I thought it might be interesting to see which of the BCS Conferences have the most teams playing 2012 Preseason Top 25 opponents outside of their conferences. For our purposes, any team who appears on the Top 25 list of any of four preseason polls qualifies as a Top 25 non-conference opponent. The ACC has the most Top 25 non-conference teams on their schedule with 11. The Big 12 has the least with 1. The Pac-12 and the SEC each have 7 teams scheduled and the Big Ten has 5. 2 teams have 2 Top 25 non conference teams on their schedule: Michigan and Clemson.
This could be distorted by the number of Top 25 teams within each conference. The SEC has 7, the Big Ten and Big 12 have 5 each, the ACC has four and the Pac-12 has 3. Even though South Florida and Louisville from the Big East are on some preseason lists, it is hard to know how to treat them in the BCS discussion. Maybe Boise State will add a little fire to the Big East. Conference realignment seems to be most kind to the Big 12 this year with new members TCU and West Virginia both appearing in the preseason rankings. In the long run, new SEC members Missouri and Texas A&M should be candidates for high positions. It is not likely that Syracuse or Pitt will do a great deal for the ACC. Both the Sun Belt and Conference USA each play 12 Top 25 teams.
While our focus is on the Top 25, I know that the Illinois Fighting Illini fans are looking forward to September 15, when the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern come to Memorial Stadium. The Buccaneers are coming off of an 0-11 season with loses to UCF (62-0) and FSU (62-10). The Illini fans may think sophomore running back Donovonn Young is the returned version of Rashard Mendenhall. Well, let’s all have some fun as the 2012 season is almost here.