Rating the Non-Conference Slate, Part 3: Big Ten

And here’s part three of our exclusive series.

Today, we’ll examine The Big Ten:

  1. Michigan (2 legit, 1 D-IAA): Appalachian State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan. Not much to say here. Oregon in addition to Notre Dame form the best schedule of this group.
  2. Michigan State (2, 0): UAB, Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, @Notre Dame. Pitt isn’t as good as Oregon, hence the second place finish despite not playing any DI-AA opponents.
  3. Iowa (2, 0): Northern Illinois, Syracuse, @Iowa State, Ball State. Away game for rivalry this year; game against NIU is at a neutral site.
  4. Illinois (2, 1): Missouri, Western Illinois, @Syracuse, Ball State. 2 BCS opponents once again. Game against Mizzou is at a neutral site. Counting both Mizzou and ‘Cuse as legit may be a stretch.
  5. Wisconsin (1,1): Washington State, @UNLV, The Citadel, Northern Illinois. For a team like Wisconsin, games against NIU and UNLV don’t carry as much weight.
  6. Penn State (1, 0): Florida International, Notre Dame, Buffalo, @Temple. @Temple is still basically a home game for Penn State, I suspect. FIU and Buffalo may as well be DI-AA teams.
  7. Purdue (1, 1): @Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Central Michigan, Notre Dame. Notre Dame plays 1/3 of their games against Big Ten schools. May as well go ahead and join the conference, I say.
  8. Ohio State (1, 1): Youngstown State, Akron, @Washington, Kent State. What an uninspiring slate for a team of this caliber. At least they’re playing an out-of-region away game.
  9. Northwestern (1, 1): Northeastern, Nevada, Duke, Eastern Michigan. Well, I got a slight amount of amusement out of the fact Northwestern is playing Northeastern. Nevada and Duke add up to one legit team for these guys.
  10. Minnesota (0, 1): Bowling Green, Miami (OH), @Florida Atlantic, North Dakota State. @FAU? How does this keep happening?
  11. Indiana (0, 1): Indiana State, @Western Michigan, @Akron, Ball State. Maybe Indiana should join the MAC for football? Seriously, how else do you end up with two away games at MAC schools?

Next up: the Large Dozen, see you then.