1. #1
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    Ranking FBS College Football Team's Strength Of Schedule 🏈

    Ranking every FBS college football team's strength of schedule


    The NCAA's method for determining which teams face the toughest schedule is somewhat flawed, as there are teams that had great records last year that will struggle to make a bowl this season.

    Baylor, for example, had a dream season with 11 wins and made it to the Sugar Bowl, but the Bears not only lose their head coach -- they also have to replace nine starters on the defense, including most of their top stars. When my magazine comes out in June, I will have an updated strength of schedule based on my power ratings for each team this season.

    Here is my ranking for the strength of schedule for every FBS football team.

    1. South Carolina Gamecocks

    Opponent record: 102-54 (65.4 win %)
    South Carolina faced the toughest schedule last season and did not get a break this year, facing the toughest once again. Clemson, LSU, Florida and Georgia could all be in the preseason top 10 this year.

    2. South Florida Bulls

    Opponent record: 97-57 (63.0%)
    I rated the AAC as the fifth-toughest conference in college football last year ahead of the ACC, so this makes sense. New head coach Jeff Scott pulls Texas and Florida Atlantic in the nonconference schedule, and the Bulls face nine teams that had a winning record last season.

    3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    Opponent record: 98-59 (62.4%)
    While the ACC was down last season, it does figure to be improved. Tech draws Clemson out of the ACC Atlantic and in nonconference games has to face UCF, Georgia and Notre Dame.

    4. Arkansas Razorbacks

    Opponent record: 96-58 (62.3%)
    The Razorbacks draw five teams out of the SEC West that made it to a bowl last season and also face Notre Dame, Nevada and Tennessee outside their division for a total of eight bowl teams.

    5. Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Opponent record: 97-60 (61.8%)
    The Huskers had the schedule last year to make a big move up, as they faced only five teams that finished with a winning record, but went just 5-7. This year, they not only face nine teams that made it to a bowl last season but six teams that were ranked, which ties for the most.

    6. Wyoming Cowboys

    Opponent record: 95-62 (60.5%)
    Weber State won 11 games last season in the FCS, which helps this percentage, but the Cowboys also draw Utah and Louisiana among eight bowl teams. Utah will not be a playoff contender like last season. This is one team that won't be in the top 10 of my toughest schedules when I finalize them in May.

    7. Ole Miss Rebels

    Opponent record: 94-62 (60.3%)
    Lane Kiffin takes over here, and Ole Miss faces nine teams that were in bowls last season. The Rebels play in the SEC West and draw Florida from the East, but they might not be in my top 10, as Baylor and Southeast Missouri State had a combined 20 wins last season. This is a tough schedule but probably will not make my top 10 toughest.

    8. Oregon Ducks

    Opponent record: 95-63 (60.1%)
    The Ducks play in an underrated Pac-12 North and pull USC and Arizona State out of the South and also face Ohio State in one of the best nonconference games of the season. The North Dakota State opener is not your typical matchup versus an FCS foe.

    9. Purdue Boilermakers

    Opponent record: 93-62 (60.0%)
    Purdue faces six teams that finished ranked last season, tops for most in the FBS.

    T10. Alabama Crimson Tide

    Opponent record: 93-63 (59.6%)
    In the past couple of years, Alabama's schedule has been much maligned for being soft, and last season the Tide finished with my No. 52-rated schedule. This season, Alabama takes on nine teams that made it to a bowl, including USC, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn.

    T10. UNLV Rebels

    Opponent record: 93-63 (59.6%)
    UNLV faced my No. 101-toughest schedule last season, but new head coach Marcus Arroyo figures to go through some growing pains. UNLV draws Boise State out of the Mountain and opens with four bowl teams from last season in nonconference play, with three of those from Power 5 leagues.

    12. Maryland Terrapins

    Opponent record: 91-62 (59.5%)
    The Terrapins face five teams that finished ranked last season, which is tied for the third-highest total.

    13. Florida State Seminoles

    Opponent record: 92-63 (59.4%)
    The Seminoles play in the same division as Clemson and draw Florida and Boise State in nonconference play.

    14. Wisconsin Badgers

    Opponent record: 90-62 (59.2%)
    The Badgers avoid Ohio State and Penn State but play Michigan from the East and Notre Dame and Appalachian State in nonconference games. The Big Ten West will be tough this season.

