Today’s rankings will example the Big XII conference. Short and sweet because I’ll also discuss the NCAA title game and the Braves’ opener.
So, here we go for the Big XII:
- Colorado (3 legit, 0 DI-AA): Colorado State, @Arizona State, Florida State, Miami (OH). CSU and CU is a huge rivalry game and will be played at a neutral site this year. Add that and FSU to a road game at a BCS conference team and you probably have one of the Big 12’s best non-conference slates. While others have 1 really good name, CU has 3 decent ones and no I-AA teams.
- Nebraska (2, 0): Nevada, @Wake Forest, Southern Cal, Ball State. You could certainly schedule worse mid-majors than Nevada. Surprising road game @Wake, but between that and their game at @USC last year they’ve shown a willingness to travel for intra-BCS games. USC completing the home-and-home also helps.
- Missouri (2, 1): Illinois, @Mississippi, Western Michigan, Illinois State. Game against Illinois is in Kansas City, so probably not much of a neutral site. @Ole Miss earns some brownie points, but the fact they’re ranked here speaks more to the quality of the rest of the schedules in this conference.
- Kansas State (1, 1): @Auburn, San Jose State, Missouri State, @Fresno State. Apparently this is a response an oft-repeated criticism of KSU scheduling soft opponents. I don’t think they counted on Fresno going 4-8 last year, though. @Auburn is the highlight here.
- Oklahoma State (1, 1): @Georgia, Florida Atlantic, @Troy, Sam Houston State. It boggles the mind that any Big 12 team would on the road to Troy after the Missouri game a few years back. KSU gets the nod, however, for going to Auburn over UGA.
- Texas A&M (1, 1): Montana State, Fresno State, UL-Monroe, @Miami (FL). Once again, shame about Fresno going 4-8 last year, otherwise this looks significantly better.
- Oklahoma (1, 0): North Texas, Miami (FL), Utah State, @Tulsa. I suspect Tulsa is having record season ticket sales this year. Just a hunch.
- Iowa State (1, 1): Kent State, Northern Iowa, Iowa, @Toledo. 2 MAC teams and 2 in-state rivals. Not much to get excited about here, which is probably also applicable to ISU’s season as a whole.
- Texas Tech (0, 1): Southern Methodist, Texas-El Paso, @Rice, Northwestern State. TTU hits the old Southwest Conference circuit and will probably be the most well-attended at Rice Stadium (capacity: 70,000) in a long time.
- Texas (0, 0): Arkansas State, Texas Christian, @Central Florida, Rice. Nothing much to see here, yes, Arkansas State is DI-A….wait, hold on. @Central Florida? How on Earth did that happen? Did Texas schedule a 4 for 1 deal?
- Baylor (0, 1): @Texas Christian, Rice, Texas State, @Buffalo. @Buffalo, eh? I guess they wanted a break from the Texas heat.
- Kansas (0, 1): Central Michigan, Southeast Louisiana, Toledo, Florida International. I don’t really even have anything witty to say about this schedule, and I can’t think of a good Mangino joke. Alas.
Don’t forget to check out our next installment as we investigate that haven of round-robin scheduling, the Pac-10.