Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Strength of Shedule

Here is a link to Collegefootballnews.com and their story on CUSA scheduling.

I disagree on a couple of points. I actually think that SMU has the easiest schedule in C-USA West (they think Tulsa's is easier). I think there strength of schedule is more a "relative" thing in that they play more teams that on paper they are sure to beat than SMU. I think Tulsa's C-USA East games are harder than SMU's: So. Miss, ECU and Memphis as opposed to ECU, UAB and Marshall; based on last year's performance, SMU has it easier. I think SMU's nonconference is a little easier than Tulsa's.

Anyway, more interesting info is their analysis of SMU's schedule, which I have pasted here:

Realistic best case record with this schedule: 7-5
Barring total disaster worst case record: 4-8
Realistic record: 6-6
If Phil Bennett's team is ready to take another positive step up, the schedule is there to do it helped by four home games in five before closing out the year with a winnable season against Rice. Outside of the opening day game at Texas Tech, there isn't a certain loss to worry about with the toughest road game at UTEP; that's not that bad. There's no UCF or Southern Miss from the East, and Tulsa has to come to Dallas.

Sept. 2 at Texas Tech
Sept. 9 at North Texas
Sept. 16 Sam Houston State
Sept. 23 Arkansas State
Sept. 30 at Tulane
Oct. 7 at UTEP
Oct. 14 Marshall
Oct. 21 at East Carolina
Oct. 31 UAB
Nov. 11 Houston
Nov. 18 Tulsa
Nov. 25 at Rice
- Almost certain win/Likely loss/Could go either way

Realistic best case scenario of 7-5?!?! I am no sunshiner, but you have to be on crack to look at that schedule say and say SMU is going to do no better than 7-5. I know this is qualified as "realistic," but in my mind, that would be 9-3, not 7-5. I agree that Tech is a "likely loss" as they suggest and I would say that four losses is the worst case scenario. But I think people really discount what the early losing did to this team in past years. If SMU is on a roll in September, I like its chances this year in a big way.

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