Quick follow up on President Gee’s comments last week regarding TCU and Southern Idaho State’s schedule; particularly that schools outside of the Big Ten and SEC don’t have the same week to week challenges as their “bigger” brothers.
President Gee has stepped away from those comments somewhat, saying
What do I know about college football? I look like Orville Redenbacher. I have no business talking about college football.
God, I love that guy. He also talked about upcoming announcements regarding future schedules that Buckeye fans should be excited about, and about reaching out to the real “Little Sisters Of The Poor” to give them the respect they deserved.
Elsewheres, Ken Gordon at the Dispatch has a great article today looking more closely at the schedule strength, and compares not only overall schedules, but the competition in and out of conferences. While you’ve probably read that Ohio State and Boise’s schedule strengths are pretty close this year, what Ken points out is that…
Sagarin rates the Big Ten as the fourth-best conference. If you average out the ratings of OSU’s Big Ten opponents, you get 57. Sagarin rates the WAC as the 9th-best conference. Boise’s WAC opponents average out to 89. The MWC is the 8th-best conference, and TCU’s conference opponents average out to 88.
So the conclusion is that Ohio State plays in a tougher conference — which is exactly what Gee said. The difference in their schedules is that this year, at least, Boise and TCU play better non-conference opponents.
Here are the Sagarin averages for each team’s non-conference slate: OSU 104th, Boise 58th, TCU 78th.
That’s how those schools end up with similar overall ratings. Because their conferences are not as difficult, they can schedule better opponents in the pre-conference season. OSU has less incentive to do so.
That being said, I’m actually happy with the ways the Buckeyes shape their schedules. Sure, Miami ended up being a bust this season, but you’ve got to appreciate Ohio State’s willingness to look for a challenge, unlike some schools elsewhere coughSECcough where there’s no perceived need to do so.
And, given that there are upcoming games with Colorado, Miami, Cal, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and whoever Dr. Gee was referring to it’s not like the Buckeyes are ducking anyone… even after adding Nebraska to the conference and Michigan State to the schedule for next season.