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The Toughest Future Schedules for the Top 25 Teams In College Football

Peterson, Newton & Ballard
Peterson, Newton & Ballard

The final month of the season will present the Crimson Tide with one of the toughest slates in the nation. Using the NCAA's evaluation of the upcoming opponents' win percentage, nobody in college football has a harder November ahead of them than Alabama. Here is the AP Top 25 (Week 9) and the rank of every team's future and past schedule.

AP rank Team Future Opp Rank Past Opp Rank
1 Oregon 28 112 (tie)
2 Boise State 44 77
3 Auburn
17 (tie)
4 TCU 79 (tie)
58 (tie)
5 Mich. State 82 13 (tie)
6 Alabama 1 81
7 Missouri 38 8
8 Utah 26 119
9 Wisconsin 32 56
10 Ohio State
68 47
11 Oklahoma
22 (tie) 13 (tie)
12 LSU 24 11
13 Stanford
58 (tie)
14 Nebraska 45 (tie)
33 (tie)
15 Arizona 13 (tie)
58 (tie)
16 Florida St.
28 (tie)
17 S. Carolina 55 (tie)
18 Iowa 12 (tie)
19 Arkansas 22 (tie)
20 Okla. State
17 (tie) 48 (tie)
21 Va. Tech
48 74 (tie)
22 Miami 33 23 (tie)
23 Miss. State
15 28
24 USC
34 87 (tie)
25 Baylor 8 50(tie)

Source: NCAA

This isn't exactly a new development. When we last looked at the future schedules at the end of September, Alabama was facing the toughest gauntlet of any Top Ten team. The levening influence of underwhelming conference foes such as Ole Miss and Tennessee is gone and each and every SEC opponent in November is a legitimate Top 25 unit.

Think of it this way, as of right now Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State have three total losses between them and each of those losses has been inflicted by one of the other two. 

As we pointed out yesterday, we also have rooting interests in college football at large as part of our hopes to return to Glendale. If undefeated Oregon, Missouri and Michigan State fall, the Tide's chances of getting back into the BCS championship picture with one loss is that much greater.

Oregon faces the toughest challenge with a future schedule ranked 28th most difficult in the nation. That includes formidable Arizona and USC teams as well as unpredictable Oregon State, Washington and Cal units.

The next two weeks are critical for Missouri as they face the meat of their 38th ranked future schedule -- Nebraska and Texas Tech. From there it's the dregs of the Big XII for the rest of the way.

Michigan State, arguably the weakest of the three, has the easiest road ahead with the 82nd toughest future slate -- if they can survive October. The Spartans head to Iowa City on Saturday to face the tough Hawkeye squad. After their schedule littered with the underperformers of the Big Ten.