    T15. Iowa Hawkeyes

    Opponent record: 92-64 (59.0%)
    The Hawkeyes pull both Ohio State and Penn State out of the Big Ten East.

    T15. Louisville Cardinals

    Opponent record: 92-64 (59.0%)

    17. TCU Horned Frogs

    Opponent record: 90-63 (58.8%)
    TCU faces nine teams that finished with a winning record last season, which ties for the most. The 58.8% opponent win percentage marks the toughest schedule in the Big 12.

    18. BYU Cougars

    Opponent record: 89-63 (58.6%)
    Being an independent is not easy, and the Cougars face six teams from Power 5 conferences.

    T19. Michigan Wolverines

    Opponent record: (90-64 58.4%)
    The Wolverines play in the same division as Ohio State and Penn State. They pull Wisconsin and Minnesota out of the West and also open on the road at Washington.

    T19. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    Opponent record: 90-64 (58.4%)

    T21. Michigan State Spartans

    Opponent record: 89-64 (58.2%)
    The Spartans face five teams that finished ranked last season, tied for the third-highest total along with Maryland.

    T21. Tennessee Volunteers

    Opponent record: 89-64 (58.2%)
    The Volunteers figure to face at least four top-10 teams in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma.

    T21. East Carolina Pirates

    Opponent record: 89-64 (58.2%)

    24. Memphis Tigers

    Opponent record: 88-64 (57.9%)

    25. Houston Cougars

    Opponent record: 89-65 (57.8%)

    26. Auburn Tigers

    Opponent record: 90-66 (57.7%)

    27. USC Trojans

    Opponent record: 88-65 (57.8%)
    USC has 11 games versus Power 5 teams, including Alabama and Notre Dame. The Trojans likely will land in the top 10 of my toughest schedules in May despite their ranking here.

    28. Vanderbilt Commodores

    Opponent record: 87-65 (57.2%)

    29. Washington Huskies

    Opponent record: 88-66 (57.1%)

    T30. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Opponent record: 88-67 (56.8%)
    The Irish face 10 Power 5 foes this season, including Clemson, Wisconsin and USC.

    T30. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    Opponent record: 88-67 (56.8%)

    32. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

    Opponent record: 86-66 (56.6%)

    T33. Missouri Tigers

    Opponent record: 87-68 (56.1%)

    T33. Cincinnati Bearcats

    Opponent record: 87-68 (56.1%)

    35. Kansas Jayhawks

    Opponent record: 85-67 (55.9%)

    36. Kent State Golden Flashes

    Opponent record: 87-69 (55.8%)
    Kent State faces nine teams that finished with a winning record, which ties for the most. Using this criteria, the Golden Flashes face the toughest schedule of any MAC team.

    37. Tulane Green Wave

    Opponent record: 85-68 (55.6%)

    38. San Jose State Spartans

    Opponent record: 86-69 (55.5%)

    T39. Navy Midshipmen

    Opponent record: 84-68 (55.3%)

    T39. Georgia Southern Eagles

    Opponent record: 84-68 (55.3%)

    T39. South Alabama Jaguars

    Opponent record: 84-68 (55.3%)

    42. Northwestern Wildcats

    Opponent record: 85-69 (55.2%)

    43. Ohio State Buckeyes

    Opponent record: 84-69 (54.9%)
    Ohio State faces eight teams that made it to bowls last season and four that finished ranked. The Buckeyes also face Oregon in a nonconference game, but this opponent win percentage is in the lower half of the Big Ten. Not playing themselves is a partial reason for that.

    T44. Iowa State Cyclones

    Opponent record: 83-69 (54.6%)

    T44. Mississippi State Bulldogs

    Opponent record: 83-69 (54.6%)

    46. Stanford Cardinal

    Opponent record: 83-69 (54.6%)

    47. Arizona Wildcats

    Opponent record: 84-70 54.5%

    48. Temple Owls

    Opponent record: 83-70 (54.2%)

    49. Georgia State Panthers

    Opponent record: 82-70 (53.9%)

    T50. Texas Longhorns

    Opponent record: 83-71 (53.9%)

    T50. NC State Wolfpack

    Opponent record: 83-71 (53.9%)

    52. North Carolina Tar Heels

    Opponent record: 84-72 (53.8%)

    T53. West Virginia Mountaineers

    Opponent record: 82-71 (53.6%)

    T53. Utah State Aggies

    Opponent record: 82-71 (53.6%)

    T53. Oregon State Beavers

    Opponent record: 82-71 (53.6%)

    56. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

    Opponent record: 83-72 (53.5%)
    While WKU is just No. 56 among the toughest schedules in opponent win percentage, it is the highest out of the C-USA teams.

