As you probably know, the Bisons open their season a week from Saturday with an exhibition game at Arkansas-Little Rock. The game is at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center (women’s game at 4:30). You can get info on tickets at the official Harding site.
My thoughts on this game are simple: I hope no one gets hurt, but it would be really cool to beat another Division I team (we beat Arkansas State in last year’s exhibition). I think UALR wanted to move this game out of their regular schedule with the hope of improving their RPI. The Trojans were 18-10 last year in the Sun Belt conference and have won the Sun Belt East Division for two years in a row. Last year, the Sun Belt had a conference RPI of 12 (out of 31), so they are a solid mid-major team in a pretty good conference. At any rate, they needed to improve their schedule strength to help out their NCAA at-large bid chances (which are still slim), so that’s my best guess for this game’s move to exhibition status.
This isn’t a bad deal for us, though. That’s one less potential loss on our record, and we still have defending Southland conference champion Northwestern State on the regular-season schedule. They are the overwhelming preseason favorite in their conference (which was ranked #26 of 31 last year in D-I) this year after going 21-11 a year ago.
Anyhow, everyone should make the trip to Little Rock, because it’s always an exciting game (especially when we have as many fans there as they do).