Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: Big Ten

And now the Big Ten, ranked 1 through 12.

  1. Purdue (1.5 legit, 1 FCS): @Cincinnati, Indiana State, Notre Dame, Northern Illinois. Yeah, this isn’t a strong start here. Cincy only barely counts and normally I would discount a game against an in-state rival, but, well, this is what we have to work with in the Big Ten this year.
  2. Michigan (1, 0): Central Michigan, Notre Dame, Akron, @Connecticut. Mostly because the other two teams with 1s or better also play Notre Dame every year. I guess there is that game at UConn here, but eh.
  3. Michigan State (1, 1): Western Michigan, South Florida, Youngstown State, @Notre Dame. Reminder: it only gets worse!
  4. Illinois (0.75, 1): Southern Illinois, Cincinnati, N-Washington, Miami. If you’re not up on my school name gimmicks, just now that I never specify which Miami it is unless it’s not obvious from context. Also we probably should’ve given UDub a little more credit here, so I’m going to blame my brother for that.
  5. Northwestern (0.75, 1): @California, Syracuse, Western Michigan, Maine. Honestly, NU-Cal is probably the most intriguing match-up so far, but I gave Illinois credit for playing two teams with a higher average ranking.
  6. Wisconsin (0.5, 1): Massachusetts, Tennessee Tech, @Arizona State, Brigham Young. If I were Wisconsin, I’d play in the Southwest every year in, say, November or thereabouts. But that’s not how they roll in the Big Ten.
  7. Nebraska (0.5, 1): Wyoming, Southern Mississippi, California-Los Angeles, South Dakota State. Nebraska-UCLA is at least interesting from a the inter-sectional matchup perspective, so let’s hope that this is rated higher on the return trip.
  8. Ohio State (0.5, 1): Buffalo, San Diego State, @California, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical. This isn’t a great schedule for a team though to be a national championship contender. Cal is expected to be better this year, but considering they were 3-9 last year that’s not saying much. The Buckeyes will need to dominate this schedule.
  9. Indiana (0.25, 1): Indiana State, Navy, Bowling Green, Missouri. Not much here, but, well, they are Indiana.
  10. Pennsylvania State (0, 0): N-Syracuse, Eastern Michigan, Central Florida, Kent State. While not as bad as everyone thought last year, it’s hard to see how Penn State will be any better this year. This schedule should be good for three wins, though.
  11. Minnesota (0, 1): Nevada-Las Vegas, @New Mexico State, Western Illinois, San Jose State. San Jose State is a trendy underdog pick this year, which may be bad news for the Golden Gophers.
  12. Iowa (0, 1): Northern Illinois, Missouri State, @Iowa State, Western Michigan. As stated previously, we generally don’t look favorably when the only major conference team you play is a traditional in-state rival, so having your rival be Iowa State doesn’t really help your case.