April 11, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. -- After defeating Central Arkansas (RPI No. 185) twice on Tuesday, Ole Miss' RPI dropped just one spot to No. 15. That's important because if the Rebels accumulate enough conference wins to be in the conversation, RPI should be a plus on Ole Miss' resume for hosting purposes.
However, the Rebels (23-10, 6-6) could use some other teams making minor jumps the rest of the season. As of now, here are the RPI numbers for Ole Miss' schedule.
No. 53 TCU (1-1)
No. 138 Arkansas State (1-0, one left)
No. 87 UNC Wilmington (3-0)
No. 111 Memphis (1-0, one left)
No. 230 Jackson State (2-0)
No. 136 Miami-Ohio (2-1)
No. 228 UT-Martin (1-0)
No. 65 Houston (3-0)
No. 49 Louisville (1-1)
No. 40 Auburn (1-2)
No. 104 Southern Miss (0-1, one left)
No. 120 Alabama (2-1)
No. 1 Florida (2-1)
No. 4 Kentucky (1-2)
No. 185 Central Arkansas (2-0)
No. 60 Georgia (three games)
No. 45 Mississippi State (four games)
No. 21 Arkansas (three games)
No. 170 Murray State (one game)
No. 12 LSU (three games)
No. 57 Tennessee (three games)
No. 62 Vanderbilt (three games)
Per <i>Warren Nolan</i>, the Rebels are currently 5-6 against the top 50 and 12-7 against the top 100. Two nonconference teams to keep somewhat of an eye on are Southern Miss and Louisville. The Rebels need the Golden Eagles in the top 100 and the Cardinals in the top 50. USM has five games remaining against teams in the top 15 and only one game against a team outside the top 200, although Marshall is No. 197 and has a three-game set with Southern Miss.
While the Golden Eagles should be able to eek into the top 100, Louisville has a tall order to stay in the top 50 — just moving into that group on Tuesday following a 12-0 win over Kentucky. The Cardinals have only one game left against a top 50 team (Kentucky) and have nine games left against teams outside the top 150, including a three-game series to finish the season at No. 218 Pittsburgh.
TCU is just outside the top 50, but the Horned Frogs have 10 games left against teams outside the top 200. Tough to make up RPI ground with that slate.
As far as SEC play, most of the movement is around teams just in or just out of the top 50. From strictly an RPI and strength of schedule standpoint, Ole Miss would like Auburn (No. 40) and Mississippi State (No. 45) to remain in the top 50, and then one or two of the Eastern Division teams just outside to find a way into the top 50 — No. 60 Georgia, No. 57 Tennessee and No. 62 Vanderbilt. Georgia is the most likely candidate because, other than being the most complete team of the three, the Bulldogs have 12 games against top 15 teams as well as single games against No. 31 Clemson and No. 41 Georgia Tech.
At the end of the day, it's about wins, and the rest of the stuff usually takes care of itself. Ole Miss needs to get above .500 in league play and have a decent showing in Hoover, Ala. But it also doesn't hurt to have the computers in your favor.