Top 4 games to watch
Southern Miss @ Memphis, 11/14
Memphis used to be one of the Golden Eagles’ biggest rivals. After the mass conference realignment that made Memphis a member of the American Athletic Conference, the Tigers have not been pitted up against Southern Miss nearly as often. For the Golden Eagles, it will be a test to see just how well these transfers play together early in the season. This is not the same Memphis team from years past, but any chance that you get to play an old rival, tensions will be raised. Southern Miss will open the season with probably their biggest game of the year.
Alabama @ Southern Miss, 12/04
A crucial game for Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles will host a Crimson Tide team that may be a disappointment on paper, but will play their hardest on the trip down to the Hub City. This game sits high among games to watch for Southern Miss, because of the financial impact it could have on the university. An opponent with a huge name and fan base like Alabama will bring fans across the state line together. Alabama loses their top 5 scorers from the last year, and if Southern Miss can get their defense together by December, they could have a chance to pull off the upset.
Southern Miss @ Louisiana Tech, 01/02
This game is an early one for Southern Miss, just coming out of New Year’s break. The Bulldogs finished with the best record in the league last year with a 15-3 conference record and a 27-9 record overall. Southern Miss’ roster and rotation should just be rounding into form as they take on the league’s best team from last year as a litmus test. The experience of Norville Carey and others from last year will be missed in this match-up, as mostly everyone who plays will face Louisiana Tech for the first time.
Southern Miss @ Western Kentucky, 03/03
This matchup will pit a team that finished in the top 4 in the C-USA standings last year against a Southern Miss squad who should find themselves by season’s end. Western Kentucky finished 12-6 in the division last year so steady improvement across the board will help the Hilltoppers gain more respect in the league, maybe at Southern Miss’ expense.
T.JPrice, the Hilltoppers leading scorer a season ago, is playing in Europe now, but the Hilltoppers have enough players capable of filling the void.