2016 College Football Strength of Schedule – Win/Loss Method

By Kevin Kelley -

The LSU Tigers have the toughest 2016 football schedule according to the win/loss method of measuring strength of schedule. This method is based solely on a team’s opponents’ win/loss record from the previous season.

The SEC leads with five teams in the Top 10 of the rankings — LSU (1), Arkansas (2), Ole Miss (3), Auburn (4), and Alabama (8). The Big Ten is second with two teams, followed by the ACC, Pac-12, and FBS Independents with one each.

UTEP has the easiest 2016 schedule according to the win/loss method.

Listed below are the complete strength of schedule rankings with win/loss record and winning percentage of each team’s 2016 opponents (includes all games played; numbers compiled by Phil Steele).

2016 College Football Strength of Schedule – Win/Loss Method

1. LSU – 108-52, 67.5%
2. Arkansas – 104-52, 66.7%
3. Ole Miss – 102-52, 66.2%
4. Auburn – 100-56, 64.1%
5. USC – 101-58, 63.5%
6. Wisconsin – 98-57, 63.2%
7. BYU – 97-57, 63.0%
8. Alabama – 97-58, 62.6%
9. Northwestern – 97-59, 62.2%
10. Florida State – 96-61, 61.1%
11. Iowa State – 95-61, 60.9%
12. Ohio State – 95-61, 60.9%
13. SMU – 93-60, 60.8%
14. Illinois – 94-61, 60.6%
15. Texas A&M – 91-60, 60.3%
16. Kent State – 93-62, 60.0%
17. Pittsburgh – 92-62, 59.7%
18. Michigan State – 90-61, 59.6%
19. Syracuse – 93-64, 59.2%
20. Georgia Tech – 91-63, 59.1%
21. Oregon State – 91-64, 58.7%
22. Kansas – 89-63, 58.6%
23. South Carolina – 89-63, 58.6%
24. NC State – 90-64, 58.4%
25. Notre Dame – 91-65, 58.3%
26. Texas – 89-64, 58.2%
27. Tennessee – 89-64, 58.2%
28. Colorado – 90-65, 58.1%
29. North Carolina – 88-64, 57.9%
30. Mississippi State – 87-64, 57.6%
31. California – 90-67, 57.3%
32. Washington – 88-66, 57.1%
33. Rutgers – 88-66, 57.1%
34. Penn State – 88-67, 56.8%
35. Arizona State – 87-67, 56.5%
36. Oklahoma – 87-67, 56.5%
37. Virginia – 88-68, 56.4%
38. Vanderbilt – 85-66, 56.3%
39. Arizona – 87-69, 55.8%
40. Purdue – 85-68, 55.6%
41. Utah State – 86-69, 55.5%
42. Akron – 83-67, 55.3%
43. UCLA – 86-70, 55.1%
44. Texas Tech – 83-68, 55.0%
45. ULM – 82-68, 54.7%
46. West Virginia – 82-68, 54.7%
47. Miami (FL) – 83-69, 54.6%
48. UCF – 83-69, 54.6%
49. North Texas – 83-69, 54.6%
50. Memphis – 84-70, 54.5%
51. Kentucky – 84-70, 54.5%
52. Duke – 82-69, 54.3%
53. Louisville – 83-70, 54.2%
54. Bowling Green – 81-69, 54.0%
55. Miami (OH) – 83-71, 53.9%
56. Kansas State – 81-70, 53.6%
57. Tulsa – 81-70, 53.6%
58. Hawaii – 89-77, 53.6%
59. Washington State – 82-71, 53.6%
60. Stanford – 83-72, 53.5%
61. Oklahoma State – 80-71, 53.0%
62. Navy – 81-72, 52.9%
63. Utah – 82-73, 52.9%
64. Virginia Tech – 79-71, 52.7%
65. Nebraska – 80-72, 52.6%
66. UL Lafayette – 78-71, 52.3%
67. USF – 79-73, 52.0%
68. Western Michigan – 77-72, 51.7%
69. TCU – 78-73, 51.7%
70. Texas State – 78-73, 51.7%
71. Iowa – 79-74, 51.6%
72. Cincinnati – 78-74, 51.3%
73. San Jose State – 79-75, 51.3%
74. Indiana – 77-74, 51.0%
75. Rice – 76-74, 50.7%
76. Old Dominion – 76-74, 50.7%
77. Oregon – 78-76, 50.6%
78. Michigan – 78-76, 50.6%
79. Toledo – 77-76, 50.3%
80. Troy – 76-76, 50.0%
81. Missouri – 75-75, 50.0%
82. Georgia State – 75-75, 50.0%
83. Northern Illinois – 75-77, 49.3%
84. Georgia – 74-76, 49.3%
85. Fresno State – 75-79, 48.7%
86. East Carolina – 74-78, 48.7%
87. Minnesota – 73-77, 48.7%
88. South Alabama – 73-77, 48.7%
89. Wyoming – 75-80, 48.4%
90. Tulane – 73-78, 48.3%
91. Wake Forest – 73-78, 48.3%
92. Baylor – 72-77, 48.3%
93. New Mexico State – 72-77, 48.3%
94. Marshall – 72-78, 48.0%
95. Louisiana Tech – 72-78, 48.0%
96. Army – 71-77, 48.0%
97. Florida Atlantic – 71-78, 47.7%
98. Ball State – 71-79, 47.3%
99. Houston – 71-79, 47.3%
100. UConn – 71-79, 47.3%
101. Maryland – 71-80, 47.0%
102. Boston College – 71-80, 47.0%
103. Florida – 69-78, 46.9%
104. UTSA – 70-80, 46.7%
105. Charlotte – 70-80, 46.7%
106. UNLV – 70-82, 46.1%
107. Western Kentucky – 68-81, 45.6%
108. Clemson – 67-81, 45.3%
109. Middle Tennessee – 67-82, 45.0%
110. Colorado State – 68-84, 44.7%
111. Eastern Michigan – 67-83, 44.7%
112. Georgia Southern – 66-82, 44.6%
113. Arkansas State – 66-82, 44.6%
114. Buffalo – 66-85, 43.7%
115. FIU – 65-85, 43.3%
116. Appalachian State – 65-85, 43.3%
117. Boise State – 66-87, 43.1%
118. Air Force – 65-86, 43.0%
119. UMass – 64-85, 43.0%
120. San Diego State – 65-87, 42.8%
121. Central Michigan – 63-85, 42.6%
122. Ohio – 63-85, 42.6%
123. Idaho – 62-86, 41.9%
124. Nevada – 62-88, 41.3%
125. Southern Miss – 59-85, 41.0%
126. New Mexico – 62-90, 40.8%
127. Temple – 56-91, 38.1%
128. UTEP – 52-94, 35.6%

