I noticed that Double-T Nation, the Texas Tech SB Nation site, just looked at the rankings of its opponents for last year and applied it to this year's schedule. I want to just look back at last year and get your opinions on next year. This data is from Ken Pomeroy's site:
Our overall strength of schedule was #1 among all division 1 colleges, but not just that -- our opposition had the overall best offense and overall best defense as well! Compare to UCLA, for example, who played the second best overall offense, but only the 10th best overall defense.
Next, let's look at our non-conference ranking:
Notice that virtually all the schools above us are "mid-major" programs who often wind up as early games on the schedule of top teams.
Say what you want about the Wildcats last year -- we simply took on all comers, and the comers we took were the best in the land, overall. And also notice that only one other SEC team joined us in the top 10 -- Bruce Pearl's Tennessee team.
Anyone notice conspicuous absences from the top ranks of either group? If you said "Louisville" and "Florida", you win the prize. Louisville's NC schedule weighed in at a pasty 152nd, and Florida an anemic 145th.
Seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in terms of scheduling, either, when it comes to Billy D. and Ricky P. Who knows, maybe they know something that Tubby Smith never learned? Our team seemed to show signs in the soft, early part of our conference schedule after the brutally tough NC schedule we played. But that success simply didn't hold as the road got tougher.
Personally, I like that we play a tough non-conference schedule, and I don't subscribe to the theory that you should Twinkie up early for success later on. But then again, I am not a coach, and nobody can say that we were as successful last year, in the end, as either Florida or Louisville.
So what's your opinion? Should we soften up our schedule, or keep it tough? Was last year's schedule just too much beef and not enough bun, or was it just right?