1. Michigan State: at California, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame
2. Michigan: Utah, Miami (OH), at Notre Dame, Toledo
3. Purdue: Northern Colorado, Oregon, Central Michigan, at Notre Dame
4. Penn State: Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, at Syracuse, Temple
5. Ohio State: Youngstown State, Ohio, at USC, Troy
6. Illinois: at Missouri (St. Louis), Eastern Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, at Western Michigan (Detroit)
7. Northwestern: Syracuse, at Duke, Southern Illinois, Ohio
8. Iowa: Maine, Florida International, Iowa State, at Pittsburgh
9. Wisconsin: Akron, Marshall, at Fresno State, Cal Poly
10. Indiana: Western Kentucky, Murray State, Ball State, Central Michigan
11. Minnesota: Northern Illinois, at Bowling Green, Montana State, Florida Atlantic
Cal Poly? Seriously. This is what happens when Pacific drops football. Awful, awful, awful. Come on, Wisky, just play Wisconsin-Eau Claire and be done with it. At least you're giving a state school some much-needed funds.
I don't know about you, but that Utah game at Ann Arbor in Michigan's season opener has upset written all over it. New system, new quarterback, new uniforms, first time in front of 100,000-plus with the new coach, etc. And Utah is pretty damn good — No. 5 in the nation in scoring defense last year, and a ton of experience returning. One more thing: the Utes have a streaky, dual-threat quarterback (Brian Johnson) who can get hot.
Let's hear it for Sparty, everyone. In what will likely be the worst BCS league for noncon games, Michigan State has a road game against an upper-tier Pac-10 team and a game against Notre Dame. More: a home game against Florida Atlantic, the Sun Belt champ from last year that — trust me — isn't too far removed from beating Florida State and Miami.
Check out Indiana and Minnesota. This is what we like to call four gimme putts. Right out of the gate, the Hoosiers are 4-0 and the Gophs are 3-1. You don't really think Minnesota is going to beat FAU, do you?
Top five games: Ohio State at USC; Illinois vs. Missouri; Utah at Michigan; Michigan State at California; Oregon State at Penn State.
Bottom five games: Cal Poly at Wisconsin; Coastal Carolina at Penn State; Youngstown State at Ohio State; Murray State at Indiana; Maine at Iowa.
Games against BCS schools: 13 (out of 33 possible): 39 percent.
Games against Championship Subdivision schools: 9 (out of 20 possible remaining): 45 percent.
1. Colorado: Colorado State (in Denver), Eastern Washington, West Virginia, at Florida State
2. Oklahoma: Tennessee-Chattanooga, Cincinnati, at Washington, TCU
3. Baylor: Wake Forest, Northwestern State, Washington State, at Connecticut
4. Texas A&M: Arkansas State, at New Mexico, Miami, Army
5. Nebraska: Western Michigan, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Virginia Tech
6. Texas: Florida Atlantic, at UTEP, Arkansas, Rice
7. Missouri: Illinois (in St. Louis), Southeast Missouri State, Nevada, Buffalo
8. Oklahoma State: Washington State (in Seattle), Houston, Missouri State, Troy
9. Iowa State: South Dakota State, Kent State, at Iowa, at UNLV
10. Kansas State: North Texas, Montana State, at Louisville, Louisiana-Lafayette
11. Kansas: Florida International, Louisiana Tech, at South Florida, Sam Houston State
12. Texas Tech: Eastern Washington, at Nevada, SMU, Massachusetts
My kingdom for more guys like Dave Plati. Colorado's associate athletic director/schedule-maker gives college football nuts reason to be hopeful: Someone actually does get it when scheduling non-con games. Year in and out, CU is among the nation's best in non-con games.
I love Mike Leach; his wacky personality and fun-as-all-get-out offense is refreshing. But UMass and Eastern Washington? And no BCS schools? You've just got to do better than that. I mean, this schedule makes Kansas look like CU.
Speaking of Kansas, welcome to the world of non-con scheduling, Jayhawks. Almost. The game at South Florida will be tough; Raymond James Stadium quickly is turning into a pit when home games are sold out (and this one will be). Then there are two softies and the scrimmage against Sammy State. Riveting.
Look, I'm OK with Championship Subdivision (I-AA) teams on the schedule -- as long as there's only one, and the remaining games are competitive. I give you Oklahoma: The Cincy game will be tough (much tougher than most think), and the road game at Washington is testy simply because of the long trip. And TCU? See: 2005.
Top five games: Missouri vs. Illinois; West Virginia at Colorado; Cincinnati at Oklahoma, Arkansas at Texas; Miami at Texas A&M.
Bottom five games: Sam Houston State at Kansas; Southeast Missouri State at Missouri; Missouri State at Oklahoma State; South Dakota State at Iowa State; UMass at Texas Tech.
Games against BCS schools: 15 (out of 48 possible): 31 percent.
Games against Championship Subdivision schools: 10 (out of 33 possible remaining): 30 percent.
CFT: The University of Miami has come under scrutiny for alleged NCAA infractions, but one unnamed Hurricanes assistant coach says the SEC gets away with far more unreported violations.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
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