College Football 2015: 10 Teams That Could Benefit From Easy Schedules

By Ty Duffy
facebooktwitter

Earlier, we looked at teams that may struggle compared to their peers

with harder schedules. Here, we take a look at teams that may benefit from easier ones relative to their conference opponents.

OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

There’s not a lot between Ohio State and the playoff. We can’t write off Virginia Tech, after last year. But, that’s it non-conference. The Buckeyes get Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Maryland in Columbus. Ohio State’s toughest conference road games are Michigan and Rutgers. It’s possible they reach the B1G title game with one Top 25 win. [Full Schedule]

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

No Auburn this year out of conference, just South Dakota, UTSA and Louisiana Tech. TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia come to Manhattan. That’s about as nice a setup as Bill Snyder could ask for from the Big 12. [Full Schedule]

OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

The Cowboys have a murderous non-conference lineup of Central Michigan, Central Arkansas and UTSA. They face Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU and Kansas State at home in Stillwater. Toughest road game after early October is…Texas Tech. [Full Schedule]

WISCONSIN BADGERS

Beyond Bama, Wisconsin hosts Miami (Ohio), Troy and Hawaii outside the Big Ten. Inside, they duck Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan from the B1G East. The Badgers’ toughest game after the opener is either at Nebraska or at Minnesota. Both are winnable. Given competence, this team should have no trouble getting to 10 wins. [Full Schedule]

DUKE BLUE DEVILS

The Blue Devils have four winnable non-conference games: Tulane, North Carolina Central, Northwestern and Army. No Florida State, Clemson or Louisville from the cross-division draw. They face Georgia Tech and Miami in Durham. [Full Schedule]

TEXAS A&M AGGIES

The Aggies leave Texas once in their first 10 games. Beyond the ASU “neutral site” game, they play Ball State, Nevada and Western Carolina outside the SEC. Their road trip from the East is at Vanderbilt. Texas A&M also gets Bama and Auburn at home. Sumlin could benefit from a soft slate, in a pivotal fourth season. [Full Schedule]

MISSOURI TIGERS

The BYU game is a de facto home game. Missouri’s other three non-conference games are Southeast Missouri, Arkansas State and UConn. Mississippi State and Arkansas is about as kind of a draw as one could ask for from the SEC West. They face Georgia in Athens. But, they get Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina at home. Two of their four conference road games are Vanderbilt and Kentucky. [Full Schedule]

IOWA HAWKEYES

Pitt, with a new coach at home, is by far Iowa’s hardest non-conference game. The Hawkeyes play in the softer West division. They get Maryland and Indiana (away) from the East. Ferentz could (and probably will) pull a “Ferentz” and underwhelm, but don’t blame the schedule. [Full Schedule]

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

The Hokies should be set up for a 3-1 non-conference run, with Furman, Purdue and East Carolina joining Ohio State. After that, there’s a lot of mediocrity. VaTech misses Florida State, Clemson and Louisville in the ACC. The schedule should get them into the 8-9 win range easily, if they can mount something resembling an offense. [Full Schedule]

PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS

Penn State does not leave Pennsylvania the first half of the season, facing Temple, Buffalo, San Diego State and Army non-conference. They drew Illinois and a road trip to Northwestern from the West. Sure, the Nittany Lions go on the road to Ohio State and to Michigan State. But, that means two more games they’d be expected to compete in are at home. [Full Schedule]

facebooktwitter