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Old 06-10-2006, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default 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.
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