No one has ever accused the Oklahoma Sooners football program of running through a weak schedule. While many schools prefer to play weak teams and non-BCS opposition in order to pad their wins, the Oklahoma Sooners non conference schedule has always featured teams like the Florida State Seminoles, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Miami Hurricanes to prove how good they are. 2013 is no different as CBS Sports revealed today that the Sooners have the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation.
In 2013, the Sooners football team opens the season against Louisiana-Monroe, a team that won eight games in 2012, beating Arkansas and almost knocking off Auburn and Baylor. That is a win over an SEC school, and everyone knows that is the “strongest conference in the nation.”
The Oklahoma Sooners next take on the Tulsa Hurricane, a team that won 11 games in 2012. After that is Notre Dame, the team that played the Alabama Crimson Tide in the NCAA BCS Championship game in 2012, undefeated until that title opportunity.
That ends up with the Oklahoma Sooners non conference schedule earning a 3.83 Index rating by CBS Sports, the toughest in the nation. What is interesting is that the schools that follow OU are not powerhouses. Schools like SMU, Nevada, Southern Miss, Virginia Tech and Western Michigan ranks next with the toughest schedules. It isn’t until you hit Cal at #7, Florida at #8 and South Carolina at #10 that you see powerhouse schools from powerhouse conferences with tough non-conference schedules.
On the other hand, teams like Auburn (1.50) Baylor (1.50), Kansas State (1.50), Alabama (1.69) and Ohio State (1.76) rank in the bottom 10 of the non-conference power rankings. Alabama, the defending national champions, play Virginia Tech (7-6 in 2012), Colorado State (4-16 over last 20 games), Georgia Tech (1-10 in 2012), and Chattanooga (6-5 in FCS) this year.
With that in mind, if Alabama makes it through their tough SEC schedule, they should be back in the national title game because they have no competition outside of that. OU will have to fight to get through their non-conference undefeated once again this year.
While this looks good for the Sooners, it is not a great situation to be in with a new quarterback and an unproven defensive backfield. OU will never take it easy when it comes to competition, but sometimes that is not always the best course. Alabama has won back-to-back national titles, so maybe a cream puff Oklahoma Sooners non conference schedule is the way to go.