Monthly Archives: August 2013

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.

Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: Big 12

And now, the Big 12, ranked 1 through 10.

  1. Oklahoma (1 legit, 0 FCS): Louisiana-Monroe, Tulsa, @Notre Dame. Much to the likely regret of the ADs who scheduled the games years ago, UL-M and UL-L are not quite the bodybag games they used to be. I mean, the Sooners are still going to win, but still. Also, I’m not seeing a lot of pre-season love for Oklahoma-Notre Dame, which definitely ranks up there in terms of the “interesting intersectional and historical matchup” scale.
  2. Texas Christian (1, 1): N-Louisiana State, Southeast Louisiana, Southern Methodist. TCU-LSU is one of the opening weekend games that everyone is looking forward to, and for good reason. It’s nice to see that TCU has quickly established themselves after getting back into a major conference. (Much to the jealously of their cross-town rivals, SMU, I’m sure.)
  3. Iowa State (0.5, 1): Northern Iowa, Iowa, @Tulsa. And now things go rapidly downhill. If you don’t believe me, read on. Don’t forget that when Iowa State is involved, though, there’s always the chance they’ll lose to Northern Iowa and then beat Iowa.
  4. Texas (0.25, 0): New Mexico State, @Brigham Young, Mississippi. Honestly, that BYU game is probably more interesting than that Ole Miss game, but nonetheless it was the Rebels that were responsible for that quarter of a point.
  5. Oklahoma State (0.25, 1.5): N-Mississippi State, @Texas-San Antonio, Lamar. Miss State will try to prove they belong to the upper-tier of the SEC hierarchy once again this season, but I’m not so optimistic about their chance to prove their out-of-conference chops against Oklahoma state. (Note to self: don’t repeat that for Miss State’s write-up.)
  6. Kansas (0, 1): South Dakota, @Rice, Louisiana Tech. I’m not sure if there’s a question that LaTech will beat KU, but more of by how much.
  7. Kansas State (0, 1): North Dakota, Louisiana-Lafayette, Massachusetts. I suspect the Ragin’ Cajuns are a little more spicy than Bill Synder anticipated, but them’s the breaks.
  8. Texas Tech (0, 1): @Southern Methodist, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State. Yes, that’s right: the other thing to get used to this year are the new full-fledged FBS members, like Texas State.
  9. Baylor (0, 1): Wofford, Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe. If Baylor and UL-M want to replay last year’s game, that’s fine by me. One of the few chances for legitimate entertainment here.
  10. West Virginia (0, 1.5): William & Mary, Georgia State, N-Maryland. Yes, West Virginia is still in the Big 12 for some reason. And they’re still not playing Pittsburgh, so as a penalty I’ve rated their schedule last. Well, also that and they should obliterate Maryland.

Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: ACC

First up, the Atlantic Coast Conference. See last year’s post for all the gory details.

  1. Clemson (2 legit, 2 FCS): Georgia, South Carolina State, Citadel, @South Carolina. Clemson and UGA meeting up again is always a good thing. “Wait”, you say, “aren’t those two schools your two biggest rivals?” Well, yes. Nonetheless, the Clemson-GT rivalry is not in-state and is not nearly as acrimonious as the one with the so-call “university” in Athens. So unlike when Georgia and Alabama meet, and I can still root for Georgia’s opponent without a twinge of guilt. Anyway, though I usually discount yearly rivalry games for these purposes, I simply couldn’t rate any other schedules above this one, despite the two FCS schools.
  2. Virginia Tech (1, 1): N-Alabama, Western Carolina, @East Carolina, Marshall. I have to say, I like Clemson’s chances against Georgia much, much better than VPI’s against Alabama. Ugh. But it’s good enough for second on this list.
  3. Virginia (1, 1): Brigham Young, Oregon, Virginia Military Institute, Ball State. It’s always good to see East Coast-West Coast matchups, especially in the ACC. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really say anything about the quality of the game that is likely to be played.
  4. North Carolina (1, 1): @South Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Old Dominion. UNC-USC is getting a fair bit of publicity, as it will be the first major game of the season. It’ll also be an early test for the Tarheels. The rest of their schedule is what it is, as the kids say.
  5. Boston College (1,1): Villanova, @Southern California, Army, @New Mexico State. It’s possible that BC may lose to Villanova, but they deserve some credit for the road game to LA.
  6. Miami (1, 1): Florida Atlantic, Florida, Savannah State, @South Florida. Ranked this low under the “rival game” rule, even though they don’t quite play Florida every year. Might’ve been the top schedule if they rounded up the all-Florida look with the only school they’re missing now: FIU.
  7. Florida State (1, 1): Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, @Florida. Again, yearly rivalry games don’t count as much in these rankings. Too bad that’s not the frisky Nevada squad from a few years ago, as well.
  8. Pittsburgh (1,1): New Mexico, Old Dominion, @Navy, Notre Dame. See above on “rivalry games”.
  9. Syracuse (1, 1): N-Pennsylvania State, @Northwestern, Wagner, Tulane. That said, strength of your rivalry opponent does count for something. Perhaps I’m punishing the ‘Cuse unfairly for what happened to Penn State, but them’s the breaks.
  10. Georgia Tech (1, 2): Elon, @Brigham Young, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical, Georgia. All the way down here due to two FCS schools. Also, it’s been recently reported that the GT-Alabama series scheduled for later this decade has been indefinitely postponed. It’s starting to look pretty bleak for the alma mater, I have to say. But hey, there’s room in the schedule now for that GT-Stanford or GT-Cal home-and-home, right?
  11. Maryland (0.75, 1): Florida International, Old Dominion, @Connecticut, N-West Virginia. WVU is playing the wrong ACC team here. Can we get the Backyard Brawl back?
  12. Wake Forest (0.25, 1): Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, @Army, @Vanderbilt. Not much to even joke about here. I imagine Wake is not thrilled about the up-and-coming Commodores, though, as that used to be a competitive matchup for the Demon Deacons.
  13. North Carolina State (0, 1): Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina. There’s just nothing to say about this schedule in any way, shape, or form. Well, other than the chance they’ll lose to Louisiana Tech.
  14. Duke (0, 1): North Carolina Central, @Memphis, Troy, Navy. With an OOC schedule like this, Duke will almost certainly make a bowl again, as they’ll need just two conference wins.

Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: Prologue

It’s time for the yearly ritual of rating college football’s non-conference schedules.

The biggest change for this year is that we are no longer rating or examining the schedules of the American Athletic Conference (formerly known as the Big East), as only two teams (Cincinnati and Louisville) were even deemed interesting enough to rate. Though the AAC retains the Big East’s BCS spot this year, they do not have a seat at the table in the play-off that will start next year.

Other than that, we were also even stingier with ratings this year. Only the following schools earned a “1” rating for being interesting to play: Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford, Southern California, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Notre Dame. So that’s 1 for the ACC, 2 for the Big 12, 3 for the Big Ten, 3 for the Pac-12, and 6 for the SEC.

Only one non-automatic qualifying team earned any rating at all: Boise State (with a 0.75).

Here are the average ratings for each conference:

  1. SEC (0.607)
  2. Big 12 (0.528)
  3. Big Ten (0.5)
  4. Pac-12 (0.5)
  5. ACC (0.429)

Compared to last year, the average is down slightly for almost all the conferences.

That’s all for now. Next up: the conference breakdown.