team located in the Golden State, SJSU will play 23 consecutive games away from home to begin the 2014 season.

UNLV will see the most home cooking of all.  The Rebels will host a Mountain West-high 30 home contests, and will face an impressive home schedule with several big names making the trip to Las Vegas.  Arkansas, Arizona, Oregon State, DePaul, Washington, Oregon and Baylor will all face the Rebels on the road.  UNLV will play just nine of its 55 games outside of the Las Vegas or Southern California area.

New Mexico will face a demanding schedule in 2014.  And like Fresno State, most of the Lobos' toughest opponents will come away from home.  UNM will tangle with several traditional heavyweights, including Alabama, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Northwestern and Georgia Tech.

Nevada will play 20 consecutive games away from Reno to begin the year, playing in tournaments in four different states (Arizona, Nevada, California and Utah) to start the season.  Michigan, Illinois and Hawai'i are all on the schedule for the Wolf Pack.  Nevada will play several teams multiple times in 2014, including Southern Utah (4 games), North Dakota (3), UC Santa Barbara (3), Seattle (2), UC Davis (2), BYU (2) and Grand Canyon (2).

Utah State, after winning just 11 of 54 games last year as a WAC member, enters a challenging first season in the Mountain West.  The Aggies will play just 15 home games, weather permitting, and won't face an opponent in Logan until they begin conference play on March 21 versus Colorado State.  Utah State's schedule includes BYU, Utah, Ole Miss and East Carolina.

Boise State 2014 schedule

Colorado State 2014 schedule

Fresno State 2014 schedule

Nevada 2014 schedule

New Mexico 2014 schedule

San Diego State 2014 schedule

San Jose State 2014 schedule

UNLV 2014 schedule

Utah State 2014 schedule