Phil Steele of PhilSteele.com and Phil Steele's College Football Preview has his own formula for ranking the 2011 college football schedules.
According to Steele, Iowa State will need to be made of steel to withstand what it's up against. What, playing Big East champion Connecticut on the road, Insight Bowl-champ Iowa at home, and nine Big 12 games against the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State is demanding?
The Cyclones' 12 opponents had a combined record of 95-59 last year.
Iowa's 12 foes were a combined 77-73 in 2010. The Hawkeyes play no one who appeared in a BCS bowl last season.
Steele doesn't make his rankings on 2010 W-L marks, though. He takes home-and-road into consideration, as well as if an opponent is FBS instead of FCS. To see Steele's complete schedule rankings, click here.
He ranks Big Ten schedules thusly:
17. Michigan, 21. Minnesota, 32. Ohio State, 36. Indiana, 41. Purdue, 47. Nebraska, 48. Illinois, 55. Penn State, 58. Michigan State, 59. Northwestern, 70. Iowa, 71. Wisconsin
Colorado is the team ranked above Iowa State for hardest schedule.
The Iowa State slate:
|Sat, Sep 03||Northern Iowa||Ames, Iowa||6:00 p.m.|
|Sat, Sep 10||Iowa||Ames, Iowa||11:00 a.m.||FSN|
|Fri, Sep 16||Connecticut||at East Hartford, Conn.||7:00 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Sat, Oct 01||Texas (Family Weekend) *||Ames, Iowa||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 08||Baylor *||at Waco, Texas||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 15||Missouri *||at Columbia, Mo.||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 22||Texas A&M (Homecoming) *||Ames, Iowa||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 29||Texas Tech *||at Lubbock, Texas||TBA|
|Sat, Nov 05||Kansas *||Ames, Iowa||TBA|
|Fri, Nov 18||Oklahoma State *||Ames, Iowa||8:00 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat, Nov 26||Oklahoma *||at Norman, Okla.||7:00 p.m.||FX|
|Sat, Dec 03||Kansas State *||at Manhattan, Kan.||11:30 a.m.||FSN|
* Conference Games
|Date||Opponent / Event||Location||Time|
|09/03/11||vs. Tennessee Tech||Iowa City, IA||11:00 AM|
|09/10/11||at Iowa State||Ames, IA||11:00 AM|
|09/17/11||vs. Pittsburgh||Iowa City, IA||11:00 AM|
|09/24/11||vs. Louisiana-Monroe||Iowa City, IA||TBA|
|10/08/11||at Penn State *||University Park, PA||TBA|
|10/15/11||vs. Northwestern *||Iowa City, IA||6:00 PM|
|10/22/11||vs. Indiana (HC) *||Iowa City, IA||11:00 AM|
|10/29/11||at Minnesota *||Minneapolis, MN||TBA|
|11/05/11||vs. Michigan *||Iowa City, IA||TBA|
|11/12/11||vs. Michigan State (FW, FA, S) *||Iowa City, IA||TBA|
|11/19/11||at Purdue *||West Lafayette, IN||TBA|
|11/25/11||at Nebraska *||Lincoln, NE||11:00 AM|