Another non-conference schedule? For us? Belmont’s schedule is out.
— Belmont Basketball (@BelmontMBB) July 28, 2016
So how does it stack up? Here’s our breakdown.
Average Non-Conference RPI (using 2015-16 RPI numbers): 155.6
Last Year — 148.0
Top-100 RPI Opponents: at Florida (45), at Vanderbilt (71), at Middle Tennessee State (77)
Last Year — 5
Bottom-100 RPI opponents (252-351): vs/at Lipscomb (270), vs Cleveland State (277)
Non-Division I opponents: 1
Early Benchmark — November 25th at Rhode Island: Rhode Island didn’t make our top-100 RPI list because last season they finished 122nd. This year, the Rams are a preseason top-25 pick by a lot of national publications, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, and Yahoo. Playing in the Atlantic 10, they’ll almost certainly be a top-100 RPI team this season, if not top 50. It’s a tough road game early in the year, and should give us a great idea just how strong this Bruins squad could be this year.
Best road trip — Dec 17th-19th at UW Milwaukee and Green Bay: The Lipscomb game is a must, but outside of the short drive through Nashville, the Bruins have a great road swing over three days against two Horizon league programs. Both were top-200 RPI teams a year ago, but both are winnable games, and I personally love getting to see the atmosphere for other great mid-major programs. It’s a long haul, but if you can spare a few days before Christmas, it ought to make a fun road trip.
Other Notes: Five of Belmont’s seven road games are against teams in the top-150 of the RPI. (Belmont finished 97th last year, for reference) While the Bruins only have five home non-conference games, it’s actually one more than a year ago, although according to the Bruins website, the game against Trevecca Nazarene won’t be until February, which means a light slate of games at the Curb in the 2016 part of the calendar year. The Bruins don’t play an exempt event, which is the reason for just a dozen games, compared to 15 for SEMO.
Five of Belmont’s seven road games are against teams in the top-150 of the RPI.
Comparing the schools
(Will be updated as more schedules are added)
Average RPI Ranking:
- Austin Peay (151.0)
- Murray State (152.5)
- Belmont (155.6)
- Eastern Kentucky (162.2)
- SIUE (172.4)
- Tennessee State (196.5)
- UT Martin (218.0)
- Southeast Missouri (242.7)
Top-100 RPI Opponents Ranking:
- Austin Peay (5)
- Murray State (4)
- Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, SIUE, Tennessee State (3)
- UT Martin (2)
- Southeast Missouri (1)
Bottom-100 RPI Opponents Ranking:
- Eastern Kentucky, Murray State (2)
- Austin Peay, Belmont, SIUE (3)
- Tennessee State (5)
- Southeast Missouri (6)
- UT Martin (7)
Home Games Ranking:
- UT Martin (7)
- Eastern Kentucky, Southeast Missouri, Murray State (6)
- Austin Peay, Belmont
- SIUE, Tennessee State (4)