Rating the 2009 Non-Conference Slate, Part 2: Big East

And now we venture deep into the land of 5 out-of-conference games. Yes, that’s right kids, it’s The Big East.

  1. Syracuse (1.75 legit, 1 DI-AA): Minnesota, @Pennslyvania State, Northwestern, Maine, Akron. Even with everyone’s favorite inconsistent Duke guard possibly starting for them at QB this fall, the ‘Cuse could still possibly have a losing record against this schedule. At least they’ll help a couple of Big Ten squads keep bowl eligibility, I guess. For what’s worth though, Otto the Orange is one of my favorite college mascots. I’m not sure why, though it probably had to do with how hilarious it was having a team of anthropomorphic oranges in mascot mode in NCAA Football 2003.
  2. Cincinnati (1.75, 1): Southeast Missouri State, @Oregon State, Fresno State, Illinois. Dear Missouri State University System: Drop the directional names already! Or at least change them to cardinal directions or something. Anyway, this actually a decent schedule, with Oregon State and the Illinoise. It’ll be a little more respectful if Fresno is decent again this year.
  3. Connecticut (1.75, 1): @Ohio, North Carolina, @Baylor, Rhode Island, @Notre Dame. UConn brings up a kind-of respectible third place. The matchup with UNC is a potentially interesting matchup for both teams – UConn as much as an established Big East power as anyone these days and UNC projected to be an up-and-comer in the ACC this year.
  4. Louisville (1.5, 1): Indiana State, @Kentucky, @Utah, Southern Mississippi, Arkansas State. No offense to Sun Belt and Arkansas State fans, but I honestly keept forgetting Arkansas State isn’t a DI-AA team. That said, there’s some meat on these bones, with the traditional early season rivalry bout with Kentucky and a trip out to Utah.
  5. Pittsburgh (1.5, 1): Youngstown State, @Buffalo, Navy, @North Carolina State, Notre Dame. This is really a tie with West Virginia. That’s really all I can say about this, except wait, a road trip to Buffalo? I know they made a bowl and all last year but still.
  6. West Virginia (1.5, 1): Liberty, East Carolina, @Auburn, Colorado, Marshall. The more I look at this the more I like it better than Pitt’s, but oh well. I, of course, love the trip to Auburn. Of course, VPI could tell the Mountaineers a thing or two about watching out for ECU early in the year.
  7. South Florida (1.5, 2): Wofford, @Western Kentucky, Charleston Southern, @Florida State, Miami. Yes, that Miami. It’s the Florida series no one really wants to see but I guess we’re stuck with it anyway. That said, even with two DI-AA opponents this schedule is even weaker than it appears, with USF playing the role of WKU’s only non-Sun Belt DI-A home opponent this year (their first as a full DI-A member, yes that’s right folks, we’re up to an even 120).
  8. Rutgers (0.5, 2): Howard, Florida International, @Maryland, @Army, Texas Southern. This may be the worst schedule in major college football. Pathetic. I suppose I should be happy they’re playing a BCS team at all, but still, 2 DI-AA schools and one of the FIU/FAU pick ’em? The game at West Point just seems gratuitous with all that. Cupcakes, indeed.

Anyway, that’s all for the Big East. And if you thought that was bad, wait until you see some of the doozies coming up in the other “Big” conferences. Until then, goodnight!