Sully's Big Blog! Commentary on College Football, Weekly Games, And Strange Statistics!

Welcome to the 2015 Season

Grading the P5 Conferences That have 14 Members (SEC, B-10, & ACC) By Strength of Non-Conference Scheduling


The SEC’s East Division (7 teams) takes on 6 P5 opponents, Vanderbilt and Missouri, do not play a team from a power conference, while South Carolina plays 2 this regular season! Their opponents include 5 ACC teams: UNC, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, & Georgia Tech, the lone non-ACC competitor is a Big 12 Team, Oklahoma.

The SEC’s West Division steps up against 5 P5 teams, from the Big Ten (1), the ACC (2), Big 12 (1), & the Pac 12 (1). these teams are B-10: Wisconsin, ACC: Louisville, Syracuse, Texas Tech from the B-12 & Pac 12: Arizona State. The Mississippi’s schools, Ole Miss & Mississippi State, just like last year, are not playing P5’s in their non-conference schedule!

The SEC is playing a total of 11 P5 opponents this year and played the same number last season. The truth is … this is pathetic! Sully’s College Football Page believes, during the regular season, a P5 teams should play 3 Power Conference opponents in a 2 year cycle! So the SEC should be playing 35 NC P5 opponents in a 2  year time frame (each conference member would play at least 1 P5 in year one and then 2 the second year or vise versa) Currently the SEC is taking on 22 P5’s in 2014 & 2015 seasons! Only Georgia & South Carolina have played 3 P5’s during the regular season in the past 2 years. Georgia has lined up against G-Tech twice & Clemson once, while South Carolina will have battled Clemson twice and UNC once by the end of 2015!

Please stop chanting … SEC… SEC… SEC … & … start chanting … Play … Some – – – body; … Play … Some – – – body; … Play … Some – – – body! Do what do Richt & Spurrier are doing give, at least arguably, college football best fans what they deserve ; A game of interest against a Non-Conference P5 opponent! It’s time for Southern Cal to run out of the tunnel at Bryant-Denny or Ohio State to charge on to the field at Ben Hill Griffin or Auburn” to come a-call-in” at the Big House or LSU to hold a vigil in front of “Touchdown Jesus”! If the SEC is as good as it thinks it is … “The Best” …  then prove it during the regular season. Play P5’s outside the league and please, do so on a Home and Home basis.  Forget these neutral site games, play one another on your & their home fields, put simply, the fans deserve it. They already spend enough money on season tickets and conference travel. They should not be asked to travel & hotel @ Houston, Arlington, or Atlanta during the regular season. These travel $’s should be spent in SEC or opponents home venues! Neutral site travel, clearly, that is for the 2nd season, the Bowl Season!

SEC P5 Non-conference Scheduling Grade: F

Big Ten:

The Big 10 East, is once again, the stronger of the 2 divisions and will strap it on against 8 P5′ this season. These opponents will come from the PAC 12: 4, ACC 2, & the Big 12: 2. A side note, for the 1st time in over 100 years, the B-10 will not play Notre Dame! The conferences/teams B-10 opponents represent are as follows; PAC 12: Oregon, Washington State, Oregon State, & Utah; ACC: Virginia Tech & Wake Forest, & Big 12: Kansas & West Virginia. The Big Ten East breaks down as follows: Michigan & Rutgers are playing 2 Power Conferences opponents each, While Ohio State, MSU, Maryland, & Indiana play one. Penn State, for the second year in a row, will not line up against a P5! Shameful!

The Big Ten West is engaged, as they take on 9 P5 teams in 2015! These P5’s opponents come from the following Conferences; 5 ACC, 2 Big 12, 1 SEC, & 1 PAC 12! The teams that the B-10 West is challenging are: ACC: UNC, Virginia Tech, Duke, Pittsburgh, & Miami, Stanford represents the PAC 12, Alabama from the mighty SEC, and TCU & Iowa State out of the Big 12

The Big 10 is playing 17 P5’s this season which meets and surpasses the 14 minimal for a fourteen team conference.  However, we do have a problem! The conference played the same number of P5’s last season, 17, for a 2 season total of 34. This leaves the Conference one short of the required 35 to earn A on SCFP! No question the culprit here is Penn State, had they “stepped up” in either year, the Big 10 would have been on target with its P5 NC Scheduling. No question or argument that PSU was short of scholarship athletes these past years … so what, if you claim to be a D1 associate, play in a D1 Conference, which they do, then schedule accordingly! Play three NC games against P5 teams in a 2 year cycle and all is well in Big Ten Country!

Big Ten Non-conference Scheduling Grade: C+


The ACC’s Atlantic Division takes on 9 Power Power 5 opponents in the 2015 season. These contests are against the following conferences’ SEC 5, Big Ten 1, & Notre Dame 3. ND is widely considered as part of the P5 makeup, for reasons that simply do not fit the existing criteria that defines how one would understand who is part of the P5. They’re not in a Power Five Conference or any conference for that matter! Yet, they do have a quasi relationship with the ACC to play 5 games annually (4 last year & 6 this year do to scheduling issues)! So it begs the question, if/are these encounters with ACC squads Quasi Conference games … and if so … should they be counted as Non-conference P5 games for the ACC or as something else? Ok enough!!!  For our purposes, SCFP rules that Notre Dame is part of the Power 5 alignment, as an independent, in an organization that is defined by specific conference affiliation  … what? Now that that is crystal clear, no further discussion/confusion will be tolerated … well … let’s go with this and see if it works! The teams battling with the Atlantic Division are South Carolina, LSU, Auburn, Kentucky, & Florida from the SEC, Indiana from the Big Ten, & Notre Dame takes on 3 Atlantic Division teams.

The Coastal Division challenges 12 P5’s in 2015 … The Coastal is behaving like a vaccine, a cure, all over the scheduling fiasco that is a plaque set upon college football fans. The ACC’s Coastal will kick it off against the following P5  Conferences: ND: 3 times (well … Ok …  Quasi Conference) , the SEC: 2, Big Ten: 6 games, PAC 12: 1! The Teams included; as mentioned, the Irish 3 times; South Carolina & Georgia out of the SEC; Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, & Nebraska are the reps from the Big Ten, & the PAC 12’s: UCLA! Wow  what a line up!

The ACC is playing 21 teams from P5 Conferences in 2015 and coupled with their 2014 scorecard of 17 tilts with Power Conferences, the ACC has been involved in 38 games in the past 2 years vs P5’s. This fits perfectly with what SCFP is calling for, 3 P5 Opponents in a 2 year time frame. This formula will allow ACC teams to play 1 FCS team (these FCS leagues are often dependent on these games to meet budget … about 88 or so of these games are played every year & the FCS teams will win anywhere from 2 to 8) every other year and fill their remaining games with G5 (Group of 5 … AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, & SBC). Clearly, the ACC is getting this right!

