It’s never too early to talk college football. Never.

Even if the calendar say it’s barely summer, fall cannot get here fast enough. So over the next two weeks or so, Kermit the Blog will count down the 10 Easiest Schedules of the 2007 College Football season. We’re aiming for one a day (weekday), but we’re lazy, so it might take longer. Thankfully we’ve got time.


#4 The Ohio State Buckeyes

cheaty.jpgPlease tell me I don’t need to fear for my personal safety on this one. I’ve been around angry Buckeye fans. I hope I’m not flammable.

Let’s try this. Let’s look at the positives in Ohio State’s non-conference schedule.

With Youngstown State, Akron, and Kent State the Buckeyes aren’t really making anybody spend too much time or money traveling to receive their pulverization (Still a little scared from that 2002 game with Cincinnati to keep giving the Bearcats a shot, huh?). I can only assume that the Ohio State University gets some kind of bonus check from the State of Ohio Office of Economic Development for keeping all the money in state.

Yes, the Buckeyes do play Wisconsin while traveling to Penn State and to Michigan (And here’s a tip for Lloyd Carr: If you like your job, maybe keep a linebacker in the middle of the field when playing the Buckeyes). And, as indicated elsewhere, one significant non-conference game was generally enough to keep you off this list. The Buckeyes not only play the University of Washington, they go to Seattle to do it.

So why the dis for Cheaty McSweatervest and Co.?

The Huskies might have been the surprise team of the first half of 2006. They were 4-1 and, if not for an unfavorable clock restart, would have had at least a shot at the end zone on the game’s last play in week six to upset the USC Trojans.

Instead, the next week against Oregon State, Washington’s QB Isaiah Stanback got hurt. His season ended. And so did the Huskies’. They slid so far so fast that Ty Willingham’s team handed Stanford its only win of the season.

With Stanback having moved on to the NFL, the 2007 installment of the Washington Huskies is likely to be as bad or worse as the one that finished up last year. They’ve got a redshirt freshman at QB, they’ve got a porous defensive backfield, and a schedule that looks like it’s got maybe 2 wins on it.

Willingham is a winner. He will make the Huskies relevant again. It just won’t be in 2007. So, this is not a good football team. They’ve actually been on a slow but mostly consistent decline since Don James left like 15 years ago.

This doesn’t all hinge on an assessment of how tough of an opponent Washington is or isn’t.

If you assign 1-AA Youngstown State a ranking of 120, then the average rank of tOSU’s non-conference opponents in 2007 is 103. That’s out of 119 D-I teams.

Again: 103 out of 119. It is not easy to have that easy of a non-conference schedule. And how good the Big 10 is top to bottom is still a bit of a question mark for ’07. Even with the upper tier teams being legit, tOSU doesn’t play a losable game until the October 27 match-up in Happy Valley.

Sure the collective Buckeye pride and ego is probably still lying shredded on the Pink Taco turf in Glendale, but the remedy isn’t to go pwning a bunch pansies.

The Buckeyes did just come off a home-and-home with Texas, and both USC and Miami are already in their future, but this year is this year.

And this year you can’t spell Outback Bowl without OSU.

Sure you have an ‘S’ leftover, but you still need the ‘O’ and the ‘U.’ And actually that”s true for any year, but you get the point.

2007 Ohio State University Football Schedule

9/1 Youngstown State
9/8 Akron

9/15 at Washington
9/22 Northwestern
9/29 at Minnesota
10/6 at Purdue
10/13 Kent State
10/20 Michigan State

10/27 at Penn State
11/3 Wisconsin
11/10 Illinois

11/17 at Michigan

The Rest of the List

Number 10
Number 9
Number 8
Number 7
Number 6
Number 5
Number 3
Number 2
Honorable Mentions
Number 1