2015 College Football Strength of Schedule Rankings – Dec. 1

By Kevin Kelley -

With the playoff and bowls right around the corner, college football strength of schedule among the top teams is a major topic of discussion.

The NCAA publishes a strength of schedule ranking, but it is solely based on the winning percentage of the opponents that a team has played against. It’s not very scientific, so most people look to the various computer rankings.

One source, the Sagarin Ratings, has been featured in USA Today since 1985. In those ratings, Alabama has the 5th toughest schedule in the country, while Clemson, the current top-ranked team, has the 47th toughest.

Below are the Sagarin strength of schedule rankings for the College Football Playoff Top 25 (from Nov. 24) and also the Top 25 toughest schedules played overall.

Sagarin Strength of Schedule – CFP Top 25
*SOS ranking in parentheses.

1. Clemson (47)
2. Alabama (5)
3. Oklahoma (20)
4. Iowa (62)
5. Michigan State (53)
6. Notre Dame (19)
7. Baylor (58)
8. Ohio State (61)
9. Stanford (16)
10. Michigan (42)
11. Oklahoma State (37)
12. Florida (46)
13. Florida State (57)
14. North Carolina (63)
15. Navy (75)
16. Northwestern (44)
17. Oregon (25)
18. Ole Miss (22)
19. TCU (36)
20. Washington State (49)
21. Mississippi State (28)
22. UCLA (33)
23. Utah (26)
24. Toledo (86)
25. Temple (85)

Sagarin Strength of Schedule – Overall Top 25

1. Iowa State
2. Kansas
3. Texas
4. Maryland
5. Alabama
6. Arkansas
7. California
8. LSU
9. USC
10. Georgia Tech
11. Auburn
12. Oregon State
13. South Carolina
14. Virginia
15. Texas Tech
16. Stanford
17. Arizona State
18. Vanderbilt
19. Notre Dame
20. Oklahoma
21. Washington
22. Ole Miss
23. Pittsburgh
24. Miami (FL)
25. Oregon

  1. T Dub
    December 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Where are all the Crimson Tide haters now?! LOL Roll Tide!!

    • J C H
      December 2, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      It will be COL after ‘Bama is rolled into the trash heap! Your’e lucky that a more worthy Ohio State team probably won’t be in the big dance or they’d whip your fat butts like they did last year, and YOU KNOW IT! The Bucks have not one, not two, but THREE QBs who are better than yours, and a better, more talented team overall. And they’re more well coached, because Urban is better than Nick (not to mention much more personable as well: does that funeral home directer coach of yours ever even smile?)

      FYI, there are Crimson Tide haters EVERYWHERE, and with good reason. But that’s for another time. Suffice it to say that southern schools like Alabama have lead the way in the steady erosion of academic standards in college football for decades in order to gain a competitive advantage. For you single-minded red-necks, it’s ‘college FOOTBALL’ rather than the other way around, as it used to be and should be.

      You hicks love to rip on a worthy, classy team (and university) like Iowa, but how many teams ranked as highly as N’western has overrated (yes, OVERRATED!) Alabama defeated this season like Iowa has?

      I hope that the movement to include academic rankings in the CFB rankings takes root. If so, Alabama and most of the other SEC schools would rarely see the Top 25, while those from the Big Ten and PAC-12 would thrive!

    • Nathan
      December 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      The Tide will snap in Half by the Gators!!!!!

    • J C H
      December 2, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      To paraphrase and add to what was posted by SCHOUP (below):

      “Strength of schedule has become BS. Sagarin has clear SEC bias because if you look at the Bama schedule no way it’s 2nd. ‘Bama played just 3 teams in the last CFP top 25. Also take into account the SEC as a conference played the most FCS schools and the second-least P5’s out-of-conference . . . ”

      Face it, the whole strength-of-schedule thing is science fiction (as it frankly has been since its inception) and is the biggest flaw of the current playoff selection system, as many other bloggers have noted (along with the fact that Alabama & the SEC are clearly over-rated!).