ACC Non-conference Scheduling Grade: A+

Up Next: Big Twelve & PAC 12 



Posted in ACC, Alabama, Arkansas, Army, Auburn, Big Ten, Boston College, BYU, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami FL, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, NC State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, SEC, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wisconsin |

Time for the Big 12 to Hit Back

The SEC is running wild in Big 12 country and Texas is basically hiding under its 10 gallon hat, pretending that is is business as usual … its not! The SEC intrusion into the State of Texas has placed the Longhorns, Hoss Cartwright’s Hat in close proximity to their behinds!

Texas has hurt the Big-12 in almost as many ways as they have helped the Conference. Let’s start by looking at the funny … to outright strange …  idea Texas projects about how to divide conference revenue, it goes something like this…

$1 to TCU – $1 to Texas; $1 to Texas Tech – $1 to Texas; $1 to Baylor – $1 to Texas; $1 to Texas A&M … oops they left … well ok  … but still … $1 Texas, $1 to Nebraska …  oh yeah they left too … whatever  … $1 to Texas; $1 to Colorado …. wait a minute … they went the way of the Buffalo? … big deal …  we heard the Buffalo are making a comeback …$2 to Texas; $1 to Missouri … their gone too? … forget them … their the “so what state” .. not the … “show me state” … for that insight – $3 to Texas.  and on and on & on …

In the Longhorn version of ….  ‘Texas Hold em’  … they, like everybody else at the Big 12 table, had the community cards, the Flop, the Turn & the River in plain sight … however, under their interpretation of the rules, the ‘Horns’ were allowed to see everyone else’s ‘hole cards’  giving them a slight ‘Texas  advantage’ in determining who gets the majority of $’s in the pot! Texas explaines this behavior by stating the obvious (at least to themselves) …Hey… were Texas! We do this …  because we can! ….  But not anymore!

Regarding Colorado & Missouri’s moving on, well they were missed, Nebraska’s sayonara hurt & while A&M’s “stick it’  departure has hurt the Big 12 … Big Time!

SEC recruiters have pounced on the Lone Star State; Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, & MSU are drooling over the possibilities that Texas A&M’s entry into the SEC have created for them. LSU & Arkansas, the other 2 teams in the West Division of the conferences, have always recruited pretty well in Texas, especially LSU (Arkansas … was in the old Southwest Conference with the Texas schools so they do have a history of recruiting the State). Even the East Division of the SEC, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia & Tennessee have turned their attention west and now see Texas as much more accessible since the annexation of Texas A&M! These are power programs from the best conference in the country … its not just “Houston we have a problem”  its Texas and the whole BIg 12 that has a problem!

Last year, Texas produced 341 D-1 or FBS football players, Florida added 322 to that number & California was 3rd with 232 recruits. The average recruiting class is about 19 … so lets do the math: 128 teams X 19 = 2,432 players, who are needed to fill rosters each year. The Big three, Texas, Florida & California provided 895 players last year or 37% of all recruits came from these three states. While Texas & Oklahoma have a national presence, the rest of the league does not and is highly dependent on the talent pool from Texas High Schools! Further, other than the Longhorns & Sooners, the Big 12 schools have a minimal presence in Florida & California, re: top flight recruits! The SEC has landed in Texas, hear em’ … S E C; … S E C; … S E C.  And by the way, do you think Nick Saban (Mr. Concrete / Sequential) is really a Lane Kiffin (Mr. Abstract / Random) disciple or do you think Saban has cast his gaze upon the talent pool in California? This will be fun to watch …. California Dreamers in Good Ole Boy Country … that may be a reach … even for Saint Nick!

So what is the Big 12 to do … as you may know, the B-12 & SEC have signed a deal for the league champions to meet annually in the Sugar Bowl (much like the Big Ten / PAC 12 Rose Bowl match-up) … when they are not in the 4 team playoff! Granted, the chances of both the SEC & B-12 champions (or even only one) not being in the Play offs  borderers on non-existent to unlikely! This fact is more of an issue for the Big 12, with the SEC hammering away at the Texas talent pool, the quality of the the conference, once past OU & UT , is clearly, at risk! So what is the Big 12 to do? Sully’s College Football Page has the definitive answer & here it is!!!

First: Texas either go the way of Notre Dame and declare yourself an Independent (just like you did in March of 1836 … declared Independence from Mexico) or become a real member of a conference (just like you did in December of 1845 … joined the Union … we won’t mention what you did in March of 1861 … oops to late) Ohio State shares dollar for dollar with Indiana, that’s how conferences work … get on board … your league needs you to be on board!

Second: The Big -12 needs you to start playing Texas A&M again, preferable on the last weekend in November, rivalry weekend. Look at what the SEC East does, they play all those in-state, SEC vs ACC, slobber knockers (South Carolina/Clemson, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Florida/FSU & Kentucky/ Louisville). Meanwhile, the West Division plays two in-state, SEC games, Alabama/Auburn (Iron Bowl) & Ole Miss/MSU (Egg Bowl).  The SEC could easily schedule LSU & Arkansas (A border battle) that week, leaving the Texas & Texas A&M game a real possibility … play it on Thanksgiving … what a national audience that would draw!!  Yet, more importantly, it would give Texas the opportunity to reestablish themselves as the dominant program in the state (while it’s a trickle down effect … it’s still good for the Big 12). The Longhorns now need this game more than Aggies .. I can’t believe I just said that … yet … I believe it is true!

Third: The best defense is a good offense: Machiavelli wrote: that even the threat of a strong offensive attack will move your opponent into a defensive posture … creating a strategic advantage for the one who threatens. The Chinese leader, Mao Zedong agreed; the only real defense is an active defense … meaning a counterattack is the best defense against an attack and Wing Chun, the kung Fu Master said; the hand that strikes also blocks. Alright … were done with the military adages! Here is where this babble is applicable to the Big 12! The SEC has marched into the heart of B-12 country and set up a recruiting shop in Texas. The Big 12 needs to emulate this behavior, by moving from a 10 to a 12 team league. And please, forget BYU & Boise State, as they will do nothing for recruiting. The conference needs to target Central Florida, the 2nd largest University in the U.S. (undergraduates) and East Carolina (they did beat UNC, 55-31 & NC State, 42-28 in 2013), the best kept secret in all of the FBS. The immediate effect of this move is it gets the entire B-12 a presence in the southeastern part of the country. Those of us who follow college football know, the hot beds of recruiting are in the southeast, the southwest, and the far west! The addition of UCF would put the Big 12 smack in the middle of the SEC’s lifeline  … Florida. The general thinking in the Southeast Conference, is that, while there is talents everywhere in the Southeast, the best high school players are in Florida, Georgia, & North Carolina! East Carolina is in Greenville, North Carolina; not to mention, ok let’s mention it, West Virginia would now have some relatively close neighbors in the B-12 East or whatever you would call the division!

