How the NCAA ranks the 2014 college football strength of schedule

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With spring football in full swing – two teams play spring games Saturday – let’s see how the NCAA would rank the 2014 college football strength of schedule.

RELATED: 2014 SEC Strength of Schedule

This is based on opponents’ win-loss record from the previous year; so, it’s not perfect. The opponents’ win percentage is calculated by adding up the total wins and losses for the 12 teams on the schedule.

A couple flaws exist ranking schedules this way, as noted by Phil Steele. The first flaw would be a 10-2 FCS opponent shouldn’t carry the same weight as a 7-6 FBS team. In this method, they carry more weight. Secondly, the records are from the previous season, which was an entirely different team.

But it’s fun to look at where the SEC’s strength of schedule compares to other teams around the country. SDS will rank our own schedules closer to the season.

The NCAA would say Arkansas has the country’s toughest schedule, followed by Tennessee, Texas A&M and Kentucky in the top 10. All SEC teams are bolded below:

RELATED: 2014 SEC football schedules

RANK TEAM WINS LOSS WIN%
1 Arkansas 103 54 65.61%
2 Virginia 102 54 65.38%
3 Tennessee 101 54 65.16%
4 Notre Dame 103 56 64.78%
5 Texas A&M 100 55 64.52%
6 Kentucky 98 55 64.05%
7 Iowa St 97 57 62.99%
8 Syracuse 96 57 62.75%
9 Rutgers 97 58 62.58%
10 Wake Forest 97 58 62.58%
11 Utah 98 59 62.42%
12 West Virginia 97 59 62.18%
13 South Carolina 96 59 61.94%
14 Miami, Fl 96 60 61.54%
15 Boston College 95 61 60.90%
16 California 94 61 60.65%
17 FIU 92 60 60.53%
18 Auburn 93 61 60.53%
19 Georgia 92 61 60.13%
20 North Carolina 92 62 59.74%
21 Illinois 90 61 59.60%
22 NC State 89 61 59.33%
23 Indiana 93 64 59.24%
24 Nebraska 90 63 58.82%
25 Texas 89 63 58.55%
25 Mississippi 89 63 58.55%
27 Clemson 89 65 57.79%
28 USC 89 66 57.42%
29 TCU 87 65 57.24%
30 Wyoming 88 66 57.14%
31 Oklahoma St 86 65 56.95%
31 Army 86 65 56.95%
33 Hawaii 95 72 56.89%
34 Florida 87 66 56.86%
34 Ohio St 87 66 56.86%
36 Washington St 88 67 56.77%
37 Temple 85 65 56.67%
38 Kansas 86 66 56.58%
39 Louisiana Tech 85 66 56.29%
40 Maryland 86 67 56.21%
41 San Jose St 87 68 56.13%
42 Stanford 86 68 55.84%
43 Purdue 84 67 55.63%
43 Missouri 84 67 55.63%
43 Georgia Tech 84 67 55.63%
46 Minnesota 85 68 55.56%
47 Florida St 83 68 54.97%
47 SMU 83 68 54.97%
49 Arizona 84 69 54.90%
49 Oregon 84 69 54.90%
51 Southern Miss 83 69 54.61%
52 Arizona St 84 70 54.55%
52 Tulane 84 70 54.55%
54 Florida Atlantic 81 69 54.00%
55 Michigan St 83 71 53.90%
55 Virginia Tech 83 71 53.90%
57 LSU 82 71 53.59%
58 Eastern Michigan 80 70 53.33%
59 Michigan 81 71 53.29%
60 UCLA 82 72 53.25%
60 Oregon St 82 72 53.25%
62 Mississippi St 80 71 52.98%
62 Tulsa 80 71 52.98%
64 Nevada 81 73 52.60%
65 Kansas St 79 72 52.32%
66 Colorado 81 74 52.26%
67 Baylor 78 72 52.00%
68 Penn St 79 73 51.97%
69 Vanderbilt 78 73 51.66%
70 Toledo 80 75 51.61%
71 New Mexico 79 75 51.30%
72 Georgia St 75 72 51.02%
73 UCF 77 74 50.99%
74 Pittsburgh 78 75 50.98%
74 Boise St 78 75 50.98%
76 UTEP 76 74 50.67%
77 Washington 85 83 50.60%
78 Northwestern 76 76 50.00%
78 Miami, Oh 76 76 50.00%
80 Louisville 75 76 49.67%
81 Texas Tech 74 75 49.66%
81 Connecticut 74 75 49.66%
83 East Carolina 74 76 49.33%
83 USF 74 76 49.33%
85 Iowa 68 70 49.28%
86 Fresno St 74 77 49.01%
87 Wisconsin 74 78 48.68%
88 WKU 73 77 48.67%
88 Massachusetts 73 77 48.67%
90 South Alabama 72 76 48.65%
91 UNLV 73 79 48.03%
91 Kent St 73 79 48.03%
93 Oklahoma 71 78 47.65%
94 Akron 72 80 47.37%
95 Alabama 71 79 47.33%
96 Navy 69 78 46.94%
97 BYU 71 81 46.71%
98 UTSA 70 80 46.67%
99 Ohio 71 82 46.41%
100 Western Michigan 70 81 46.36%
101 Duke 69 82 45.70%
102 Cincinnati 68 82 45.33%
103 Bowling Green 67 81 45.27%
103 Louisiana 67 81 45.27%
105 UAB 67 82 44.97%
106 Air Force 68 84 44.74%
107 Old Dominion 67 83 44.67%
108 Idaho 65 81 44.52%
109 San Diego St 66 83 44.30%
110 Central Michigan 66 84 44.00%
111 New Mexico St 64 82 43.84%
111 Appalachian St 64 82 43.84%
113 Memphis 65 85 43.33%
114 Houston 64 84 43.24%
114 Arkansas St 64 84 43.24%
116 Rice 64 85 42.95%
117 Utah St 68 94 41.98%
118 ULM 61 87 41.22%
119 Troy 60 87 40.82%
120 Ball St 60 89 40.27%
121 Buffalo 59 88 40.14%
122 Marshall 59 89 39.86%
123 Texas St 57 88 39.31%
124 Middle Tennessee 58 90 39.19%
125 Colorado St 57 91 38.51%
126 Northern Illinois 55 91 37.67%
127 North Texas 55 92 37.41%
128 Georgia Southern 51 95 34.93%

Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

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  • Why are we playing the fun schedules during our down years? feelsbadman

  • Why do SOS people and ranking voters continually fail to put head to head results as nearly the complete ranking criteria. For example: sometimes teams are ranked below teams they beat. This can be unavoidable in some cases so why then don’t they look at comparative scores between common opponents. In non-conference games of course there are few common opponents BUT head to head results between same conference can be used to arrive at the same estimate. Finally even last year’s bowl results to rate conferences and therefore inter-conference results are far valid than simply looking at the win-loss records of opponents.

  • Looks like Alabama is stepping up big time again. Kudos to them for always stepping up to the plate with their out of conference scheduling.

    • Two things there: 1) They didn’t know West Virginia was going to be mediocre when they signed on to play them, & 2) In the last 5 or 6 years, playing y’all has kind of hurt their strength of schedule…..

      • Oh yea, I forgot the Black Bear Renaissance … wait … when your coach wins six regular season games you call it a turnaround, when our coach wins five regular season games, we fire him. The Black Bears will never break out of the “win six or seven regular season games plus a terrible bowl.” Mark this post: the Bears will be paying State to try to win six total this year unless Presbyterian sneaks up because everyone returned to the grove at halftime due to alcohol withdrawal (aka Jacksonville State in 2010). Back to reality.

    • I really don’t see how you people don’t get this. (Well, you’re a UT fan, so I have a pretty good idea). Notice a trend here? The “toughest” schedules all belong to teams who just didn’t do that well, and the easiest ones belong to teams who did.
      Simply put, take UT and Alabama: if UT plays Alabama, it’s considered a tough game for them because they’ve been awful, but an easy game for Alabama because they’ve been top tier. It’s hard to build a stronger strength of schedule when there simple aren’t teams that are considered a step up.

      • Actually apparently you don’t get it. This list goes by opponent win/loss record. Sure, when Alabama is #1 they can’t play #1, but they can play #’s 2-10. Alabama has it pretty tough playing in the SEC west, but difficulty comes from Out-of-Conference schedule. That is, Tennessee plays Utah State, Arkansas state, and Oklahoma (in Norman) where Alabama plays West Virginia(Atlanta), Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, and Western Carolina all at home. Strength of Schedule has literally nothing to do with a team to win it simply has to do with the Strength of the schedule. That being said Alabama (AGAIN) has a cupcake schedule, you know comparatively.

  • WPS. I couldn’t help but see my team right away. All Swine, all the Time.

  • IMAGINE THAT. Alabama has a joke of a schedule. And it’s nice to see MSU improve on their easiest non-conference schedule in the nation title. Funny that they barely made a bowl game last year with 4 guaranteed wins. Hopefully the Dak Attack can give them 7 wins this year. I hear a heisman is all but guaranteed to be his.

    • Well, they did play OK St. last year.

    • They still beat your pitiful thug laden team. Manning u is not so great that u can talk crap about a team that has beat u 4 of the last 5 years or has a no better than .500 record against for the last 20 plus years. Your team doesn’t have a winning tradition in the college game since the early 60′s when any tradition meant zilch before integration. But you keep thinking u are superior and MSU will just continue mounting up the wins. Also bet you a months pay that Dak has better numbers than that schmuck thug Wallace this year.

  • Here we go again! Preseason strength of schedule rankings are a joke! How can you really determine a schedules strength until the schedule has actually been played. Imagine having Missouri or Auburn on your schedule at the beginning of last season. Seems to me a more realistic evaluation of true SOS could only be determined at the end of the season. Makes sense to me!

    Based on the Sagarin final end of season SOS rankings here are the average rankings over the 4 year period for the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.season. I didn’t cherry pick I just chose the 4 season over which Alabama won their 3 National Championships, especially since some of you continue to insinuate that Bama wins championships because of their weak schedule. I think the end of season SOS rankings below kind of blow that theory out of the water!

    LSU 11
    Auburn 12
    Alabama 13
    Arkansas 13
    Florida 16
    South Carolina 18
    Texas A&M 18
    Georgia 23
    Missouri 25
    Tennessee 25
    Ole Miss 27
    Miss St 27
    Vandy 33
    Kentucky 37

    I just realized that not only does Tennessee suck but so does their SOS

  • Tennessee and Georgia, you might not want to see this! According to ESPN here’s a look at how all 14 teams in the SEC have fared in the last five seasons against top 25 teams in the final BCS standings:
    Alabama: 16-6 (.727)
    LSU: 14-11 (.560)
    Auburn: 13-13 (.500)
    South Carolina: 10-10 (.500)
    Arkansas: 7-17 (.292)
    Missouri: 5-14 (.263)
    Georgia: 6-17 (.261)
    Florida: 6-18 (.250)
    Texas A&M: 5-17 (.227)
    Ole Miss: 3-20 (.130)
    Vanderbilt: 1-15 (.063)
    Kentucky: 1-16 (.059)
    Tennessee: 1-21 (.045)
    Mississippi State 0-24 (.000)

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/76370/sizing-up-the-sec-resumes