      Many games are decided by the whims of nature, key injuries, bad bounces & breaks of all kinds, ‘throw-out-the-record-book’ rivalries & grudge matches, and last-but-not-least the huge number of officials’ calls & no-calls. The Sagarin pseudo-science metrics don’t catch any of that. Combined with the regionally and otherwise biased kangaroo-court panels and polls, we’re still a long way from determining a true champion. In the meantime, ‘Bama seems to reap the benefits of it all.

      “Mighty Alabama” played the CHARLESTON SOUTHERN BUCCANEERS a week and a half ago, the next-to-last Saturday of the season, while practically every other school played worthy opponents? And the U.L.-MONROE WARHAWKS in week four? And the MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS before that?

      And you’re going to make fun of IOWA’S schedule? How many teams ranked as highly as N’western has Alabama defeated this season? Iowa beat ranked, now 10-2 N’western by 30 points, a team that yielded all of two FG’s in its win over Stanford.

      Let’s not forget, either, that the Wisconsin team ‘Bama beat to open the season played with a decimated, green offensive line and was thin at running back with the departure of superstar Melvin Gordon. Yet they made a game of it and put up some respectable total yardage numbers. A rematch would likely yield a much closer result.

      Meanwhile, all the teams in the likewise-overrated SEC that ‘Bama whupped have practically dropped out of existence. The one team that hasn’t – a 3-loss Ole Miss team – whupped ‘Bama (in Tuscaloosa no less!). That LSU squad ‘Bama pummeled has since been exposed, that’s for sure.

      And so one is left to wonder what and who is behind Bama’s undeservedly lofty strength of schedule rating. Something smells fishy here, like all the ‘Bama boosters and academic fraud that’s been the norm down there for ages.

      With regard to rankings and cyber-metrics: many games are decided by the whims of nature, key injuries, bad bounces & breaks of all kinds, ‘throw-out-the-record-book’ rivalries & grudge matches, and last-but-not-least the huge number of officials’ calls & no-calls. The Sagarin pseudo-science metrics don’t catch any of that. Combined with the regionally and otherwise biased kangaroo-court panels and polls, we’re still a long way from determining a true champion. In the meantime, ‘Bama seems to reap the benefits of it all.

      I know I speak for millions of other CFB fans when I proclaim: “GET ROLLED, TIDE!”

    • WmXian
      March 15, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      J C H: I agree SOS should be determined at the end of the year. How did Bama do?

  2. schoup
    December 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    SOS have become BS. Sagarin has clear SEC bias b/c if you look at the Bama schedule no way it’s 2nd. Bama played 3 teams in the last CFP top 25. Also take into account the SEC as a conf played the most FCS schools and the least P5’s OOC besides B12 who only has 10 teams. The only reason Ole Miss is ranked is b/c they played no P5’s OOC(including a FCS school), they were 4-4 vs actual p5 opponents. Miss St also dodged playing a p5 OOC

    There is no way Stanford is 16th…they played a harder schedule than Bama by far, Stanford played 11 games vs P5’s and no FCS schools. Stanford had 2 OOC’s ND (#6 CFP) and NW(#13). They played 6 teams in the CFP top 25. Also, they had 3 opponents that played no P5’s USC, UCLA, ND. Stanford’s P5 opponents played 3 less FCS opponents and combined played 109 games vs P5’s..Bama’s opponents played 84 games vs P5’s.

    • Kevin Kelley
      December 1, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Three out of the other four former BCS computer indexes (Massey, Colley, and Billingsley) also list Alabama with a tougher schedule than Stanford.

      This site also lists Alabama higher:

      https://www.teamrankings.com/college-football/ranking/schedule-strength-by-other

    • Day
      December 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      SEC bias? There are 4 BIG teams in the top ten, only one SEC.

    • Billy
      December 1, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      schoup, I don’t think there is an attentional bias towards the SEC, but with the way the SOS measures and the schedules the SEC teams put forth there is an advantage to the weak schedules they put together. There is NO question Bama’s SOS of 5 is WAY over inflated. You can even take a team like Minnesota and their 27 SOS ranking and put that in front of Bama’s. I hope the CFP group see’s through this error in calculation when ranking the teams tonight.

  3. Hank
    December 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve been hearing all season long how tough Utah’s schedule is, yet the Utes’ SOS doesn’t even rank in the top 25!