This makes perfect sense to me, if the Big 12 wants to get back to even footing with the SEC in the recruiting wars. What do you think?

Posted in ACC, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Boise State, BYU, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, PAC 12, SEC, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech |

Sun Belt vs FCS & Power Conferences

The Sun Belt (SBC) is considered the weakest conference in all of the FBS (85 scholarship programs), by most analysts. There are 10 leagues in the Football Bowl Subdivision, 5 are in the so-called Power Conference (better thought of as the highly funded conferences) ACC, B-12, B-Ten, PAC 12, & SEC, while the other 5 reside in the Group of Five (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, & SBC) & a total of 4 teams that are Independent (3 that are aligned with the GF’s …. Army, BYU & Navy). The Sun Belt added 4 new teams to their ranks this year, Idaho, New Mexico State, Appalachian State, & Georgia Southern. They also brought in Texas State & Georgia State in 2013. While recently losing, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas, all for the 2013 season & Western kentucky (2014) all 5 teams moved to C-USA. The Sun Belt currently has 11 teams and is looking for a twelfth. The Most likely candidates are Coastal Carolina, located in Conway, South Carolina or Liberty in Lynchburg, Virginia. The 12th team means a conference championship game on the 1st Saturday in December and lots of TV money! With the AAC adding Navy in 2015, a 12th team &  with 12 teams a championship game. It would leave the SBC as the only Group of Five without a divisional playoff game & lost TV revenue the conference needs badly!  So … look for more change in the Sun Belt … & sooner than later!

Here is what the SBC’s schedule looks like in 2014:

Appalachian State: Oh no (at least from Michigan’s perspective) the Mountaineers are back in the Big House, last time here, in 2007, they stunned the 5th ranked Wolverines, 34-32. This time Appalachian State is a member of the FBS and so if things go wrong for Michigan (B-10) it will not be as bad as the 07 debacle. Let’s review, 1st time an FCS team beat a top 5 ranked FBS opponent, 1st time in the history of the polls that a team went from a top five ranking one week to out of the rankings in a week’s time, and the only time a Michigan team ever lost to an FCS squad! What a mess!! ASU plays one GF of team Southern Miss (C-USA) and two has FCS opponents, Liberty Big South Conference (BSC) & Campbell University from the Pioneer Football League (PFL).

Arkansas State: The Red Wolves are hunting two PC prey, Miami (ACC) & Tennessee (SEC) both outside of their home territory. They also have a date with one GF team, Utah State (MWC), this hunt is in their home range and the Wolves also play host to one FCS team, Montana State (Big Sky).

Georgia Southern: The Eagles are new to the FBS this year, they hail from  the Southern Conference (same as Appalachian State) and while new to the Bowl Subdivision as a member, they are not new to playing them. In fact, last year, they stunned Florida, 26-20,  in Gainesville! Georgia Southern takes on 2 PC opponents, NC State (ACC) & Georgia Tech (ACC) both games are on the road. GS plays one GF, @ Navy & hosts a FCS team, Savannah State from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

Georgia State: the Panthers take on 2 PC’s, @ Washington (PAC 12) & at Clemson (ACC). They welcome Air Force (MWC), a GF opponent, to Atlanta and one FCS team, Abilene Christian, a member of the Southland Conference (SLC) to their home stadium, the Georgia Dome!

Idaho: The Vandals are under a bowl ban in 2014, for failure to meet the Academic Progress Rate (APR) required by the NCAA. This year Idaho battles one PC team, Florida, in Gainesville and 3 GF’s. The Vandals line up against two MAC teams, at home vs Western Michigan & @ Ohio, and then travel to California to battle San Diego State (MWC). Idaho does not play a FCS opponent!

New Mexico State: Like Idaho, NMSU is new to the SBC this year, although both schools were  members of the Sun Belt years ago. The Aggies play one PC opponent, @ LSU (SEC), 2 teams from the Group of Five (GF) @ UTEP (C-USA) & at home against New Mexico (MWC). NMSU plays one FCS team, Cal Poly (Big Sky) @ home.

South Alabama: The Jaguars challenges 2 teams from the Power Conferences, @ Mississippi State (SEC) & @ South Carolina (SEC). They also play two GF opponents, Navy (IND) @ home and travel to Ohio to take on Kent State (MAC)! USA does not play an FCS squad in 2014!

Troy: The Trojans battle two PC clubs, @ Duke (ACC) & at Georgia (SEC). They also take one GF opponent, UAB (C-USA) and welcome one FCS team, Abilene Christian, to Veteran Memorial Stadium, in Troy Alabama.

Louisiana Lafayette (ULL): The Ragin Cajuns step up against one PC team, Ole Miss (SEC) in Oxford, MS ! While Challenging 2 GF opponents, @ Boise State (MWC) on the Blue Field & welcoming Louisiana Tech (C-USA) from Ruston, LA to Lafayette, LA. The Cajuns also play one FCS team, Southern University from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

Louisiana Monroe (ULM): The Warhawks  play 4 teams from the Power Conferences, 3 on the road, @ LSU, @ Kentucky, & @ Texas A&M, all three are from the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Thier lone home Non-conference game is with Wake Forest (ACC). ULM did not schedule a team from the Group of Five or from the Football Championship Subdivision!

Here is the breakdown made simple:

The SBC play 44 Non-conference games:

SBC vs PC opponents: ACC: 6 games; B-12: 0; B-10: 2 meetings; PAC 12: one date, SEC: 10 contests & ND: SBC does not play the Irish! SBC plays Power Conference teams 19 times in 2014, 3 @ home, 16 on the road, 0 at a neutral site!

SBC vs GF Conferences: AAC: 1 game; C-USA: 4 dates; MAC: 3 meetings, MWC: 5 contests; & IND: 3 tilts. The SBC plays teams from the Group of Five 16 times, 7 @ home 9 away, & none at neutral sites.

