Everyone who follows college football knows that the difficulty of the schedule is one of the main reasons why teams do or don’t make the College Football Playoff. The strength of a schedule is not found solely in the quality of opponents, however. Playing a lot of tough games in consecutive weeks makes the challenge of winning games and conference championships a lot harder. These are some of the better teams in the nation with especially difficult three-game sequences, which will cut against their abilities to meet or exceed expectations in the coming season. Odds are courtesy of BetDSI Sportsbook.
Odds To Win National Championship: +8500
The Horned Frogs play Ohio State, Texas and Iowa State in consecutive weeks in September. A year ago, this would not have been a very intimidating stretch of play. Ohio State is tough every year, but Texas is expected to take a big step forward in year two under head coach Tom Herman. A first year is almost always difficult even for the best head coaches, but in a second season, Herman should be able to noticeably improve the Longhorns and make them a much harder team to knock off. Iowa State was not supposed to do very well last season, but the Cyclones beat two different teams when those opponents were ranked in the top 10. Iowa State had its best season in decades, and coach Matt Campbell is seen as a rising star in the coaching business. This is a rugged three-game pack.
Odds To Win National Championship: +15000
The Razorbacks are forced to play Auburn, at Texas A&M, and then go against Alabama in late September and early October. Arkansas has the added burden of playing these games in the first season with new coach Chad Morris at the helm. Figuring out these teams would be challenging enough in any circumstance, but with a new head coach in the fold, Arkansas faces an even more daunting uphill climb.
Odds To Win National Championship: +3000
The Trojans face Stanford, Texas and Washington State in September. The Washington State game is on a Friday, meaning that the Trojans have to play the Cougars on a short week after facing Texas. Last year USC lost on a Friday to Washington State at a time when injuries affected the Trojans. USC could get caught in a similar squeeze this time around, the only difference being that Washington State is a home game this year; it was a road game last year.
Odds To Win National Championship: +5000
The Mountaineers face TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in mid- to late November. These are the three games which will affect the Big 12 championship race. What is also worth noting about this three-game stretch is that it could easily become a four-game stretch. The week after the Oklahoma game is the Big 12 Championship Game. West Virginia could easily face one of these three teams a second time in that game… but it’s a problem WVU and other Big 12 teams want to have.
Odds To Win National Championship: +10000
The Cowboys face Oklahoma, West Virginia and TCU in November, right when West Virginia is going through a similar gauntlet. Oklahoma State’s battle in the Big 12 is tougher this year because receiver James Washington and quarterback Mason Rudolph are gone.
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