Tough 2016 Schedules Revisited

**  There are five FBS schools that play nine opponents who won eight games or more a year ago.  Not surprisingly, all of them play in the SEC West.  They are Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Louisiana State and Mississippi.  Alabama plays four of its eight-or-more-win opponents on the road and one on a neutral field.

**  Two schools play six  opponents who won 10 or more games in 2015.  They are Ohio State and Illinois of the Big Ten.  There are nine schools who play five opponents who won 10 or more games a year ago; L.S.U. is the only one of the nine from the SEC West.

**  Coforepr  used the final 2015 Sagarin rankings to determine the toughness of 2016 schedules.  All of the 2016 opponents were ranked from toughest to easiest;  the schools in the top 75% were given considerably more weight than schools in the bottom 25%.  Furthermore, within the top 75%, schools at or near the middle of the list were awarded more weight than schools at or near the upper and lower extremes.  This way, a very strong or very weak opponent had less effect on the final rating of difficulty of schedule.|
Here are the top seven (7).  The higher the number, the tougher the 2016 schedule.
.     1)  Southern California    82.75
.     2)  Mississippi                   82.14
.     3)  Auburn                         81.97
.     4)  Louisiana State            81.55
.     5)  Arkansas                      81.52
.     6)  Alabama                      81.47
.     7)  Wisconsin                    78.54

**  The simplest way to determine toughness of schedule is to look at the cumulative 2015 records of this coming season’s opponents.  The NCAA favors this method, though they count only games against FBS opponents last year.  Coforepr  counts games against FCS opponents as well.  (A good FCS team can be a challenge; a poor FCS team is typically a cakewalk.)
The Top 10 would be…
.     1)  Louisiana State           108-52     .675
.     2)  Arkansas                      104-52     .667
.     3)  Mississippi                   102-52     .662
.     4)  Auburn                         100-56     .641
.     5)  Southern California    101-58     .635
.     6)  Wisconsin                      98-57     .632
.     7)  Brigham Young             97-57     .630
.     8)  Alabama                        97-58     .626
.     9)  Northwestern               97-59     .622
.   10)  Florida State                 96-61     .611

**  Another consideration is the number of “breathers” on a team’s schedule.  Coforepr  defines a breather as a game that should be easily won  by a team of bowl caliber.  In 2016 Southern California has only one breather  –  an October 8 home date against Colorado, which lost nine games a year ago.  All 11 of the Trojans’ foes played in bowl games last season.  Louisiana State, Mississippi and Northwestern each have only two breathers.

**  Obviously it’s tougher to play on the road  than it is at home.  Kansas and Southern Methodist play six away games each.

**  Coforepr  calculated the average number of  2015 wins by  2016 road opponents.
These teams face, by this standard, the toughest road schedules.  The average number of wins is given too.
.    1)  Auburn                         10.75
.    2)  Brigham Young              9.5
.    3)  Pittsburgh                      9.4
.    4)  Colorado                        9.2
.         Wisconsin                       9.2
.    6)  Alabama                         9.0
.         Georgia                           9.0
.    8)  Northwestern                8.8
.    9)  Ohio State                      8.6
.         Southern California      8.6

—   —   —   —   —

Coforepr  mathematically combined all of the factors described in this article to determine the toughest 2016 college football schedules.  The higher the number, the tougher the schedule.
Here are the seven (7) toughest schedules:
1)   Louisiana State              44.25
2)   Southern California      40.50
3)   Mississippi                      37.75
4)   Auburn                             36.25
5)   Arkansas                          35.25
6)   Wisconsin                        32.75
7)   Northwestern                 29.25
Four of the top five teams play in the rugged SEC West.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s