The grass is always green at Swayze, the beers are always cold, and the schedule is almost always impossibly difficult.
This is nothing new, but Ole Miss will face one of the toughest schedules of the year though this season its non-conference schedule will be remarkably challenging as well. There’s always the Southeastern Conference schedule to navigate with six to eight teams typically in the top 25, and this year is no different.
But the Rebels currently will face seven of the top 10 teams in the nation according to D1Baseball’s preseason top 25 ranking. SEVEN OF THE TOP 10. And the bad news is six of those seven are SEC opponents.
After the top ten, there’s still No. 11 LSU, No. 20 Texas A&M, and No. 21 East Carolina to deal with as well during this season. Yes, there are some expected reprieves like playing Xavier who I honestly didn’t know had a baseball program, but there are scrappy programs littered through non-conference play.
These are the type of teams who can cause and HAVE caused mind-numbing, frustrating losses — Memphis, Southern Miss, Arkansas St., Indiana, and Louisiana Monroe. If you’re an Ole Miss fan, you cannot take solace in losses to those teams this season, because they are most likely going to be needed to help buoy the record from a torridly paced SEC season.
There’s a reason a lot of the local pundits are predicting a 15-15 or worse conference record. These are the folks who are usually generous in their estimations with Ole Miss sports. The roster is young, and the talent its going to face will absolutely challenge you to play your best ball every time you take the field.
Out of the 56-game grind of a season, more than half of the games are projected to be played against top 25 preseason ranked teams. If this is the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the nation, we’re going to find out very quickly how well talent was evaluated by this coaching staff.
Preseason Ranked Opponents in 2020
- No. 1 Louisville
- No. 21 East Carolina
- No. 11 LSU
- No. 20 TAMU
- No. 7 Arkansas
- No. 10 MSU
- No. 2 Vanderbilt
- No. 4 Florida
- No. 5 Georgia
- No. 8 Auburn
So which series are you most looking forward to? Can Ole Miss navigate this murderer’s row of a schedule to land a regional again or is it going to be a long season in red and blue? Comment or tweet @redcuprebellion your thoughts on this season’s schedule and what it means for the program’s immediate and long term future.