Rating the 2008 Non-Conference Slate, Part 3: Big Ten

Tonight, we feature everyone’s favorite arithmetically challenged conference, the Big Ten.

  1. Michigan State (2 legit, 0 DI-AA): @California, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame. Not bad. Away game in Berkeley and the usual matchup against Notre Dame. This is one of the stronger OOT schedules.
  2. Purdue (2, 1): Northern Colorado, Oregon, Central Michigan, @Notre Dame. And except for the DI-AA team, this is arguably tougher, though it’s hard to envision Oregon being anywhere near as good as they were last year, whereas I feel Cal is due for a rebound.
  3. Michigan (1.75, 0): Utah, Miami (OH), @Notre Dame, Toledo. Not really that much meat on them bones here. Utah is a somewhat ballsy choice, though, considering their consistency over the past few years, and ND earns a full one point just because.
  4. Ohio State (1.25, 1): Youngstown State, Ohio, @Southern California, Troy. OSU @ USC is probably the inter-sectional game of the year. This is just as big, if not bigger, than the OSU-Texas series a few seasons back. I wholeheartedly encourage this type of scheduling. Troy is also an interesting choice. Also, I doubt the choice of Youngstown State is a coincidence.
  5. Illinois (1, 1): (N)Missouri, Eastern Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Michigan. The Illinois-Missouri border war resumes again this year in St. Louis. It’s all downhill from there, though.
  6. Penn State (0.75, 1): Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, @Syracuse, Temple. This is the last decent OOC schedule for this conference, though Syracuse, just, ugh.
  7. Iowa (0.75, 1): Maine, Floria International, Iowa State, @Pittsburgh. Technically, there are two BCS teams here. Technically.
  8. Wisconsin (0.5, 1): Akron, Marshall, @Fresno State, California Polytechnic. Fresno State is the best team on this OOC slate. Culture clash with Cal Poly, though. Wisconsin operates several on-campus bars. Cal Poly has a campus-wide ban on alcohol.
  9. Northwestern (0.5, 1): Syracuse, @Duke, Southern Illinois, Ohio. Again, technically, there are two BCS schools on this schedule.
  10. Minnesota (0, 1): Northern Illinois, @Bowling Green, Montana State, Florida Atlantic. Meanwhile, there are none on these last two schedules. This is slightly less pathetic than Indiana’s schedule, because Montana State is a decent DI-AA team, FAU did win the Sun Belt last year (though Troy should have), and NIU and Bowling Green are good every once in awhile. Of course, considering how bad Minnesota was last year maybe they’re worried about most of these schools.
  11. Indiana (0, 1.5): Western Kentucky, Murray State, Ball State, Central Michigan. Pathetic. Central Michigan is probably the best team here? I guess? I mean, this sort of scheduling just makes me sad.

Anyway, join us next time for an examination of the Big XII. Later.