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Ranking the non-conference basketball games

OSU’s non-conference schedule isn’t all that exciting.



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

Basketball season is upon us and OSU gets rolling on Friday with a non-conference game against Mississippi Valley State (Jerry Rice!). I thought I’d take this opportunity to rank the 13 non-con games OSU will play leading up to the 18-game conference schedule.

1. Memphis (GIA) — It’s a bummer that the only ranked team on OSU’s schedule is Memphis (but they might get to play Josh Pastner’s squad twice, see below). Nevertheless a top-15 game at home before Thanksgiving break should be terrific for the students and must-watch for everybody else. I’m pumped.

2. Memphis (probably) (Old Spice Classic) — The rematch. It’s not a guarantee but Memphis will be the best team in Florida on the other side of the bracket from OSU. I’d also accept an LSU-OSU matchup.

3. Colorado (Vegas) — This is that late-night game in Vegas that brought us “ballgame, bitches!” a decade and a half ago. Colorado is supposed to be a top three Pac-12 team this year. Should be a fun one.

4. Butler (Old Spice Classic) — The Brad Stevens-less Bulldogs should be matched up with Oklahoma State in round two of the OSC. They’re a borderline tournament team and should give OSU fits if/when they match up. You’ll have to work to watch it though as it will either be 10 AM or 12:30 PM central time. While we’re here, read this on the day that rocked Butler University.

5. Purdue (Old Spice Classic) — Purdue was picked seventh in the Big 10 and they should be decent (Jerry Palm has them as a 12-seed) but we clearly aren’t dealing with murder’s row for the Pokes here.

6. South Carolina (GIA) — The Gamecocks were picked 12th in the SEC. The SEC! They aren’t good, but hey, bad South Carolina equals crazy Frank Martin, so that’s fun.

7. South Florida (Florida) — [throws hands up after the first six on this list] USF isn’t a mid-major (I guess?) so they automatically get this spot.

8. Mississippi Valley State (GIA) — Because it’s the first game (and I get to go).

9. Louisiana Tech (OKC) — This is part of the All-College Classic near Christmas which is usually fun.

The last four are a tie because they’re all terrible.

10. Utah Valley (GIA) 

10. Delaware State (GIA)

10. Robert Morris (GIA)

10. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (GIA)

All in all not much to get real thrilled about. If OSU isn’t at least 11-2 after this slate, there are going to be some issues.

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