Penn State announced their 2013-14 non-conference schedule today, and there aren't many surprises considering many of the games (Bucknell, La Salle, Duquesne, Pitt) were already known quantities well before today's announcement. Without further ado, the schedule:
|Date||Opponent||Last Season's RPI||Location|
|3-Nov||Northwood (exhibition)||n/a||Bryce Jordan Center|
|9-Nov||Wagner||129||Bryce Jordan Center|
|13-Nov||Bucknell||53||Bryce Jordan Center|
|19-Nov||La Salle||34||Bryce Jordan Center|
|24-Nov||Longwood**||333||Bryce Jordan Center|
|26-Nov||Monmouth (N.J.)**||282||Bryce Jordan Center|
|29-Nov||St. John's*/**||91||Barclays Center|
|30-Nov||Ole Miss/Georgia Tech*/**||45/153||Barclays Center|
|3-Dec||Pittsburgh||46||Petersen Events Center|
|7-Dec||Marshall||207||Bryce Jordan Center|
|11-Dec||Duquesne*||231||CONSOL Energy Center|
|14-Dec||Princeton||126||Bryce Jordan Center|
|22-Dec||Mount St. Mary's||125||Bryce Jordan Center|
*Neutral site game **Barclays Center Classic
What sticks out about the non-con slate at first glance? Obviously the game at Pitt is the glamour fixture. Penn State fans have been clamoring to play their old-time rivals in football for a while, so this game should be a nice appetizer for the eventual gridiron series coming in 2016 & 2017. The Panthers will have to replace three of their top five scorers including first-round draft pick Steven Adams but Jamie Dixon should field a competitive squad in his B1G/ACC Challenge debut.
Pitt transfer John Johnson will become eligible after the completion of the fall semester, which ends December 21st. Unfortunately he'll only get one game with the team (Mount St. Mary's on Dec. 22nd) before the conference schedule begins.
When the Barclays Center Classic was announced back in March, the possibility of playing Ole Miss in one of the two games was intriguing to say the least considering they were led by tournament sensation Marshall Henderson. Unfortunately (and somewhat unsurprisingly), Henderson was suspended indefinitely for a reportedly failing a drug test this summer. It's unclear if the human .gif will be available for the coach Andy Kennedy this season, but in any case the Lions will likely have to defeat St. John's (who are virtually playing a home game) first in order to get a shot at the Rebels.
The non-con schedule has been rather unkind to Penn State in recent years. The lack of quality opponents kept the 2008-09 team from reaching the big dance, instead sending them to NIT (which, of course, they won), but that shouldn't be an issue this year. The Lions will play four teams that went to the postseason last year (five if they face Ole Miss) and there isn't a dearth of respectable mid-major opponents either.
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