Correction: Baylor vs. Texas Tech is a neutral site game.
Every Power 5 conference has released its schedule for 2017. Here are 10 teams who could be limited by what look like hard schedules. Something to keep in mind when it comes to college football win total over/under bets.
Florida State Seminoles: FSU should be among the top playoff contenders entering 2017. They will have to prove it. The Noles open with a neutral site game against Alabama. They play Clemson in Death Valley in November. Three other games – Miami, Louisville, at Florida – are against teams in our way-too-early Top 25.
Syracuse Orange: Dino Babers’ second year could be rough. Syracuse plays five road games: at LSU, at N.C. State, at Miami, at Florida State, and at Louisville. That enough? Nope. The Orange also host Pitt and Clemson. Syracuse making a bowl game in 2017 would be a real feat.
Maryland Terrapins: There’s a lot to like about what D.J. Durkin is building. But, the Terps are still battling uphill. Maryland opens the season at Texas. A rough B1G West draw gives them a heinous conference slate. They open B1G play at Minnesota, at Ohio State, Northwestern, at Wisconsin. They close with Michigan, at Michigan State, Penn State.
Michigan State Spartans: Michigan State is in a rough spot. The 2017 schedule will do them no favors. Before B1G play, MSU faces Western Michigan and Notre Dame. They have conference road games at Michigan, at Minnesota, at Northwestern, and at Ohio State. They also must play Iowa and Penn State at home.
Texas Tech Red Raiders: Coach Swag needs a big year. It’ll be tough. The Red Raiders have Arizona State and a road trip to Houston non-conference. Within Big 12 play, they have five games away from Lubbock. Four of them are at West Virginia, at Oklahoma, vs. Baylor, and at Texas.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Notre Dame has five road games, in an opponent’s stadium. Three of Notre Dame’s first four Power 5 games – Boston College, Michigan State, North Carolina – are on the road. They have a rough stretch to close the season with road trips to Miami and to Stanford with a Navy sandwich game. The Irish also host USC and Georgia.
California Bears: Welcome to college football head coaching, Justin Wilcox! Cal’s first six FBS games in order are at North Carolina, Ole Miss, USC, at Oregon, at Washington, Washington State. Following that, Cal still has road trips to Colorado, to Stanford, and to UCLA. The latter two are back-to-back to close the season. Woof.
USC Trojans: The Trojans will face an endurance test. They have Texas and a road trip Notre Dame non-conference. Their third non-conference game (and one non-Power 5 opponent) is Western Michigan. USC also got screwed having its bye week the final week of the regular season. They must play 12 times in a row.
UCLA Bruins: Josh Rosen is back. UCLA will need him. The Bruins play five teams in our way-too-early Top 25. Four – Stanford, Washington, Utah, and USC – are on the road. Texas A&M and a road trip to Memphis non-conference.
LSU Tigers: LSU did not take advantage of the Florida home game flip in 2016. It will hurt them in 2017. The Tigers play five SEC road games – at Mississippi State, at Florida, at Ole Miss, at Alabama, at Tennessee. Their easiest conference game on paper is either the road trip to Starkville or Arkansas at home.