  4. schoup
    December 1, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    @kevin

    I’m calling BS. They are putting in a bias they aren’t mentioning. It only takes looking at the schedules and the numbers. Stanford has more ranked opponents, higher ranked opponents, opponents that played more games vs P5’s and way less vs FCS schools. They are clearly not punishing for playing FCS directly like Bama did and for opponents not playing P5’s. They are clearly have algorithm problem that is punishing a 9 game conf schedule over a 8 game.

    • Kevin Kelley
      December 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      These guys are computer data experts and have been doing this for many years. I have a hard time believing they insert a bias into their programs for SEC teams. Remember the NCAA used to use a combination of these rankings for the BCS formula.

    • J C H
      December 2, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      As I stated elsewhere, the whole strength-of-schedule thing is science fiction (as it frankly has been since its inception) and is the biggest flaw of the current playoff selection system, as many other bloggers have noted (along with the fact that Alabama & the SEC are clearly over-rated!).

      Many games are decided by the whims of nature, key injuries, bad bounces & breaks of all kinds, ‘throw-out-the-record-book’ rivalries & grudge matches, and last-but-not-least the huge number of officials’ calls & no-calls. The Sagarin pseudo-science metrics don’t catch any of that. Combined with the regionally and otherwise biased kangaroo-court panels and polls, we’re still a long way from determining a true champion. In the meantime, ‘Bama seems to reap the benefits of it all.

      Kevin Kelley opined that “These guys (Sagarin, et al) are computer data experts and have been doing this for many years. I have a hard time believing they insert a bias into their programs for SEC teams. Remember the NCAA used to use a combination of these rankings for the BCS formula.” (Sagarin….Sabarin….Saban….? Naw, it couldn’t, could it?)

      They may or may not be “computer data experts” (i.e., nerds), and there may or may not be “bias inserted” with regard to SEC teams. But the situation should be looked into very thoroughly, because something is clearly wrong. It’s not fair to the other teams swimming upstream trying to make the playoff.

      “Mighty Alabama” played the Charleston Southern Buccaneers just a week and a half ago, the U.L.-Monroe Warhawks in week four, and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders before that. That alone should whack ‘Bama’s strength-of-schedule rating considerably, if the system is fair. (And recall that the Wisconsin team ‘Bama beat to open the season played with a decimated, green offensive line and was thin at running back with the departure of superstar Melvin Gordon.)

      Note also that all the teams in the likewise-overrated SEC that ‘Bama whupped have practically dropped off the radar screen. The one team that hasn’t – a 3-loss Ole Miss team – whupped ‘Bama (in Tuscaloosa no less). What’s the currently highest-ranked team Alabama has defeated this entire season, anyway? That 3-loss, #13/#16 Ole Miss team. And the LSU squad ‘Bama pummeled has since been exposed, that’s for sure.

      Meanwhile, the rest of us can only watch and listen as all the “experts” and talking heads go on and on about how tough Bama’s schedule has been as they and continue to kiss Tide butt and bow down to worship at the altar of the SEC . . .

  5. James
    December 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    OSU played 6 teams with 500 or worse winning percentage. Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers, Hawaii, Minnesota, Illinois, and Va Tech. My bad i was wrong 7, plus 2 mac teams.

  6. James
    December 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Either way, stop crying.

  7. Brandon
    December 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    The fact that you talk as if Bama is the ONLY team in the country that played an FCS school this season. Clemson started the year off playing an FCS school, while Bama played an OOC power 5 team in Wisconsin. North Carolina has played TWO FCS schools throughout the season. Did Ohio State play anyone worth mentioning out of conference? No, they played a mediocre Virginia Tech and Hawaii, that’s it. Both Baylor & OK State played FCS teams during the season on top of having 2 bye weeks this season (and of course they don’t play a conference championship). That’s why Oklahoma is the only team I respect out of the B12, because they at least had the balls to take on Tennessee & won.

    And by the way, in regards to Stanford’s schedule, out of all of the team’s they’ve played this season only 7 of them have finished with winning records (meaning they have 7 or more wins). Bama has 9 opponents on its record that have finished with winning records.

