Earlier today, we had a FanShot from the
IU Indy Star discussing how Purdue will face the 6th toughest schedule in the nation according to Phil Steele. As expected, it drew in many negative responses, mainly focused on how Purdue is screwed again in 2015 with a tough schedule similar to 2013. I'm not calling anyone out for making those comments, as I was making similar comments.
The main purpose of this article is just to say: Purdue's 2015 schedule is not that bad. And in the word
s of Living Legend Aaron Rodgers: R-E-L-A-X.
The SOS released today is based on the NCAA's method by looking at your opponents' record from the previous year. That is all. This method shows that Purdue has a tough schedule, with its opponents averaging a 0.614 winning percentage and 10 teams playing in the postseason last year.
However, this method also implies that Indiana State and Bowling Green (each finished with 8-6 records) will be tougher than Iowa (who finished with a 7-6 record).
I'm not implying that ISU and BGU will be easy opponents (we are Purdue after all), but when we look at the schedule subjectively, one should imply that even a mediocre Iowa team clawing into bowl contention will be a tougher team to face than a MAC or FCS team with 8 wins. This of course doesn't even take into account that Purdue will play Indiana State and Bowling Green at home while travelling to Iowa City in November. In addition, Marshall finished a 13-1 record in 2014, skewing the results. But as The Star pointed out, they lost most of their offensive fire power throughout the offseason and C-USA's defensive player of the year, so they won't be as difficult as they were last season.
Of course, Purdue still has to travel to Madison and East Lansing in 2015, which will most likely be Purdue's toughest games, and today's SOS showed that 9 of Purdue's 12 opponents finished with over 0.500 records.
In the end, Purdue's schedule is tough, but not as daunting as it seems. Purdue's 2015 B1G opponents averaged a 0.586 winning percentage, a bit less from the overall opponent average of 0.614. If one were to take a weighted SOS, accounting for home/neutral/away games and opponents' conference and non-conference schedule (something similar to RPI), then we could construct a better SOS.
Appendix: Here are the 2014 winning percentages of Purdue's 2015 opponents.
Bold: Home game
Red: 2014 Win % = [0.750, 1.000]
Yellow: 2014 Win % = (0.450, 0.750)
Green: 2014 Win % = [0.000, 0.450] and was not eligible for post season.