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2010 Opponent’s Win %

In Monday’s Blog, I analyzed which method of determining who plays the toughest schedule is more accurate; mine or the NCAA. I compared the preseason predictions of both and concluded that my method is superior because it takes two major factors into account. The first is my 9 sets of Power Ratings. This ensures that an FCS team like William & Mary who was 11-3 last year is rated much lower than Oklahoma which was 8-5 in 2009. The second factor is the amount of home and away games played. As an example, this year some teams will have as many as 8 home games, while others play as many as 8 on the road.

Today’s blog will take a closer look at the toughest schedule debate by looking at this year’s opponents’ win/loss record from the 2009 season.

At the beginning of the season, the NCAA usually releases a rating of each team’s schedule based on their opponents’ win/loss record from the previous season. This is a good method but it does have its obvious flaws.

The first flaw is basing the ratings on opponents’ records from the previous season. Let’s look at a couple of examples. At the start of 2007 I had Illinois rated as one of the top teams in the Big Ten and they went on to knock off #1 Ohio St and play in the ROSE BOWL. My ratings had them as an above avg opponent at the start of the year and they finished the regular season #13 (AP). Using 2006’s record as the criteria for determining the strength of an opps’ schedule, however you would count them as a 2-10 team!

The second flaw is basing it on pure overall records. If a team plays a FCS (IAA) school that was 11-1 in 2007, that would have counted as a MUCH tougher game in the NCAA ratings than facing a team like Alabama who was 7-6 in ‘07 but #1 at the end of ‘08 regular season! My ratings had Bama ranked as a much tougher team than an FCS foe.

Below is a chart of all 120 teams and the combined 2009 opponents’ records from last year. It is ranked in order of highest % of opponent wins (or toughest schedule) to lowest % of opponent wins (or easiest schedule). This is the same chart that will be printed in this year’s college preview magazine.

2010′s Opponent Winning %

(Based on 2009 Records)

 

   
Rank   Foe Wins Foe Losses Foe Win % Tms W/Win Rec
1 LSU 98 56 63.64% 9
2 Minnesota 96 55 63.58% 8
3 Iowa St 97 56 63.40% 9
4 S Carolina 98 58 62.82% 11
5 Miss St 96 57 62.75% 9
6 N Carolina 97 60 61.78% 9
7 Virginia Tech 95 59 61.69% 8
8 Duke 94 60 61.04% 8
9 San Jose St 100 65 60.61% 8
10 Pittsburgh 92 60 60.53% 8
11 Wyoming 91 60 60.26% 6
12 Miami, Fl 92 61 60.13% 9
12 Auburn 92 61 60.13% 9
14 Washington St 91 61 59.87% 10
15 Alabama 84 57 59.57% 8
16 Tennessee 91 62 59.48% 8
17 Texas A&M 91 63 59.09% 8
18 USF 89 62 58.94% 8
19 Illinois 90 63 58.82% 7
19 Oregon St 90 63 58.82% 8
21 NC State 91 64 58.71% 9
22 Syracuse 81 57 58.70% 7
23 Oklahoma 90 64 58.44% 8
23 UCLA 90 64 58.44% 8
25 UNLV 97 69 58.43% 9
26 Penn St 88 63 58.28% 6
27 Michigan 87 63 58.00% 6
28 Georgia Tech 87 64 57.62% 7
29 Vanderbilt 89 66 57.42% 10
30 Washington 88 66 57.14% 9
31 Louisville 86 65 56.95% 8
32 Iowa 86 66 56.58% 7
32 Notre Dame 86 66 56.58% 6
32 Florida St 86 66 56.58% 7
32 New Mexico 86 66 56.58% 7
36 Mississippi 85 66 56.29% 8
37 Temple 87 68 56.13% 7
38 Miami, Oh 86 68 55.84% 7
39 Connecticut 83 66 55.70% 7
40 Arkansas 84 67 55.63% 7
41 Florida 86 69 55.48% 9
42 Baylor 83 67 55.33% 5
42 West Virginia 83 67 55.33% 7
44 Texas Tech 84 70 54.55% 8
45 Rutgers 81 68 54.36% 7
46 Arizona St 81 69 54.00% 8
47 Oklahoma St 82 70 53.95% 5
47 Kansas St 82 70 53.95% 8
47 Virginia 82 70 53.95% 8
50 Louisiana Tech 83 71 53.90% 7
51 Colorado 82 71 53.59% 7
52 Arizona 80 70 53.33% 7
53 Marshall 82 72 53.25% 8
54 Tulane 80 71 52.98% 8
55 Memphis 81 72 52.94% 7
56 Michigan St 78 70 52.70% 4
57 Ohio St 80 72 52.63% 6
58 Toledo 81 73 52.60% 7
59 Maryland 79 72 52.32% 7
60 Texas 80 73 52.29% 7
61 Northwestern 78 72 52.00% 5
62 Nebraska 78 73 51.66% 6
62 Colorado St 78 73 51.66% 7
64 Rice 79 74 51.63% 6
65 California 77 73 51.33% 8
66 Georgia 78 74 51.32% 7
67 Nevada 84 80 51.22% 6
68 Stanford 76 73 51.01% 6
69 Fresno St 77 74 50.99% 5
69 Bowling Green 77 74 50.99% 5
71 Air Force 76 74 50.67% 6
71 Utah 76 74 50.67% 6
73 East Carolina 77 75 50.66% 7
73 Utah St 77 75 50.66% 6
75 TCU 75 74 50.34% 7
76 Kansas 77 76 50.33% 6
76 Wake Forest 77 76 50.33% 7
76 SMU 77 76 50.33% 6
79 San Diego St 75 75 50.00% 6
79 Cincinnati 75 75 50.00% 7
81 Southern Miss 74 75 49.66% 6
82 BYU 74 76 49.33% 6
82 WKU 74 76 49.33% 5
84 Indiana 73 75 49.32% 5
85 Louisiana 74 77 49.01% 6
86 Navy 73 76 48.99% 4
87 USC 80 84 48.78% 6
88 Hawaii 79 83 48.77% 6
89 UAB 73 79 48.03% 7
89 Boise St 73 79 48.03% 6
91 Kentucky 72 78 48.00% 7
91 Florida Atlantic 72 78 48.00% 4
93 Wisconsin 71 77 47.97% 3
94 Idaho 78 85 47.85% 5
95 Clemson 72 79 47.68% 7
96 Tulsa 72 80 47.37% 6
97 Missouri 71 79 47.33% 5
98 ULM 70 78 47.30% 6
99 Ball St 68 78 46.58% 4
100 FIU 69 80 46.31% 4
101 C Michigan 69 81 46.00% 6
102 Boston College 68 80 45.95% 4
103 Kent St 68 81 45.64% 5
104 Oregon 68 82 45.33% 7
104 New Mexico St 68 82 45.33% 4
106 Purdue 67 81 45.27% 3
106 Houston 67 81 45.27% 6
108 Arkansas St 67 82 44.97% 4
109 E Michigan 67 83 44.67% 4
110 UCF 66 82 44.59% 4
111 North Texas 65 83 43.92% 3
112 Army 65 84 43.62% 4
113 Akron 64 84 43.24% 5
113 Troy 64 84 43.24% 4
115 W Michigan 64 85 42.95% 4
116 N Illinois 63 85 42.57% 4
117 Ohio 62 85 42.18% 4
118 UTEP 59 89 39.86% 4
119 Middle Tenn 58 89 39.46% 2
120 Buffalo 59 91 39.33% 6

