Even with the implementation of the College Football Playoff beginning this year, playing a tough, out-of-conference schedule still matters, even though the humans are doing the selecting now rather than the computers.
Non-conference scheduling was at the forefront of debates throughout the entirety of the BCS era and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
So, out of the Power 5 conferences, who has the toughest slate outside of their conference home? According to the Oklahoman via ESPN, the defending national champions themselves, the Florida State Seminoles, take top billing in that department.
The defending National Champs have the toughest nonconference schedule out of the Power 5: pic.twitter.com/PHaojozxaS
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) June 12, 2014
Right off the bat this season, the Seminoles open up the defense of their national title with a neutral-site trip to Dallas to face off against one of the best teams in the Big 12, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Before beginning ACC play, the ‘Noles will take on the Citadel, and finally there is their annual end-of-season meeting with the Florida Gators of the SEC.
Now at first glance, folks might immediately be looking for teams from the mighty SEC, and as you can clearly see, there is only one and that’s the Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia opens up this season with a return match up from last season against the Clemson Tigers in Athens at home. They also have a date with Troy of the Sun Belt and their annual meeting with Georgia Tech of the ACC to finish out the season.