The Shame List (teams that play more than 1 FCS and/or transitional team): Clemson, Georgia Tech, Arizona, Alabama, Oklahoma State, West Virginia.
The Praise List (teams that play zero FCS or transitional teams): California-Los Angeles, Stanford, Southern California, Oklahoma, Michigan.
Overall worst schedules! (Somewhat subjective!)
- Dishonorable mention: a full half of the Big 12. Between Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor, and West Virginia maybe the only interesting game is West Virginia-Maryland.
- Baylor (0, 1): Wofford, Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe. Gertrude Stein once wrote “there is no there there”. She was talking about Oakland but I think this works for Baylor’s out-of-conference schedule as well. Also I know they got an honorable mention above, but still.
- Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (0, 1): Rice, Sam Houston State, Southern Methodist, Texas-El Paso. Well, I guess no one can accuse them of ducking smaller in-state schools.
- Arizona (0, 1.5): Northern Arizona, @Nevada-Las Vegas, Texas-San Antonio. I think this pretty much speaks for itself, yeah?
Honestly, I can’t really bring myself to do a countdown list here, because these top-rated schedules has certain flaws. Let’s break them down.
- Clemson (2, 2): Georgia, South Carolina State, Citadel, @South Carolina. Both of their marquee games should be must-watch events, and as mentioned previously seeing an old rivalry played again is always good. But I generally don’t give extra kudos for playing an in-state rival you play every year (though in light of other previously annual rivalries biting the dust with realignment, maybe that is worthy of acknowledgment). Also, a schedule that has two FCS teams simply can’t be called great.
- Arizona State (1.75, 1): Sacramento State, Wisconsin, N-Notre Dame. If I did do a ranking, this would probably be tops, but didn’t feel right for some reason.
- Florida (1.75, 1): Toledo, @Miami, Georgia Southern, Florida State. Not bad, and fits several of the criteria I’ve talked about, and has an acceptable one FCS team. Still, it would’ve tough to put this over Arizona State because I like to reward inter-sectional matchups.
- No team in the Big 12 earned more than 1 “legit” point. Oklahoma’s game at Notre Dame got them the top spot, but still, Arizona State plays two auto-qualifying taems.
- The Big Ten was pretty bleak as well. A lot of these teams play Notre Dame every year. While that is being threatened by Notre Dame’s new scheduling alliance with the ACC, it’s still the status quo for now.
For, for now, let’s close with each conferences’ schedules ranked by their “legit averages”. (E.g., not the average of each conference’s rating as presented in the first post, but the average of all their members’ legit averages.)
- Pac-12 (0.201)
- ACC (0.192)
- SEC (0.164)
- Big Ten (0.141)
- Big 12 (0.1)
And that’s all. Reminder, the season starts tomorrow. Look for the usual post.