SBC vs FBS conferences: Pioneer Football League (PFL): 1 date, Big South Conference (BSC): 1 game; Big Sky Conference: (B-Sky): 2 dates; Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC): 1 game; Southland Conference (SLC): 2 meetings; Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC): 2 games! The SBC plays FCS teams 9 times in 2104 and all of the contests are in SBC Stadiums!



Posted in Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico State, South Alabama, Sun Belt, Texas State, Troy, ULM |

MWC vs FCS & Power Conferences

The Mountain West Conference, like other leagues, has experienced several changes over the past five years. Utah (PAC 12), BYU (Independent) & TCU (Big 12) have left the conference, while Hawaii, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, Utah State, & San Jose State (all from the now defunct WAC, Western Athletic Conference) have signed on the dotted line and joined the MW Conference! The MWC is widely considered the second best conference in the Group of Five (GF), looking up at only the American Athletic Conference (AAC).  Here is their breakdown for the 2014 season!

Mountain Division

Air Force: The Academy has elected not to schedule a Power Conference (PC) in 2014. The Falcons play three teams from the GF, @ Army (IND) & Georgia State Sun Belt Conference (SBC) and then welcome Navy (IND) to Colorado Springs. They round out the Non-Conference (NC) at home against Nicholls State (SLC)

Boise State: The Broncos take on Ole Miss (SEC) at a neutral site, the Georgia Dome. BSU plays 3 GF teams, BYU (IND), Louisiana (SBC) both of these games are on the Blue Turf, while they travel to U-Conn (AAC) to tame the Huskies. Boise does not play a team from the Football Championship Subdivision. (FCS)

Colorado State: The Rams take on 2 PC’s, @ Boston College and open their season at a neutral site, Sports Authority Field @ Mile High Stadium, against in-state rival, the Golden Buffaloes of Colorado. CSU plays one GF team, Tulsa (AAC) @ Home and 1 FCS club, UC Davis, from the Big Sky Conference.

New Mexico: The Loboes play one PC, Arizona State (PAC-12) at home and 3 opponents from the Group of Five (GF) @ UTEP (University of Texas El Paso … C-USA) & @ UTSA (University of Texas San Antonio also in C-USA) and welcome in-state rival, New Mexico State (SBC). UNM does not line up against a FCS squad in 2014!

Utah State: The Aggies travel to SEC Country / Rocky Top (Good Ole Boys singing about the Good Old Days … lamenting about the loss of the Tennessee country-side to urban sprawl… what?) to take on Tennessee and then welcome Wake Forest (ACC) to Romney Stadium in Logan, Utah! USU plays one GF opponent, Arkansas State, Sun Belt Conference (SBC) on the road and complete their 4 game non-conference schedule against Montana, a FCS team from the Big Sky.

Wyoming: The Cowboys have a tough NC run against PC’s, @ Oregon (PAC-12 … speed everywhere) & @ Michigan State (B-10 … bust U up everywhere) and battle one GF, Florida Atlantic (C-USA) at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. I think the most interesting FBS v FCS game is between Montana @ Wyoming. In fact, I was quite surprised to see that the Cowboys have never lost to the Grizzles, 13-0, from 1951 through 1997!

West Division:

Nevada: The Wolf Pack may have the toughest NC schedule in the MWC, Washington State (PAC-12) @ Home & @ Arizona (PAC-12) for their Power Conferences encounters and then travel  to Provo, Utah, to take on what may be the best team in all of the GF, BYU (IND)! Nevada rounds out its NC schedule by hosting Southern Utah (Big Sky) @ Mackey Stadium.

San Diego State University (SDSU): The Aztecs first head East to take on North Carolina (ACC) and then turn North to challenge Oregon State (PAC-12) to complete their two game schedule against Power Conferences in 2014. They have one date with the GF, Idaho (SBC  … & under a NCAA post season bowl ban for failure to meet APR) , at home and welcome a FCS opponent, Northern Arizona, from the Big Sky Conference, to Qualcomm Stadium!

San Jose State University (SJSU): The Spartans play 2 PC teams, @ Auburn (SEC) & at Minnesota (B-10), set sail to battle Navy, at Annapolis, their one NC GF game,  and conclude their Non-conference schedule at Home, against North Dakota, a FCS team from the the Big Sky!

University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV): The Rebels just received good news, they were banned by the NCAA from post season play in 2014 for failing to meet APR (Academic Progress Rate) in the class room. Then … upon further review .. the Rebels came up 6’s …  and are now able to earn their way into the Bowl fray! They play one PC, Arizona (PAC-12), 2 tough GF, Northern Illinois (MAC) @ Home & @ BYU (IND), & 1 FCS, Northern Colorado in Sin City!

Fresno State: Remember when I said that Nevada had the toughest NC schedule … maybe not … as The Bulldogs play 3 PC’s opponents; @ USC (PAC-12) @ Utah (PAC-12) and then invited Nebraska (B-10)  to LaLa land for an evening encounter. Ouch! They end their NC tilts at Home against, Southern Utah, a FCS team out of the Big Sky!

Hawaii: The Warriors, not to be outdone by Fresno, also elected to schedule 3 PC opponents. They welcome Washington (PAC-12) & Oregon State (PAC-12) to Aloha Stadium and then travel to the mainland to take on Colorado (PAC-12) @ Folsom Field! Hawaii play’s one FCS team, Northern Iowa, a team from the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).

Here is the breakdown for the MWC vs the Rest:

MWC vs Power Conferences: ACC, 3 Games; Big-12, No Games; Big Ten, 3 dates; P-12, 12 meetings; SEC, 3 Games; & ND, MWC does not play the Irish! A total of 21 games against PC opponents; 6 @ Home, 13 on the road, & 2 at neutral sites (Boise State & Colorado State)

MWC vs Group of Five Conferences: AAC, 2 games; C-USA, 3 tilts, MAC, 1 meeting; SBC, 5 dates, & IND, 6 contests. The MWC plays 17 games with their peers in the GF Conferences & Independant affiliates, 8 at Home, 9 on the road, and do not play any of these teams at a neutral site!

MWC vs Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Opponents: Southland Conference (SLC), 1 & done; Missouri Valley Conference (MVC,)1 date; & Big Sky Conference, 8 games! The MWC plays 10 games with FCS opponents …  all at home.

Their 48 NC games are broken down as follows: 21 vs PC’s, 17 against GF’s, & 10 vs the FCS’!



Posted in Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Mountain West, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming |

MAC vs FCS & Power Conferences

The Mac heads into the 2014 season with 13 teams (7 in the East Division & 6 in the West), this will be the last year with that number, as U-Mass has announced that they will be leaving the MAC for the 2015 campaign. The Minuteman claim that they will continue as an FBS program, but where, in what conference, as an Independent? They have not stated definitively where they are heading. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the U-Mass football program in the next few years!