    • Casey McG
      December 2, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Look, I can buy that these SOS rankings are legit and that Bama deserves to be up among the top…. But number of wins against “above .500 teams” is an utterly meaningless statistic out of context, i.e., with no reference to who those wins came against. Let me clarify, it seems absurd to argue that Alabama’s sked is clearly stronger than Stanford’s because they have 2 more wins against >.500 teams when those two wins came against a 7-5 Conf-USA Middle Tennessee and a 9-2 Charleston Southern in the Big South (FCS).

      Moreover, who do Alabama’s opponents play that allow them to often rack up winning records? My point is that if you want to make these kind of comparisons it seems worth considering who teams choose to schedule for non-conference games.

      Take the Pac-12 for example, where each team plays 3 non-conf opponents. Of those 36 games this year, 10 were against Power 5 teams, 19 were against non-Power 5 FBS conf teams and 7 against FCS.

      Now look at the SEC whose teams play 4 non-conf games each. Of those 56 games, 11 were against Power 5, 32 against non-Power 5 FBS and 13 against FCS. Or to summarize:

      Pac-12 non-conf opponents:

      Power 5: 28%
      Other FBS: 53%
      FCS: 19%

      SEC non-conf opponents:

      Power 5: 20%
      Other FBS. 57%
      FCS: 24%

      My point is not to bag on the SEC, but to point out that there is an argument to be made that when it comes to national reputation and rankings there is a bias baked into the system in favor of the SEC because they choose to play more non-conference games, and those non-conf opponents are much more likely to be inferior to the quality of non-conf opponents played elsewhere.

      Again, I have no hate for the SEC. Maybe they are the best conference in the country as many believe. I just think they should step up and prove it. And, to me, you don’t necessarily prove it by winning a national championship. You prove it by consistently playing strong teams from all around the country year in and year out and winning.

      All this is to say that until there is greater consistency in how teams schedule their season there will never be a fair and reasonable process to determine national rankings.

      If it were up to me every Power 5 school would play 9 conference games, 2 of their 3 non-conf games would have to be against Power 5 schools, and they would play ZERO games against FCS teams. Also it would be nice if the Big-12 could somehow manage to actually have 12 teams so they could play a conference championship game like the other 4 conferences do.

      No this would not eliminate controversy or subjectivity about who are the best teams and conferences in a given year, but it would be a massive improvement over the current system. Plus there would be a ton more exciting matchups to watch and it would be a whole lot more fun.

      End of ludicrously verbose and essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things blog comment. Though that is redundant on its face.

    • Billy
      December 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Well said Casey McG.

  8. Phillip
    December 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    And where is Tennessee in all of this? They did lose but played two teams in the top four by 2 to Bama and in OT to Oklahoma and lost to 10-2 Florida team and a decent Arkansas team. Though it doesn’t count in this season they spanked a 12-0 Iowa team in a bowl game this year, the last time Iowa lost a game.

  9. John C Hofweber
    December 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Duhhhh, so what? That’s about average, given that they played 12 games!

    I’m a huge Michigan fan & alum, and there’s no love lost for Ohio State (or Mich State) in this camp. But I must say that the Buckeyes showed their true makeup Saturday in whipping us (although it must be noted that our top 3 D-linemen were out, fatal for a defensive squad that has been thin from the beginning). And perhaps the only reason Ohio State lost to Mich State was the driving, freezing rainstorm they played in. History shows that conditions like that often lead to upsets. And then there was Urban Meyer’s decision to not give the ball to Ezekiel Elliott, apparently due to the weather and risk of fumbling.

    Fact is, Ohio State may well be the best, most talented, and well-coached team in the land, but will probably not make the playoff because – face it – the system is still badly flawed. The whole strength-of-schedule thing is science fiction the biggest flaw – as many bloggers have noted, along with the fact that Alabama & the SEC are hugely over-rated. (I will say that Phillip makes some good points about Tennessee, a team I’ve been impressed with all season. Ditto for North Carolina of the ACC, a team that should be at least on the bubble of the ‘final four’.)

