The Non-Con: A look at LSU baseball’s season-opening non-conference slate

In light of LSU’s 2014 season opening this weekend, we take a gander at the Tigers’ 18-game non-conference schedule.

Tony Robicheaux, right, and Louisiana Lafayette appears to be LSU's toughest test of the season-opening non-conference slate. (Patrick Dennis | The Advocate)

Tony Robicheaux, right, and Louisiana Lafayette appears to be LSU’s toughest test of the season-opening non-conference slate. (Patrick Dennis | The Advocate)

First, we break down each opponent (in order of when LSU plays them) before giving you some highlights.

New Orleans

  • Games: Two – Friday and Saturday
  • Final 2013 RPI (of 298 teams): 274
  • Final 13 record/conference: 7-44, N/A (independent)
  • 13 postseason: None
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish last in the Southland Conference

Grambling

  • Games: One – Sunday
  • Final 2013 RPI: 285
  • Final 13 record/conference: 18-30, 9-15 (5th SWAC Western Division)
  • 13 postseason: Did not qualify for SWAC Tournament
  • Preseason projection: Picked last in the SWAC Western Division
Southeastern Louisiana's Jesse Burrat during his days at Baton Rouge Community College. He's a returning all-conference player at third base for the Lions. (Adam Lau |The Advocate)

Southeastern Louisiana’s Jesse Buratt during his days at Baton Rouge Community College. He’s a returning all-conference player at third base for the Lions. (Adam Lau |The Advocate)

Southeastern Louisiana

  • Games: One – Feb. 19
  • Final 2013 RPI: 55
  • Final 13 record/conference: 36-24, 16-11 (3rd in the Southland)
  • 13 postseason: Lost in Southland Conference Tournament championship
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish second in Southland Conference by coaches

Virginia Tech

  • Games: One – Feb. 21
  • Final 2013 RPI: 15
  • Final 13 record/conference: 40-22, 15-14 (3rd in ACC Coastal Division)
  • 13 postseason: Lost to Oklahoma in finals of NCAA Blacksburg Regional
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish fifth in ACC Coastal Division)

Toledo

  • Games: One – Feb. 22
  • Final 2013 RPI: 181
  • Final 13 record/conference: 25-33, 13-14 (3rd in Mid-American Western Division)
  • 13 postseason: Lost in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament
  • Preseason projection: N/A

Texas Southern

  • Games: One – Feb. 23
  • Final 2013 RPI: 238
  • Final 13 record/conference: 22-29, 12-12 (4th in SWAC Western Division)
  • 13 postseason: Lost in SWAC Tournament quarterfinals
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish third in SWAC Western Division

Louisiana-Lafayette

  • Games: One – Feb. 25
  • Final 2013 RPI: 23
  • Final 13 record/conference: 43-20, 19-11 (tied for 2nd in Sun Belt Conference)
  • 13 postseason: Lost to LSU in the finals of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish first in the Sun Belt Conference

Yale

  • Games: Three – Feb. 28-March 2
  • Final 2013 RPI: 259
  • Final 13 record/conference: 13-25, 10-10 (2nd in Ivy League Red Rolfe Division)
  • 13 postseason: Did not qualify for Ivy League championship
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish second in the Red Rolfe Division by collegebaseballdaily.com

Northwestern State

  • Games: One – March 4
  • Final 2013 RPI: 235
  • Final 13 record/conference: 16-40, 5-22 (10th in Southland Conference)
  • 13 postseason: Did not qualify for Southland Conference Tournament
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish ninth in the Southland Conference by coaches

Sacred Heart

  • Games: One – March 5
  • Final 2013 RPI: 152
  • Final 13 record/conference: 34-24, 23-9 (2nd in Northeast Conference)
  • 13 postseason: Lost in the championship of the Northeast Conference Tournament
  • Preseason projection: N/A

Purdue

  • Games: Three – March 7-9
  • Final 2013 RPI: 205
  • Final 13 record/conference: 17-34, 6-18 (10th in Big Ten)
  • 13 postseason: Did not qualify for the Big Ten Tournament
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish eighth in the Big Ten

Nicholls

  • Games: One – March 11
  • Final 2013 RPI: 151
  • Final 13 record/conference: 26-29, 10-17 (8th in Southland Conference)
  • 13 postseason: Did not qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish eighth in the Southland Conference by coaches
Outfielder Sean Washington is one of Southern's top returning hitters. (John Oubre | The Advocate)

Outfielder Sean Washington is one of Southern’s top returning hitters. (John Oubre | The Advocate)

Southern

  • Games: One – March 12
  • Final 2013 RPI: 261
  • Final 13 record/conference: 21-23, 14-10 (1st in SWAC Western Division)
  • 13 postseason: Lost in SWAC Tournament quarterfinals
  • Preseason projection: Picked to finish second in the SWAC Western Division

* RPI from boydsworld.com

* Preseason projections from Perfect Game unless noted

Highlights

  • Ten of LSU’s 13 non-conference opponents finished with an RPI of 150 or worse last season, including eight with a 200-plus RPI (includes three-game series opponents Purdue and Yale).
  • The Ragin Cajuns might be LSU’s toughest non-conference duel. Louisiana-Lafayette has one of the best preseason projections of any of the 13 opponents and the Ragin Cajuns finished last year with the best RPI of any of the above: 23.
  • Just two of the 13 teams (Virginia Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette advanced to an NCAA regional last year.
  • Five of the 13 did not qualify for their own conference tournament.

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