For clarification as you review the MAC, keep in mind that Power Conferences (PC) include: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 (B-12), Big Ten (B-10), Pacific Coast Conference 12 (PAC-12) & the Southeastern Conference (SEC). While the Group of Five, (GF) is made up of five conferences: American Athletic Conference (AAC), Conference-United States of America (C-USA), Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mountain West Conference (MWC)’ Sun Belt Conference (SBC). Their are four Independents: Notre Dame (affiliated with the ACC & PC) BYU, Army & Navy are aligned with the GF!

That said, let’s start in the East Division:

Bowling Green: takes on two Power Conference (PC) Teams, Indiana at Home & @ Wisconsin from the B-10, one GF @ Western kentucky out of the C-USA, one one FCS Virginia Military Institute (VMI) from the SoCon at Home!

Ohio: The Bobcats line up against one PC, @ Kentucky, a Southeastern Conference (SEC) team; 2 GF, @ Marshall (C-USA) & at Home vs Idaho, a team from the Sun Belt Conference (SBC), and play one FCF team, Eastern Illinois from the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).

Akron: The Zips challenge two teams from the Power Conferences, Penn State from the Big-10 (B-10) & Pitt Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), both games are on the road, one Group of Five team @ Marshall, & one FCS club, Howard University that resides in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

Buffalo: The Bulls play two FCS teams (only one of these games can count toward the needed 6 wins to become bowl eligible … so not sure why they would schedule 2?) Duquesne from the Northeast Conference (NEC) & Norfolk State out of the MEAC.  Buffalo also has set a date with Baylor, a PC team that plays in the Big-12 (B-12) and one team from the GF, @ Army!

Kent State: The Golden Flashes play two PC opponents, both on the road, Ohio State (B-10) & Virginia (ACC) and 2 teams from the GF, both at home, Army & South Alabama. KSU does not play a FCS team this year!

Miami of Ohio: the Redhawks travel to Michigan to battle the Wolverines (B-10) in their only encounter with a PC in 2014.  Miami battles two teams from the the Group of Five @ Cincinnati (AAC) & home vs Marshall (C-USA) and one FCS opponent, Eastern Kentucky from the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC)

University of Massachusetts: U-Mass is taking on four PC teams in 2014, the Minutemen play Boston College (ACC) & Colorado (PAC 12) at home and travel to Penn State (B-10) and Vanderbilt (SEC). Thus the weakest team in the MAC East is playing, without question the most difficult non-conference schedule in the division!

Now the West Division:

Toledo: the Rocket meet two teams from the PC world, they welcome Missouri (SEC) to Glass Bowl Stadium and journey west to Ames, Iowa to confront Iowa State (B-12). UT takes on Cincinnati (AAC) from the GF and host one FCS team, New Hampshire, from the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA).

Northern Illinois: The Huskies travel to Northwestern (B-10) & Arkansas (SEC) for dates with PC teams, fly to “Sin City” to gamble for a win against UNLV (MWC) a GF squad, and finally get a home game, as they welcome a FCS team to DeKalb, Presbyterian, from the Big South Conference (BSC)

Ball State: plays one PC team, Iowa, in Iowa City, 2 FCS opponents Indiana State out of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) & Colgate from the Patriot League (PL).  As stated, only one win over a FCS opponent counts towards bowl eligibility .. in other words … if the Cardinals beat both FCS teams, they will have to win 7 not 6 games to be eligible for post-season play! They round out the Non-conference (NC) schedule against GF Independent, Army at West Point!

Central Michigan: the Chippewas have scheduled 3 PC teams for the coming season; @ Purdue (B-10) & kansas (B-12) while playing Syracuse (ACC) at home. They do not battle a GF and play one FCS opponent, Chattanooga (SoCon) @ home.

Western Michigan: will travel to Purdue (B-10) & Virginia Tech (ACC) both PC opponents. The Broncos play one GF team Idaho, out there and have invited Murray State (OVC) to Waldo Stadium for their one NC home game.

Eastern Michigan: heads south to take on Florida (SEC) and then down the road to battle Michigan State (B-10), neither of these games will be pretty! The also play GF opponent Old Dominion on the road, while welcoming Morgan State (MEAC) to Ypsilanti. Eastern is averaging about 35 hundred a game … let me say again … 3,500, they have the poorest attendance in all of FBS programs.

So here is what the MAC NC schedule looks like in 2014: 

VS the Power Conferences: ACC: 5 Games; B-12: 3 dates; B-10: 11 Tilts; PAC-12: 1 contest; & SEC: 5 meetings; Independents: the MAC does not play ND! A total of 25 battles with Power Conferences Teams, that break down as follows: 6 games at home, 19 dates on the road, and zero games at Neutral sites!

VS the Group of Five: The MAC takes on the GF 14 times in 2014, 5 in MAC Arenas and 9 at their opponents house. They battle the AAC: twice, C-USA: Five times, MWC: Once, SBC: 3 games, & Independents: Army 3 battles.

VS FCS Teams: The MAC plays 13 games, all at home, against 63 scholarship teams. Buffalo & Ball State play 2 FCS opponents each & U-Mass and Kent State do not play a FCS team in 2014! Here is the breakdown of MAC vs FCS Conferences: SOCon 2 games, OVC 3 dates, MEAC 3 contests, NEC, Once, CAA: 1 tilt, BSC: 1 game, PL: one meeting, MVC: 1 game.

Posted in Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, MAC, Miami OH, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, U-Mass, Western Michigan |


Conference -USA consists of 2 divisions, East & West, the East Division has seven teams (Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Western Kentucky, University of Alabama @ Birmingham, & Old Dominion) while the West has six (North Texas, Rice, University of Texas San Antonio or UTSA, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, & University of Texas @ El Paso or UTEP,). UNC Charlotte will join the league in 2015 bringing the total number of teams to 14, seven in each of its divisions!

C-USA will take on 22 Power Conference (PC) opponents in 2014, 18 of these games will be played on the road while 4 will be decided in C-USA arenas. The league will play the ACC 3 times, the B-12 in 5 contests, the B-10 in 4 tilts, the PAC 12 in one, the SEC 8 dates & ND once! The PC teams traveling to C-USA stadiums are: Arkansas to UTSA, Pitt & Louisville travel to Florida International (FIU), & Texas Tech comes to UTEP’s Sun Bowl Stadium. None of the 22 contests are being played at neutral sites!

