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buckeyefan78 06-10-2006 12:57 AM

SEC v Big 10 in non-conf scheduling for 06...
Compare the schedules

Big Ten road games vs BCS schools and other notable squads...

Illinois at Rutgers (7-5)
Iowa at Syracuse (1-10)
Michigan at Notre Dame (9-3)
Mich. State at Pitt (5-6)
Minnesota at Cal (8-4)
Ohio St. at Texas (13-0)
Penn St. at Notre Dame (9-3)
Purdue at Notre Dame (9-3)
Purdue at Hawaii (5-7)
Northwestern at Nevada (9-3)

SEC road games vs BCS schools and other notable squads...

Florida at Florida St. (8-5)
Kentucky at Louisville (9-3)
Ole Miss. at Missouri (7-5)
S Carolina at Clemson (8-4)
Vandy at Michigan (7-5) (NOT in Dixie...:party: )
Vandy at Duke (1-10)

So you have 3 Big Ten schools going to South Bend. I'm not going to go nuts here proclaiming the guts it took to do this as we watch the rise of the Irish because this is business as usual (PSU renews series). Still, those 3 squads deserve credit for going in there. Rutgers is improving (1st bowl since the 70s last year) and that should be a solid test for Zook's young squad. Syracuse is still in complete disaray...easy win for Iowa despite the dome atmosphere. Minnesota at Cal is probably a loss for the Gophers. The road team hardly ever wins when the Pac 10 and Big 10 do battle. Give Minnesota credit for the challenge though. Mich. St. at Pitt...who knows where Wanny will have the Panthers. Not a spectacular road game, but not a clunker either...hopefully. Ohio State at Texas...'nuff said.

Florida at FSU, Kentucky at Louisville, and S Carolina at Clemson are all business as usual (rivalries). Still, the "experts" like Louisville and Clemson this year (didn't they last year too?) Florida deserves the same credit for going to FSU as the Big Ten schools do for going to ND (we got 3 to their 1 though). Ole Miss at Missouri would have been nice to see last year with Brad Smith calling signals for the Tigers but a solid contest in any event. Hopefully Mizzou doesn't fall of the face of the earth again. Vandy at Duke...whatever. Vandy at Michigan: FANTASTIC! Good to see someone got guts down there. Take the loss with pride Vandy.

The Big Ten has 11 teams playing 8 BCS schools on the road. 5 of those 8 I'm deeming "very hard" (ND-3x, Cal, Texas). Illinois at Rutgers is "solid." Purdue at Hawaii is notable because it's pretty hard going out there and getting a win. NW at Nevada is also notable because it's a tough team out west.

The SEC has 12 teams playing 6 BCS schools on the road. 3 of those 6 I'm deeming "very hard" (FSU, Michigan, Clemson). Going to Missouri and Louisville is "solid."

My main problem here is that the lower-level SEC teams seem to be playing the toughest road games. Kentucky, Vandy, and Ole Miss. lined up some big boys. The Big Ten has their top dogs going into hostile territory (UM at ND, OSU at Texas, PSU at ND, and even Iowa scheduling someone unfamiliar is a good sign). Where are Georgia, Bama, and Auburn? And that brings us to the home games against non-conf schools...

Big Ten home games vs. BCS schools and other notable squads...

Syracuse (1-10) at Illinois
UConn (5-6) at Indiana
Iowa St. (7-5) at Iowa
Notre Dame (9-3) at Mich. St.
Cincy (4-7) at Ohio St.
N. Ill. (7-5) at Ohio St.
N. Ill. (7-5) at Iowa

SEC home games vs. BCS schools and other notable squads...

Duke (1-10) at Alabama
USC (12-1) at Arkansas
Wash. St. (4-7) at Auburn
Southern Miss. (7-5) at Florida
UCF (8-5) at Florida
Colorado (7-6) at Georgia
Fresno St. (8-5) at LSU
Arizona (3-8) at LSU
WVU (11-1) at Miss. St.
Wake (4-7) at Ole Miss.
Cal (8-4) at Tenn.

This is where the SEC gains some ground back on the Big Ten. Illinois and Indiana (our lower-level squads) face two forgettable teams. Iowa St. at Iowa is a rivalry game so anything goes as we've seen in the last few years. ND at Mich. State...NICE. Ohio State hosting Cincy should be nothing and I threw in N. Ill. as a notable because they are expected to win the MAC by most "experts." Remember that the MAC not only had a higher Sagarin rating than the Sun Belt Conference last year (the SEC's whipping boys), but the Gateway Conference of I-AA did too (home of my YSU Penguins).

