Michigan, Michigan State football schedules among toughest in nation, experts agree – MLive.com

If Michigan and Michigan State are going to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff, they will have to navigate a difficult schedule to do so.

Both the Spartans and Wolverines are ranked as having the most difficult schedules in the nation by several prominent publications.

The Spartans, who are coming off a 3-9 record and a tumultuous offseason in which several players have been kicked off the team for off-field issues, have the toughest schedule in the nation according to Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports.

“The non-conference isn’t murderous, but it’s not simple, either,” Fornelli writes. “Bowling Green should be a win, and Western Michigan won’t be easy, but there’s some question as to how good the Broncos will be following so many key losses. Then there’s Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last season, but Notre Dame was a better team than its record reflected.”

As for the Big Ten slate, Fornelli noted that MSU plays five conference road games including Ohio State and Michigan. Penn State comes to East Lansing and the schedule also includes Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern.

Fornelli used a numbers-based system to compile his list. He noted that tends to favor the Big Ten because the schedule has nine conference games and no Big Ten team will play an FCS team this season. Illinois and Purdue are also on his list.

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report says Michigan has the hardest schedule in the nation in a list that doesn’t even include MSU.

“Taking the next step toward a College Football Playoff berth in 2017 won’t be easy,” reporter Greg Wallace writes. “Michigan returns just five starters, and an inexperienced but talented team will face a difficult slate from start to finish.”

That slate includes a huge season-opening tilt with Florida in Arlington, Texas before Air Force, which went 10-3 last season and Cincinnati come to Ann Arbor.

Trips to Penn State and Wisconsin and home games against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State also figure to be a challenge.

Athlon Sports also sees the difficulty in Michigan’s schedule, ranking it No. 3 in the country. Michigan State isn’t ranked on that list, either. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>