Another look at UT's schedule

Tennessee's football schedule may not be as tough as we think. At least, that seems to be the message from College Football News, which recently ranked all 117 Div. 1-A teams on strength of schedule.

CFN rates defending national champ Ohio State No. 1 and Miami No. 2 in preseason, so playing the Buckeyes earns 1 point and playing Miami earns 2. Obviously, the lower your opponent totals, the tougher your schedule. Because road games are tougher than home games, CFN counts only half of a road opponent's total. Thus, if you're playing the No. 30 ranked team on the road, that game gets a 15 schedule rating.

CFN then added each team's game-by-game totals, then divided by 12 to get a rating of each program's average opponent. This formula produces a top five toughest schedules as follows:

1. California (26.27)
2. Florida State (26.58)
3. Georgia Tech (26.58)
4. Arizona (29.13)
5. North Carolina (29.54)

Alabama (30.67) ranks No. 1 in the SEC and No. 7 nationally. Mississippi State (33.46) is No. 2 in the league and No. 11 nationally, followed by Georgia (34.71) at No. 3 in the league and No. 15 nationally and Florida (36.96) at No. 4 in the league and No. 27 nationally. UT (37.67) ranks fifth in the SEC and No. 30 nationally. Kentucky is considered to have the SEC's easiest schedule at 43.29, a figure which ranks 52nd nationally.

Below is a listing of College Football News' individual rankings of the team's on UT's schedule. For comparison's sake, we're including the previously published Athlon rankings of UT's foes in parenthesis. With the exception of South Carolina (tabbed No. 41 by CFN and No. 64 by Athlon), the ratings are strikingly similar.

2. Miami (2)
5. Auburn (5)
11. Georgia (8)
21. Florida (20)
22. Alabama (21)
41. South Carolina (64)
42. Fresno State (35)
52. Kentucky (59)
60. Miss. State (73)
77. Marshall (79)
78. Duke (78)
92. Vanderbilt (80)

You can check out the full story on CFN's website at: 2003 Schedule Strength by Conference

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