    Many games are decided by the whims of nature, key injuries, bad bounces & breaks of all kinds, ‘throw-out-the-record-book’ rivalries & grudge matches, and last-but-not-least the huge number of officials’ calls & no-calls. (Two grotesque examples: Michigan’s D-captain was ejected for targeting after being pushed down on top of MSU QB by a Spartan lineman?! Nebraska receiver scored the winning TD vs Mich State after going out-of-bounds of his own volition and pushing the Spartan DB to the ground when re-entering the field?!)

    The Sagarin pseudo-science metrics don’t catch any of that. Combined with the regionally and otherwise biased kangaroo-court panels and polls, we’re still a long way from determining a true champion.

    For many years (decades, actually) I have wondered and vocalized as to why a simpler, fairer, and more sensible method wasn’t being used or even considered: Keep existing conference races, tie-ins, and bowls intact, and play-off the two or four (or even eight) teams left standing. That would have answered the concerns of college administrators, bowl officials, and critics who, for so many years, rightly rejected the idea of a playoff because it would ruin those treasured traditions. Now, the importance of traditional conference rivalries and championships, and bowl games, have been minimalized. Imagine that Ohio State will likely have to ‘settle’ for the Rose Bowl, a ‘consolation prize’ as many are calling it. That is, IF the Rose Bowl will have them, as it seems the ‘Granddaddy of Them All’ may prefer to land two conference champions instead.

  10. J S Appleton
    December 2, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Well said, indeed! Makes too much sense for the moronic, territorial “powers that be” to seriously consider, though . . . .

  11. LCDeacon
    December 2, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Wake Forest plays FOUR TOP TEN TEAMS, and is not in the top 25 SOS? GTFO

  12. Don
    December 3, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Alabama has only played one team that is currently ranked in the top 20 and they LOST that game. So they are 0-1 versus ranked teams. On top of that, they play Middle Tenn, Charleston Southern, and La Monroe – 3 lower class teams. Who is ranking this SOS ?
    SEC is highly overrated this season (most every season). They have only 1 team ranked in the top 15 – The Big 10, Big 12, and ACC each have several teams in the top 12. Go figure…
    ESPN pumps up the SEC because they have money invested – wish they would stop pumping up a less than stellar conference.

    • K
      December 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      I’d buy in to what you’re saying, but my tolerance level for clueless is full. Guess we will settle it on the field. Roll Tide, Roll.

    • Jay
      December 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      K – The only team that will have that chance is Bama as they are the team that is in while only playing a mediocre schedule at best. Nice scheduling 3 teams not even close to having any talent. And the SEC is terrible this year.

    • WmXian
      February 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Had anyone posted: “If the SEC goes 10-2 in bowls this year & Bama wins the NC, will you come back & admit you’re mistaken?”, I suspect you’d have ridiculed the scribe & scoffingly scribbled, “Sure.”.
      And then, come mid-January & forever after, we’d hear nothing but a distant train whistle as dust devils tumble in the distance.

  13. Ricky G.
    December 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    To all you JCH’s and schoup’s out there, put your team in the Western Division of the SEC and play those teams year after year and see if you can come out of it and still make it to the final four at the end of the year as often as Alabama does. Not counting having to go and play the best team from in the SEC from the East before you end up in the playoffs. It would not happen. I have to give the kudos to the SEC if they do make the playoffs, because they really have played the best teams in the country before they even make it to the Playoffs. Since 2006 the SEC has won 7 of the 9 National Championships, Ohio State and Florida State are the only two teams that has won during a stretch of over 10 years. So, we have been help to get there by other means than being the best, I don’t think so !!!
    As far as all of us RedNecks, I can remember not long ago when Alabama won the NC with a
    3.85 GPA Greg McElroy at quarterback which was named the 20th-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News, an he finished his last year by obtaining a Master of Science degree in sports management, completing it with a 4.0 GPA along with being selected for a Rhodes Scholarship. Greg McElroy was one of 12 finalists from his district that included Florida and Tennessee. He did not get it, however being 1 out of 32 students picked nation wide to get the honor is more than 99% of regular students not to even mention student athletes.
    I do agree that the sport itself has gone more for the victories than the honor roll. But that’s every conference and school not just the SEC schools. Victories means money, money means better facilities, better facilities means better recruits, better recruits means better seasons, better seasons means more TV time, more TV time means more players picked up by the Pro’s, and it starts right back over again!! This is a NCAA issue not just a SEC. To me all players should not be allowed to be picked up by the NFL until the player has Graduated and can become a contributing person to society if the NFL does not work out for them. Then our Millions of State tax dollars funded schools would not be wasting our tax money on simply creating Millionaire Players. ROLL TIDE ROLL

