Earlier, we took a look at hard schedules for 2017. Here are five Power 5 teams that could benefit from relatively benign ones.
Washington Huskies: If Washington is good enough to get back to the playoff, there’s not much in their way. The Huskies’ toughest non-Pac 12 opponent is Rutgers. They avoid USC (who beat them in 2016) and Arizona (who almost beat them). At Stanford is Washington’s hardest game. Washington beat Stanford by 38 in 2016. The Huskies face UCLA, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State in Seattle.
Miami Hurricanes: Miami plays FSU in Tallahassee. Beyond that, this is very reasonable schedule. The second trickiest game is probably at Pitt to end the season. Notre Dame at home is the only notable non-conference game. Their other draw from the Atlantic division was Syracuse at home. It’s not clear whether Miami will be ready to make a run in 2017, but the schedule looks inviting if they are.
Wisconsin Badgers: Wisconsin had a hard slate last season. Not so much in 2017. The Badgers don’t play a Power 5 team non-conference. They play one team in our way-too-early Top 25, Michigan, at home in November. The other two East teams are Maryland (home) and Indiana (away). Their toughest conference road games are Nebraska and Minnesota. If Wisconsin can do Wisconsin stuff, they should be in line for 10-plus wins.
Missouri Tigers: Missouri is coming off a rough couple of seasons. But, the schedule lines up well for them in 2017. The Tigers avoid Alabama and LSU. They get South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee in Columbia. Two of their SEC road games are Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Missouri’s stiffest non-conference test is…Purdue? Opportunity is there. Though, that doesn’t mean Missouri will take advantage of it.
Baylor Bears: You guys won’t believe this, but Baylor did not select an ambitious non-conference schedule. They play Liberty, UTSA, and Duke. The Big 12 plays a full round robin, but Baylor plays Oklahoma and Texas in Waco. They don’t travel to West Virginia. One of their road games is Kansas.