This may be kind of a "no duh" in these parts, but nice to see our schedule strength get some national recognition. Here are the top 10 toughest 2012 football schedules per Bruce Feldman at CBSSports.
4th Most Difficult Schedule in the Nation
This could be great, or terrible for you guys. If UM is a one-loss team after all this, which is quite possible, they're still NC talks because od the schedule. But if they hit a snag along the road, lose to Bama AND ND (impossible, i know), and then lose a few conference games due to luck, lack of WR depth, etc., people won't look at strength of schedule. They'll simply chalk up last year as a fluke.
You really couldn't blame people for chalking up last season as a fluke, seeing as Michigan had never won 11 games in the same season before in the history of college football. (And by "history of college football, I mean since 2007).
even with your second scenario the best part is we can lose 4 games maybe 5 and still win our division, then with OSU on probation and Wisconsin probably winning the other side. Playing them in the Big Ten title game winning and still playing in the Grand Daddy of them all the Rose Bowl. So I will take that any year and be a happy man.
If you and MSU both lose 4 games, including MSU winning head to head (god forbid), they get the Championship berth, no?
I don't think 4 losses will take the division. Probably 3 losses but not 4 overall. With MSU, Nebraska, and maybe even Iowa sneaking in there.
losses is gonna win the Big Ten Leaders, or Legends just stating you could lose all 4 OOC games, and lose for sure 1 conference game but even 2 in the perfect situation and still win your side of the Big Ten. That was my only point is saying with the new split Big Ten anything can happen and in some years some whacky tie breakers will decide who goes to Indy.
Rational Buckeye but I think first of all that there's no way we lose @ND and I don't want to hear about raucous environment because I watched the USC game last year. Nebraska hasn't made up enough ground to erase a 28 point gap and MSU is at home. That being said, we could still be 9-3 B10 champions which the team would consider more successful than last year's campaign, even with a rose bowl loss. I'm predicting 11-3 which is I think on the slightly optimistic side of realistic
I think you'r "28 point gap" point is interesting. If you're grading teams on a one-sample proximity to Michigan, what was your view on OSU last year? 6-point win, when the year numbers would suggest a larger talent gap. Your method implies that OSU was a victim of other factors throughout the season that led to such a paltry record. Ex: Based on point differential against you, NEB>OSU>UM, but in reality it went OSU>NEB>UM.
For comparison's sake, I believe Nebraska was a better team than theyed showed against you, and OSU was a better team than their record suggested.
I agree with your first point regarding Nebraska but disagree slightly on your second point. Individually there was pretty strong talent, but as a team there was too much going on to allow them to be good. Next year I expect 9 wins from this buckeye team.
I agree with what you're saying, because I think we're making the same point with different interpretations. I don't think OSU was better the whole season, but like you said, there was too much going on. Some of these things were unavoidable due to past issues, but if you think about some of the games, you can certainly see how things could've tipped another way. It took too long to name Miller as the starter, leading to a lack development and confidence. In a game like NU, if he doesn't hurt his ankle, we stay in control, and likely win (OSU was up by two posessions late). Purdue was lost on one bad special teams play. MSU was a three point game because we had 0 offense. Wisconsin probably should have been a loss. But when you shake it all out evenly, this is probably more like a 7-6/8-5 team, which is much more accurate.
I think OSU under-performed last year relative to their talent at certain positions, but with Miller learning on the job and some of the holes on defense (esp. in the secondary), it doesn't surprise me that they lost some close games. Losing Herron and Posier for virtually the whole season didn't help either.
Should be interesting to see them this year. I figure they'll win 9-10 games, but still might struggle adapting to Meyer's offensive philosophy, which is significantly different than anything OSU has seen save for that one year he left Smith run free.
The new math: Devier + Posey = Posier?
Nebraska special teams had a poor game, which caused at least a 14 point swing. I still think we beat them either way, because the big 12 north was weak and they admit that. They never had injuries and sore players like last year. Penn State never adjusted until recently.
Because they got up for big games (Neb, Wisconsin, Michigan) but were pathetic against Toledo, purdue, Florida. I have no idea what to think about them besides that a lack of leadership could kill them this year
I don't know, I think they have a suitable leader in most positions, it'll just be about whether or not Braxton takes the team as his own. Coaches' comments as well as his actions during practices and the spring would suggest encouraging things there. Other than that, I think Stoneburner, Boren, Mewhort, and Simon can shoulder the leadership load.
ND is never a guarantee. Especially on the road. The last three years have been final play drives. The last ree games have been decided by a total of what 12 points? Truthfully, we were out matched the majority of that game.
Common sense? Incredible.
At the same though, they just lost their biggest playmaker and still don't have a solid option at QB yet
We lost our biggest defensive playmaker, and we don't have a primary target at wide out.
He had 19 receptions last year.
Yeah but we return more playmakers on both sides of the ball than what we lost. Yes, losing RVB and Martin will hurt, but ND isn't exactly the team I'm afraid of when it comes to "run the ball down our throat". And last year we didn't really have a primary target at Wide-Out, and we return Gallon, Roundtree, Dileo, Smith who are all more than capable of being playmakers. Plus ND's secondary is a joke and they don't have very much depth.
