Indiana No. 17 on Website's College Football Strength of Schedule Formula

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana football fans know all about how difficult it is to play in the Big Ten East, and because there are challenges galore up and down the Hoosiers' schedule, one formula says they have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. 

Crunching all sorts of data heading into the college football season, the website has determined that Indiana has the 17th toughest strength of schedule in the country for 2020. 

The Hoosiers were one of 10 Big Ten teams in the top-20. Purdue is No. 1, because it has nonconference games against Memphis and Air Force, teams that won 12 and 11 games a year ago, and have tough Big Ten crossover games against nine-win Michigan and eight-win Indiana.

The website's proprietary formula ranks all 130 teams and it is based upon a team's opponents’ efficiency ratings from last season minus the production lost from the 2019 team; recruiting rankings from the past four years, and major transfers added and lost. The formula is then adjusted for each game based upon home and road games

The Big Ten plays nine conference games, while the ACC and SEC play only eight, which affects schedule strength. Indiana also gets a benefit by having to play Wisconsin in its Big Ten opener on Sept 4. Wisconsin is considered a top-5 team in many way-too-early preseason polls. 

Alabama and Ohio State, the two top-ranked teams in the country, have a nearly identical strength of schedule (Nos 14-15), while Clemson has the 61st easiest schedule.

Here’s a look at the 25 toughest schedules in college football. For complete strength of schedule rankings for all 130 FCS Division 1 teams as well as conference rankings, CLICK HERE

1. Purdue (255.22)
2. Georgia Tech (223.97)
3. Michigan (211.92)
4. Nebraska (210.8)

5. Vanderbilt (195.22)
6. Iowa (190.39)
7. Michigan State (183.86)
8. Colorado (179.85)
9. South Carolina (179.19)
10. Wisconsin (170.24)
11. Arkansas (159.38)
12. Northwestern (139.78)
13. Houston (135.17)
14. Ohio State (133.95)
15. Alabama (133.05)
16. South Florida (132.41)
17. Indiana (129.67)
18. Kansas (129.51)
19. Maryland (128.16)
20. LSU (122.13)
21. West Virginia (116.39)
22. USC (115.12)
23. Notre Dame (113.13)
24. TCU (109.85)
25. Georgia (108.32)
* Big Ten teams in bold

Related Indiana football stories

  • PERFECT TESTING: Indiana has tested 187 players, coaches and staff members thus far, without a single COVID-19 positive test. CLICK HERE
  • PRACTICE PLAN APPROVED: The NCAA has approved a six-week preseason practice plan for its college football teams. CLICK HERE
  • TOM BREW COLUMN: The next few weeks will go a long way in determining what the college football season will look like come September. CLICK HERE