Analyst Ranks College Football’s Hardest Non-Conference Schedule


ESPN’s computer model, the Football Power Index, has Arkansas with the toughest schedule in all of college football in 2021.

The Razorbacks have a pretty brutal 2021 slate, thanks to their schedule that comes with playing in the SEC – and, more specifically, the SEC West. Arkansas has conference games against Georgia, Texas A&M, Alabama, Auburn and LSU, among others.

But who has the toughest non-conference schedule in college football?

247Sports recently ranked the 10 toughest non-conference schedules in the country. Coming in at No. 1 is Miami.

The Hurricanes have several tough non-conference games in 2021, as noted by 247Sports:

vs. Alabama (Atlanta)
vs. Appalachian State
vs. Michigan State
vs. CCSU

Outside of that matchup against CCSU, the Hurricanes will be tested greatly in non-conference play. Miami opens its season against the defending national champs, and that game will get most of the attention, but it’s not the only challenge on the slate. Appalachian State always competes for Sun Belt championships and regularly upsets Power Five programs. In the 2019 season alone, the Mountaineers defeated North Carolina and South Carolina. Finally, Michigan State may be down, but it’s not a game that the Hurricanes can afford to take lightly. None of these are true road games for Miami, but this non-conference slate stacks up well against any other in the country.

Miami is probably hoping for a 3-1 mark in those four non-conference games.

The U is set to open the 2021 season on Saturday, Sept. 4 against No. 1 Alabama.


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