2014 College Football Strength of Schedule – NCAA Method

By Kevin Kelley -
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

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

  1. lolnfl said....

    lol alabama

    April 1, 2014 at 11:42 am
    • Jim said....

      so sorry that Alabama cant play Alabama to boost their sos

      July 17, 2014 at 11:54 pm
    • Tomm Fury said....

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

      July 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm
    • roll said....

      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.

      August 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm
    • courtney said....

      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.

      August 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm
    • Patrick Ryan said....

      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.

      August 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm
  2. khurst34 said....

    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.

    April 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    • Feral Hog said....

      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…

      June 21, 2014 at 11:02 am
  3. Dave said....

    Hey Nick Saban, nice schedule you wuss!!!

    April 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    • tide man (@TideRolls16) said....

      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”

      April 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm
    • Kevin Kelley said....

      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.

      April 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    • tide man (@TideRolls16) said....

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

      April 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    • Dave said....

      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.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:35 am
    • Aberzombie1892 said....

      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.

      April 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm
    • Nashvegas007 said....

      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.

      July 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm
    • Patrick Ryan said....

      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.

      August 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm
  4. Darrell said....

    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!

    April 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    • robconstant said....

      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.

      April 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm
    • Aberzombie1892 said....

      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.

      April 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm
    • Patrick Ryan said....

      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.

      August 21, 2014 at 6:52 pm
  5. Danny said....

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

    April 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm
  6. cfbtrivia (@cfbtrivia) said....

    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.

    June 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    • Kevin Kelley said....

      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.

      June 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm
  7. SEC! said....

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

    June 27, 2014 at 12:18 am
    • Neil Goslin said....

      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.

      July 27, 2014 at 2:20 am
  8. jasonsmith85 said....

    #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

    July 13, 2014 at 2:29 am
  9. Debo said....

    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.

    July 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm
  10. Anonymous said....

    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.

    July 24, 2014 at 10:51 am
  11. Anonymous said....

    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.

    July 24, 2014 at 11:00 am
    • Kevin Kelley said....

      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.

      July 24, 2014 at 11:39 am
    • Jason said....

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

      July 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm
  12. Neil Goslin said....

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

    July 27, 2014 at 2:18 am
  13. dewayne said....

    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.

    August 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  14. paul said....

    Go noles!!!!! ACC powerhouse.

    August 29, 2014 at 9:57 am
  15. Arkansas Grad/ND Fan! said....

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

    Case closed

    August 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm

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