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Compiling five off-the-beaten-path storylines of NAU’s game at Arizona tomorrow while wondering if Arizona’s defensive alignment is 3-2 1/4-5 instead of 3-3-5 because the Wildcats are down to their fourth-string middle linebacker? …
GOOD FOR THE STATE TO SCHEDULE NAU
The ideal three-game non-conference schedule for a Power 5 team should be one game against another Power 5 team, an FBS team outside of the Power 5 and one against an FCS school.
With NAU as Arizona’s FCS affiliate, why not schedule the Lumberjacks every other year? ASU and Arizona should alternate hosting NAU, a move that benefits the state because the Lumberjacks’ roster is filled with Arizona talent. Those kids get to come home either to the Phoenix area or Tucson and their families can watch them play.
As it is now, ASU has NAU on its schedule next season but won’t play the Lumberjacks again until 2020. The Sun Devils last played NAU in 2012, meaning they host the Lumberjacks every four years. That’s too long of a break.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne makes a concerted effort to schedule NAU as much as possible. The Wildcats hosted the Lumberjacks in 2011 and 2013 in the season opener and they’re playing them again tomorrow. NAU is not on any of Arizona’s future schedule slots but expect the Lumberjacks to fill an opening in 2017.’
Tomorrow’s game will be the eighth time Arizona and NAU have met since the programs rekindled their series in 2002. Let’s hope the once-every-two-years scheduling format continues
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo: