According to the Sagarin ratings, Auburn’s schedule rates as the 26th-best in Division I. Missouri’s is 41st. Ohio State’s is 61st. Florida State’s is 66th. The strength of schedule advanced metric created by Brian Fremeau of FootballOutsiders.com had Auburn 32nd, Missouri 58th, Florida State 90th and Ohio State 99th before this weekend’s games.
But it’s not just about strength of schedule. If that was the case, then the Pac-12 could start arguing for its champion. No. 7 Stanford (10-2) and No. 11 Arizona State (10-2) both have schedules rated more difficult than Auburn’s.
How well a team plays against its schedule is also important.
Florida State has been the most dominant team in the country, even when you take its competition into account. The Seminoles are outscoring the opposition by 42.7 points per game, tops in the nation, and are No. 1 in the current Sagarin ratings. None of the Noles’ games has been close late. Only two were competitive for a half.
Ohio State’s average margin of victory is 27.9 points and Sagarin has the Buckeyes seventh, behind Alabama, Arizona State, Oregon, Missouri (fifth) and Baylor. Ohio State has played four games that can reasonably be called competitive — 10-point wins against Northwestern and Iowa, a seven-point win against Wisconsin and Saturday’s wild 42-41 victory at Michigan.
Auburn is outscoring opponents by an average of 16 points per game and is 11th in the Sagarin ratings, behind Stanford, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin. The Tigers have won six games decided by single digits (Washington State, Mississippi State, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama). And lost by 14 at LSU.
Missouri is outscoring opponents by an average of 19.4 points per game. The Tigers’ 28-21 victory Saturday against Texas A&M was their first win by single digits. Their loss was against South Carolina in OT by three.