Tennessee playing Tennessee — Of 15 non-conference games for Tennessee State, five come from in-state teams. Doesn’t get much more regional than that.
|Last Season RPI||Travel Distance (mi)|
|28||@ St. Peters||231||883|
|29||vs Norfolk State / St. Francis|
(in Jersey City, NJ)
|228 / 295||883|
|16||@ Southern Illinois||201||203|
|21||@ Middle Tennessee||64||39|
|15||@ Austin Peay|
|17||@ Murray State|
|5||@ Morehead State|
|7||@ Eastern Kentucky|
|12||@ Tennessee Tech|
|21||@ Jacksonville State|
Average Non-Conference RPI: 170.5
Average Home Non-Conference RPI: 246.3
Average Non-Conference Road Travel Distance: 324.4 miles
Non-Division I opponents: 2
Let’s ignore the non-conference RPI for a minute, which is very strong. Tennessee State has five home games. Two are the standard non-Division I teams. Two are the result of home-and-home series. And the fifth is Kennesaw State. TSU is still in Nashville, right, the largest city in the Ohio Valley Conference? You can’t get anyone to come there?
Again, this is an overall strong slate. Virginia was very good last year, I love playing in-town Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Middle Tennessee are great opponents as well. But TSU goes 29 DAYS between home games in December. That’s more than four weeks! After their opening homestand, they only play one home game in a 40-day span. That’s far too long away from the Gentry Center.
I hope TSU is on TV on a lot of these games. Or at least the internet.
Road Trip to make
Well, you should make the two games in Nashville, obviously. But I’d say a “sleeper” on the schedule is the trip to Southern Illinois. I’ve been to Carbondale — it’s only an hour or so from my home — and it’s a great campus, and usually a pretty good atmosphere. It’s not as good as it was, say, 10 years ago, but they still put on a pretty good show. And you get to see Barry Hinson, who is and forever will be pound-for-pound the most entertaining coach in the NCAA.
Don’t waste your money…
I really, really want to say Kennesaw State here. They’ve spent the last three seasons in the RPI doldrums. But that’s the first home game in nearly a month, as mentioned above. So I’m going to say…Fisk? I normally don’t pick non-Division I teams for this section (you’re already going at your own risk there) but I can’t pick one of the rare, very few-and-far between Division I home games. I just can’t.
Comparing The Schools
(Will be updated as more schedules are added)
|School||Non-Con RPI||Non-Con Home RPI||Road Travel Dist.||Non-DI Opp|
|Eastern Illinois||166.3||283.7||280.7 mi||2|
|Morehead State||170.1||235.0||605.3 mi.||2|
|Tennessee State||170.5||246.3||324.4 mi||2|
|Murray State||172.5||144.5||170.6 mi.||2|
|Southeast Missouri||176.7||221.2||571.8 mi.||2|
|Austin Peay||184.3||227.7||404.9 mi.||2|
|Jacksonville State||200.0||227.0||401.7 mi.||2|
|Tennessee Tech||208.9||240.8||561.3 mi.||2|
|Eastern Kentucky||215.5||252.5||512.0 mi.||2|
|UT Martin||238.3||348.0||479.2 mi.||2|