Rating the 2017 Non-Conference Slate: Big Ten

Onward, to the Land of Meat and Cheese, aka, the Midwest!

  1. Michigan (1 legit, 0 FCS): N-Florida, Cincinnati, Air Force. The netural-site game against Florida is intriguing for reasons probably best saved for when we get to the Gators, so for now let’s wonder why we didn’t get a 10th anniversary Michigan-Appalachian State matchup. They’re not even FCS anymore!
  2. Ohio State (1, 0): Oklahoma, Army, Nevada-Las Vegas. The return game for Ohio State-Oklahoma almost got the Buckeyes to #1 here, but I liked Michigan’s other opponents better.
  3. Nebraska (1, 0): Arkansas State, @Oregon, Northern Illinois. Nebraska at Oregon is precisely the kind of inter-sectional matchup we like here at asimsports. More of this, please!
  4. Maryland (1, 1): @Texas, Towson, Central Florida. Okay, Maryland-Texas lacks some of the, well, cachet of Nebraska-Oregon, but we’ll still take it.
  5. Michigan State (1, 0): Bowling Green State, Western Michigan, Notre Dame. “Wait”, you’re saying, “why is Sparty ranked below Maryland even though they don’t play an FCS team?” This was a call on my part, knowing that Michigan State plays Notre Dame basically every year, so it’s not as interesting as Maryland’s game at Texas.
  6. Purdue (0.75, 0): N-Louisville, Ohio, @Missouri. There’s new management in West Lafeyette, but that doesn’t figure to help against the Cardinals. The Boilermakers are in Year 1 of a rebuild and are half-liable to go 0-3 against this slate.
  7. Rutgers (0.75, 1): Washington, Eastern Michigan, Morgan State. Rutgers was probably one of the worst major conference teams in the history of college football last year, and starting the year off with a game against UDub doesn’t figure to help them get pointed in the correct direction. Kudos for scheduling it, though.
  8. Pennsylvania State (0.5, 0): Akron, Pittsburgh, Georgia State. Penn State should play Pitt every year, which makes any time it does happen special. Not much else going on here, though.
  9. Northwestern (0.25, 0): Nevada, @Duke, Bowling Green State. I feel like there’s something snarky to say about Northwestern at Duke, but I can’t think of it right now. Luckily, I’ve got a few weeks before they actually play.
  10. Minnesota (0, 0): Buffalo, @Oregon State, Middle Tennessee State. Minnesota at Oregon State seems random, but again, we’ll take it.
  11. Wisconsin (0, 0): Utah State, Florida Atlantic, @Brigham Young. It was a real debate between whether to put Minnesota or Wisconsin at #10, but ultimately BYU suffers again for not being in the Pac-12, which you know has to annoy them.
  12. Indiana (0, 0): @Virginia, Florida International, Georgia Southern. But if it’s any consolation BYU fans, you still managed to get ranked above a schedule that includes a trip to a major conference team.
  13. Illinois (0, 0): Ball State, Western Kentucky, @South Florida. Illinois will do well to win two of these, or heck maybe one depending if this is one of those years Ball State isn’t horrible.
  14. Iowa (0, 0): Wyoming, @Iowa State, North Texas. Everything that you need to know about modern day Iowa football is by far the most interesting NFL prospect on their out-of-conference schedule is Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, which is also something you can tell your friends to sound really smart, especially if Wyoming wins.

And that’s that. Up next, the conference of the land Americans love to argue about whether or is the Midwest, the Big 12!