The SEC has 4 legit teams coming to play them in Dixie. Good to see. Southern Cal, WVU, Colorado, and Cal all come to play. Even teams like Wash. State, Arizona, Southern Miss., Fresno St. (see the Soutnern Cal game last year) and UCF are capable of competing.

I-AA opponents
Big Ten...8 (totally unacceptable)
SEC...8 (business as usual)

Overall, I'm not too happy with the SEC's road games out of conference (quantity and quality). Only one team (Vandy) travels outside of Dixie. I'm also not pleased with the amount of I-AA squads the Big Ten plays this year. While it is noteworthy to see the SEC get a definitive edge over the Big Ten in terms of home games (quantity and quality) I'm going to have to a little more homework to see if Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miss. St., and Tenn. will return the favor by going to Wash. St., S. Miss., Colorado, Fresno St.,WVU, and California. Arkansas is finishing up their home and home with USC.

Also to note is the fact this is preseason analysis. I'll be keeping tabs on things as the season goes along. In any event, it was nice to post my first Big Ten/SEC manifesto of the season. :D

Alex 06-11-2006 09:04 PM

The Big Ten would have one less if Louisiana Tech hadn't backed out of their game with PSU at the last minute to lighten what otherwise would have been a brutal OOC schedule for La. Tech. But I agree, inexcusable.

But even the difference between 1-AA competition that the Big Ten and SEC play is massive:

Big Ten:
Eastern Illinois (9-3)
Indiana State (0-11)
Montana (8-4)
New Hampshire (11-2)
North Dakota State (7-4)
Southern Illinois (9-4)
Western Illinois (5-6)
Youngstown State (8-3)


Jacksonville State (6-5)
Northwestern State (5-5)
Southeast Missouri State (2-9)
Tennessee State (2-9)
Texas State (11-3)
Western Carolina (5-4)
Wofford (6-5)
Western Kentucky (6-5)


Pretty big difference between 20 games over .500 and 2 games below .500. And keep in mind that 11 of the losses in the Big Ten total come from Indiana State alone.

KevinBeane 06-11-2006 09:13 PM

It's almost as if I remember Buckeye making this point 1,421 times before.

buckeyefan78 06-12-2006 01:45 AM

That's a good breakdown Alex. It helps the Big Ten only a little in my eyes though. Despite your stats showing that the SEC even ducks the better I-AA squads, I don't want the Big Ten to develop the habit of playing at that level.The talk this year was that the late ruling on adding the 12th game forced many teams to get I-AA opponents. I guess I can buy that for this year with the Big Ten. 8 I-AA opponents has got to be the most ever for the conference and if's damn close. Now that 12 games will be the norm, I don't want to see it again. As for the SEC...I expect them to run and hide so I don't care what they do, but I will always point it out so thanks for showing this angle. I never even considered it.

The PSU/La. Tech situation doesn't fly with me either. That's still a terrible opponent even if it is I-A. During the height of Youngstown State's program in the 90s they routinely destroyed Akron and Kent of the MAC. I've always felt the best I-AA squad in the nation would fall anywhere from 3-5 in the MAC... unless an extreme case warranted rethinking. As I noted earlier, the Gateway Conference (YSU, W. Ill, and N. Iowa shared the crown last year) was rated higher than the Sun Belt Conference by Sagarin in 05. Bottom line: picking up YSU was probably the best I-AA squad for them but the idea that La. Tech was on the schedule in the first place doesn't win PSU any points with me.

Interestingly enough the SEC plays the MAC once this year. Quite odd:

Buffalo at Auburn...they finally go out of the Sun Belt but get the MAC's loser.

Another problem I have with the Big Ten this year is that both Minnesota and Penn State play Temple. The Owls are basically folding up their tents as a I-A squad if memory serves. And if they have decided otherwise, the mere fact it was a possibility shows great instability. I understand that playing Notre Dame is tough, but Penn State can't expect much respect when they play Akron (grant it they won the MAC last year but they were doormats when the game was scheduled and aren't a traditional MAC power like N. Ill, Miami, Toledo, or BGSU). YSU and Temple (who was in the Big East but the program has always been horrible and I don't care about the history between the schools) aren't exactly challenges either. I generally don't have a problem with Penn State's schedule and definitely can't complain about their 05 season, but I hope someone takes note of the points I've made here in Happy Valley. ND is nice, but you gotta get two other decent squads and throw in your cupcake.

