Boise State's OOC Schedule Tougher Than #1-4

An early analysis of the non-conference schedules of college football's Top 25 shows that Boise State's out-of-conference schedule is tougher than each of the four teams ranked ahead of them.

In analyzing which teams are most worthy of major bowl considerations, it is important to note who they beat in non-conference play.  Boise State's out-of-conference schedule is tougher than 11 of the Top 25 teams, including all four of those just ahead of The Broncos:  #1 Florida, #2 Texas, #3 Alabama and #4 LSU.  

The four schools above then meet teams within their conference which they have arranged "home-and-home" games with--they host them one year and play on the road the next. Those same teams will not agree to the same home-and-home arrangement with Boise State.

The non-conference schedules of each of the Top 25 teams are shown below with the Sagarin rating of each opponent.

#13 Georgia played Arizona State , Oklahoma State and will play Georgia Tech out of conference.  Arizona State is rated #40 by Jeff Sagarin, whose service is one of the six computer models used by the Bowl Championship Series. Oklahoma State is rated #29 while Georgia Tech is #17.  Georgia has the toughest OOC schedule of all the Top 25 teams, with their average opponent rated #29.  

#15 Oregon played Purdue , Utah and Boise State in non-conference games.  Boise State is #2, Utah 28th while Purdue is #67.  Oregon has one of the toughest non-conference schedules in college football, with an average rating of #32.  

#6 Virginia Tech played Nebraska , Marshall and Alabama out of conference.  Nebraska is #25, Marshall #71 and Alabama #4.  Tech's OOC schedule was superb and the opponents average #33.  

#20 Miami of Florida played Oklahoma and will play South Florida and Central Florida later this year.  Oklahoma is #10 according to Sagarin, while Central Florida is #105 and South Florida is currently #18.  Miami 's average opponent is ranked #44.  

#12 Iowa chose to schedule Iowa State , Northern Iowa and Arizona .  Iowa State is 70th, Northern Iowa #49 and Arizona is #21.  Iowa 's average opponent is rated #47.  

#7 USC played San Jose State of the WAC and Ohio State and will play Notre Dame.  San Jose State is #106 according to Sagarin, while Ohio State is #13 and Notre Dame #32.  The Trojans' average OOC opponent is rated #50.

#10 Oklahoma played Brigham Young , Idaho State, Tulsa and will play Miami of Florida this week.  Miami is #15, BYU #19, Tulsa is #56 and Idaho State is currently #171.  Oklahoma 's average is #65.  

#23 Brigham Young played Oklahoma, Tulane and Florida State and will play Utah State of the WAC this Saturday.  Oklahoma is rated 10th by Sagarin, Florida State is #24, Utah State is #119 and Tulane #131.  The average out-of-conference opponent for BYU is rated #71.

#8 Texas Christian played Clemson , Virginia and Texas State-San Marcos.  Clemson is #20, Virginia is rated #80 while San Marcos is #138.  TCU's average opponent is rated #79.  

#14 Houston played Northwestern State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and will play Mississippi State later this year.  Northwestern State is rated #198, Oklahoma State is #29, Texas Tech is 39th and Mississippi State is #58.  The average Houston OOC opponent is rated #81.

#19 California played Maryland , Minnesota and Eastern Washington in non-conference games.  EWU is #112, while Maryland is rated #86 and Minnesota is #52.  California 's average opponent is rated #83.  

#11 Ohio State chose to play Toledo , USC and Navy and will play New Mexico State of the WAC.  Toledo is #98, USC is 6th, Navy 65th, and New Mexico State is #169.  Ohio State 's average OOC opponent is rated #85.  

#5 Boise State played Oregon , Bowling Green , and Miami of Ohio and will play Cal-Davis and Tulsa .  Oregon is #7 according to Sagarin, Bowling Green is #78, Miami is #150, Cal-Davis is #139 and Tulsa is #56.  Boise State 's OOC average is #86.  

#4 LSU played Washington and Louisiana-Lafayette out-of-conference and has a game scheduled with Louisiana Tech of the WAC.  Washington is currently 48th, Lafayette is #104 while Tech is #108.  LSU's average out-of-conference opponent is rated #87.  

#22 Missouri played Illinois , Bowling Green , Furman and Nevada in their non-conference games.  Bowling Green is rated #78, Illinois is #85, Nevada 88th and Furman #102.  The average opponent of Missouri is rated #88.  

#18 Oklahoma State played Georgia, Houston, Rice and Grambling in out-of-conference games.  Georgia is the highest-rated opponent at #16, Houston is rated #33, Rice is #137 while Grambling is #172.  The average OOC opponent for Oklahoma State is rated #90.  

#3 Alabama 's non-conference slate consists of North Texas , Florida International and Virginia Tech.  Virginia Tech is #3 according to Sagarin and gives Alabama considerable credibility.  North Texas is #142 and Florida International is #128.  Even with the high rating by Virginia Tech, Alabama 's average opponent is rated #91.  

#1 Florida chose to play Troy , Charleston Southern and Florida State .  FSU is one they have to play being an in-state rival; Florida State is rated #24 by Sagarin.   Troy is ranked #87 overall by Charleston Southern is #174.  The average out-of-conference opponent rating for Florida is #95.  

#25 Auburn played Louisiana Tech of the WAC, West Virginia and Ball State and will play Furman later this year.  Louisiana Tech is #108, West Virginia comes in at #37, Ball State is #148 and Furman is #102.  The average opponent for Auburn is rated #99.

#2 Texas played Louisiana-Monroe , Wyoming and UTEP.  Wyoming is rated #103, Louisiana-Monroe comes in at #96 and UTEP is #123.  Texas played one of the worst non-conference schedules of the group—their average opponent is rated #107.  

#9 Cincinnati played Southeast Missouri State , Oregon State, Fresno State and will play Miami of Ohio and Illinois out-of-conference.  SE Missouri State is rated #217, Oregon State is #45, Fresno State 50th, Miami is #150 and Illinois comes in at #85.  The average Bearcat OOC opponent is rated #109.   

#21 Michigan played Eastern Michigan , Notre Dame and Western Michigan and has a game scheduled with Delaware State .  Eastern Michigan is currently #159, Notre Dame is #32, Western Michigan is #90, and Delaware State is #184.  Michigan 's average opponent is rated #116, one of the easiest schedules in the nation.  

#17 Penn State played Syracuse , Temple and Akron and has a game scheduled with Eastern Illinois .  Syracuse is currently #95, Temple is #109, Akron is #121 and Eastern Illinois #145.  The average Penn State OOC opponent is rated #118.  

#16 Kansas faced Northern Colorado , Duke, Southern Mississippi and UTEP in out-of-conference games.  Southern Miss is rated #63, Duke is #97, UTEP is #123 and Northern Colorado is back at #197.  Kansas 's average OOC opponent is rated #120.

#24 Mississippi has played Memphis and Southeast Louisiana and will play UAB and Northern Arizona.  Memphis is currently #130, SE Louisiana is #189, UAB is #133, Northern Arizona is #135.  At least they're consistent!  Ol' Miss has an average OOC rating of #147, the worst of the Top 25.



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