THE FLATS -- With five games slated against major conference teams and two others against perennially strong mid-major opponents, Georgia Tech will face a significantly more difficult non-conference schedule in its third season under head coach Brian Gregory.
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In the same season that former Big East powers Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the ACC, the Yellow Jackets will face Illinois and Dayton at home, and travel to Charlotte, Georgia and Vanderbilt. This is in addition to the previously announced Barclays Classic tournament over Thanksgiving weekend, in which Tech will take on two of Mississippi (NCAA team), Penn State and St. John's (NIT team).
Tech's complete schedule with dates, times and television information will be announced in late August. Current Tech season ticket holders can renew their tickets until Aug. 5, and new orders can be made by calling 888-TECH-TIX or be going to www.ramblinwreck.com.
By the numbers, Tech is playing three non-conference games on the opponent's home court, as opposed to one last year (at Illinois in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge), and five non-conference games away from home altogether. Of the five non-conference games against the power six conference foes, four of those will be played away from home.
"Scheduling has changed. We have two less non-conference games (as the ACC now plays 18)," Gregory said. "What you want to do is make sure there is still a good portion of non-conference games that are going to build your strength of schedule and RPI and prepare you for league play as well."
With four starters and five of its top six scorers back, Gregory's third Tech team opens the 2013-14 campaign with a pair of home games against Presbyterian and Delaware State before traveling to Athens for a Nov. 15 contest against Georgia, the earliest the two state rivals have ever played in the 189-game history of the series. The teams have played in November only five other times, most recently in 2002, with the other four occurrences all in the 1970s.
Dayton, where Gregory won 172 games over eight seasons before coming to Tech, visits McCamish Pavilion Nov. 20, followed by home games against North Carolina A&T and Mississippi Valley State, which were arranged as part of Tech's participation in the Barclays Classic, which takes place Nov. 29-30 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Illinois visits McCamish Pavilion on Dec. 3 as part of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and Tech will make its trips to Charlotte and Vanderbilt around the Christmas break. The 49ers and Commodores will come to McCamish Pavilion during the 2014-15 season.
Tech is facing five RPI top 100 teams (based on the final CBSSports.com rankings from 2012-13) among its 13 non-conference games, and has only three foes ranked beyond 300, as opposed to five last year. Including ACC opponents, Tech will face 16 teams that made the NCAA or NIT championships last season, as opposed to 14 on last year's schedule, and 17 RPI top 100 foes.
The average RPI for Tech's non-conference foes is four spots higher than last year's slate, while the average RPI for Tech's ACC foes climbs from 100 to 75.2.
GEORGIA TECH SCHEDULE COMPARISON 2012-13 2013-14
Avg RPI of ACC opponents # 100 75.2
Avg RPI of non-conference opponents + 188.5 184.1
Non-conference road games *1 3
Non-conference games away from home 4 5
Non-conference games vs. big 5 conference opponents 3 **5
Games vs. RPI top 100 teams 14 17
Games vs. NCAA/NIT teams 14 16
Games vs. RPI 300 or higher 5 3
*includes ACC/Big Ten Challenge game
**four of those away from home
+ does not factor in home, road or neutral
# factors in number of games played against each
SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN (RPI in parentheses)
ACC Home and Away - Boston College (111), Clemson (185), Duke (1/NCAA), Notre Dame (35/NCAA)
ACC Home Only - Miami (4/NCAA), North Carolina (17/NCAA), Pittsburgh (44/NCAA), Virginia (76/NIT), Virginia Tech (176)
ACC Away Only - Florida State (84/NIT), Maryland (71/NIT), NC State (33/NCAA), Syracuse (14/NCAA), Wake Forest (170)
Non-conference Home - Dayton (114), Delaware State (268), East Tennessee State (274), Illinois (40/NCAA), Kennesaw State (341), Mississippi Valley State (344), North Carolina A&T (213), Presbyterian (340)
Non-conference Away - Charlotte (68/NIT), Georgia (140), Vanderbilt (108)
Non-conference Neutral (Barclays Classic) - Mississippi (47/NCAA), Penn State (186), St. John's (94/NIT)
Notes - Tech will play two games in the Barclays Classic at the Barclays Center ... Home games against Mississippi Valley State and North Carolina A&T are part of the Barclays Classic event (arranged by the organizers of the event) ... Charlotte, Georgia and Vanderbilt will play at McCamish Pavilion in the 2014-15 season ... Tech will play at Dayton in 2014-15.