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The 10 Hardest Schedules In College Football Next Season

General view of the opening play between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl.

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 22: General view of the opening play between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Scheduling in college football is always a fun topic of discussion. Especially in the College Football Playoff era, the way a team schedules can decide their season.

Ohio State, for example, probably missed the College Football Playoff due to its game against Oklahoma. The Buckeyes were blown out by the Sooners and ended up missing out on the playoff. If OSU had scheduled an easy opponent in OU's place, Urban Meyer's team probably would've been a 12-1, Big Ten champion - a lock for the playoff.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, benefited from its easy schedule. The Badgers went undefeated in the regular season and were a win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game away from a playoff spot.

Easy schedules aren't always the way to go, though. Two seasons ago, Ohio State played at Oklahoma. The Buckeyes won decisively. It was probably that win that put OSU in the playoff over a couple of other teams.

This leads us to looking ahead to the 2018 season. One analyst has already started ranking the toughest schedules for the upcoming season.

Here are the 10 toughest. The rankings come from analyst Matt Smith.

1. Michigan

Michigan 2018 football schedule

2. Nebraska

Nebraska 2018 football schedule

3. Rutgers

Rutgers 2018 football schedule

4. Notre Dame

Notre Dame 2018 football schedule

5. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 2018 football schedule

6. Texas A&M

Texas A&M 2018 football schedule

7. Indiana

Indiana 2018 football schedule

8. Northwestern

northwestern 2018 football schedule

9. LSU

lsu 2018 football schedule

10. Maryland

maryland 2018 football schedule


You can read his full rankings here.