Rating the (Original) 2020 Non-Conference Slate

It’s that time once again. The methodology is the same as years past. The major difference is, of course, that none of these games will be played. That said, continuity weighed heavily on me and I decided to dig up each Power 5 team’s original 2020 schedule. This turned out to be way more work than I thought, but in the end I was reminded once again of some of the spectacular matchups we’ll miss this year.

This year, my brother and I rated 71 teams on a scale from 0 to 1 in .25 increments.

Legit Rating Number of teams
1 22
0.75 4
0.5 13
0.25 10
0 22

The 22 teams earning a “1” were: Alabama, Auburn, California-Los Angeles, Clemson, Florida, Florida state, Georgia, Louisiana state, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma state, Oregon, Pennsylvania State, Texas, Texas A&M, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The Legit Rating for each conference was:

  • ACC: 0.43
  • Big 12: 0.5
  • Big Ten: 0.46
  • Pac-12: 0.52
  • SEC: 0.52

Since none of these games will actually be played, I will eschew my usual commentary on each team’s schedule, but I will provide the original schedules and their ratings. FCS teams are indicated in italics.

ACC

  1. Georgia Tech (2.75 legit, 1 FCS): Gardner-Webb, Central Florida, Notre Dame, @Georgia.
  2. Florida State (2, 1): N-West Virginia, Samford, @Boise State, Florida.
  3. North Carolina (1.75, 1): @Central Florida, N-Auburn, James Madison, Connecticut.
  4. Virginia (1, 1): Georgia, Virginia Military Institute, Connecticut, @Old Dominion.
  5. Virginia Tech (1, 1): Liberty, Pennsylvania State, @Middle Tennessee State, North Alabama.
  6. Wake Forest (1, 1): @Old Dominion, Appalachian State, Villanova, N-Notre Dame.
  7. Clemson (1, 1): Akron, @Notre Dame, The Citadel, South Carolina.
  8. Pittsburgh (1, 1): Miami (OH), @Marshall, Richmond, Notre Dame.
  9. Louisville (1, 1): Murray State, Western Kentucky, @Notre Dame, Kentucky.
  10. Duke (1, 1): Middle Tennessee State, Elon, Charlotte, @Notre Dame.
  11. Miami (0.5, 1): Temple, Wagner, Alabama-Birmingham, Michigan State.
  12. Boston College (0.25, 1): Ohio, @Kansas, Purdue, Holy Cross.
  13. North Carolina State (0.25, 1): Mississippi State, @Troy, Delaware, Liberty.
  14. Syracuse (0, 1): @Rutgers, Colgate, @Western Michigan, Liberty.

Big Ten

  1. Ohio State (1, 0): Bowling Green, @Oregon, Buffalo.
  2. Michigan State (1, 0): @Brigham Young, Toledo, Miami.
  3. Michigan (1, 0): @Washington, Ball State, Arkansas State.
  4. Wisconsin (1, 1): Southern Illinois, Appalachian State, N-Notre Dame.
  5. Pennsylvania State (0.75, 0): Kent State, @Virginia Tech, San Jose State.
  6. Maryland (0.5, 1): Towson, Northern Illinois, @West Virginia.
  7. Nebraska (0.25, 1): Central Michigan, South Dakota State, Cincinnati.
  8. Iowa (0.25, 1): Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Illinois.
  9. Purdue (0, 0): Memphis, Air Force, @Boston College.
  10. Indiana (0, 0): Western Kentucky, Ball State, @Connecticut.
  11. Rutgers (0, 1): Monmouth, Syracuse, @Temple.
  12. Minnesota (0, 1): Florida Atlantic, Tennessee Tech, Brigham Young.
  13. Northwestern (0, 1): Tulane, Central Michigan, Morgan State.
  14. Illinois (0, 1): Illinois State, Connecticut, Bowling Green.

Big 12

  1. Texas (1, 0): South Florida, @Louisiana State, Texas-El Paso.
  2. West Virginia (1, 1): N-Florida State, Eastern Kentucky, Maryland.
  3. Oklahoma (0.5, 1): Missouri State, Tennessee, @Army.
  4. Iowa State (0.5, 1): South Dakota, @Iowa, Nevada-Las Vegas.
  5. Baylor (0.5, 1): Mississippi, Incarnate Word, Louisiana Tech.
  6. Texas Christian (0, 1): @California, Prairie View A&M, @Southern Methodist.
  7. Texas Tech (0, 1): @Texas-El Paso, Alabama State, Arizona.
  8. Oklahoma State (0, 1): Oregon State, Tulsa, Western Illinois.
  9. Kansas State (0, 1): Buffalo, North Dakota, Vanderbilt.
  10. Kansas (0, 1): New Hampshire, Boston College, @Coastal Carolina.

