Tigers, Seminoles taking a BCS beating on strength-of-schedule front

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson defensive back Travis Blanks tackles Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the first quarter.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson defensive back Travis Blanks tackles Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the first quarter.

The BCS is throwing a party; and if the ACC gets only its one perfunctory invite, it has no one to blame but itself.

While the drama continues to unfold at the turbulent top of the top of college football's food chain, Clemson and Florida State have settled into calmer waters at a lower level, as the Seminoles and Tigers, both 10-1, held pat at No. 10 and 11 in the latest BCS Standings.

SEC powers Alabama, Georgia and Florida are lined up behind No. 1 Alabama, while Oregon and Kansas State slipped out of the immediate national championship conversation.

Why do the powers-that-be favor Bulldogs and Gators over Tigers and Seminoles?

Records being equal, it all comes down to who you play.

SEC schools take a hammering during the summer for padding their non-conference schedules with cupcakes. But when all is said and done in November, the SEC has taken care of its strength-of-schedule rating all on its own.

Florida State, meanwhile, is paying a steep price for those early season walk-overs against Murray State and Savannah State, while both the Seminoles and Tigers have been battered by the ACC's weakness in all but its top two positions.

Of the teams ranked in this week's BCS top 25, Florida State's No. 93 Sagarin strength-of-schedule rating comes in 21st, ahead only of Louisville (95), Boise State (112), Rutgers (106) and Kent State (118).

Clemson's schedule is ranked 79th nationally, and 20th on the BCS list.

Both Clemson and Florida State have played just one top-30 (Sagarin) team - each other.

Stanford, No. 8 on this week's BCS, has played seven games against top-30 opponents, as has No. 24 Arizona. LSU, Oregon State and Washington have each played six in the top 30, while Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA have played five. Teams with four games under their belts against top-30 opponents include Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma State.

Strength-of-schedule ratings contribute directly to teams' composite computer scores, and they continue to pull down both Florida State (ranked 17th by the computers) and Clemson (ranked 15th) despite their significantly higher standings in the human polls.

Nov. 18 BCS Standings, with Sagarin Strength-of-Schedule and records against top-30 teams:

1. Notre Dame, 33rd SOS, 3-0 vs. top 30

2. Alabama, 30th, 3-1

3. Georgia, 46th, 1-1

4. Florida, 19th, 3-1

5. Oregon, 36th, 4-1

6. Kansas State, 27th, 3-1

7. LSU, 22nd, 4-2

8. Stanford, 7th, 5-2

9. Texas A&M, 25th, 3-1

10. Florida State, 93rd, 1-0

11. Clemson, 79th, 0-1

12. South Carolina, 39th, 1-2

13. Oklahoma, 14th, 3-2

14. Nebraska, 31st, 2-2

15. Oregon State, 4th. 4-2

16. Texas, 24th, 3-1

17. UCLA, 35th, 4-1

18. Rutgers, 106th, 0-0

19. Michigan, 38th, 0-3

20. Louisville, 95th, 0-0

21. Oklahoma State, 21st, 1-3

22. Boise State, 112th, 0-0

23. Kent State, 118th, 0-0

24. Arizona, 3rd, 3-4

25. Washington, 5th, 2-4

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