More great games with a nine-game slate

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Two of the Bowl Championship Series conferences – the Big 12 and the Pac-12 – are playing nine-game league schedules this fall. In the Big 12 only, that means everybody plays everybody.

What does it mean to play nine league games?

Simply, it means more quality opposition for fans to enjoy and for players / coaches to measure their skills against.

Phil Steele is a renowned college football analyst and in his annual pre-season magazine, he sized up the competitive schedules of the 119 FBS schools.

Not surprisingly, the average schedule ranking (for each member) in the Big 12 (22nd among the 119), Pac-12 (26th) and SEC (26th) led the way by a significant margin. The schools in the Big East have an average schedule rank of 68th, the Big Ten is 46th and the ACC is 41st.

The nine-game league slate leaves less room for cupcake opposition that some schools feast on. Although the SEC doesn’t play nine league games, they have several schools (LSU playing Oregon & West Virginia, Georgia vs. Boise State, Florida vs. Florida State, Arkansas vs. Texas A&M) with rugged non-league opponents.

All of the Big East schools except for Louisville have schedule ranks in the bottom half of the FBS. Georgia Tech (63rd), North Carolina State (65th), North Carolina (68th), Iowa (70th), Wisconsin (71st) and Virginia Tech (83rd) also have full-season schedules in the bottom half of the large-school division.

Beyond guaranteeing a true champion with its round-robin format, the Big 12 is offering its fans better competition on a weekly basis. That is a fact.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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