Comments (19)

Once again, the SEC is the toughest. Go figure. But they really should be playing nine conference games to make things even, huh? Looks like everyone else should be playing ten (or more) to make things even with the SEC’s eight.

Since they play 9 conference games, Pac12 has 6 more losses in total, and Big 12 has 5 more losses, than they would have with 8 games like the SEC. If the SEC played 9 games, they’d have 7 more losses. It’s simple math.

While this is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean the top teams in the conference would all suffer an extra loss. It would depend on the schedule that season.

what the SEC is doing is obviously working, so there is clearly no need to change it

The problem with this logic is: if you are using the purely win/loss method for SOS, adding a 9th game would almost guarantee that their SOS would fall, not rise. That’s why the person posting this explained the method as a disclaimer. If, suddenly instead of all 14 teams playing an extra cupcake game, the entire conference added 7 more conference losses to the mix, that would make their SOS look weaker, even though I think even SEC haters would admit that an extra conference game would make the schedule tougher. Likewise, a conference like the Big 12 or Pac 12 would probably make their schedules look stronger if they played one more decent mid-major instead of their 9th conference game which assures that everyone in the conference plays more teams with extra losses (since when 2 conference teams play, someone has to lose, but when each conference team plays an extra Rice or Troy or Citadel, the SEC avoids that).

I like the non-SEC teams in the top ten, Southern California-Wisconsin-Brigham Young-Northwestern and Florida State. If any of those team win 10 games or more then they will absolutely be playing the a NY6 game if not a college playoff game

The method is 100% bogus. First it values beating 9-3 or 8-4 FCS or G5 school as much as playing a P5 with the same record. Second, any conf playing 9 games, B10, B12, P12 are at an automatic statistical disadvantage b/c more inter conference games building more losses in the conf against each other.

What this method indicates is how well the opponents did versus their level of competition last season. This is at least useful for measuring opponents confidence entering the new season.

This would be more meaningful if at least it was just P5 teams records against P5 teams. Even then there needs to be a break down of teams which played 11 regular season games with P5 teams, teams which played 10 games with P5 teams and teams playing 9 such games and teams which only played 8 games with P5 teams (Ole Miss, Mississippi State Penn State).

Overall this list is meaningless.

The records of FBS schools need to be left out of this formula. You’re comparing apples to oranges. A bad Power 5 team is going to beat a great FCS team 95% of the time. This formula is so flawed that it is worthless as a SOS measure–it’s just lazy analytics.

The SEC as a whole is actually stepping up OOC this year. Only 1 or 2 teams aren’t playing at least one power 5 non game. Its a great ranking strategy because most sec teams come into the conf schedule with 3 or 4 wins and either hold their early rankings or move up. Thats how they get 10-11 teams in bowls every year. The bottom teams usually play 3-4 non power 5s and all they need to do is win 2 or 3 conf games and they are bowl elligable. The sec has had the worst non conference schedule and played the most 1-aa teams the last several years. We will see how that works out stepping it up this year.