Rating the 2012 Non-Conference Slate: Big Ten

Time for everyone’s favorite mathematically challenged conference, the Big Ten.

  1. Michigan (1.75 legit, 0.5 FCS): N-Alabama, Air Force, Massachusetts, @Notre Dame. One of the most intriguing inter-section games of the year has to be Michigan-Alabama. Also, by the time this is over I will probably actually finally know how to spell “Massachusetts”.
  2. Michigan State (1.25, 0): Boise State, @Central Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan. The game against Boise is interesting for sure. The road game against CMU is interesting as well, but it’s a shame they’re terrible again.
  3. Purdue (0.75, 1): Eastern Kentucky, @Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Marshall. Too bad they couldn’t play East Carolina instead of Marshall, because they had a pretty good theme going there.
  4. Ohio State (0.5, 0): Miami, Central Florida, California, Alabama-Birmingham. This Miami is the one in Ohio. Other than that, the only thing going here is the game against Cal, but nonetheless Urban Meyer’s new crew will only have to leave Columbus 4 times this year.
  5. Pennsylvania State (0.5, 0): Ohio, @Virginia, Navy, Temple. I think it’s pretty safe to say they have bigger issues up on State College than their out-of-conference scheduling right now.
  6. Nebraska (0.5, 0): Southern Mississippi, @California-Los Angeles, Arkansas State, Idaho State. In a different era, the game at the Rose Bowl would be more interesting, but alas.
  7. Northwestern (0.5, 1): @Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Boston College, South Dakota. In years past, this would’ve been good for a solid 0.75, but well, Boston College needs to stop being terrible.
  8. Illinois (0.25, 1): Western Michigan, @Arizona State, Charleston Southern, Louisiana Tech. I liked the yearly series against Mizzou, but I guess that’s over and done with now.
  9. Wisconsin (0.25, 1): Northern Iowa, @Oregon State, Utah State, Texas-El Paso. I’m having a hard time figuring out anything to write about this. Wisconsin should pretty much steamroll this bunch, right?
  10. Minnesota (0.25, 1): @Nevada-Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Western Michigan, Syracuse. It’s hard to really accuse bad teams of having bad schedules, especially when it’s still entirely possible they’ll lose one of these games.
  11. Iowa (0, 1): N-Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Central Michigan. Whereas it’s a lot easier to criticize the Iowas of the world for this sort of thing. There’s a cash-grab and road-trip-to-Decatur avoiding “neutral” site game with NIU and their two in-state rivals. Oh boy. Look for this one again in the epilogue.
  12. Indiana (0, 1.5): Indiana State, @Massachusetts, Ball State, @Navy. Did you know: UMass will play their home games at Gillette Stadium as they transition to FBS? Well, this is their marquee home game for the season. I still like Indiana’s chances, though, despite them being Indiana.

That’s that. Next up, the saddest group of schedules in the land: the Big 12.