    • Casey McG
      December 3, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      There is no question that the SEC is a powerhouse conference that deserves tremendous respect for the outstanding quality of football they play. The best evidence of this is, as you point out, the SEC’s dominance in recent years at winning national championships. 7 NCs in last 10 years, 11 in last 25 years (this includes the controversial 2003 “split” NC between LSU and USC).

      What I do question is the assumption you and many other well-informed people make that the SEC West is some uniquely formidable gauntlet unmatched by any other conference. I’m just curious, what is the justification for the SEC West’s near mythic status as “obviously” the best division in the country?

      Now, one strong argument is that in the last decade 3 different schools from the division have won National Championships (Alabama 2009, 2011, 2012; Auburn 2010; LSU 2007). Fair enough. But what other objective criteria exists to support the claim that the SEC West is the toughest in the country?

      I figured that a record of dominance against top teams outside of the conference would be a good indicator so I took a look at the schedules for SEC West schools this past season. This is a list of all of the SEC West’s out-of-conference opponents for the 2015 season:

      Middle Tennessee
      U of Louisiana Monroe
      Wisconsin
      Charleston Southern
      U of Tennessee Martin
      Fresno State
      New Mexico State
      Memphis
      McNeese State
      Syracuse
      Eastern Michigan
      Western Kentucky
      UT El Paso
      Toledo
      Texas Tech
      Arizona State
      Ball State
      Nevada
      Western Carolina
      Southern Mississippi
      Northwestern State
      Troy
      Louisiana Tech
      Jacksonville State
      San Jose State
      Idaho
      Louisville

      Of 28 non-conference games played by SEC West teams I count 1 against a ranked opponent and a total of 5 against Power 5 schools.

      Bama beats Wisc (9-3, Big Ten)
      LSU beats Syracuse (4-8, ACC)
      Ark loses to Tx Tech (7-5, Big-12)
      A&M beats AZ St (6-6, Pac-12)
      Auburn beats Louisville (7-5, ACC)

      So 4-1 against Power 5 opponents this season. Pretty good. But I think it’s fair to say that none of these teams represent the cream of the crop in college football. So I can’t see how the SEC West’s out-of-conference schedule and record really justifies its reputation one way or another.

      Now let me be clear, I am not rejecting the idea that the SEC West is the toughest division in the country, it may very well be. Most SEC fans and ESPN pundits seem to think so. I’d just like to know, in addition to NCs won, what other objective facts (i.e., things other than personal opinion) support this claim?

    • schoup
      December 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      LOL Typical SEC Blowhard. We heard how tough the SEC was last year too. 5 ranked teams in the west that were all favored in their bowl games and lost. Of course 4 of the 7 teams in the SEC West played no P5’s OOC last year. So their greatness was based on inflated 4 wins vs nobodies and FCS schools.

      BCS was bogus and the CFP proves that. Bama would have won another BCS if it were in affect still b/c they would have played a vastly overrated FSU..BCS formula would have FSU #2. Instead they lost to OSU the #4 team.

    • Nate
      December 6, 2015 at 3:41 am

      Curious, who is the best conference Casey? You keep bringing up out of conference games…. It’s the in conference games that tilt the scale. We tear our conference down from within. Of course, Bama and almost every other team has lost a game to a team they should have beaten. But on any given week there are 6-8 top 25 SEC teams. It’s not bias. It’s the quality of in conference opponents that keeps our conference above the rest… Remember, the polls are voted on by your writers, your coaches and your peers. We show up and play ball every week regardless of ranking… Bama’s games are not all pretty and we lose from time to time but playing a weak non conference game is a gimme for every team. A big factor is also the majority of the schedule set years in advance. A date or two may be filled in the preseason and that is dictated by the current strength of schedule and/or teams available. By the way, you should add ” I really hate the SEC” to your name… I’d hate them too, if I were in a different conference.

