2014 College Football Strength of Schedule – NCAA Method

Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas leads the NCAA SOS rankings. (Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports)

The Arkansas Razorbacks have the toughest 2014 football schedule according to the NCAA’s strength of schedule method. The NCAA method is based solely on the opponents’ win/loss record from the previous season.

The SEC leads with four teams in the Top 10 of the rankings — Arkansas (1), Tennessee (3), Texas A&M (5), and Kentucky (6). The ACC is second with three teams — Virginia (2),  Syracuse (8), and Wake Forest (9).

Notre Dame (4), Iowa State (7), and Rutgers (9) are the other three teams in the Top 10 of the NCAA’s SOS. Georgia Southern, which moves up to the FBS this season, has the easiest schedule.

Listed below are the complete 2014 NCAA strength of schedule rankings with won/loss record and winning percentage of opponents.

Note: The NCAA method uses winning percentage of opponents, but now excludes records of FCS teams, FBS Transitional teams, and bowl games. The data below includes these three items.

1. Arkansas – 103-54, 65.61%
2. Virginia – 102-54, 65.38%
3. Tennessee – 101-54, 65.16%
4. Notre Dame – 103-56, 64.78%
5. Texas A&M – 100-55, 64.52%
6. Kentucky – 98-55, 64.05%
7. Iowa State – 97-57, 62.99%
8. Syracuse – 96-57, 62.75%
9. Rutgers – 97-58, 62.58%
9. Wake Forest – 97-58, 62.58%
11. Utah – 98-59, 62.42%
12. West Virginia – 97-59, 62.18%
13. South Carolina – 96-59, 61.94%
14. Miami, FL – 96-60, 61.54%
15. Boston College – 95-61, 60.90%
16. Auburn – 93-60, 60.78%
17. California – 94-61, 60.65%
18. FIU – 92-60, 60.53%
19. Georgia – 92-61, 60.13%
20. North Carolina – 92-62, 59.74%
21. Illinois – 90-61, 59.60%
22. Florida – 91-62, 59.48%
23. NC State – 89-61, 59.33%
24. Indiana – 93-64, 59.24%
25. Nebraska – 90-63, 58.82%
26. Texas – 89-63, 58.55%
26. Ole Miss – 89-63, 58.55%
28. Clemson – 89-65, 57.79%
29. USC – 89-66, 57.42%
30. TCU – 87-65, 57.24%
31. Wyoming – 88-66, 57.14%
32. Oklahoma State – 86-65, 56.95%
32. Army – 86-65, 56.95%
34. Hawaii – 95-72, 56.89%
35. Ohio State – 87-66, 56.86%
36. Washington State – 88-67, 56.77%
37. Temple – 85-65, 56.67%
38. Kansas – 86-66, 56.58%
39. Louisiana Tech – 85-66, 56.29%
40. Maryland – 86-67, 56.21%
41. San Jose State – 87-68, 56.13%
42. Stanford – 86-68, 55.84%
43. Purdue – 84-67, 55.63%
43. Missouri – 84-67, 55.63%
43. Georgia Tech – 84-67, 55.63%
46. Minnesota – 85-68, 55.56%
47. Florida State – 83-68, 54.97%
47. SMU – 83-68, 54.97%
49. Arizona – 84-69, 54.90%
49. Oregon – 84-69, 54.90%
51. Southern Miss – 83-69, 54.61%
52. Arizona State – 84-70, 54.55%
52. Tulane – 84-70, 54.55%
54. Florida Atlantic – 81-69, 54.00%
55. Michigan State – 83-71, 53.90%
55. Virginia Tech – 83-71, 53.90%
57. LSU – 82-71, 53.59%
58. Eastern Michigan – 80-70, 53.33%
59. Michigan – 81-71, 53.29%
60. UCLA – 82-72, 53.25%
60. Oregon State – 82-72, 53.25%
62. Mississippi State – 80-71, 52.98%
62. Tulsa – 80-71, 52.98%
64. Nevada – 81-73, 52.60%
65. Kansas State – 79-72, 52.32%
66. Colorado – 81-74, 52.26%
67. Baylor – 78-72, 52.00%
68. Penn State – 79-73, 51.97%
69. Vanderbilt – 78-73, 51.66%
70. Toledo – 80-75, 51.61%
71. New Mexico – 79-75, 51.30%
72. Georgia State – 75-72, 51.02%
73. UCF – 77-74, 50.99%
74. Pittsburgh – 78-75, 50.98%
74. Boise State – 78-75, 50.98%
76. UTEP – 76-74, 50.67%
77. Washington – 85-83, 50.60%
78. Northwestern – 76-76, 50.00%
78. Miami, OH – 76-76, 50.00%
80. Louisville – 75-76, 49.67%
81. Texas Tech – 74-75, 49.66%
81. Connecticut – 74-75, 49.66%
83. East Carolina – 74-76, 49.33%
83. USF – 74-76, 49.33%
85. Iowa – 68-70, 49.28%
86. Fresno State – 74-77, 49.01%
87. Wisconsin – 74-78, 48.68%
88. Western Kentucky – 73-77, 48.67%
88. UMass – 73-77, 48.67%
90. South Alabama – 72-76, 48.65%
91. UNLV – 73-79, 48.03%
91. Kent State – 73-79, 48.03%
93. Oklahoma – 71-78, 47.65%
94. Akron – 72-80, 47.37%
95. Alabama – 71-79, 47.33%
96. Navy – 69-78, 46.94%
97. BYU – 71-81, 46.71%
98. UTSA – 70-80, 46.67%
99. Ohio – 71-82, 46.41%
100. Western Michigan – 70-81, 46.36%
101. Duke – 69-82, 45.70%
102. Cincinnati – 68-82, 45.33%
103. Bowling Green – 67-81, 45.27%
103. UL Lafayette – 67-81, 45.27%
105. UAB – 67-82, 44.97%
106. Air Force – 68-84, 44.74%
107. Old Dominion – 67-83, 44.67%
108. Idaho – 65-81, 44.52%
109. San Diego State – 66-83, 44.30%
110. Central Michigan – 66-84, 44.00%
111. New Mexico State – 64-82, 43.84%
111. Appalachian State – 64-82, 43.84%
113. Memphis – 65-85, 43.33%
114. Houston – 64-84, 43.24%
114. Arkansas State – 64-84, 43.24%
116. Rice – 64-85, 42.95%
117. Utah State – 68-94, 41.98%
118. ULM – 61-87, 41.22%
119. Troy – 60-87, 40.82%
120. Ball State – 60-89, 40.27%
121. Buffalo – 59-88, 40.14%
122. Marshall – 59-89, 39.86%
123. Texas State – 57-88, 39.31%
124. Middle Tennessee – 58-90, 39.19%
125. Colorado State – 57-91, 38.51%
126. Northern Illinois – 55-91, 37.67%
127. North Texas – 55-92, 37.41%
128. Georgia Southern – 51-95, 34.93%