Pac-12

  1. Southern California (2, 0): N-Alabama, New Mexico, Notre Dame.
  2. Stanford (1, 1): William & Mary, @Notre Dame, Brigham Young.
  3. Oregon (1, 1): North Dakota State, Ohio State, Hawaii.
  4. Washington (1, 1): Michigan, Sacramento State, Utah State.
  5. Oregon State (1, 1): @Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Portland State.
  6. Colorado (1, 0): @Colorado State, Fresno State, @Texas A&M.
  7. California (0.75, 1): @Nevada-Las Vegas, Texas Christian, California Polytechnic.
  8. Washington State (0.5, 1): @Utah State, Houston, Idaho.
  9. Utah (0, 1): Brigham Young, Montana State, @Wyoming.
  10. Arizona State (0, 1): Northern Arizona, @Nevada-Las Vegas, Brigham Young.
  11. Arizona (0, 1): Hawaii, Portland State, @Texas Tech.
  12. California-Los Angeles (0, 0): New Mexico State, @Hawaii, @San Diego State.

SEC

  1. Alabama (1, 1): N-Southern California, Georgia State, Kent State, Tennessee-Martin.
  2. Louisiana State (1, 1): Texas-San Antonio, Texas, N-Rice, Nicholls State.
  3. Tennessee (1, 1): Charlotte, @Oklahoma, Furman, Troy.
  4. Arkansas (1, 1): Nevada, @Notre Dame, Charleston Southern, Louisiana-Monroe.
  5. South Carolina (1, 1): Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Wofford, @Clemson.
  6. Florida (1, 1): Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State, @Florida State.
  7. Georgia (0.75, 1): N-Virginia, East Tennessee State, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Tech.
  8. Mississippi State (0.5, 1): New Mexico, North Carolina State, Tulane, Alabama A&M.
  9. Vanderbilt (0.5, 1): Mercer, @Kansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech.
  10. Auburn (0.5, 1): Alcorn State, N-North Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Massachusetts.
  11. Texas A&M (0.25, 1): Abilene Christian, North Texas, Colorado, Fresno State.
  12. Missouri (0, 1): Central Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, @Brigham Young, Louisiana.
  13. Mississippi (0, 1): Baylor, Southeast Missouri, Connecticut, Georgia Southern.
  14. Kentucky (0.25, 1): Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Eastern Illinois, @Louisville.

My alma mater, Georgia Tech, takes home the crown of the “most legit” schedule, as this year is their turn to face Notre Dame, and they had always feisty UCF on the schedule, along with annual rival Georgia. But this being 2020, what matchups will we miss the most?

Well, first I’m going to miss the inter-conference traditional rivalries that many ACC and SEC teams have. Good bye Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State, Kentucky-Louisville, and South Carolina-Clemson. And let’s not forget Bedlam (Iowa-Iowa State), and Notre Dame’s traditional rivals like Navy and Southern Cal.

Next I’ll miss what were some of the ones that the college football world had collectively circled on their calendars. This includes, but likely isn’t limited to:

  • Florida State vs. West Virginia
  • Florida State @ Boise State
  • North Carolina vs. Auburn
  • Ohio State @ Oregon
  • Michigan @ Washington
  • Texas @ Louisiana State
  • Texas Tech @ Arizona
  • Oklahoma vs. Tennessee
  • Oklahoma @ Army
  • Southern California vs. Alabama
  • Colorado @ Texas A&M

FSU on the blue turf, Michigan and Ohio State venturing to the West Coast, the Sooners making the return trip to West Point after almost getting knocked off by Army a couple years ago… it’s tough to think about.

Alas, it won’t be. All I hope is that what does remain of the season can be done as safely as possible and that something good can come from all the chaos of the offseason.

Finally, here are the conferences ranked by their average Legit Rating.

  1. Pac-12 (0.23)
  2. ACC (0.203)
  3. SEC (0.156)
  4. Big Ten (0.137)
  5. Big 12 (0.117)

This is nearly the exact same ranking as last year, but that’s not too surprising. It seems that the Pac-12 just cares the most about getting interesting games.

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