C-USA plays an 8 game conference schedule, leaving 4 games for each of the 13 teams to schedule non-conference opponents, for a total of 52 NC games ( 4 X 13, the # of teams in C-USA). The league has elected to play 22 Power Conference teams, 9 FCS squads, leaving 21 dates vs their colleagues in the Group of Five (GF). C-USA challenges the AAC on 4 occasions; the MAC 5 times ; the MWC in 4 meetings; the SBC 4 games; & Independents in 4 contests (BYU, Navy & Army twice). The home / away balance breaks down as follows: the conference plays 12 games @ home & 9 on the road vs the Group of Five (the 5 conferences are: AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, & SBC) … also included in this count are 3 Independents (Army, BYU, & Navy).

All 9 battles with the FCS are in C-USA Arenas, I really do not recall when an FBS program has traveled to a FCS stadium. The reason is economics, the FCS program gets a payday to travel the the house of a FBS team. They (FCS) typically “take one on the chin” for the betterment of their entire athletic department’s funding! Some of these pay outs can be @ a half million dollars (that’s right, $500,000.00) when they schedule a team from a PC! This year (2014) C-USA has invited the following Football Championship Subdivision conferences to their respective houses; CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) once; MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) three times; SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) twice; NEC (Northeastern Conference) once; SLC (Southland Conference) twice!

C-USA has to travel to PC stadiums for 82% of their games with a division (Group of Five vs Power Conferences .. neither of these classification is a NCAA designation) within a division (FBS as recognized by NCAA category). In other words, C-USA plays 18% of their PC games on their home fields or less than 1 in 5! When lining up against other GF’s, they play slightly more than half @ home (12 0f 21), 57.14% to be exact.  Compared to the AAC (21 PC games, 14 GF contests, & 9 FCS dates) C-USA plays one more Power Conference team (22 to 21), 7 more games against the Group of Five (21 to 14), and an identical 9 tilts at home vs FCS clubs. Keep in mind, the AAC has 11 teams (44 NC games) to C-USA 13 (52 NC dates), the American plays 8 fewer Non-Conference games than C-USA plays. AAC should out perform C-USA in its NC scheduling, as they play more times at home, 26 of their 44 NC games are in their stadiums (59.09%), while C-USA hits the road 27 times out of 52 games or 48.08 % of their NC games are at home!

Posted in C-USA, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP, UTSA, Western Kentucky |

AAC vs FCS, The Group of Five, & PC’s

The American Athletic Conference (AAC … not to be confused with the ACC, … Atlantic Coast Conference), formally known as the Big East, has lost its status as an elite league among the Power Conferences. During the BCS years, they were one of the exalted Six (ACC, B-12, B-10, PAC 12, SEC & Big East), this is no longer the case, as they now have been demoted to leading the “Group of Five” (AAC, Conference-USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, & Sun Belt Conference)… whatever that may mean, they are at the front of the line!

This coming season (2014) the AAC takes on 21 teams, from the 5 Power Conferences (PC): ACC, Six games; B-12, four battles; B-10, six opponents; PAC 12, one contest; & SEC, four dates! Please Note: the AAC does not play Notre Dame! Of the 21 schedule games with the PC’s, 13 are on the road, 7 are @ home, & 1 is at a neutral site. This is the most home games any of the Group of Five (GF) play in their home arenas against the Power Conferences.

The AAC will line up against the GF’s (listed above) 14 times: C-USA, four games; MAC, two tilts, MWC, two dates; SBC, one encounter; Independents, 5 battles (BYU 3, Navy 1, & Army 1). The American Conference will play ten of their fourteen games against the Group of Five @ home and only four on the road!

The AAC takes on 9 FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) opponents, all at home! Please Note: the FCS teams are limited to 63 full scholarships, but may give fewer & retain their FCS certification; while the FBS, Football Bowl Subdivision, (PC’s & GF’s) must give 85 full scholarships or they will lose their FBS status! The AAC welcomes the following FCS teams into their respective stadiums from these conferences: MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), three games; OVC (Ohio Valley Conference):  two dates; SoCon ( Southern Conference); CAA (Colonial Athletic Association); S-Land (Southland Conference); & SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference)  each for one game!

The AAC is the strongest of the group of Five, evidenced by the fact that they play their PC opponents, 33% of the time in their stadiums (the highest of any of the Group of Five) and a full 71% of their games, against their fellow members in the GF, @ home!

Posted in AAC, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF |

Big 12 vs Power Conferences & Final Thoughts on PC vs PC

The Big 12 is the only Power Conference that does not have divisional play, as they lack the required number of teams (12), they currently are a league of 10 Universities. As a result, the B-12 schedules a little differently, as they do not want to be setting at home, while the other PC’s are playing their championship games in the first week of December! Only Kansas, Texas, Texas Tech, & West Virginia are not playing on December 6, the last Saturday in the 2014 regular season. The good thing about not having divisions, is that the Big 12 plays a round robin schedule (every team in the conference competes against every other team in the league) Many analysts believe the Big 12 champion is the only true PC champ, as the title is earned on the field of play, not the luck of who one draws in cross divisional play. The SEC, ACC, & B-10 play only 2 teams from the other division and often the luck of the draw can impact who wins that side of the conference. If Wisconsin draws OSU & MSU from the B-10 East & Nebraska gets Rutgers & Indiana, well … you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see; advantage Cornhuskers! The Big 12, like the PAC 12, plays 9 conference games, not 8 as the ACC, B-10 & SEC. As a result, the Big 12 can schedule 30 (10×3) NC games or three per team, a different number then the PAC 12’s 36 (12×3), and different again from the 56 (14×4) that the ACC, B-10 & SEC can put on their calendars.

That said, let’s take a look see at who the B-12 is messing with in 2014!

Oklahoma: plays one PC, Tennessee (SEC) @ home; Baylor: elected not to schedule a PC in 2014; Texas challenges the Bruins of UCLA (PAC-12) @ neutral site, AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, TX. TCU: welcomes Minnesota (B-10) to their home arena, Amon G. Carter Stadium, in Fort Worth; Kansas State: takes on national runner-up in 2013, Auburn @ home. Oklahoma State: upped K-State by one, by scheduling defending champ, FSU, in Arlington Texas’, AT&T Stadium. Texas Tech: plays Arkansas @ Home; West Virginia: travels to the Georgia Dome to play Alabama (SEC) & challenges Maryland (B-10) on the road. Iowa State: plays in-state rival Iowa (B-10) in Iowa City (Road Game) & Kansas: plays Duke in Durham, NC.

