Before we put one of our favorite preseason topics in cold storage, let’s take one more look back at Georgia’s 2012 schedule. Sagarin’s final ratings are out, and they include strength of schedule for all FBS and FCS teams. (h/t to @OtterDTX for finding the link.) I know there are disagreements with Sagarin’s methods and results, but we’ll stick with them for this post.
Georgia had Sagarin’s 27th-toughest schedule. Among Sagarin’s top 10 teams, every other team but Oregon had a tougher schedule. The separation isn’t that great though. Only five of the top 10 teams had a top 20 schedule, and three others were there in the 20s with the Dawgs. Here are some teams of note:
- Alabama: #1 rating, #19 schedule
- Texas A&M: #3 rating, #6 schedule
- Georgia: #4 rating, #27 schedule
- South Carolina: #6 rating, #23 schedule
- FSU: #11 rating, #66 schedule
- Ohio State: #13 rating, #60 schedule
- Nebraska: #22 rating, #20 schedule
- Ole Miss: #24 rating, #8 schedule
- Vanderbilt: #25 rating, #42 schedule
For what it’s worth, Georgia Southern wasn’t the lowest-rated team on Georgia’s schedule. It wasn’t even in the bottom third of opponents. Sagarin has Georgia Southern rated at #72. Far below them lie Auburn (#81), Kentucky (#93), Buffalo (#131), and Florida Atlantic (#137).
Some other observations:
- The Dawgs ended up playing three other top 10 teams (and went 1-2). No top 10 team played more than four other top 10 opponents, and Kansas State didn’t face a (final) top 10 team until their bowl.
- Georgia faced six top 30 teams, and they had a 4-2 record in those games. Those lopsided Ole Miss and Vandy wins look a lot more impressive in hindsight.
- What does having the nation’s toughest schedule get you? Say hello to Missouri, whose move to the SEC meant that they were the only team in the nation to face five eventual top 10 teams. The #2 schedule? Auburn’s next coach will hope for a little easier slate.
- If you wonder why SEC teams schedule as they do, the conference ended up with 12 of the nation’s 30 toughest schedules. Only Vanderbilt and Mississippi State didn’t have a top 30 schedule.
- Taking that last point further, the SEC had six of the nation’s top 10 schedules and three of the top 5.
- It’s worth noting that only two of those six SEC teams with top 10 schedules qualified for a bowl.
- The average BCS team had a strength of schedule rating just over 40. Even when you exclude Northern Illinois’ abysmal #121 schedule, the average BCS team’s strength of schedule was #31.