(h/t PhilSteele.com)

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Categories: NCAA, Strength of Schedule

42 Comments to 2014 College Football Strength of Schedule – NCAA Method

    • Jim

      so sorry that Alabama cant play Alabama to boost their sos

    • Tomm Fury

      Yeah, it’s probably a good thing that Alabama doesn’t play with itself.

    • roll

      anyone who believes in strength of schedule is an idiot. It is impossible for a top ranked team to have a high ranking strength of schedule because everyone they play is beneath them.if you’re the reigning national champs or even ranked in the top two or three how in the world do you expect to have your strength of schedule be the same?how in the world do you think Kentucky is ranked number six? Are they going to finish this season on top of everyone? Of course not but they do play everyone that stuff in the SEC. So get over yourselves it is laughing at a number 95 ranking. That simply means Alabama’s good and you suck.

    • courtney

      Roll… that makes abosolutely no sense! If that’s the case play the toughest schedule in the nation every year since every team is beneath you anyway and see how well you do. Playing division 2 teams a year does not prove a team is the top team in the nation.

    • I definitely understand why the sec teams usually end up having the toughest strength of schedule. They r hands down the best conference. No questions asked! There r urs when I believe on therlir best day, 5 to 6 teams in the sec could beat every other team in the nation. I am a clemson fan. I would like to know how they have the 28th toughest strength of schedule. At this time they r scheduled to play four ranked teams and three of those teams r ranked in the top 12. How many other teams r scheduled to play 3 top 12 teams. I can’t believe ther r many. I understand that the acc isn’t a complete conference with gt, Miami, and vt being down the last few yrs. I do think Louisville will add to the overall strength, as well as the addition of notre dame in the future. I also don’t understand why the pac12 gets so much credit for being the second best conference slightly behind the sec. They rnt close. How can the two top conferences not even play in a bowl game. The sec and pac12 didn’t play against each other in a bowl game last yr. How is that possible? How can the two best conferences not play? Is ther a conspiracy going on? If these r the factors that influence strength of schedule them it’s a joke. U have top sec and top pac12 teams playing no body in their bowls. Or at least the PAC 12 plays no one. They end the yr with higher rankings and then start the next yr with higher rankings because they have better records. These all play hand in hand with each other and will have a direct influence in who makes the college football playoff. Let’s get the playoff close to right. And then let’s watch the best play the best. And not have a top 12 team play an unranked team. What does that show? It would be nice to know why the sec didn’t play the supposedly second best conference (pac12) at all in a bowl last yr. Clemson plays 3 top 12 teams. Who else is scheduled to do that.