The B-12 plays 10 teams from PC’s in 2014; 3 road games, 4 home tilts, & 3 contests are at neutral sites. Further, those games are against: ACC, 2 dates; B-10, 3 games; PAC 12, 1 tilt; SEC, 4 meetings. Finally, the B-12 does not play the lone independent in this mix, ND. While B-12 teams are taking on Power Conference opponents on 10 occasions, they are teeing it up 8 times vs the FCS in 2014.

This concludes the evaluation of  the 5 PC’s scheduling against other Power Conferences.

Here is how Sully’s CFP rates the five power conferences scheduling one another!

1) Big Ten: They play 17 of their 48 Non-conference (NC) or 35.42% of their schedule against Power Conference teams. The B-10 plays 11 FCS teams or 22.92% of their NC schedule. While not great, it is clearly better than the rest!

2) ACC, Like the B-10, they play 17 PC opponents, for an identical 35.42% of the NC schedule. Where the B-10 gets the edge, the ACC elected to schedule 14 FCS teams or 29.17% of their NC line-up. This fact hurts the conference strength of schedule and dropped them into 2nd place!

3) B-12: The B-12 has a total of 30 NC games, like the PAC 12, they play 9 conference games, leaving room for 3 Non-Conference dates per team. They elected to schedule 10 PC teams or 33.3% of their NC games, while setting up 8 dates with FCS opponents or 26.22% of their NC schedule. While Identical to the PAC 12 in the # of FCS games, 8 (B-12 8 of 30, to the PAC 12, 8 of 36), they do play a higher percentage of games against the FCS. The B-12 plays one less game against the PC’s, 10 to the PAC 12’s 11 games. However, the B-12 plays a higher percentage, of their NC games against Power Conference opponents, than the PAC 12, (33.3% to 30.56%). The higher percentage of games against Power Conference opponents moved the B-12 in front of the PAC 12.

4) PAC 12: The PAC 12 plays 9 conference games and as a result, are only able to schedule 36, not 48 NC games, like the ACC, B-10, SEC or 30 like the Big 12. Here is how their scheduling breaks down;  11 contest vs PC’s or 30.56% of their 36 NC games, while playing FCS teams 8 times or 22.22% of all NC contest. The PAC 12 percent of games against 63 scholarship programs (FCS) is slightly better than the B-10’s but their percent of PC games is significantly lower then their Rose Bowl Brothern, the ACC, or B-12. This Stat Landed them in 4th place!

5) SEC: While their is little argument that this is the best conference in college football, their NC schedule is doing little to enhance that widely held perspective. The SEC scheduled just 11 games vs PC’s or 22.92% of their NC opportunities; while establishing 14 dates with FCS opponents for 29.17% of their NC games. Also, keep in mind, the SEC Rep as the best conference has been, at least in part, established by beating up the B-10 in bowl games (I’m talking Conference reputation , not a specific team winning the national championship or 4 of the 14 SEC teams; Bama, Florida, LSU, & Auburn), keep in mind, the PAC 12 has handled the B-10 in recent years, as has the ACC & the B-12! Finally, while I personally believe the SEC is the best league, it really does not matter what Sully’s CFP believes or what anybody thinks. It comes down to their NC regular season schedule, which in 2014, is just short of a joke! The SEC plays more games against FCS opponents than it plays against Power Conference teams. In fact, they are the only PC that schedules more FCS teams than PC opponents. The logic “the SEC has so many good teams, it would be unfair for them to schedule up during the regular season”, will no longer fly in this playoff driven format! The SEC is going to have to pack their bags and start heading to the near west & far west to take on the B-12 & PAC 12 and/or break out the welcome wagon for these teams, in their respective stadiums, during the regular season.

So as we head into the 2014 season… be mindful of strength of schedule; the chatter about this … who played who, will turn quickly into an intense debate, especially given the money at stake. I can hear it now … How did that team get into the Final Four? Who put that Guy/Gal on the Selection Committee? Four spots & Five PC champions, who will be left out & why? Why didn’t the SEC get 2 teams? …  all of this will be scrutinized and a whole lot more! This is going to be the most interesting college football season in years!

Posted in Baylor, Big 12, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia |

PAC 12 vs the Power Conferences (PC)

Unlike the B-10 (14 teams) or the B-12 (10 teams) the PAC 12 thinks numbers matter, evidenced by their history of having the number of teams in their league be reflective in what they call themselves. The conference was formed on December 2, 1915 in Portland, Oregon’s Imperial Hotel and until 1959 was known as the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC). The four founding members were University of California (Berkeley), University of Washington, University of Oregon, & Oregon Agriculture College (now Oregon State) and began competition in 1916. In 1917, Washington State College (now Washington State University) joined the League followed by Stanford in 1918. In 1922 the conference grew again when USC & Idaho signed up, in 1924 Montana entered the league and UCLA was brought into the fold in 1928. In 1950 Montana left the PCC to join the Mountain States Conference and the PCC remained a nine team league until 1958. Then in 1959, the Pacific Coast Conference disbanded after the “Pay for Play” scandals involving Cal, USC, UCLA & Washington. From 59 through 68 it was known as the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU). In 1968 it renamed itself, yet again, this time to the PAC 8 ( 4 California Schools, two Universities in Oregon & 2 in Washington)! In 1978, the conference added Arizona & Arizona State and became the the PAC 10! Finally, in 2011, we arrived at its current name , PAC 12, with the additions of Utah & Colorado!

One thing to remember, the PAC 12 plays nine conference games, the Big 10 (moving to 9 in 2016), SEC, & ACC currently play 8. Further, the ACC, B-10, & SEC have 14 teams in their respective conferences, 7 in each of their divisions to the PAC 12’s, 12 teams with 6 placed in each division. Like the other FBS conferences, the PAC 12 is limited to 12 total games (unless they schedule Hawaii, in Hawaii,  … if they do, they may add a 13th game to cover travel costs), since they play 9 conferences games, they may only schedule 3 NC opponents. Simply put, the PAC 12 out of conference match-ups are limited to 3, not 4, like the other divisional PC Conferences! The P-12’s North & South play all five teams on their respective sides of the league and play 4 crossover divisional games (not 2 walk-over tilts, like the ACC, B-10, & SEC)! Please Note, The PAC 12’s structure is different than the other three Power Conferences with divisions, due to fewer teams in the league & a greater number of conference games!

