Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Poll: Toughest Pac-12 schedule?
By Kevin Gemmell
Last week we gave you our thoughts on the teams we thought had the toughest schedule. There are a couple different schools of thought. There is the straight-forward raw data -- which goes off of the combined records/winning percentage of last season's opponents. If you want to use that methodology, here's how the schedules shape up in terms of difficulty.
California: 93-60 (.588)
Colorado: 90-63 (.588)
Utah: 90-64 (.584)
Stanford: 88-65 (.575)
Arizona State: .87-67 (.564)
Oregon State: 81-72 (.529)
Washington State: 80-71 (.529)
UCLA: 81-73 (.525)
USC: 86-79 (.521)
Washington: 73-73 (.519)
Arizona: 73-77 (.486)
Oregon: 67-83 (.446)
This makes for a good jumping off point, but it's hardly definitive since teams change so much from year to year in terms of personality and personnel. Oregon State was a prime example last season -- going from 3-9 in 2011 to 9-4 in 2012.
You could also examine the schedule by the way it plays out (home vs. road games/timing of bye weeks) coupled with the expectations of each team. This is what the bloggers did -- with me taking Oregon State and their brutal second-half slate, and Ted going with Stanford's power-packed lineup.
Was that the right approach? What are your thoughts? Which Pac-12 team has the toughest schedule in 2013?
Arizona State: An early stretch of four straight games against Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame will tell us an awful lot about the Sun Devils and whether their preseason hype is deserved. No bye weeks separating these, either. Going to be an interesting month in Sun Devil country.
Cal: It might be a tough first year for new head coach Sonny Dykes. The Bears face six teams that won at least nine games last season -- and they have three national championship contenders with Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford on the docket.
Oregon State: The Beavers go from a pretty non-threatening first half to a mettle-testing final five. For a team hoping to make a splash on the national stage, it'll have to buckle down after what should be -- at the very least -- a 6-1 start.
Stanford: Tough games early and rivalry games late. And as Ted notes, for a team that hopes to play for a national championship, there is no room for error.
Other: Colorado and Utah -- statistically speaking -- have very difficult lineups. Eight of the 11 FBS teams Colorado faces this year went to a bowl game last season, and nine of the 11 that Utah faces were in the postseason in 2012.