How important is the schedule? In college football it’s everything

There is a fascinating analysis of college football’s 2008 schedules, and what we learn from reading through the volume of data is what we pretty much already knew: SEC and Big 12 teams obviously feel it’s so difficult to get through the conference schedules that any way they can ease up on their non-conference schedule, they usually will.

And they like to stay closer to home than other conferences.
Among the other findings: Nobody has feasted more on I-AA teams than Kansas and Kansas State (nine games each over the past decade.
Next in line: Vanderbilt, Oregon State, NC State and Iowa State (eight I-AA opponents each over the past 10 years).
The National Championship Issue gets full credit for the study. Some of the spreadsheets, if you’re so inclined, are stunning in their detail. (Be warned, there’s some confusing stuff here.) And there’s a big point to be made about the study itself: