Rating the 2012 Non-Conference Slate: Big East

It’s the Big East. Let’s get this over with.

  1. Syracuse (2.25 legit, 1 FCS): Northwestern, N-Southern California, Stony Brook, @Minnesota, @Missouri. 4 BCS conference teams out of 5 non-conference games is kind of crazy, even if one of them is Minnesota. Nonetheless, this may say more about Syrcause than anything else. If they were as good as they were in the late-90’s, would their schedule look like this? I doubt it.
  2. South Florida (1.5, 1): Tennessee-Chattanooga, @Nevada, @Ball State, Florida State, @Miami. USF benefits from playing both FSU and Miami (as in, “da U”). They might be the only major conference team to have three non-conference road games.
  3. Pittsburgh (1.25, 2): Youngstown State, Virginia Tech, Garnder-Webb, @Buffalo, @Notre Dame. The usual matchup with Notre Dame is in, but sadly, the Backyard Brawl is out. Also, traveling to Buffalo? I assume there’s a 3-for-1 involved here.
  4. Rutgers (1, 1): @Tulane, Howard, @Arkansas, Kent State, Army. Again, traveling to Tulane? Well, I guess they can sell travel packages for New Orleans or some such.
  5. Cincinnati (1, 2): Delaware State, N-Virginia Tech, Miami, Fordham, @Toledo. Again, the only thing I can figure for this rash of mid-major road games are 3-for-1 deals. The Big East needs to get to 9 teams if for no other reason than because this 5 non-conference games thing isn’t really working out for them, I’d say. Of course, I just remembered that this is Pitt and Syracuse’s last year in the Big East. Whoops!
  6. Temple (0.5, 1): Villanova, Maryland, Pennsylvania State, Army. Yes, that’s right, this is your only team in major college football with an 11 game schedule. That’s a heck of a way to dive back in, though. The Owls will play their inter-city rival in Villanova, and then play Pitt in-conference and Penn State at home. Not a bad way re-introduction.
  7. Louisville (0.5, 1): Kentucky, Missouri State, North Carolina, @Florida International, @Southern Mississippi. The Cardinals go on the road to both FIU and Southern Miss? Color me perplexed.
  8. Connecticut (0.5, 0.5): Massachusetts, North Carolina State, @Maryland, @Western Michigan, Buffalo. Well, at least they’ll have that 5 game OOC schedule thing fixed soon.

This will probably be the last year I include the Big East in this feature. Next year they will lose Pitt and Syracuse (the last two programs other than Rutgers that have any vague semblance of “tradition” or “history”) and add Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, Boise State, and San Diego State. At that point, they’ll basically be what Conference USA was before all these shenanigans started. Provided it even happens at all, which I honestly still have doubts about.