Were at the time of year when the college sports season has gone into hiatus, but it seems it’s never too early or too late to talk football.
Preseason rankings are beginning to surface, or at least add to the pre-preseason projections that started coming out as soon as the 2013 bowl season ended in early January. Now we are starting to see everything from preseason All-America selections to team rankings on a national scale and on a position-by-position basis.
Bruce Feldman, a college football reporter for FOXSports.com, wrote a blog this week rating NCAA Division I teams on the basis of their nonconference strength of schedule in the coming 2015 college football season.
In his article, titled “Ranking the Most Brutal Non-Conference Slates in America,”Feldman ranks West Virginia and Texas from the Big 12 as one-two on the list.
“Dana Holgorsen’s team should be much improved from last season,” Feldman writes. “Given the fact that, outside of Kansas, the Big 12 is very competitive and the non-conference is rough, if the Mountaineers get to a bowl game, Dana Holgorsen should merit some Coach of the Year considerations.
“WVU has a brutal opener against Alabama in Atlanta,” he continues. “The one (true) road game is against what should be an improved Maryland team with one of the best 1-2 WR combos in the country in Stefon Diggs and Levern Jacobs. The other game is against an FCS opponent, but it’s against a Towson squad that just went 13-3, was top 5 in the FCS and beat UConn by 15 last year”
“Throw on top of that Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU and Texas – teams expected to be really good this year – and the Mountaineers might be required to do a little water walking,” said John Antonik on the West Virginia athletic website WVUSports.com.
FOXSports.com’s Feldman had this to say about ranking the Texas Longhorns No. 2 in his nonconference strength of schedule rankings:
:Charlie Strong’s debut comes against a decent Conference USA opponent in North Texas, which went 9-4 last season. Things get even tougher when the Horns get a visit from a BYU team that bullied UT last year, 40-21.
” The third and final non-conference opponent is the best of the bunch in UCLA, led by stars (quarterback)Brett Hundley and Myles Jack, The game is in Arlington, which is a de facto Texas home game.”
In case you’re curious, Feldman ranks USC, Florida State and Tennessee and three, four and five on his ranking of brutal nonconference schedules next season. Tennessee has to travel to Norman, Okla., to play the Sooners, which is never an easy thing to do (OU has lost only five games at home in the 15 seasons Bob Stoops has been there). Florida State has a date in Atlanta with Oklahoma State.