College football strength of schedule: 2022 mid-season rankings

By Kevin Kelley -

We’ve reached the mid-point of the 2022 season, which means it’s a good time to take a look at the college football strength of schedule rankings (SOS) as they stand now.

There are several sources for strength of schedule, most of them computer components that were formerly part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings. Note that these rankings are for strength of schedule to date and will differ from preseason rankings.

For comparison purposes, we will use Phil Steele’s preseason strength of schedule rankings. Click the title to view the complete rankings for each source.

Preseason Strength of Schedule Rankings

Phil Steele

  1. Auburn
  2. Mississippi State
  3. Georgia Tech
  4. Arkansas
  5. Vanderbilt
  6. LSU
  7. Stanford
  8. Indiana
  9. Louisville
  10. Rutgers

The Auburn Tigers, currently 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the SEC, topped Phil Steele’s preseason list. Currently ranked teams that Auburn has already played include No. 16 Penn State, No. 1 Georgia, and No. 7 Ole Miss. The Tigers have remaining games at home vs. Arkansas, Texas A&M, and WKU and on the road at No. 24 Mississippi State and No. 6 Alabama.

Mid-Season Strength of Schedule Rankings

Colley Matrix

Auburn tops the strength of schedule rankings in the Colley Matrix. The Tigers are third in Sagarin, fifth in Massey, seventh in Billingsley, and second in the ESPN FPI (see below). Auburn is followed by Colorado and FCS Group 12. See Colley’s site for an explanation of FCS Groupings.

  1. Auburn
  2. Colorado
  3. FCS Group 12
  4. Georgia Tech
  5. Vanderbilt
  6. Indiana
  7. Houston
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Alabama
  10. Stanford

Jeff Sagarin

Jeff Sagarin’s index has the Stanford Cardinals with the toughest schedule in the country. Auburn, which is first in the Colley Matrix, comes in at third behind Arkansas.

  1. Stanford
  2. Arkansas
  3. Auburn
  4. Texas Tech
  5. Colorado
  6. Georgia Tech
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Arizona State
  9. Vanderbilt
  10. Texas

Kenneth Massey

Alabama tops the strength of schedule rankings in the Massey Ratings, followed by Texas and Arkansas. While ranked first here, Alabama’s 2022 schedule is currently ranked 18th by Jeff Sagarin.

  1. Alabama
  2. Texas
  3. Arkansas
  4. Tennessee
  5. Auburn
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Iowa State
  8. Ohio State
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Oklahoma

Billingsley Rankings

Billingsley is the only computer index to rank Arkansas’ schedule as the toughest. They also rank Florida State, BYU, and UConn’s schedule in the Top 10, whereas those three schools do not appear in the Top 10 of any other computer ranking.

  1. Arkansas
  2. Vanderbilt
  3. Texas Tech
  4. Iowa State
  5. Texas
  6. Alabama
  7. Auburn
  8. Florida State
  9. BYU
  10. UConn


According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), the Vanderbilt Commodores have played the toughest schedule so far this season. Among the teams Vandy has played are Alabama and Georgia on the road and Wake Forest and Ole Miss at home.

  1. Vanderbilt
  2. Auburn
  3. ULM
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Kent State
  6. Alabama
  7. Michigan State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Utah State

Looking at each of the rankings, Auburn has played the toughest schedule in the eyes of the computer indexes, which matches up with the preseason prediction by Phil Steele. Other tough schedules played include Alabama, Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt.

According to the Sagarin ratings, here are the top 10 divisions in schedule strength:

  1. SEC West
  2. Big 12
  3. SEC East
  4. Big Ten East
  5. Pac-12 North
  6. ACC Atlantic
  7. Pac-12 South
  8. Big Ten West
  9. ACC Coastal
  10. AAC

Bonus: Here’s a look at the top 10 toughest remaining schedules according to the ESPN FPI:

  1. Mississippi State
  2. Northwestern
  3. Iowa
  4. Ole Miss
  5. Auburn
  6. TCU
  7. Georgia Tech
  8. Kansas State
  9. Indiana
  10. LSU

Comments (4)

Kevin Kelley,

The SOS was created & is maintained by the Trust Six Conferences to legitimize Their Trust Control of their mythical B owl C hampionship S eries Championship. Computers programmed by Humans mythically producing “objective, balanced, fair” Rankings for Team 1 VS 2.

The BCS was discredited by these surviving Five Trust Conferences when they moved to “an objective, balanced & fair” Committee of Humans in 2013, hand picked by the BCS, LLC’s Company President Bill Hancock.
Bill Hancock formed The CFP, Administaration, LLC with himself as Executive Director & a COO. It doesn’t matter who the COO is, he’s the Executive Secretary to Bill Hancock.

The BCS was morphed into the 4 Team College Football Invitational, Administration LLC mythical Playoff.

Now ,the CFPA, LLC select Committee can use all of the above human programmed algorithmic Systems, tailored to fit the Trust Five Conferences with human Face Filters on the committee Members.

ESPN’s F ootball P ower I ndex is more of he same Trust Five Conferences institutionalized Bias in plain sight but not officially part of the committee Members metrics although it’s quoted throughout the whole off season, September & Oktober leading up to the top 4 Team Rankings in November.

Going back to 2006, the SEC has had Florida (2), LSU (2), Alabama (6), Auburn (1) and Georgia (1) win national titles.

How far back do we have to go to find five different Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, or Pac 12 champions?

How many straight years has the NFL taken more SEC players than any other conference?

Overrated? The fact is no other conference has ever dominated the sport the way the SEC has done recently. And with Texas and Oklahoma coming soon, that won’t change…