    • hornfrogfan

      I love the way these Alabama and SEC fans claim that strength of schedule is gospel when it helps them stack the top ten and basically guarantee the SEC a spot in the championship game or this year the playoffs. But when it hurts them all of a sudden SOS is craps. Oh and ROLL your comment about ranked teams not able to have a good SOS proves you know absolutely nothing about SOS. Your SOS depends on who you play and who they played it has nothing to do with YOUR ranking. If bama wants a better SOS they need to stop playing CUPCAKE schedules. Their schedule is as SOFT as their defense. LOL.

    • WoW....

      “roll” that honestly might be the dumbest comment I’ve read to date and I patrol these sites fairly frequently and with the amount of “trolls” on them, that’s really saying something. In particular that first sentence “anyone who believes in strength of schedule is an idiot” I am dumbfounded by that sentence. By that logic, unbeaten Marshall of Conference USA should be ranked in the top 3 as an unbeaten team. I hope I’ve made my point because I can feel my IQ dropping with every keystroke…

  1. khurst34

    The fault with this method … Arkansas’s schedule includes Northern Illinois who went 12-2 last season, but will likely be much closer to 0.500 this year.

    • Feral Hog

      Look at the rest of our schedule. It’s not exactly a cake walk. We kick the season off with Auburn at Jordan-Hare, so…

  2. Hey Nick Saban, nice schedule you wuss!!!

    • This list is ridiculous. What does last year’s record have to do with this year?
      You just have to Hate on Saban huh? Must beat your team on a regular basis “Dave”

    • It’s the NCAA method, so it only accounts for the won-loss record of the opponents. You’ll see a Top 10 from us later, plus a full list from Phil Steele.

    • And if you look, Bama has 3 of the top 10 and 4 of the top 12 on their schedule this year.

    • Tide Man, what does playing 3 of the top 10 and 4 of the top 12 on this list have anything to do with strength of schedule. Nobody is saying Arkansas is the best team in America. The teams listed in order are based on won-lost records of their upcoming opponents. Last year, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and WVU all had losing records. That’s why Alabama’s strength of schedule is 95!!! Bottom line it ain’t tough and your buddy Nick didn’t schedule up in the non-conference. Western Carolina is FBS, Southern Miss won 1 game. WVU won 4 and FAU won 6. Not impressive.

    • Aberzombie1892

      I agree with Dave. If Alabama is aiming for a playoff spot, they will certainly regret this schedule unless they go undefeated. Even in that situation, they would need good teams to lose.

    • Dave,

      not a bama fan, but the reason playing 3 of the top 10 matters because those are actually loseable games. Lets say you are an Alabama or an FSU and you play 12 teams that all end up 6-6 what are the chances you are going to lose any of those games? Almost 0.

      Now lets say you play 3 teams that are 10-2 and 3 teams that 4-6 and 6 that are 6-6. You have about a 40% change of losing one of those 10-2 games,

      So per the SOS method presented here those 2 scheduled look the same, but if you play teams in the Top 5, Top 10, or Top 15, your chances of having a loss going up exponentially compared to playing teams right at or just out side of the top 25.

    • I would definitely have to say that Nick Saban is probably the least wussy coach in college football. And I’m a Clemson fan. He may be a little set in his ways. But he’s the most respectable coach there is. Probably a night mare to work with but when u win like he does you can’t blame him. I mean, that’s what it’s about. Winning. Playing in the sec is ridiculous. Far better than every other conference every yr. I have no problem with his schedule. I still would have to say no one has an outa conference schedule like clemson. We play South Carolina every yr and play Georgia this year. We will continue to play two sec teams yearly and will be playing notre dame as well. But still no love. Analysts will probably continue to bring up the West Virginia lost 3 yrs ago. Like that’s relevant. Or the Ugly Florida state loss. Everyone has a down game at times. Better watch out for us cause we are gonna be coming. Got a stud at qb and the future of college football in deshaun Watson. The truth. Wake up and give the acc some credit. Oh yeah why didn’t the PAC 12 and sec play against each other in a bowl game last year. I’ll tell ya why. So they can end the year with a higher ranking and start the following year with a higher ranking. BS. Supposedly the two best conferences. Pac12 ain’t got nothing on the acc. Love to play ucla or Stanford.

