On Wednesday, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema opened up about his disdain for the Ohio State Buckeyes’ remaining schedule. He criticized the Buckeyes for not having a terrific schedule for the remainder of the season as they only play one ranked team, while the Razorbacks play eight.
Apparently, Bielema isn’t the only SEC coach upset with the Buckeyes’ schedule.
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen joined the conversation regarding their schedule Wednesday evening. Mullen appeared on The Paul Finebaum Show where he talked about the strength of the Buckeyes’ schedule.
Here is what Mullen had to say, via College Spun.
“I think all the talk, you kept hearing things in the offseason, ‘the SEC has lost its luster, lost its power and other leagues are catching up,’ I don’t know that that’s the case. I think what’s always made this league special is the depth of the league. I think the top teams, you look around the country at the top teams in every conference, (they) can play with everybody in the SEC. But what you’re talking about now is…I guess we’re in at No. 25. We’re the 10th-ranked team in our conference and we’re No. 25 in the nation, that’s pretty good. You’re not going to see that anywhere else. Week in and week out, that’s what makes it a tough schedule. You look at the top teams in the Big Ten, they’re playing one ranked team a year. They’re getting a lot of time to roll in younger players, the opportunity to stay healthy for most of the year, (and) really get motivated for that one big game. Here in the SEC – the West this year, everybody is ranked – every single week you gotta bring your A-game.”
“I look at (ESPN’s) FPI, Ohio State has a 99 percent chance to win their games. What’s interesting is how that would rank for each team in the SEC West off of (Ohio State’s) schedule – how many of those (SEC West) teams would be looked as locks for the playoff just in the West if that was the schedule that our teams had to play, and what (Ohio State’s) percentage would be if they were playing one of our schedules.”
While the Buckeyes can’t control what their conference schedule nor what teams are ranked by the AP, I have to agree with Mullen. Every team in the SEC West this year would be favored in the Big Ten if they played Ohio State’s schedule. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
That doesn’t mean the Buckeyes wouldn’t be favored with Mississippi State’s schedule, but what can you expect when the Bulldogs play an FCS school, a weak Conference USA school, and two mediocre Sun Belt teams.
The Buckeyes played Virginia Tech in their first game and then play Hawaii, Western Michigan, and Northern Illinois to close out their non-conference schedule. I’d have to give the nod to the Buckeyes on having a tougher non-conference schedule.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports