USA Today - College Football's Toughest Schedules: Ole Miss, Minnesota lead list of toughest schedules in 2023

BleedGopher

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Per Patrick:

2. Minnesota Gophers

Minnesota’s Nonconference Schedule​

Minnesota’s Key Conference Games​

The only nonconference game that sparks my interest will happen in Week 3 when the Tar Heels host the Gophers in Chapel Hill. Minnesota will find out how the competition in the Big Ten West stacks up for P.J. Fleck and company in Week 0 as they host Nebraska. Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin will also big massive tests for Minnesota.


Go Gophers!!
 




We've had a few easier schedules in the past years; our time for a meat grinder. We can do it!

I will say that in some years when our schedule was supposed to be soft, it actually was more difficult than expected--e.g., because of the rise in play of Illinois and Purdue. By the same token, our toughest schedules might, because of the vicissitudes faced by other teams as the season wears on, prove a smidgen easier than predicted.

Go Gophers.
 


We've had a few easier schedules in the past years; our time for a meat grinder. We can do it!

I will say that in some years when our schedule was supposed to be soft, it actually was more difficult than expected--e.g., because of the rise in play of Illinois and Purdue. By the same token, our toughest schedules might, because of the vicissitudes faced by other teams as the season wears on, prove a smidgen easier than predicted.

Go Gophers.
I agree. No reason to complain. Over the past 3-4 years the schedule has been lighter. It all balances out
 


Can someone tell me why our schedule would be ranked easier than Ole Miss? They play Bama and LSU every year and otherwise this is a typical SEC schedule. UNC>Tulane for sure as well. The same as MD being on the list. Just because they play the B10 East? By that metric, they should have a top 5 schedule every year (and is equivalent to Rutgers this year) and would argue Mich St has it tougher given they draw Washington. Just random little things but yeah the schedule is brutal for the Gophs this year.
 





on paper, it is a challenging schedule.

But, in the transfer portal and NIL era, situations can change quickly.

and there is no way to predict which teams will have injuries to key players.

I suspect that the top-10 level teams are going to be good virtually every year. but below that level, I think there could wind up being more movement than in the past. you could see teams take a fairly big jump up the rankings one year, and fall back the next year.

which in one sense, could be good for college football. get some new teams in the mix at the top, so that every season doesn't come down to the same 4 or 5 teams every stinkin' year.
 


per Sam:

Every team takes a long, winding road during the span of a schedule in the college football season. Even so, some paths are more treacherous than others en route to potentially making the College Football Playoff or winning a national title.

ESPN believes so as they have released their rankings of the sport’s most difficult schedules for this fall based on REM SOS. When it comes to strength of schedule, Ole Miss takes the cake with the most difficult stretch next season to lead the Top-25.
  1. Ole Miss Rebels
  2. Minnesota Golden Gophers
  3. Florida Gators
  4. Maryland Terrapins
  5. Auburn Tigers
  6. Arkansas Razorbacks
  7. Michigan State Spartans
  8. Tennessee Volunteers
  9. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  10. Indiana Hoosiers
The Rebels have two decent non-conference matchups with Mercer to open their schedule and then UL Monroe in the second to last week. However, after that, nothing else in between is a cakewalk. It starts with a game at Tulane, who went 12-2 last season, and a matchup at home Georgia Tech. From there, they’ll get their usual SEC West slate while also hosting Vanderbilt and having to go to Athens to play Georgia.

Florida and Auburn join Ole Miss as conference foes who also made it in the top-five. Minnesota and Maryland round out that group at the second and fourth spots respectively.

As you’ll notice, conference dominance continued for the SEC and Big Ten in these schedule ratings. Only three teams outside of those leagues made the cut in Texas, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech. Overall, the list features 11 teams from the Southeastern Conference including all seven members of the west division. It also includes 10 teams from the Big Ten with all seven members of their east division represented.


Go Gophers!!
 



per Sam:

Every team takes a long, winding road during the span of a schedule in the college football season. Even so, some paths are more treacherous than others en route to potentially making the College Football Playoff or winning a national title.

ESPN believes so as they have released their rankings of the sport’s most difficult schedules for this fall based on REM SOS. When it comes to strength of schedule, Ole Miss takes the cake with the most difficult stretch next season to lead the Top-25.
  1. Ole Miss Rebels
  2. Minnesota Golden Gophers
  3. Florida Gators
  4. Maryland Terrapins
  5. Auburn Tigers
  6. Arkansas Razorbacks
  7. Michigan State Spartans
  8. Tennessee Volunteers
  9. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  10. Indiana Hoosiers
The Rebels have two decent non-conference matchups with Mercer to open their schedule and then UL Monroe in the second to last week. However, after that, nothing else in between is a cakewalk. It starts with a game at Tulane, who went 12-2 last season, and a matchup at home Georgia Tech. From there, they’ll get their usual SEC West slate while also hosting Vanderbilt and having to go to Athens to play Georgia.

Florida and Auburn join Ole Miss as conference foes who also made it in the top-five. Minnesota and Maryland round out that group at the second and fourth spots respectively.

As you’ll notice, conference dominance continued for the SEC and Big Ten in these schedule ratings. Only three teams outside of those leagues made the cut in Texas, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech. Overall, the list features 11 teams from the Southeastern Conference including all seven members of the west division. It also includes 10 teams from the Big Ten with all seven members of their east division represented.


Go Gophers!!
MSU, MD, IU, and Rutgers have to be big supporters of eliminating divisions.
 





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