The SEC rolodex: Out-of-conference opponent unpower rankings

Jamie Squire

According to the numbers, SEC schools in the market for a non-difficult power-conference opponent should start with Kansas, then work from there.

The SEC has solved its years-long football scheduling drama by deciding to stick with its current eight-game conference format, but with a new twist.

Starting in 2016, every school will have to play at least one out-of-conference game against another power-conference team. This normalizes one off-kilter factor of conference scheduling: several teams (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina) have annual rivalries against ACC schools, but most don't.

The SEC's list of power opponents does reportedly include Notre Dame, but BYU and other independents appear to be off the table.

And since most SEC teams aren't famed for taking on unnecessary challenges out of conference, many have noted that the weaker teams in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-12 are about to start fielding a whole bunch of phone calls.

Therefore, the list of schools that certain risk-averse SEC schools should contact, in order, according to the latest Football Study Hall four-year F/+ rankings (which measures general program strength over multiple seasons):

Rank Team
113 Kansas
106 Colorado
105 Wake Forest
91 Purdue
88 Minnesota
87 Washington State
83 Boston College
78 Duke
74 California
70 Indiana
66 Virginia
62 Maryland
60 Iowa State
59 Illinois
58 NC State
55 Syracuse
52 North Carolina
51 Pittsburgh
50 Rutgers
47 Northwestern
46 Texas Tech
45 Georgia Tech
43 Oregon State
42 Utah
41 UCLA
40 Iowa
39 West Virginia
38 Washington
34 Texas
32 Arizona
30 Arizona State
29 Kansas State
27 Miami
25 Penn State
24 Michigan
22 Nebraska
21 TCU
20 USC
19 Virginia Tech
18 Clemson
17 Louisville
16 Baylor
15 Notre Dame
14 Ohio State
13 Wisconsin
12 Michigan State
6 Oklahoma State
5 Oklahoma
4 Florida State
3 Stanford
2 Oregon

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