Phil Steele’s 2009 College Football Strength of Schedule Rankings

By Kevin Kelley -

The 2009 college football season is almost upon us! With that in mind, let’s take a look at Phil Steele’s 2009 strength of schedule rankings.

Steele has been publishing a football newsletter since 1982 and started his College Football Preview in 1995. Today, he is one of the premier gurus of college football stats.

Listed below are Phil Steele’s 10 toughest schedules for 2009 (complete list):

1. South Carolina The South Carolina Gamecocks have the toughest schedule in 2009 according to Steele. The Gamecocks play Clemson, Florida and Ole Miss at home, and travel to face Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and NC State. Their season opener against the Wolfpack is nationally televised on Thursday night.

2. Florida State The Seminoles have non-conference games at home against Miami (FL) and USF and road games at BYU and national champion Florida. ACC games include Georgia Tech, NC State, at Boston College, at Clemson and at North Carolina.

3. Oklahoma The Sooners start the season against BYU at Arlington. They also face Tulsa at home and Miami (FL) on the road. Big 12 games include Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas, at Kansas, at Nebraska and at Texas Tech.

4. Mississippi State The Bulldogs will host non-conference opponents Georgia Tech and Houston and will travel to Middle Tennessee. SEC games include Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, at Arkansas, at Auburn and at Kentucky.

5. Minnesota The Golden Gophers start 2009 at Syracuse before hosting Air Force and California. Big Ten games include Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin, at Ohio State and at Penn State.

6. Arkansas The Razorbacks face the Texas A&M Aggies at Arlington and later host Eastern Michigan and Troy. SEC contests include Auburn, Georgia, at Alabama, at Florida, at LSU and at Ole Miss.

7. Georgia The Bulldogs open the season at Oklahoma State, host Arizona State and travel to Georgia Tech. SEC games include Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, at Arkansas and at Tennessee.

8. Virginia Tech The Hokies open the season against Alabama at the Georgia Dome, host Marshall and Nebraska, and travel to East Carolina. ACC matchups include Boston College, Miami (FL), North Carolina, at Georgia Tech and at Virginia.

9. Tennessee The Volunteers host non-conference games against Memphis, Ohio, Western Kentucky and UCLA. SEC games include Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, at Alabama, at Florida and at Ole Miss.

10. Michigan State The Spartans play at Notre Dame and host Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Big Ten games include Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, at Illinois, at Minnesota and at Wisconsin.

Comments (14)

How is it that Miami’s schedule isn’t in the top 10? But Michigan St’s is? Seriously? With two directional Michigans…at home no less.

this is the dumbest strength of schedule poll i have ever seen. MSU at 10? what a moron. I feel like I have lost a few minutes of my life looking at this…

Gee i wonder how the gators can get to the bsc championship game? Oh i know play teams like troy as a regular season game. Give them a schedule like the gamecocks and see how well they do. How can you be the number 1 team and have a schedule like that. It ia BS. GO IRISH!!!

Here we are after week 4 and the South Carolina Gamecocks who have the toughest schedule in the country are 3-1 and just beat #4 Ole Miss. Only loss was to Georgia by 4 points and yet we were excluded from all the polls…didnt even break the top 25. What a total lack of respect for a very good team.

VT plays the biggest bunch of nobodies all year and then can’t go undefeated and still gets #8 ??? They are consistantly around 60th in all other strength of schedules. What’s up??

VT plays the biggest bunch of nobodies all year and then can’t go undefeated and still gets #8 ??? They are consistantly around 60th in all other strength of schedules. What’s up??

You must be an idiot. They have played Alabama, Nebraska, and Miami already… and do not play non BCS teams… check your facts and you won’t look so ignorant.

Troy is a good football team people, i bet Mizzou and Oklahome state dont wann play them agian(troy has beaten both)

and they had LSU down but 28 in the 4th quarter last year. and i garuantee you troy is Better than Nevada

You are correct on the Gamecocks!!! Lets see Iowa at 3-0 unranked plays PSU 3-0 but ranked 5th and in the same conferance??? If Joe Paterno wasn’t senile even he would think the rankings are a joke!!

Arkansas should be #1 on SOS. Assuming that South Carolina and LSU dont fall out of the top 25 before they play them, every SEC game that Arkansas plays except Mississippi State will be against a top 25 team.