      Schoup, STFU! You are patehic. Judging Bama based off the opponents SOS..?? Should we cancel every opponent that has a weak schedule. You are hung up on OC games…. I’ll let you in on a secret, PLAY RANKED INCONFERENCE OPPONENTS… Wait… I see why you bring it up… Your conference match ups are cupcakes and unranked. Stanford has played 4 ranked teams this year… Technically 3 teams that were ranked because USC accounted for half of the ranked opponents. Bama lost to OSU last year…. Several SEC teams lost…it happens. Might lose this year… That’s why we play the game.

      Bama played 7 top 20 teams (based on the rankings at the time of the match up), 3 of which were top 10. Bama has the ability to derail teams after a loss…. Go look at ranking and success pre-Bama and post-Bama. But no matter what you haters will call our opponents, “overrated” or you will swear that every SEC team sucks…. If there is any bias in this country it is against the SEC. The vast majority of the country dispises us because they fear us. I get it, talk about useless information and blame the media, all of the polls, coaches, and computers for the success the SEC is achieving or has achieved. Just let it happen…. If “millions hate us” we are doing our job… It’s not a popularity contest.

      With that being said, JCH and shoup your crying has dampened my mood. I was celebrating Bama’s SEC Championship… Keep grasping for irrelevant facts and keep blaming everyone that has a say in every poll and every sports article, for SEC success. It makes us “Hicks” laugh when you resort to 3rd grade name calling.. Pathetic attempt to prove an entire system is “bias”. If there were 64 teams in the play offs, you would cry about where they were played and God knows what else. Y’all are sad. Go the hell away.

      @Nathan, how did the Tide getting ” snapped in half” work for you… Lol.

      Good night all you haters. Roll Tide!

    • Casey McG
      December 7, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Nate, thanks for your reply, but you got one thing wrong: I don’t hate the SEC. I love watching college football and I love watching different teams from all over the country, and yes that most definitely includes the SEC… I couldn’t possibly count the number of awesome SEC games I’ve watched over the years.

      Yes it is true that the team I root for, which I attended and which I grew up watching from the bleachers since before I was old enough to remember, is from the Pac-12. But that doesn’t blind me to the quality of teams who play elsewhere or cause me to engage in mindless knee-jerk irrational demonization/hatred of another school just because they are not “my team.” There is already way too much of that kind of f*cked-up thinking out in the “real world,” why would I or anyone want to allow that to spoil the fun and excitement of watching the greatest sport on earth.

      But back to the point of my original post, which was merely to seek out what evidence-based arguments people use for justifying claims that a particular conference, or division therein, is better than another. As I pointed out, one strong argument is the number of NCs won by that conference or division. I suggested that looking at how a conference does against strong non-conference opposition might offer evidence on the question. Note, all I concluded was that the SEC West’s non-conference results don’t tend to prove one way or another whether it is the best division in football. I got the impression you took my reference to the non-conference schedule as some kind of knock against the SEC or that I thought it somehow showed that the SEC was overrated. That’s not what I was doing. The question I was asking was whether non-conference record provided a basis for concluding that it was the best division. Again, I found that it gave no such indication, a conclusion you seemed to agree with when you argued that “it’s the in conference games that tilt the scales.”

      But you see the problem with that argument, don’t you? It’s circular. It is saying, “the reason our conference is the best is because we play the best teams, namely the teams in our conference, which are the best because they play in the best conference… etc.”

      Again, I’m not a hater. All I am saying is that the claims that one conference is stronger than another are for the most part subjective, based largely on personal opinions and biases. And to answer your question, it’s really hard for me to say which has been the best conference this past season, there doesn’t seem to me to be one that clearly stands out from the rest like in some years past. What I can say is that I am certain I have watched a ton more SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 football than fans of any of those conferences have watched of the Pac-12. And that’s not a knock against those fans, they haven’t been given reasonable opportunities to watch Pac-12 football. Take my team Stanford for example. SEVEN games this season kicked off at 10:30pm eastern time. Another four kicked off at 7:30pm eastern time or later. NOBODY, not SEC fans, not east coast based sports writers or TV pundits, watches games that kick off at 10:30pm after having spent the entire day watching other games, tailgating, knocking back cold ones or writing up stories for the next day’s newspapers. The blame lies with TV networks who want to just want to sell as much game day ads over as many hours as possible, and the lousy conference ADs and commissioner who caved in to give the networks that power.

