Each year, teams take different approaches to non-conference scheduling. Some teams challenge themselves, while others go a bit easier, preferring to save their toughest tests for conference play.
ESPN’s Chris Low ranked the 10 easiest non-conference slates in the country. He released those rankings this morning.
One team stands out as having the lightest non-conference load: Oregon
The Ducks, according to ESPN, have the easiest non-conference schedule in the country for 2018.
Sept. 1 vs. Bowling Green, Sept. 8 vs. Portland State, Sept. 15 vs. San Jose State
Just as Pittsburgh was an easy choice for having the toughest Power 5 nonconference schedule, Oregon is the runaway winner for having the softest nonconference schedule.
Not only do the Ducks have three home games, none of which are against Power 5 opponents, but one of those is against FCS foe Portland State.
And among them, Bowling Green, San Jose State and Portland State won four games last season. So not exactly a murderer’s row out of conference for Mario Cristobal in his first season as the Ducks’ coach.
With this type of non-league schedule, expect Oregon to be in a bowl in Year 1 under Mario Cristobal.
You can view the full rankings here.