The 10 Hardest College Football Schedules For 2019, Per ESPN

College football season officially starts next month, and Monday, ESPN finally released its updated FPI rankings heading into the new campaign. One of the most interesting factors for FPI is the strength of schedule.

This year’s “hardest” schedules are dominated by the SEC and the Pac-12. In fact, 11 of the top 20 come from the Southeastern Conference. Seven call the Pac-12 home.

Let’s take a look at the top 10. South Carolina, which has to play both Alabama and Clemson, comes in with the No. 1 ranking.

10. LSU

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

LSU’s four non-conference opponents are Georgia Southern,  Texas (away), Northwestern State and Utah State. The Tigers also take on an SEC schedule of Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M.


(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

UCLA has a brutal non-conference schedule that includes a trip to Cincinnati and home games against San Diego State and Oklahoma. The Bruins then also get Washington State, Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, USC and Cal in Pac-12 play.

8. Oregon State

(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

Oregon State’s non-conference schedule has Oklahoma State, Hawaii and Cal Poly on the docket. They then play Stanford, UCLA, Utah, Cal, Arizona, Washington, Arizona State, Washington State and Oregon in the Pac-12.

7. Auburn

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Auburn’s big non-conference opponent is Oregon, but the Tigers also get Tulane, Kent State and Samford. They then have Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama in the SEC.

6. Colorado

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Colorado takes on Colorado State, Nebraska and Air Force to start the season before playing Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon, Washington State, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington and Utah in Pac-12 play.

5. Georgia

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Georgia has a huge game against Notre Dame at home in September. The Bulldogs also have Murray State, Arkansas State and Georgia Tech out of conference. Their SEC schedule includes Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, Auburn and Texas A&M.

4. Stanford

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Stanford takes on Northwestern, UCF and Notre Dame out of conference. The Cardinal also get USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, UCLA, Arizona, Colorado, Washington State and Cal.

3. Florida

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Florida starts the season off against Miami and also takes on UT Martin, Towson and annual opponent Florida State out of conference. The Gators get Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Missouri in the SEC.

2. USC

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

USC has a brutal schedule, which includes Fresno State, BYU and Notre Dame out of conference. The Trojans get Stanford, Utah, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona State, Cal and UCLA in the Pac-12.

1. South Carolina

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

South Carolina’s schedule is the hardest in the country. The Gamecocks open with North Carolina and also play Charleston Southern, Appalachian State and Clemson out of conference. They get Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M in the SEC.

Matt Lombardi @lombosco

Matt is a Co-Founder at The Spun. He can be reached at

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Matt Lombardi @lombosco

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