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2002 Toughest Non-Conference Schedules
This preview rates the country’s toughest forty non-conference schedules, in my opinion. These ratings are based on the number of “tough” games a team plays (against good competition), the number of “semi-tough” games a team plays (against mid-level teams), and the number of “easy” games a team plays (against the low D-I teams or non-D-I teams. Other factors used to determine these rankings were the number of the OOC games that were away from the team’s home field, the number of non-Division I opponents played, and the number of lower level D-I teams played. This is often a category where smaller teams are ranked higher because the schools in bigger conferences usually can’t afford to schedule more than a couple of big-name teams in addition to their already-difficult conference schedule. Below are the rankings of the top forty non-conference schedule in Division I College Football for 2002.

Florida State
Iowa State, at Louisville, at Miami, Notre Dame, Florida
Southern Cal
Auburn, at Colorado, at Kansas State, Notre Dame
San Jose State
at Arkansas State, at Washington, at Stanford, at Illinois, at Ohio State
San Diego State
at Fresno State, at Colorado, Arizona State, at Idaho, UCLA, at Hawaii
Virginia Tech
Arkansas State, LSU, Marshall, at Texas A&M, at Western Michigan, Virginia
Colorado State
at Virginia, Colorado, at UCLA, at Nevada, at Fresno State, Louisville
North Texas
at Texas, Nicholls State, at Alabama, at TCU, at Arizona, South Florida
Colorado State, South Carolina, Akron, at Penn State, at Virginia Tech
at Boise St, at Washington St, at Oregon, San Diego St, at Washington, Montana
Miami (OH)
at North Carolina, Iowa, at LSU, at Cincinnati
North Carolina
Miami (OH), at Syracuse, Texas, at Arizona State
Louisiana Tech
Oklahoma State, at Clemson, at Penn State, at Texas A&M
Washington, Western Michigan, at Notre Dame, Utah
at Washington State, BYU, Colorado State, at UNLV
Middle Tennessee, at Oklahoma, North Texas, Southern Miss, at Hawaii
Penn State
UCF, Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, Virginia
Fresno State, at UNLV, West Virginia, Northern Illinois, Arizona
at Texas A&M, Minnesota, at Houston, UAB, at LSU, at Arkansas
Fresno State
at Wisconsin, San Diego State, at Oregon, at Oregon State, Colorado State
Texas Tech
at Ohio State, at SMU, Mississippi, NC State, at New Mexico
at Iowa, at Maryland, at Virginia, Liberty
at BYU, North Carolina, Rhode Island, at Auburn, at Central Florida
West Virginia
TN-Chattanooga, at Wisconsin, at Cincinnati, East Carolina, Maryland
West Virginia, Ohio State, at Temple, Miami (OH), at Hawaii
Western Michigan
Indiana State, at Michigan, at Purdue, Virginia Tech
at Penn State, at Arizona State, Liberty, Syracuse
Ohio State
Texas Tech, Kent State, Washington State, at Cincinnati, San Jose State
Wisconsin, Kansas, at Oregon State, at Toledo, Nevada
Syracuse, Hawaii, at Nevada, at Georgia Tech, at Utah State
Colorado State, San Diego State, Southern Cal, at UCLA
Florida A&M, at Florida, Connecticut, Florida State, at Tennessee
Middle Tennessee
at Alabama, at Tennessee, at Kentucky, SE Missouri St, at Vanderbilt, Utah St
New Mexico State
at South Carolina, at California, New Mexico, at Georgia, UTEP, at Utah State
Colorado State, at Oklahoma State, Colorado, at San Diego State
Murray State, at Mississippi, Mississippi State, at South Flordia
Southern Miss
Jackson State, Illinois, Alabama, at South Florida
Eastern Illinois, at BYU, Cincinnati, Washington State, San Diego State
at Mississippi, at Kansas State, McNeese State, Tulane, Utah State, at Auburn
Richmond, Oregon State, at South Carolina, Cincinnati, at Connecticut
at Tennessee, at Central Michigan, Boise State, at Washington, The Citadel
Just Missed the Cut...
Clemson, Northern Illinois, Purdue, Texas A&M

Toughest Non-Conference Schedule Ratings by Jonathan.
Southern College Sports