ESPN’s FPI suggests that teams from two conferences – collectively – have much harder schedules than the rest.
Every year, college football fans love to debate which of the five major conferences – between the ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten – boast the most difficult schedules. Heading into the 2017 campaign, which is now just over four months away, ESPN’s FPI suggests that two conferences stand out above the rest.
Those two conferences? The Pac-12 and the SEC.
The Pac-12’s 12 schools, in order of schedule rank, are listed below. California has the toughest schedule in the nation.
9. Arizona State
12. Oregon State
39. Washington State
The SEC is the only other conference that compares. LSU has the second-hardest schedule in the nation.
7. South Carolina
15. Mississippi State
16. Texas A&M
37. Ole Miss
As you can see, the top ten schedules all come from either Pac-12 or SEC schools. Georgia Tech, at No. 11, is the first ACC team in the mix.
Maryland, with the 21st-hardest schedule in the country, is the first Big Ten team on the list. Iowa State, at No. 23, is the first Big 12 squad listed.