And here’s the promised wrap-up.
First, the shaming. There are four teams that play two FCS teams this year: Texas A&M, Florida State, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. The latter two at least have a good excuse, as they need to fill out a five game non-conference schedule.
Due to our revised method of rating the “legit”-ness of teams, there are more zeros this year than in years past. Therefore, I’m only going to rank the top four worst schedules, which are somewhat arbitrarily decided.
- Dishonorable mention: the bottom four teams in the Pac-12: Utah, Washington State, Colorado, and Oregon. Especially the latter two, and really especially Oregon. I guess they thought they needed a breather from playing other major teams.
- Mississippi State (0, 1.5): Jackson State, @Troy, South Alabama, Middle Tennessee State. I don’t really include the Kansases and Indianas of the world on lists like this because hey, they’re awful, it’s okay to not load up your schedule. But Miss State isn’t really awful, so there’s less of an excuse. I suspect they probably go with something along the lines of the “toughest division in college football” or some such.
- Texas Tech (0, 1.5): Northwestern State, @Texas State, New Mexico. There’s nothing approaching a good team on this schedule, and there’s an inexplicable road game to a school that isn’t a full FBS member yet.
- Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (0, 2): N-Louisiana Tech, @Southern Methodist, South Carolina State, Sam Houston State. There’s nothing here that really justifies playing two FCS teams. Sure the game at SMU could be a challenge but I have my doubts
The top schedules list isn’t terribly inspiring this year, and there’s certainly no equivalent of last year, where LSU played both Oregon and West Virginia. The below are probably the top four non-conference schedules in the land.
- Miami (1.75 legit/0.4375 average, 1 FCS): @Kansas State, Bethune-Cookman, Notre Dame, South Florida. Three “major” teams, and a road game. Not bad.
- Clemson (1.75/0.4375, 1): N-Auburn, Ball State, Furman, South Carolina. Tigers-Tigers should be an interesting game, which is the main thing that keeps this above Miami because I ordinarily discount rivalry games for this purpose.
- Michigan (1.75/0.4375, 0.5): N-Alabama, Air Force, Massachusetts, @Notre Dame. Michigan-Alabama is one of the premiere matchups of the year, even if almost everyone thinks Michigan will lose.
- Syracuse (2.25/0.45, 1): Northwestern, N-Southern California, Stony Brook, @Minnesota, @Missouri. Quantity over quality for this one perhaps, though there is the game against USC. Even taking the average into account, the ‘Cuse still comes out on top. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for their chances in most of these games.
While I’m at it, here’s a quick list of teams that play only full-on FBS teams this year: Southern California, UCLA, Stanford, Texas, Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska.
And, finally, the ranking of conferences by their members’ “legit” average.
- ACC (0.276)
- Pac-12 (0.2153)
- Big East (0.2125)
- SEC (0.172)
- Big Ten (0.1354)
- Big 12 (0.1)
A-C-C! A-C-C! I suppose.
Anyway, real, actual football talk will be coming, and not a moment too soon. Until then!