I'm not saying it's an auto-win, but it's definitely not the automatic loss people have been making it out to be
I'd be curious to know how pre-season and post-season strengths of schedule compare, on average. If they're like the rankings, then they do not have much merit, in my opinion.
Man, this is going to be a long 3 months.
SEC seems underrepresented, especially the West.
Arkansas will be much more weak, and that leaves LSU.
MSU wasn't added to the list because the author wanted people to read it.
In reguards to MSU, "my name is a disappointment i only disappoint myself"
Here's to hoping your name stands for New Found Glory.
To be fair MSU got it all out of the way last year with a similar schedule MINUS Alabama. They went to ND, to OSU, and to Nebraska.
It is a difficult schedule. But I think this team will be just fine.
We'll definitely see and we should be able to tell early on. I think this season will all come down to the trenches. ND, MSU, OSU, Nebraska... all teams that if the UM lines hold up against they will have a chance to control the game.
ND has always recruited well but never quite been able to show it on the field, so that's a toss up IMO.
MSU returns most of it's O Line and loses Worthy on the D Line. I think the Lewan/Gholston will be an amazing battle all game and it could come down to the interior play. No secret Dantonio wants to run so it'll be their O Line versus the UM D line, imo, that will be the key matchup.
OSU and Nebraska are probably the shakiest of those four teams and I really don't know what to expect from them. They'll probably be a pain because of talent but I don't know what their experience looks like.
Not sure why Alabama isn't on the list. They have a solid schedule in the sec, not to mention that they open in a neutral site game against the all time winningest program in NCAA history with a heisman canadate at qb. Brutal.
schedule when you are the greatest team in the world better than NFL teams, it doesn't matter who you have on the schedule it is a mis- match and therefore looks like they are playing Div. 3 opponets... Sincerly every SEC fan in the world.
If we lose to AL and ND, then perhaps 2 conference games we will still be in the hunt for the legends division title. I really don't see a dominate team on our division, and you can exclude OSU!
Given the strength of our 2012 schedule an 8-4 record will be really respectable, but I'm betting Hoke and his coaches will come out with a better record. I'm thinking 9-3 or 10-2. If we upset bama then we could run the table.
Your division title hinges on the MSU game.
It depends on how you define dominant, because from a defensive perspective, I don't think any team in the Big Ten will have a better defense than MSU. Their depth is pretty damn good, and if they can find a way to replace Worthy, the defense will be even better than it was last year. Our offensive line will have its hands full and then some when MSU comes to town. Offensively, I think they will take a step back, though, unless De-Anthony Arnett just goes all-world on everyone.
Also, while I'm certainly guilty of it myself, I don't like getting into that whole "if we beat bama" line of thinking. That is such a big if, and it doesn't take much of a genius to see that even with all of the talent gone to the NFL, Alabama is still, at least on paper, a much better team. Their defense will not be as good as it was last year, but Saban will reload like he always does. I can easily see their O-Line manhandle our D-Line the entire game, and open up huge lanes for Eddie Lacy.
Whether or not we win this game, I think the team will get pretty beat up. See Oklahoma vs. FSU last year for what I think may happen, but hope like hell doesn't.
...but I don't believe Lacy will be healthy enough to play by the beginning of the season
I would consider MSU the most dominant simply because of their defense. They return most players and have depth. It could be, COULD be scary good. We'll see.
As anxious and excited as I am for this year, I'm probably equally as nervous with this schedule! Either way, the best is yet to come!
The schedule is too tough, I see us losing 3 games this year unless DR comes back andthe offense puts up 39 a game again.
i believe he is coming back for his senior year.
I figured this schedule would be ranked pretty high. This is right up there with 1994 schedule (#1 toughest) and 1999 schedule (#2 toughest.)
We went 8-4 in 1994 (would have been 9-3 if not for that hail mary I still have nightmares about against Colorado) and lost to Ohio.
We went 10-3 in 1998 (which is great record wise) but we still lost to OSU (which I cant stand). Plus Hoke keeps getting pissed off we lost to ND and the Cuse that year and we were loaded with talent.
That said, we beat OSU next year.
Go Blue. Beat Ohio.
Not 1998, 1999.
In 99, we were 10-2 with 2 losses by a combined 9 points. We blew a 20 point lead over Illinois and should have started Brady the second half against Sparty.
But we ended the season with a win over Bama!
Oregon State seems weak at #3 given that they are in the PAC-12, don't play USC, and have some scary-looking opponents that have probably lot something since last season (e.g., Stanford and Wisconsin).
I love how he nonchalantly refers to USC as Notre Dame's "arch rival". Being an arch rival generally requires some measure of mutuality. I doubt USC cares nearly as much about ND as ND cares about USC.
After this year our schedule gets much easier. 2014 is the easiest ND schedule I've seen in a while.
The fact is our program is back where it is supposed to be. I hadn't been to the Big House in about ten years, and saw them lose to Iowa in 2010. I wanted to leave at halftime...
Let's face it, we knew we were going to get our asses kicked by ohio the past few years. Those days are gone. Rejoice!
All of our tough games are on the road. If Denard makes a good showing in all our road games this year he should win the Heisman regardless of our record.