Penn State OOC Announced
It seems that Ed and Co have learned their lesson about OOC games, and now the Lions have maybe the best lineup of games in Ed’s tenure at Penn State. Penn State’s nine guaranteed non-conference opponents will bring an average RPI of 134, based on RPIs at the end of 2008-09 campaign, into the 2009-10 season. That is more than 80 RPI points lower than the average of last seasons 13 non-conference opponents entering the season. All in all here is the line up of games.
Nov. 13 Penn
Nov. 16 Robert Morris
Nov. 19-22 @ Charleston Classic (Miami, South Carolina, South Florida, Davidson, Tulane, LaSalle, UNC Wilmington)
Nov. 25 Sacred Heart
Nov. 30 @ Virginia
Dec. 5 @ Temple
Dec. 8 Maryland Baltimore County
Dec. 12 Virginia Tech
Dec. 19 Gardner Webb
Dec. 21 American
Some of you may say that the games lack BIG names, but in the world of RPI you dont have to be UNC to be worth playing. This OOC is one that many teams would be happy to have in Penn State’s situation. In the end it’ll come down to how you play in the Big Ten, the OOC should help you out when its all said and done, this one does just that. For a “wow factor”, it may be better to play teams like Duke/UCLA/Texas. However if you want to have a solid RPI, it’s more important to play a bunch of “capable” teams in the top 200 and avoid those teams that really drag you down. Michigan ended last season with a non-conf SOS of 50, which is probably surprising since they played Duke twice, UConn, and UCLA. Why? They also played Norfolk St (290), Savannah St (258), Eastern Michigan (318), Florida Gulf Coast (310), and NCCU (336). You’re much better off playing solid teams (what we’re doing this year) than playing a bunch high profile games then a bunch of cupcakes…cough..footballs problem..
If you for some reason you could only go to 2 games this year, as far as OOC games go, you should make it out to VT, American, those are two solid NCAA teams that should give the squad a good test, and a benchmark for how they are progressing. It’s too early to guess how they’ll do in the OOC, but an early early guess is 8-1, I honestly haven’t done my homework on Temple yet, but if I had to guess that would be the first loss. I didn’t include the Charleston Classic in this because the bracket hasn’t been put out yet. The Lions have what it takes to go into the Big Ten season without a loss, but it’ll take good play. There isn’t a team on the lineup they can’t beat, hopefuly they will.