From Christine M. Hopkins at the Swish Appeal, starting Tuesday, the games count! A handful of mid-major teams start their NCAA seasons with high-profile matchups against power conference teams or other mid-majors. Here’s how to watch them.

The opinions “Actually, preseason polls don’t matter because they’re just guesses” and “Actually, more mid-majors should have made the preseason poll” aren’t mutually exclusive, you know.

It’s true that we have no idea what these teams look like when voting takes place for the first poll of the season, because the season hasn’t started yet. The preseason poll is literally a big guessing game ... one that, more often than not, excludes all but the most popular mid-majors.
But it’s so easy to understand why! There are five power conferences, about 60 or so teams to follow from those, maybe half of whom pack the NCAA Tournament field every season. Pollsters and fans alike get to know these teams specifically, as well as the mid-major or two who becomes mainstays — UConn, Gonzaga, and so on.

But when it comes to mid-majors making a preseason poll, the question becomes, how can they earn their place there if they haven’t been in the national consciousness long enough to be considered? We see teams like Rice enter the poll at the tail end of the season, while pollsters’ best preseason guesses tend to lean power conference-heavy — teams that tend to be booted from the top 25 when a mid-major finally proves it might actually deserve to be there.

Now, none of this is an indictment of any poll, or the people who vote for them. That stuff sounds difficult, and no one is ever happy! Really, this is just a reminder to fans who might not see enough of mid-majors that 27 conferences’ worth of other teams exist, too — and that there is so much talent hiding in “others receiving votes,” even if the number next to the team name isn’t enough to get them on the ESPN crawl with any regularity.

Should more mid-major teams end up ranked in preseason polls? Yes.

Does it matter at this moment that more weren’t ranked? Nah.

Let the following games, and more importantly, the teams in them, speak for themselves over the coming week. As we expressed at the beginning of last season, you’ve got nothing to lose by jumping on this, the Mid-Major Bandwagon, before these teams make a deep postseason run.

Here are a few games this week to get started:
Take a look at the link to see the games they have highlighted. Some good mid-major teams against ranked P5 opponents and games between historical, mid-major powers. One of our future opponents, Missouri State travels to #23 Minnesota is one of the games.

The Link:

Tuesday, the games count. Time to make hay.