I understand you can't always get someone big or who you want, but IMO, this is a scary time for the Big Ten. There really isn't any incentive to NOT play the I-AA schools with the ruling they can count towards your bowl picture every other year. Thankfully Ohio State is scheduled to battle some major powers over the next 5 or 6 years so that should be nice. They've also resisted the temptation to beat the hell out of Youngstown State...another bonus...hopefully it sticks.

On a related note, the Buckeyes will play Toledo in 09 and 11 with the first contest being played in Cleveland. It will mark the first time Ohio State has played up there since 1991 (Northwestern).

Hope this post wasn't too boring for you Kevin. If so, let me know and I'll help you pick out another thread to amuse you.

Alex 06-12-2006 03:57 PM

I don't think it will be the norm for Penn State to play 1-AA teams. The 2007 schedule won't include any 1-AA's. Penn State currently has Notre Dame, Florida International and at Temple. Rumors have been flying for months that the fourth game will be against Southern Miss, one of the most respected mid-major programs over the past several seasons. Syracuse ('08 and '09) and Alabama ('10 and '11) are currently set for home and homes. Central Florida ('08) and Eastern Michigan ('09 and '11) are the only other teams currently on future schedules.

I'm really hoping Penn State adds a big road game in 2009 because the OOC schedule will be very weak with Syracuse, Eastern Michigan and Temple. That's almost as sad an OOC schedule as 2005.

Buckeye, you're not going to see Penn State do anything more than a major OOC game, a decent to upper level mid-major and two pansies every year. The Big Ten is demanding enough as it is and Penn State wants 7 home games a season. Even the cupcakes brought in 100,000 during the bad years. If Penn State keeps on winning, that becomes 105,000 for the cupcakes.

Penn State is only playing Temple because they agreed to a 2-for-1. It's two home games with a 1-A school (as far as I know they intend to stay at 1-A since they're joining the MAC) and then the one road game will basically be a home game for PSU as it will be the only time the Linc is packed for a Temple game. Penn State hasn't played in Philadelphia since 1994.

I'm not quite sure what you're problem is with Louisiana Tech, Buckeye. La Tech was 7-4 last season and they play in the WAC. They're not some Sun Belt also ran. Although with FIU on the schedule in 2007, PSU will be playing one of the those SBC scrubs.

As long as Penn State at least plays one major OOC opponent, a quality mid-major and two cupcakes. Personally I would like to see a major OOC opponent (Notre Dame, Alabama, Nebraska, etc.), a rotation among Pitt/West Virginia/Boston College/Syracuse/Maryland (one home, one away against each every decade) and then two mid-majors.

Dublin Mike 06-12-2006 08:10 PM

78, the UGAColorado series is home and home (I think) and I know next year UGA starts a home and home vs. AZ, which I am really looking forward to.

I am actually worried about the Colorado game. I think UGA will be really tested by the Buffs. :(

USC, even though depleted, should destroy Arkansas. I don't care who the Razorbacks recruited at QB.

And no, I am not gonna get into an argument w/you over this. We have gone through that song and dance enough to know that I will never change your mind. So NYAH. :P

I am sorry, even as an SEC fan, Vandy is a AA school w/out Cutler. If Michigan doesn't beat em by 40, they should be ashamed. Hell, Duke will wipe the floor with them.

buckeyefan78 06-13-2006 12:50 AM


Thanks for the info. Like I said, it looks bad for this season. My problem with getting La. Tech is that it's like going out of your way to get a marginal team. PSU should have no trouble lining up Big East, Conf. USA, and MAC opponents due to their geographic location and the fact the Big East will be playing 5 non-conf games a season. My point is play UConn if you can't find someone else.

The Bama home and home is a fine job. I don't have a problem with doing a home and home with Cuse either. It has only been in the last couple years that they've gotten really bad. Historically speaking, even an average Syracuse squad is a tough foe in the dome. Hopefully they get to average by the time they play PSU...or better yet OSU... which is next year.

Central Florida is a nice addition if their program continues to improve. I assume that one game will be in Happy Valley.

I forgot that Temple intends to join the MAC. I guess that would be ok if it happens, as long as the rumors don't start flying again about going down to I-AA. Getting kicked outta the Big East was bad enough. Again, playing YSU and Akron is just so damn ugly to look at... esp. if they lose to ND.