  3. Darrell

    Yeah who would have thought that playing Georgia Tech, NC St and Navy in one year would give Georgia Southern weakest schedule in football. This method is a JOKE!

    • While this is a bad method, it’s also including their conference schedule which doesn’t have any teams with more than 6 wins last year.

    • Aberzombie1892

      There were a total of 10 wins between NC State and GaTech last year, plus, as the other poster noted, the conference schedule is not that good.

    • If Georgia southern wer still in the southern conference that would be a tough schedule. But they rnt anymore. They are with the big boys now and will have a tough road ahead. Definitely think they will have a chance to win some of those games. Won’t shock me. They run that triple option as well as gt and probably have as good of athletes as well. I’ll be pulling for them. Not against the acc but against everyone else.

  4. Danny

    You mis-counted the numbers, 11 doesn’t come after 9

  5. The BCS’ SOS system also used winning percentage in their calculations in that. Why not call it that if any system that calculates percentage falls under the umbrella.

    • The BCS system had no SOS line item. Rather, each computer element had their own proprietary process for determining SOS.

      Please contact me through the contact form if you have any other issues. Comments were removed to clean the page. I’ll add a note that says all opponents are included. Thanks.

  6. SEC!

    Just got one thing to say… SEC is THE elite conference in NCAA football period.

    • If being too chicken to play a 9 game league schedule is the best…than yes they are the best. SEC is full if cowards until the play the same SOS as everyone else.

  7. jasonsmith85

    #95 SOS damn I thought the big bad wolves would schedule a home n home like Oklahoma like Tennessee. We may have been roughed up for a few years but with my main man Butch Jones, roll tide roll is bout to roll it’s ass into a team to be reckoned with come 2016, maybe even 2015! Guess Spurrier was right Bama you should have done more with all those all-american recruiting classed you have had. Yes I am jealous somewhat of your success and hate your fight song n fans but the tide is changing and I see Big Orange CheckerBoards!!! #VFL

  8. Debo

    Give me a break Nick Saban…. 95th ranked schedule?? 8 home games and 4 against total creampuffs?? That is pretty weak the way he runs his mouth.

  9. Anonymous

    The sec scuedule rankings get ridiculously overinflated due to their creampuff ooc competition. Once they finish going 4-0 vs a combo of Sun belt and FCS teams, they get to brag about how tough it was playing 8 conference games (rather than 9 conference games like every other conference) against teams who also went 4-0 vs the Sun Belt and FCS.

  10. Anonymous

    Using this formula (and I don’t think there is such thing as an official NCAA SOS formula.) is a great way to ridiculously overrate the SEC. In order to have a better formula, you need to take into account opponent’s WL record and your opponents SOS. Under this formula, beating a 7-5 Sun Belt or FCS team(ie what SEC teams do) counts the same as beating a 7-5 BCS conference team. Absurd.

    • Yes there is an official SOS formula the NCAA uses. It’s strictly based on winning % of opponents. Simple and unreliable, but that’s what they use.

    • Jason

      Really???? Oklahoma won the Sugar Bowl last year. They change conferences this year? Didn’t hear about that.

  11. The Alabama Strength of Schedule is PATHETIC. Suck it up SEC. Get a 9 game conference schedule like everyone else.

  12. dewayne

    To everyone out there, check out Florida’s schedule they play the #1 and # 2 teams. They also play 6 of the top 25 teams. Alabama @ home, Georgia @ neutral site, Florida state @ home. I think they better find another way to find strength of schedule’s.

  13. paul

    Go noles!!!!! ACC powerhouse.

  14. Arkansas Grad/ND Fan!

    All I can say is Notre Dame has 103-56 on its schedule

    Case closed

  15. Ace

    Bowl game match ups are a joke‼️ Yes Boise State went 8-1 but their strength of schedule was around 74-76. Why are they playing in the Fiesta Bowl❓ The Univ. of Utah’s strength of schedule was 11 in one ranking & 16 in another. They played Colorado State which had a SoS of125 in the Las Vegas Bowl. Ridiculous! Yes, I know that conferences have tie-ins with certain Bowls, but I believe that Bowl committees should look at SoS before inviting teams to their bowl games. Alabama with a SoS of 95 is in the four team playoff? WOW!

  16. Todd

    If anyone is trying to argue that SOS should not be counted, you don’t understand football.
    Whats good about the NFL is the measuring stick is wins and losses to get you into the playoffs. When the NCAA decides that having a four team playoff with 5 major conferences in not a sufficient way to field the teams and they go to an 8 or 16 team playoff, like every other sport has, this argument will continue. If anyone believes that OSU would have even been in the playoff last if they played an SEC schedule week in week out during the regular season, you are fooling yourself.

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