by John Luke McCord
A day after Andy Kennedy revealed on the SEC coaches teleconference that Ole Miss would face Dayton and Oregon this upcoming season, the 2013-14 non-conference schedule was released via olemisssports.com.
Last season the SEC faced a situation where it had a few teams that were worthy of the NCAA tournament, but as a result of weak schedules and poor RPIs, only three teams made it in. In fact, if not for an SEC tournament run, the Rebels too would have fallen victim to weak scheduling. So, in order to avoid that situation, the SEC has encouraged their members to ramp up their schedules, even going as far as to enforcing approval of each team’s schedule.
Anyways, here are the non-conference opponents for Ole Miss in 2013-14:
November 8th Troy
November 16th at Coastal Carolina
November 22nd Mississippi Valley State/North Carolina A&T (Barclays Center Classic Hosted Game)
November 26th Mississippi Valley State/North Carolina A&T (Barclays Center Classic Hosted Game)
November 29th Georgia Tech (Barclays Center Classic – Brooklyn, N.Y.)
November 30th Penn State/St. John’s (Barclays Center Classic – Brooklyn, N.Y.)
December 5th at Kansas State
December 8th Oregon
December 14th Middle Tennessee
December 18th Louisiana-Monroe
December 22nd Mercer
December 30th at Western Kentucky
January 3rd Dayton
Of course the match-ups that stand out are at Coastal Carolina, a team that came to Oxford last year and was thought to be an early trap game. Ole Miss easily disposed of them, but its on the road this season and they should be improved. Next is Georgia Tech at the Barclays Center Classic. It will be a matchup against an ACC team and they will be tested. The potential for a match-up with Penn State or St. Johns is also good for the Rebels, so it appears the trip to Brooklyn will be beneficial for the Rebels. Of course the games against Oregon and Kansas State are big as both teams were NCAA tournament teams last season and Oregon even advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Kansas State was upset by LaSalle or they would have played Ole Miss. Middle Tennessee won’t be quite as good as they were last season and the game will be at home this season, but they are always tough and play Ole Miss well. At Western Kentucky could provide a chance for slip up as it is close to SEC play and after the holidays and Western Kentucky has a solid club. Lastly, Dayton will provide a stiff test, as they usually do and have in recent years for Ole Miss. Overall, this non-conference slate is tougher than any in recent memory for Ole Miss and that should be very beneficial come March.