    57. Army Black Knights

    Opponent record: 80-70 (53.3%)

    T58. Kansas State Wildcats

    Opponent record: 81-71 (53.3%)

    T58. Washington State Cougars

    Opponent record: 81-71 (53.3%)

    T60. UTSA Roadrunners

    Opponent record: 82-72 (53.2%)

    T60. Marshall Thundering Herd

    Opponent record: 82-72 (53.2%)

    T60. Utah Utes

    Opponent record: 82-72 (53.2%)

    63. Georgia Bulldogs

    Opponent record: 80-71 (53.0%)

    T64. Indiana Hoosiers

    Opponent record: 81-72 (52.9%)

    T64. Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Opponent record: 81-72 (52.9%)

    T64. Kentucky Wildcats

    Opponent record: 81-72 (52.9%)

    T64. UL Monroe Warhawks

    Opponent record: 81-72 (52.9%)

    T64. Colorado Buffaloes

    Opponent record: 81-72 (52.9%)

    69. Old Dominion Monarchs

    Opponent record: 82-73 (52.9%)

    T70. Penn State Nittany Lions

    Opponent record: 80-72 (52.6%)

    T70. Duke Blue Devils

    Opponent record: 80-72 (52.6%)

    T72. Illinois Fighting Illini

    Opponent record: 81-73 (52.6%)
    Illinois has a nonconference slate of Illinois State, UConn and Bowling Green, and the Illini's opponent win percentage is the easiest in the Big Ten.

    T72. Boston College Eagles

    Opponent record: 81-73 (52.6%)

    T72. Bowling Green Falcons

    Opponent record: 81-73 (52.6%)

    T72. Pittsburgh Panthers

    Opponent record: 81-73 (52.6%)

    T72. UCLA Bruins

    Opponent record: 81-73 (52.6%)

    T77. Baylor Bears

    Opponent record: 79-72 (52.3%)

    T77. UCF Knights

    Opponent record: 79-72 (52.3%)
    UCF will be a prime contender for the Group of 5 New Year's Day Six bowl game and has the second-easiest schedule in the American Conference.

    T79. LSU Tigers

    Opponent record: 79-73 (52.0%)
    LSU, which plays in the same division as Alabama (the Tide face the No. 10 schedule), faces opponents that combined for just a 52% win percentage last season. The Tigers face just six teams that finished with a winning record.

    T79. Virginia Tech Hokies

    Opponent record: 79-73 (52.0%)

    T79. Texas State Bobcats

    Opponent record: 79-73 (52.0%)

    82. California Golden Bears

    Opponent record: 78-73 (51.7%)

    T83. Arkansas State Red Wolves

    Opponent record: 78-74 (51.3%)

    T83. Air Force Falcons

    Opponent record: 78-74 (51.3%)

    T83. Arizona State Sun Devils

    Opponent record: 78-74 (51.3%)
    The Pac-12 plays nine conference games, but with a nonconference slate of Northern Arizona, UNLV and BYU, the Sun Devils' opponent win percentage is the lowest in the Pac-12.

    T86. Virginia Cavaliers

    Opponent record: 79-75 (51.3%)

    T86. Ball State Cardinals

    Opponent record: 79-75 (51.3%)

    T86. Boise State Broncos

    Opponent record: 79-75 (51.3%)

    89. Texas Tech Red Raiders

    Opponent record: 77-74 (51.0%)

    90. Miami Hurricanes

    Opponent record: 79-76 (51.0%)

    91. Florida Gators

    Opponent record: 77-75 (50.7%)
    The Gators face only five teams that made it to a bowl or had a winning record, and their opponent win percentage is second lowest in the SEC.

    92. Syracuse Orange

    Opponent record: 78-76 (50.6%)

    93. SMU Mustangs

    Opponent record: 76-75 (50.3%)
    SMU's 50.3% opponent win percentage is the lowest in the AAC.

