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There are 2 things I love to see in a schedule: quality home games, and drivable road trips. Cougars fans get both this year, making this one of my favorite non-conference schedules.

It also has one of the most enviable games of the season, when SIU Carbondale travels to Edwardsville on November 20th. If you know anything about Edwardsville fans, they want to beat Carbondale as much if not more than anyone. (If it weren’t on a Tuesday, I’d be there)

The only thing missing? A “preseason” tournament.

DateOpponentRPIValue Points* 
​Average RPI: 237.7​Schedule Difficulty Points: 4Last Year's Score: 12​Total Schedule Score: 17
Nov. 10@ Missouri103
Nov. 14Western Illinois1505
Nov. 20SIU Carbondale2532
Nov. 24@ Texas Pan-American313
Dec. 1Chicago State3361
Dec. 5@ Northern Illinois334
Dec. 8@ Western Illinois150
Dec. 17EurekaN/A
Dec. 19Robert Morris-SpringfieldN/A
Dec. 28@ St. Louis312
Feb. 23Bracketbusters (Away Year)N/A

With the exception of the trip to Texas Pan-American, is there a road game that isn’t a simple day-trip? Almost all in-state, or just across the bridge. You could conceivable see every non-conference game save one on a reasonable budget.

It’s not an entirely difficult schedule, but it’s not overly easy as well. For the Cougars, it’s a solid group of teams that should provide a reasonable challenge.


Final Rankings

1. Morehead State (34 Points)
2. Belmont (28.5 Points)
3. Tennessee State (28 Points)
4. Murray State (21.25 Points)
5. SIU Edwardsville (17 Points)
6. Eastern Kentucky (16 Points. Tiebreaker Best Home Opp. Norfolk State – RPI 129)
7. Tennessee Tech (16 Points. TB Best Home Opp. Evansville – RPI 130)
8. Austin Peay (15 Points. Best Home Opp. Farfield – RPI 114)
9. UT Martin (15 Points. Best Home Opp. Arkansas State – RPI 221)
10. SEMO (14 Points)
11. Eastern Illinois (13 Points)
12. Jacksonville State (9 Points)


*Value Points Scoring Details

Schedule Difficulty (based upon last season’s RPI)
This is based simply on an average of last season’s RPI. I decided to give all non D-I squads a RPI of 400 for average purposes. I will give up to 10 points based on the average:

RPI Average
1-150: 10 points
150-175: 8 points
176-200: 6 points
201-220: 5 points
221-240: 4 points
241-260: 3 points
261-280: 2 points
281-300: 1 point

Quality Home Games (based upon last season’s RPI)
Every home game is worth up to 5 points based upon difficulty. This is simply to reward teams that bring quality opponents in front of their home crowd.

RPI of Home Game
1-100: 5 points
101-150: 4 points
151-175: 3 points
176-200: 2 point
Any D-I: 1 point

Higher than team’s own RPI from last year: 1 Bonus Point.

Quality Road / Neutral Games (based upon last season’s RPI)
I feels teams should get some credit for scheduling tough opponents regardless, but only up to 3 points available here, and only for truly challenging games.

RPI of Road / Neutral Game
1-25: 3 points
26-50: 2 points
51-100: 1 point.

So, this complicates things, being that we know the team’s schedule in some tournaments, and not others. For games we know I added it to the RPI average. For games we don’t, I did my best to determine the average RPI of possible opponents, and added that. If I couldn’t find a field of opponents, I didn’t count the tournament at all.

For ties, I found the best home game based upon last year’s RPI. The team with the best game won the tie breaker.

  1. Jonathan:
    Agree with everything you said. I'm going to 3 away games this year (semo, slu, mizzou) and that is the most I have been to in a year so far. All the opponents except utpa (and non D1) are recognizable by people around here so I think that helps with promotion. I think they did great limiting travel expenses. I don't agree with no tournament but oh well.
OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall


Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19


UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24