Using last year’s records for their opponents, LSU plays the toughest schedule this year with their opponents having 63.64 win % last year. Overall LSU faces 9 teams that had a winning record in ’09. The Tigers open up in the Georgia Dome against North Carolina and also play West Virginia in non-conf play. In SEC play they have to travel to Auburn, Florida and Arkansas who all won at least 8 games in ’09.

Minnesota’s 2010 opponents had a combined 63.58% win % in ’09. The Gophers hsave to travel to Middle Tennessee (10-3 in ’09) in the opener and also play USC in non-conferennce action. In conference play Minnesota gets Penn St, Ohio St and Iowa at home with road games at Wisconsin and Michigan St. The Gophers avoid Indiana and Michigan who were a combined 2-14 in conference play last year.

South Carolina plays 11 teams that had a winning record in 2009 while Middle Tennessee only plays two teams. According to their opponents win/loss record Purdue plays the easiest schedule (#106) among BCS schools while San Jose St (#9) plays the toughest schedule among non-BCS schools.

Again these are not my toughest schedule rankings so let’s pick out some teams to show you the flaws of just using last year’s overall opponent records. Based on 2009’s opponent records San Jose St plays the 9th toughest schedule. While they do play at Alabama, Wisconsin and Utah in non-conference, they also play two FCS foes in Southern Utah and UC Davis who were a combined 11-11 last year. The Spartans also play in the WAC conference, which will only have one Top 25 team at the start of the year. Does this sound like the #9 toughest schedule to you? Despite the three tough non-conference road games, I know a few BCS schools that would like to play 10 non-BCS teams this season.

According to their opponents win/loss record from 2009 Temple plays the 37th toughest schedule while Oregon takes on an easy #104 slate.  Oregon’s cupcake schedule has them facing all 9 Pac-10 foes including road games at Cal, USC and Oregon St and an early non-conf road game at Tennessee. Meanwhile the Owls in addition to their MAC schedule get Villanova and Connecticut at home in non-conference with road games at Army and Penn St.  Do you think Temple’s schedule is 67 spots tougher than Oregon’s?

Here are some other interesting tidbits when looking at who plays the toughest schedule…

Teams that faced the most ranked opponents in 2009 (ranked when played)

6-Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon

5-Georgia Tech, Miami, Fl, Vanderbilt, Mississippi St, Michigan, Nebraska, Virginia, Oregon St, USC, Arkansas, South Carolina, Washington St, Indiana and USF

Teams that faced the fewest ranked opponents in 2009 (ranked when played)

1-Akron, Toledo, North Texas, Hawaii, Eastern Michigan, Temple, Kansas St, Florida Atlantic, ULM, Marshall, Houston, Pittsburgh and Idaho

0-Buffalo, Ohio, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, UAB, Army, Ball St, Kent St, Middle Tennessee and WKU

Teams that faced the most ranked opponents in 2009 (ranked at season’s end)

6-Florida St
5-Alabama, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Georgia Tech. Michigan St and Mississippi St

Teams that faced the fewest ranked opponents in 2009 (ranked at season’s end)

1-Eastern Michigan, Temple, Florida Atlantic, ULM, Houston, Ohio, Idaho and North Texas

0-UAB, Army, Ball St, Central Michigan, Middle Tennessee, Kent St, Western Michigan, WKU and Southern Miss

There were three teams did not face a ranked opponent either at the time the game was played or at season’s end. (Army, Central Michigan and WKU)

Southern Miss faced two opponents (Kansas #20 and Houston #15) that were ranked when the game was played but none at season’s end.

Florida St played just three opponents that were ranked at the time of the game (BYU #7, Georgia Tech #22 and Florida #1) but ended up playing six teams that finished in the AP Top 25 (Florida #3, BYU #12, Georgia Tech #13, Miami, Fl #19, Clemson #24 and West Virginia #25).

 

 
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