Let’s begin with the South Division: They play 9 conference games for a total of 54 dates & battle 18 NC opponents. Alright, let’s look at their Power Conference opponents in 2014. UCLA: plays at Virginia (ACC) & Texas (B-12) at a neutral site, Arlington, TX; USC battles the Catholics, @ Boston College (ACC) & hosts ND (IND); (Please Note, their are only 2 Catholic Universities playing in the FBS & the Trojans are playing both schools); Arizona: has elected not to schedule an opponent from a PC; Arizona State welcomes the Irish to Tempe; Utah:  travels to the ‘Big House’ to take on Michigan (B-10); while Colorado: does not have a PC opponent on their slate for 2014! The South Division will compete against 6 Power Conference teams (ACC 2; ND 2; B-12 1; & B-10, 1) in the coming season, with UCLA & SC accounting for 4 of the 6 games!

In 2013, the South Division went 3-2 against PC opponents, UCLA beat Nebraska, 41-21; SC beat BC, 35-7 & lost to ND, 14-10; Arizona did not play a NC team from a Power Conference, Arizona State beat Wisconsin, 32-30 & lost to the Irish, 37-34; Utah did not play a NC team from a PC; Colorado did not schedule a Power Conference opponent!

 North Division: Oregon: Plays Michigan State (B-10) in Eugene on Sept. 6th, a must see game; Stanford: travels to South Bend to battle Notre Dame, Washington: hosts the Illini (B-10); Oregon State: has elected not to schedule a Power Conference team in O14; Washington State: battles Rutgers (B-10) @ home; & Cal plays @ Northwestern (B-10). The North Division of the PAC 12 takes on 5 PC foes, four from from the Big Ten!

In 2013, the North Division was 4-3 vs a Power Conference line-up, Oregon beat Virginia, 59-10 & Tennessee, 59-14; Stanford beat ND 27-20; Washington outscored the Illini, 34-24; Oregon State did not play a PC last season; Washington State lost to Auburn, 31-24; Cal lost to Northwestern, 44-30 & Ohio State, 52-34.

In 2014, the PAC 12 plays 11 NC games against PC opponents. They play 5 on the road, 5 at home, and one at a neutral site. ‘The West Coast Guys’ take on the B-10 five times, the Irish on 3 occasions, the ACC twice, & the B-12 once!

Up Next: The Big 12 vs Power Conferences

Posted in Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, PAC 12, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State |

Big Ten VS Power Conferences

Big Ten Vs ACC, Big 12, PAC 12 & SEC

The Big Ten is now a directionally driven, 2 division conference, identified by the headings of East & West. Personally, I prefered the Leaders (building for the future) & Legends (honoring the past). The ‘talking heads’ at ESPN were forever running their mouths about how “stupid’ those names were … wait a minute … those Guys & Gals often own the corner on stupid,  … now I get it … that’s why they think East & West are better identifiers … got it! That said, one has to like the creativity of the the Atlantic Coast Conference, their divisions are the  … Atlantic & Coastal … damn clever! Or how about the Mountain West Conference, they put their thinking caps on an came up the incredibly innovative divisionals tags of … Mountain & West … Wow … ESPN must have loved that kind of “out of the box thinking!” Look it, the Big Ten needed to sell the idea that they are shaping young minds toward the future (Leaders) by remembering their past (Legends)!  They really did a half-tailed job of selling,  … what I thought was a good idea! Oh well, enough about that … East & West forever baby!

Lets start in the Big Ten East, 7 teams reside on that side of the league, OSU, MSU, Michigan, PSU, Indiana, & new-comers Maryland and Rutgers! They play a total of 84 games (7 teams x 12 games) eight of the games are conference (8 x 7 = 56 Big Ten battles) leaving 4 non-conference games per team for the East to take on 28 possible Power Conference (PC) teams. Here is how they chose to schedule: 1) Ohio State plays one, Va Tech (ACC) @ home; 2) Michigan State takes on Oregon (PAC 12) in tree hugger-ville; 3) Michigan travels to God’s House to take on the Irish (IND) & welcomes the Utes (Utah, PAC 12) to the Big House; 4) Penn State does not play a PC opponent this year, although they do play Central Florida, AAC: American Athletic Conference (who did beat Baylor, 52-42, in the Fiesta Bowl last year), in Dublin Ireland; 5) Indiana heads to the “show me” state to take on Missouri (SEC); 6) Maryland challenges West Virginia (Big 12) @ home and then packs their bags for a trip to Syracuse (ACC); & 7) Rutgers heads west to take on Washington State (PAC 12) & its innovative HC, Mike Leach. The Big Ten East plays 8 PC’s or 29% of their Non-Conference (NC) schedule is against higher quality FBS programs. It should be noted, that the East plays only 4 teams from the FCS, in other words, only 14% of their NC schedule is played against Football Championship Subdivision opponents These FCS teams may only give up to 63 scholarships and they may give fewer if they chose to do so; The FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs have no such option, must give 85 full rides or lose their FBS classification! OSU, Michigan & PSU do not play an FCS program in 2014, while Maryland, MSU, Rutgers & Indiana play one each!

In the Big Ten West, descriptors are the same as above, 7 teams, 84 total games, 56 conference tilts, & 28 NC contests. So here is the West: 1) Wisconsin plays LSU (SEC) at a neutral site (Houston’s Reliant Stadium, now NRG Stadium); Nebraska welcomes Miami (ACC) to Lincoln; 3) Northwestern hosts Cal and then travels to South Bend to crusade against the Irish (IND); 4)  Iowa battles in-state rival, Iowa State (Big 12) @ home and then heads east to take on Pitt (ACC); Illinois journeys west to rangle with Washington (PAC 12); Minnesota heads south to test TCU (Big 12), & Purdue battles ND at a neutral site, Lucas Oil Field, in Indianapolis, as part of the Irish Shamrock Series! The Big 10’s West plays 9 of its 28 NC games against PC opponents or 32% of their non-conference schedule, contrasted with 7 games vs FCS squads or 25% of their NC dates!

The Big Ten numbers for 2014 are as follows; 14 teams, play 168 games, 112 conference battles,  with 56 NC dates to round off their schedules. The B-10 takes on 17 PC opponents (29% of its NC schedule), 9 on the road, 7 @ home & 2 at neutral sites! The conferences & the # of games they play against them are as follows: ACC,4 games; SEC, 2 battles; B-12, 3 tilts; PAC 12, 5 dates & ND, 3 meetings! So the Big Ten plays 17 games against Power Conferences & 11 vs FCS affiliates. As we enter the 4 team play-off Era, we are told that strength of schedule is a critical element for the selection committee, compare the B-10’s numbers with the SEC’s … it make for interesting conversation!

Up Next: ACC vs Power Conferences (PC)


Posted in Big Ten, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin |