Baylor released their 2012-13 non-conference basketball schedule this morning, and as expected, it does not disappoint.
It is highlighted by a December 1st trip to Rupp Arena to face last year’s National Champion Kentucky Wildcats, the back end of home and home series with Northwestern and BYU, and a very tough road game in Spokane against Gonzaga.
After the Bears started conference play undefeated last season, a little of the shine started to come off the Baylor Basketball team. A road win versus BYU and neutral site wins versus Mississippi State and West Virginia began to lose their luster as the season went on, and some began to question if the non-conference schedule adequately prepared the team for the rigors of Big 12 play. As I examined the RPI of our non-conference opponents from last season, it’s apparent that we played some less than stellar competition. Our non-conference opponents last year (not including post season) had an average RPI ranking of 153.42.
In comparison, our non-conference opponents this season, using last year’s rankings (including probable Charleston Classic opponents Colorado and Murray State), have an average RPI of 101.83. This is a significant step up from last season and provides the most difficult non-confeence road schedule in the Scott Drew era. There should be no questions this season about preparation for Big 12 play.
In related news, yesterday ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his way too early Bracketology for 2012-2013 and currently predicts the Bears as a 4 seed playing their second and third round games in Austin.