2011 College Football Preview: Part 2, Scheduling

The college football schedule is often overlooked in determining success of a program. Many programs schedule easier schedules to rack up wins, and hopefully earn their way into a top notch bowl game. On the other hand, others believe you need to beat the best to be the best.

In actuality it’s probably better to be somewhere in between. In college football, and so many sports today, results are all that matter. Sometimes what might be good for some, ends up being unacceptable for many others. Its difficult to exactly pin point the right ways of doing it, but there are some teams that have benefited from scheduling and some that have been hurt by it.

Today I will examine what I think is the right way of scheduling : who has the easiest and toughest schedules, and who will benefit and who will get hurt by theirs this year.

I personally believe its best to schedule tough, but not too tough. You have to know your school. Often it can be good to schedule teams that you should beat, but are still considered decent. There is a lot of manipulation involved in the numbers, and it can be a huge difference in the end of season rankings (in college hoops as well). A team from a BCS conference should try to play two good games every year out of conference, and non-BCS teams should probably go three or even four if they want to be considered among the elite (uh hum Boise State).

This year lets look at how the conferences liked to schedule out of conference:

ACC: 44% BCS, 29% Non-BCS, 27% FCS

PAC 12: 41% BCS, 38% N0n-BCS, 21% FCS

Big East: 40% BCS, 40% Non-BCS, 20% FCS

Big 12: 30% BCS, 50% Non-BCS, 20% FCS

Big Ten: 29% BCS, 50% Non-BCS, 21% FCS

SEC: 25% BCS, 50% Non-BCS, 25% FCS

Pat Hill and the Fresno State Bulldogs were not afraid to schedule some tough non-conference foes in 2011

Alright how about the best Out of Conference Schedules:

1. Fresno State- vs. California, @Nebraska, Ole Miss, Boise State, North Dakota

2. East Carolina- vs. South Carolina, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, @Navy

3. Colorado- @ Ohio State, @Hawaii, California, vs. Colorado State

4. Tulsa- @ Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, @ Boise State, North Texas

5. Miami FL- Ohio State, Kansas State, @ South Florida, Bethune-Cookman

6. USC- Minnesota, Syracuse, @ Notre Dame

7. Pittsburgh- @Iowa, Notre Dame, Utah, Buffalo, Maine

8. LSU- vs. Oregon, @ West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Northwestern State

9. Florida State- Oklahoma, @ Florida, Louisiana Monroe, Charleston Southern

10. Clemson- Auburn, @ South Carolina, Troy, Wofford

11. Boise State- vs. Georgia, Tulsa, Nevada, @ Fresno State, @ Toledo

12. Georgia- vs. Boise State, @ Georgia Tech, Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State

13. UNC- @ East Carolina, Louisville, Rutgers, James Madison

14. Utah- @ BYU, @ Pittsburgh, Montana State

15. South Carolina- vs. East Carolina, Navy, The Citadel, Clemson

16. Maryland- West Virginia, vs. Notre Dame, Temple, Towson

17. Oregon State- @ Wisconsin, BYU, Sacramento State

18. UCLA- @ Houston, San Jose State, Texas

19. Boston College- Northwestern, @ UCF, @ Notre Dame, Massachusetts

20. Oregon- vs. LSU, Nevada, Missouri State

Apparently Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State Bulldogs weren't looking for the toughest non-conference schedule this season

And now those pathetic Out of Conference Schedules:

1. Mississippi State- Louisiana Tech, @UAB, @ Memphis, Tennessee-Martin

2. Connecticut- Fordham, @ Vanderbilt, Iowa State, @ Buffalo, Western Michigan

3. Kentucky- Western Kentucky, Central Michigan, Louisville, Jacksonville State

4. Tennessee- Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee State

5. Virginia Tech- Appalachian State, @ East Carolina, Arkansas State, @ Marshall

6. NC State- Liberty, South Alabama, @ Cincinnati, Central Michigan

7. Indiana- Ball State, Virginia, South Carolina State, @ North Texas

8. Texas Tech- Texas State, @ New Mexico, Nevada

Unfortunately for Colorado, 2011 won't be easy to navigate because of the very tough schedule

And finally who has the toughest overall schedules?

1. Colorado Buffaloes- They play 13 games in 2011 (because they travel to Hawaii), seven on the road, and one neutral site game. Of course the Pac Ten might not be the toughest conference in the country but the Buffs play all the leagues toughest teams, (including an odd non-conference bout with Cal). The toughest part might be going to Ohio State and Stanford, while hosting Oregon.

2. Oregon State- The Beavers didn’t make things easy on themselves this year as they face six road games, including trips to Wisconsin, Oregon, Cal, Utah, and Arizona State. At home they draw 5 tough games as well, including Stanford. Non-conference they get Wisconsin on the road and BYU at home, with one gimme game all year.

3. Iowa State- After the Cyclones start with D1-AA Northern Iowa its all down hill from there. They face Iowa at home, and UConn on the road non-conference before a tough conference schedule with trips to Oklahoma and Missouri, and home games with Texas and Oklahoma State.

4. LSU- A premiere match-up with Oregon to start the year, along with a trip to West Virginia non-conference before they face the gauntlet schedule of the SEC West. From the East they play Tennessee, Florida and Kentucky to top it off.

5. USC- Non-conference they get Minnesota and Syracuse at home, while they make the road trip to Notre Dame. In the Pac 12 they get road trips to Arizona State and Oregon, and a home bout with Stanford.

6. Baylor- An opening game with TCU before road trips to Texas A&M and Ok State, while they get Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri at home.

7. Washington- They get Hawaii at home and Nebraska on the road out of conference, while they have to travel to USC, Stanford, Utah, and get Oregon at home.

8. Miami- The Hurricanes get non-conference draws with Ohio State, South Florida and Kansas State. In conference they take trips to Florida State, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, while they get Georgia Tech at home.

9. Clemson- With the toughest schedule based on opponents winning percentage in 2010, they get Auburn at home and South Carolina on the road out of conference. In conference they face road trips to Virginia Tech, NC State, Georgia Tech and Maryland, while drawing Florida State, UNC, and BC at home.

10. Boston College- Out of conference they get Notre Dame, UCF, and Northwestern, while they take road trips to Clemson, Virginia Tech and Miami in conference, while hosting FSU and NC State.


12. Auburn

13. Missouri

14. Arizona

15. Michigan

16. Oklahoma State

17. Minnesota

18. Arkansas

19. Texas A&M

20. Alabama

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