  14. Melvin
    December 4, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Let see if I understand what’s happening — The committee’s position is Clemson is the best team in the nation although they have the 47th ranked SOS with 2 victories against D2 teams.
    Oh yea — their AD is also on the committee. However, Alabama with the 5th ranked SOS in the nation, who suffered a close loss to the current #18 team in the nation is the second best team in the nation. Something’s not quite right with this picture.

  15. Brian
    December 6, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Clemson has beaten 3 teams better than anyone Alabama has even played…and Alabama lost a game.

    • Nate
      December 6, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Are you high Brian? And what teams are you talking about? Why go out of your way to mention Bama? Even if you are right what’s your point? Orare you just a typical whiny, Bama hating !@#$#?

    • WmXian
      February 8, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      If only they could play each other

  16. Nate
    December 6, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Great job IOWA! You showed your true talent. Lost to the only ranked team you faced…. Point proven.

  17. JCP
    December 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I find this all a bit ridiculous. Some of these posts are well written, even though I may not agree with the point of the post. I am always a bit amazed by the number of “..because I said so” type of posts that offer no proof or evidence, just a pronouncement from the author. The main statement from many of these is the premise that strength-of-schedule (SOS) is a bogus statistic. No evidence or proof is offered as to why it is bogus, just the pronouncement that it is. I’ve now looked at 5 different computations/listings for the SOS statistic. They are all computed differently. Here’s what I found (all numbers through the 12/6/15 except for preseason):
    Prediction Machine.com ESPN – FPI TeamRankings.com Sagarin Preseason
    4/61 2/3 2/36 5/61 4/42

    The first number is Alabama’s SOS for that computation, and the second is Ohio State’s SOS for the same source. Everyone should note that the ESPN FPI is a forward looking statistic representing how likely the team is to win it’s remaining schedule. You can look up these rankings yourselves if you want. The conclusion from these numbers seems pretty simple to me, you can draw your own conclusions. For those of you whining about the cupcakes on Alabama’s schedule (Middle Tennessee, UL-Monroe, and Charleston Southern), I give you the non-conference cupcakes from Ohio State’s schedule: Hawaii, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. OSU has a good football team this year. They simply didn’t get the job done on the field where it matters most. Michigan State took care of their business. Alabama handled their business, Clemson handled theirs, and Oklahoma handled theirs, albeit without a championship game. The committee got it right.

    • Ethan
      December 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

      JCH-
      You lost all credibility with your first post. Just because you can write a short story directly from your opinion without any factual information and think people will believe it is laughable. Did you really bring up academics in your argument? I’m not going to sit here and write page after page thinking that validates my argument because one I’m not a loser and don’t have time to sit here being a keyboard warrior, and two I have. Life outside my moms basement.

      ANYWAYS, Do some research next time you go off spouting ridiculous claims because your team can’t do what it takes on the field to get to the playoffs. There is one fact I will say that keeps me from believing anything you say on here or thinking you have a valid point. Your first post killed anything else you had to say.

      According to TIMES magazine, you know the magazine, in case you don’t reAd, Alabama ranked #3 in academics amongst all NCAA football teams. Your precious OSU #5. HA this makes me so happy. Also guess what? The sec has 7 schools in the top 25 while big ten has 4. Interesting what you can find out when you don’t just spout ridiculous facts off the top of your head. It’s douche bags like you that make it hard to have An actual intelligent argument. Again, I would have argued all day with you if your first post didn’t ruin all credibility. Now go cry on your moments shoulder and roll tide!

  18. Brian
    January 13, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I suppose all the Big 10 rhetoric will now die until next year…….perhaps had Michigan State played a schedule that ranked in the top 25, they wouldn’t have been mistakenly placed in the CFP and routed 38-0. The only question I have for OSU is, how did you lose to a team at home that got blanked 38-0?

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