Good to hear that Georgia is probably going to Boulder. Like I said, I gotta research those other squads. I know Tennessee will be going out to Cal so that's fine. The Vols tend to be the bravest SEC team when it comes to non-conf opponents and willingness to travel.

I was just thinkin' about that Arkansas-USC game. It's early in the year. It's in Dixie. The Razorbacks played everyone tough down the stretch and have a ton of starters back. Then again, they lost by 50some points in L.A. last year...LOL. Plus the new QB sensation. I'm not saying upset, but I wouldn't be shocked to see that game within 17 or 14 points in favor of the Trojans.

This thread wasn't an attempt to start an argument Mike. I've noted the better non-conf schedule that the SEC has this year. I just hope that more of them would be on the road, that's all. The disparity in rankings at the end of the year between the human polls and the computers (which factor SOS) between the Big Ten and SEC was the greatest I can ever recall in the history of the BCS. USA Today ran several articles on this fact. The humans love the SEC while the computers love the Big Ten (due to their strong SOS). If the SEC closes the gap in SOS even a little, I fear the Big Ten will get screwed in the overall BCS...that's all. Just something to watch. Of course, we gotta actually play games and see what happens.

And still give credit to Vandy. They had a decent year in 05 and now are playing in Ann Arbor. Just for that Mike, I won't make fun of 'em all year long. And neither should you...LOL.

I think I'll start crunchin' the Big 12 and Pac 10 next. Anyone notice yet that the Pac 10 is playing everyone in conference and only 3 non-conf foes this year? Interesting.

suedon1970 06-13-2006 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by Dublin Mike
I am sorry, even as an SEC fan, Vandy is a AA school w/out Cutler. Hell, Duke will wipe the floor with them.

Can't agree with you there, Mike. Agree w/you that Vandy won't be the same w/out Cutler, but let's not get too carried away with Duke Football's abilities:lol:

buckeyefan78 06-18-2006 12:29 AM

Ok, I got too much time on my hands.

Here ya got the conference, total teams in conf., total non-conf games, games vs BCS opp., games vs "quality opponents", and games vs I-AA teams. The only thing that is subjective is the stat "quality opponent." But I can break it down if ya want. I'm going by preseason expectations and how the team finished last season to determine if they are "quality" or not.

I was going to factor in whether or not the team played at home or on the road against a foe that could be considered a '"quality opponent," but decided against it. For instance, Bama hosts Hawaii this year. Purdue goes to Hawaii for their last game. I didn't include Hawaii as a quality opponent for either team even though it is tougher to go to Hawaii and win. In any event, enjoy this rant. In no particular order...


Teams in conference-12
Total number of non-conference games-48
Games vs BCS schools-14
Games vs Quality Opponents-15
Games vs I-AA schools-11

Big Twelve

Teams in conference-12
Total number of non-conference games-48
Games vs BCS schools-11
Games vs Quality Opponents-14
Games vs I-AA schools-11

Big Ten

Teams in conference-11
Total number of non-conference games-45
Games vs BCS schools-14
Games vs Quality Opponents-12
Games vs I-AA schools-8


Teams in conference-12
Total number of non-conference games-48
Games vs BCS schools-14
Games vs Quality Opponents-17
Games vs I-AA schools-8

And the winner by a mile...

Pac Ten

Teams in conference-10
Total non-conference games-30
Games vs BCS schools-13
Games vs Quality Opponents-16
Games vs I-AA schools-5

Far less non-conf games due to their 9-game conf. schedule yet the Pac Ten does an outstanding job of lining up BCS schools, quality schools, and keeping the I-AA squads down. Not to mention the fact they have to travel far anytime they want a road game against a BCS foe.

KevinBeane 06-19-2006 02:13 AM

Just read an interesting piece on SI about the Vandy/Michigan series. ESPN put it together and asked Vandy to do it. Vandy said no. ESPN said that they would put a Vandy's women's hoop team on ESPN if they did. Vandy said yes and dumped MTSU.

Buckeye, elaborate about "quality" opponents that you cite? What's the cutoff in terms of those expectations? I'm not sure that Northern Illinois is the only MAC team that should count. Especially if Cincinnati does.

buckeyefan78 06-19-2006 02:50 AM

Like I said, the "quality" opponents were up to my discretion. I'll tell you this though: I was tougher on the Big Ten than on the other conferences when it came to who qualified as a "quality" opponent.