    94. New Mexico Lobos

    Opponent record: 84-83 (50.3%)

    T95. Western Michigan Broncos

    Opponent record: 76-76 (50.0%)

    T95. Florida International Panthers

    Opponent record: 76-76 (50.0%)

    T95. Fresno State Bulldogs

    Opponent record: 76-76 (50.0%)

    98. Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors

    Opponent record: 81-82 (49.7%)

    99. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

    Opponent record: 75-76 (49.7%)

    100. San Diego State Aztecs

    Opponent record: 75-77 (49.3%)

  2. #2
    All Of My Kindness Is Taken For Weakness
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    101. Rice Owls

    Opponent record: 75-78 (49.0%)

    102. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    Opponent record: 74-78 (48.7%)

    T103. Colorado State Rams

    Opponent record: 73-77 (48.7%)

    T103. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

    Opponent record: 73-77 (48.7%)

    T105. Miami (Ohio) Redhawks

    Opponent record: 74-79 (48.4%)

    T105. Buffalo Bulls

    Opponent record: 74-79 (48.4%)

    T105. Akron Zips

    Opponent record: 74-79 (48.4%)

    T108. Oklahoma State Cowboys

    Opponent record: 73-78 (48.3%)
    The Cowboys are loaded with both RB Chuba Hubbard and WR Tylan Wallace turning down the NFL to return to Stillwater, and the Cowboys face seven teams that were not bowl-eligible last season.

    T108. Oklahoma Sooners

    Opponent record: 73-78 (48.3%)
    Oklahoma has the second-easiest path of any top team, as their opponents were just 73-78 last season, with six of the 12 foes not being bowl-eligible.

    T108. Florida Atlantic Owls

    Opponent record: 73-78 (48.3%)

    T111. Appalachian State Mountaineers

    Opponent record: 73-79 (48.0%)

    T111. Toledo Rockets

    Opponent record: 73-79 (48.0%)

    T111. Eastern Michigan Eagles

    Opponent record: 73-79 (48.0%)

    114. Texas A&M Aggies

    Opponent record: 72-78 (48.0%)
    The Aggies face only three teams that finished with a winning record and four teams that made it to a bowl game.

    115. North Texas Mean Green

    Opponent record: 72-79 (47.7%)

    116. Northern Illinois Huskies

    Opponent record: 72-80 (47.4%)

    117. UTEP Miners

    Opponent record: 71-81 (46.7%)

    118. Clemson Tigers

    Opponent record: 70-81 (46.4%)
    Clemson is the most likely No. 1 team in the country heading into 2020, and on paper it has the easiest path to the title game. While six of the Tigers' foes made it to bowl games last season, only four finished with a winning record.

    119. Troy Trojans

    Opponent record: 69-80 (46.3%)
    Troy missed out on a bowl last season but faces the easiest slate of any Sun Belt team according to this metric.

    T120. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

    Opponent record: 69-82 (45.7%)

    T120. Charlotte 49ers

    Opponent record: 69-82 (45.7%)

    122. Central Michigan Chippewas

    Opponent record: 68-82 (45.3%)
    The Chippewas face just four teams that finished last season with a winning record.

    123. UMass Minutemen

    Opponent record: 69-84 (45.1%)
    UMass continues to lighten up its schedule and faces just one Power 5 team in Auburn.

    124. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

    Opponent record: 66-84 (44.0%)
    Last year, Tech took on my No. 129-rated schedule and this year has a manageable slate again.

    125. Ohio Bobcats

    Opponent record: 67-86 (43.8%)
    Despite the low ranking here, Ohio does face seven bowl teams from the 2019 season.

    126. UConn Huskies

    Opponent record: 64-87 (42.4%)
    The Huskies face just four teams that finished with a winning record.

    127. Liberty Flames

    Opponent record: 62-86 (41.9%)
    The Flames took on my No. 130 schedule last year and parlayed it into a bowl game. This season, they take on an FBS-low four teams that made it to a bowl.

    128. Nevada Wolf Pack

    Opponent record: 62-88 (41.3%)
    Nevada faces just one Power 5 team in Arkansas and only four teams that made it to a bowl game in the 2019 season.

    129. UAB Blazers

    Opponent record: 56-92 (37.8%)
    An inexperienced UAB team faced a soft schedule last season and still played in the C-USA title game. This year, the Blazers face just four bowl teams and zero that ended the season ranked.

    130. New Mexico State Aggies

    Opponent record: 56-95 (37.1%)
    The Aggies face only two Power 5 teams and just four teams that made it to a bowl game last season.