and Easiest Schedule by BCS conference
Toughest - Florida State: During
his long career, Bobby Bowden has been no stranger
to scheduling difficult non-conference games.
In 2007, the list is much the same (Colorado,
Alabama, Florida) and none of them is in the
confines of Doak Campbell Stadium. Back-to-back
road contests in November include division favorites
Boston College and Virginia Tech.
- Wake Forest: The Deacs did not shy
away from building a descent non-conference
schedule (Nebraska and Vanderbilt). The fact
is, though, that the reigning ACC Champs are
void of having to play the three toughest teams
in the opposing Coastal Division (Virginia Tech,
Georgia Tech and Miami). Those who think they
can win another league title may not just be
- South Florida: So da Bulls want to
continue to live in the Top 25, eh (NationalChamps.net
Preseason No. 25 team)? It won't be so easy
since USF travels to Auburn the second week.
A loss will likely drop them from the rankings
immediately. Auburn is the only preseason ranked
team to dot any of the Big East’s non-conference
- West Virginia: Don't blame WVU for
their scheduling woes. The Big East was raided
by the ACC, and that now means five non-cons
annually for each of its eight members. The
Mountaineers were left scrambling to find opponents
on short notice. That is why their schedule
reflects such despair and is the reason (as
stated already) why WVU is considered a solid
favorite to make national championship noise.
Toughest - Michigan State:
With the nation's No. 10 schedule, new coach
Mark Dantonio will find it difficult avoiding
downtime during bowl season (much like the past
three campaigns). Road trips to Notre Dame,
Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa mark a rough
stretch before Halloween.
- Iowa: The Hawkeyes are void of having
to play big dogs Ohio State and Michigan. This
about says it all. The toughest non-conference
game may come from one of two MAC opponents.
- Nebraska: Now in his fourth season
at the helm, this may be the best shot coach
Bill Callahan has had yet. The North Division
is by far the less competitive of the two, but
the non-conference games include a road trip
to defending ACC Champ Wake Forest and a visit
by the nation's unanimous No. 1 team, USC.
Easiest - Kansas: The Jayhawks
don't play Texas and they don't play Oklahoma.
The non-conference schedule, which encompasses
the first four games of the season, is so bad,
we are certain the ‘Fighting Manginos’
would be the worst undefeated team at the completion
of September if still unscathed.
Toughest - Washington: Coach
Tyrone Willingham wants to get his team over
the .500 mark for the first time in five seasons.
He will find out quickly where his team stands
as no team in America opens the season with
such a brutal start. September's slate includes
four highly ranked teams (Boise State, Ohio
State, UCLA, USC), three of whom were BCS finalists.
They will need some late season victories to
become bowl eligible. They close a 13-game schedule
at scoring machine Hawai'i. Ouch!
- Southern California: By no means
is this an easy slate. The Trojans cannot play
themselves, which hurts their overall conference
SOS standing. These numbers may be misleading.
Challenging non-conference road games include
trips to Lincoln and South Bend. The bottom
line: the Pac Ten has gotten much more difficult,
but the Trojans can expect to be on top playing
the other wanna-be’s until someone knocks
Toughest - Kentucky: As already
stated here, this is the nation's No. 1 rated
SOS in the nation's No. 1 rated conference.
That means being competitive and winning should
be considered two different results with such
a tough 12-game road.
- Georgia: The Dawg’s 42nd-ranked
list still contains tough battles with Oklahoma
State, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia Tech in addition
to the typical East Division grindstone. If
the easiest schedule in the league is ranked
42nd (out of 119 I-A teams) for SOS, this just
proves why, bar none, the SEC is the best conference.
The term ‘easiest’ should not be
a part of the vocabulary when describing the
Dawg’s slate, except for the fact that
it is the easiest in this ever-toughening league.