In regards to your specific question, Cincy only qualified as a BCS opponent for OSU (remember they are in the Big East now). However, they did not make the cut as a quality opponent. N. Ill. didn't count as a BCS opponent (obviously) but did make my cut as a quality opponent.

Here are the list of games that I deemed "quality" for the Big Ten...

Illinois at Rutgers
Iowa St. at Iowa
Michigan at Notre Dame
Mich. St. at Pitt
Notre Dame at Mich. St.
Minn. at Cal
NW at Nevada
Ohio St. at Texas
Penn St. at Notre Dame
Purdue at Notre Dame
N. Ill at Iowa
N. Ill at Ohio State

Here are some that missed the cut that are up for debate...I guess...

Syracuse at's a BCS game, but Cuse is so horrid. So hell no.

UConn at Indiana...not expected to do much from what I've read so no.

Iowa at Syracuse...see the earlier brief.

NW at Miami of Ohio...Ok, you could fight me here but I didn't give 'em the nod. I guess if I threw in N. Ill I could put 'em in. Not goin' to argue it really.

BG at Ohio State...Yea, another example you probably would fight for. They lost Omar Jacobs and I saw one mag that had 'em below another no.

Miami of Ohio at Purdue...see above

BG at Wisconsin...see above

Ok, so were you really getting at me putting Akron at PSU in there? I'm sorry, I just can't. 7-5 and their first MAC title ever...still can't do it. They lost by 25 at Purdue last year and the Boilermakers didn't live up to their hype. And remember the last time they played in Happy Valley? Yikes.

N. Ill. lost by 1 point to NW and by 16 to UM (remember that was a tough game though). N. Ill. also beat Maryland a few years back when the Terps were hyped early and finished "decent." They make the cut. I know, I know...Akron beat N. Ill last year. Gimme a break though. BG also led early and big at Madison last year, but I guess I'll go with no Omar Jacobs as my excuse for not putting BG in as quality as stated above.

Like I said, the real fun begins when we look at this in January.

BTW though, the Pac Ten really doesn't even have any debate in regards to quality opponents IMO. Just to say it again... they did a helluva job.

KevinBeane 06-19-2006 11:08 AM

You're right, Akron/PSU was what I was getting at. Yes, 7-5 is not great, and they stunk it up against Purdue but:

a) Their last game against PSU was before J.D. Brookhart took over I believe, and I'm not sure it's fair to count a game that happened more than a season ago against anybody anyway.

b) They beat Northern Illinois TWICE last year,

c) They are the reigning MAC Champs after all,

d) They clearly got better as the year went on,

e) They return 8 starters on each side of the ball, and about 2/3rds of the preseason prognosticators I've read (and I KNOW you put a lot of stock in those guys) have them repeating as MAC East Champs.

Alex 06-19-2006 01:26 PM

The last Akron-PSU game was in '04, Brookhart's first season I think.

buckeyefan78 06-19-2006 11:44 PM

I guess my main knock against Akron is that they haven't competed the way teams like N. Ill, BGSU, and Miami of Ohio have against big schools (excluding Ohio State because a Pop Warner team would play them close). In MAC play... yea they've done well the last few years with Frye and Getsy but since 03 (Frye's junior year)...

Penn State...L...48-10

Average margin of loss is 32.8 points.

That's what really bugs me. Since I'm not Sagarin though, let's leave it up to the board to decide. I don't know who else is reading this, but if Alex and whoever else says Akron is ok...I don't mind puttin' 'em in there. The lack of history is another barrier, but it's not like I'm rootin' against them Kevin. You know I'd cheer on a chess team if they were from Akron. I think they are moving in the right doubt.

04 was Brookhart's first season. He was MAC Coach of the Year too.

KevinBeane 06-20-2006 03:43 AM

I can't argue with anything you said. In fact, it's a lack of that "statement" victory over a Goliath that kind of has me jealous of other MAC schools. Akron is WAAAAY overdue to have theirs, in football or in basketball, and their in-conference success in both those sports the last few years only underlines my envy.

Oh, how sweet it would be if that victory came against Penn State this fall. Please, God? Not only would I never let Doug or Alex live it down, but I'm gonna be watching the game with some PSU buddies of mine.

P.S. The one feather in the cap of Akron fans, often brought to the fore at Akron is the last present-day MAC school to beat Ohio State. It happened in 1924, I believe, or maybe even earlier.

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