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Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

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Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/ncfnation/0-9-58/Toughest-nonconference-schedules-among-the-non-AQs.html

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

This is schedule week here at ESPN.com, and I'm doing my part with the plethora of teams I cover. However, unlike my blogger brethren, I'm not going to rank my 54 team's nonconference schedules from toughest to easiest. That would be ridiculous. Instead, I'm going to provide my top 10 toughest nonconference schedules below and my top 10 easiest nonconference schedules in a later post.

Ranking these teams is so different than ranking teams in automatic qualifying conferences. Several of the teams on the list below have to play outrageously tough nonconference schedules, mostly against BCS teams on the road, simply to pay for their programs. Not an enviable position and not a favorable road to that elusive BCS berth.

1. Florida International: FIU is one of my surprise teams this season, but its non conference schedule won't do much to build confidence. It has games at Alabama, at Rutgers and at Florida and FIU is 0-14 in its history against BCS teams. The Golden Panthers only non conference respite is against Toledo, a team they beat 35-16 last season.

2. East Carolina: The Pirates aren't afraid to play BCS teams in their area and they've struck up some good rivalries with teams in North Carolina and the Virginias. The Pirates open the season against a tough Appalachian State team before playing at West Virginia and North Carolina. The kicker is the game against Virginia Tech right in the middle of the Conference USA schedule.

3. Central Michigan: This is one of those schools that has a tough road schedule because of the guaranteed money. The Chippewas travel to Arizona, Michigan State and Boston College, and quarterback Dan LeFevour has not defeated a BCS team as a starter (I know everyone loves when I point that out). The Chippewas' win against Indiana was with graduated senior Brian Brunner under center. CMU does get a break with Alcorn State.

4. Fresno State: Not a shocker that the Bulldogs are in the top 5 of this list. They consistently have tough nonconference schedules. Last season, the Bulldogs played three nonconference road games and swept them, including wins against Rutgers and UCLA. The Bulldogs travel to Wisconsin, Cincinnati, and have their first-ever nonconference game in December against Illinois.

5. Louisiana: The Ragin' Cajuns have a rare home game against a BCS team, unfortunately it's against Kansas State, a team many believe will be one of the best in the Big 12 Conference. The Ragin' Cajuns also have ridiculously tough road games against Nebraska and LSU, two of the toughest places in the country to play.

6. Louisiana-Monroe: Two years ago, the Warhawks pulled off a major upset against Alabama, and last year they lost by one to Arkansas. This year, the Warhawks start the season at Texas, but are 0-15 in road openers. But they could pull off upsets when they travel to Arizona State and Kentucky, two teams that are expected to be down this year.

7. Toledo: The Rockets' win at Michigan was one of the biggest upsets of the regular season last season, and this year, with a new head coach and several of last year's players returning, the Rockets could shock again. They open the season at Purdue, host Colorado, a game that was added late, and play a neutral site game against Ohio State. Colorado better beware: Toledo is 2-4 against current Big 12 teams, but both wins have come at home and in the past three years.

8. Miami (Ohio): The RedHawks were central in a scheduling snafu that affected 10 teams and left the RedHawks with a pretty tough nonconference schedule. They open with a neutral site game against Kentucky before travelling to Boise State. The RedHawks play two conference games before finishing their nonconference schedule against Cincinnati and Northwestern.

9. San Jose State: The Spartans might have the toughest two games to open the season based on last year's rankings since both USC and Utah played in BCS games. The Spartans also travel to Stanford and have to face a tough Cal Poly team that defeated San Diego State last season.

10. Houston: The Cougars' offense is going to be fun to watch against high-scoring offenses Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Cowboys should be one of the top teams in the Big 12 this season while Tech is an unknown. The Cougars also must travel to Mississippi State, a winnable game, but still an SEC opponent.

That's 2 Sun Belt teams on there if they get dismantled and deflated by their tough OOC games it can be to our advantage when we play them

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

Gee what a [glow=red,2,300]SCHOCK[/glow]!

FIU tops the list…who would of thunk it!??!?!

:D
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Re: Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

Rick said

Gee what a [glow=red,2,300]SCHOCK[/glow]!

FIU tops the list…who would of thunk it!??!?!

:D

Yeah, read the first line under FIU "FIU is one of my surprise teams this season"…… Nooooo you're kidding!?! Wouldn't have noticed from your love fest for them on your blog

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

Jab979 said

That's 2 Sun Belt teams on there if they get dismantled and deflated by their tough OOC games it can be to our advantage when we play them

There are 3 Sun Belt teams…see #5…
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Re: Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

Jab979 said


5. Louisiana: The Ragin' Cajuns have a rare home game against a BCS team, unfortunately it's against Kansas State, a team many believe will be one of the best in the Big 12 Conference. The Ragin' Cajuns also have ridiculously tough road games against Nebraska and LSU, two of the toughest places in the country to play.


That's 3 Sun Belt teams on there if they get dismantled and deflated by their tough OOC games it can be to our advantage when we play them


Sometimes some people label ULL as Louisiana, but Ragin' Cajuns gives it away.

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Re: Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

They wanted everyone to call them eithe UL or Louisiana…said it is "unacceptable" usage to call them ULL:

"WE ARE LOUISIANA
- In all references to our institution please use Louisiana for first reference and UL for
abbreviations. The abbreviation “ULL” is NOT an acceptable use of our name."

Source: MBB Game Notes

So, if you go to their website:

What's with the Lafayette still on it?

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Re: Toughest nonconference schedules among the non-AQs

Rick said

They wanted everyone to call them eithe UL or Louisiana…said it is "unacceptable" usage to call them ULL:

"WE ARE LOUISIANA
- In all references to our institution please use Louisiana for first reference and UL for
abbreviations. The abbreviation “ULL” is NOT an acceptable use of our name."

Source: MBB Game Notes

So, if you go to their website:

What's with the Lafayette still on it?



OK so ULL it is

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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