The Commodores had their best season in over 20 years in 2018. They won the SEC Regular Season, hosted the Round of 64 game in Nashville, where they beat the Murray State Racers, then lost in the Round of 32 to the Baylor Bears.
Out of Conference, they tore through opponents except the eventual National Champion, Florida State Seminoles. In the SEC, they continued their streak without a loss to 16 games, winning 15 and tying one.
This year, the road to a repeat SEC Championship looks tougher.
The Out of Conference Schedule looks familiar, playing in state teams (Belmont and Memphis) in preseason exhibitions, before opening up with Georgia State for the second year in a row.
After playing the University of Evansville, the Commodores travel to California to play the UC Irvine (#2 on my UC Mascot Rankings) and Pepperdine. They come back to the Third Coast for three tilts (Colgate and Marshall in the Music City Challenge, then UTC) before traveling to Louisville for their lone Power 5 Conference opponent.
This year’s OOC Schedule is certainly weaker than last year’s, but for good reason. The SEC slate is a murderer’s row. Of the ten games, five are against NCAAT teams.
They open with Hunter’s Orange (6) (bold indicates home game, # is 2018 Year End Ranking) and then go Arkansas (25), Florida, Georgia, Mizzou, South Carolina (18), LSU (19), TAMU (11), Kentucky, and Bama. Rocky Top was an Elite Eight Team, Arkansas, the Gamecocks, and the Bayou Bengals were all Round of 32 teams. LSU won the SECT, as well. The Aggies were a Sweet Sixteen team. The road is difficult, but the the last two games are against .500 or worse teams.
I’ll have some deeper breakdown on a few OOC teams as the games come closer. For conference teams, I’ll preview the opponent before each game. It’s what you do for the reigning SEC Champs.