By Brad Edwards, Special to
Using the average team rankings between the preseason coaches poll and the major preview magazines along with the exclusive 2003 schedule strength ratings from, released an unofficial version of what they called the Preseason BCS rankings. proudly presents the 2008 version.

1. Georgia 1018
2. Vanderbilt 1004
3. UCLA 990
4. Washington 980
5. Arkansas 975
6. Baylor 972
7. Alabama 967
8. Texas 958
9. Michigan State 948
10. South Carolina 945
11. Michigan 943
12. Oregon State 939
12. Tennessee 939
14. Mississippi 937
15. Florida 934
16. Colorado 929
17. Auburn 926
18. Louisiana State 925
19. Cincinnati 923
20. Syracuse 920
21. Nebraska 919
22. Virginia 918
23. Stanford 909
24. Washington State 907
25. North Carolina State 905
26. Ohio State 904
27. Oklahoma 902
28. Kansas 896
29. Southern California 893
30. Florida State 891
31. Illinois 890
32. Georgia Tech 888
32. Kentucky 888
34. Pittsburgh 884
35. Purdue 883
36. Minnesota 881
37. Penn State 880
38. Maryland 876
38. Notre Dame 876
40. Wisconsin 874
41. California 871
42. Oregon 870
43. Kansas State 868
44. Rutgers 867
45. Mississippi State 864
46. Texas A&M 860
47. Miami FL 859
48. South Florida 857
49. Louisville 853
50. Oklahoma State 852
51. West Virginia 849
52. Boston College 845
53. Duke 839
54. Missouri 833
54. North Carolina 833
56. Arizona State 830
57. Indiana 827
58. Iowa 826
59. Arizona 821
60. Wake Forest 815
60. Connecticut 815
62. Iowa State 810
63. Utah State 807
64. Texas Tech 801
65. Northwestern 797
66. Clemson 794
67. Hawai'i 792
68. Marshall 758
69. Virginia Tech 750
70. East Carolina 747
71. Nevada 742
72. Toledo 739
73. New Mexico 737
73. UNLV 737
75. Colorado State 732
76. Temple 731
77. UAB 730
78. Western Kentucky 728
79. Fresno State 724
80. Wyoming 721
81. Florida International 716
82. Troy 713
83. Buffalo 712
84. TCU 706
84. Akron 706
86. Navy 702
87. Central Michigan 701
88. SMU 695
88. Tulane 695
90. Air Force 692
91. UCF 687
92. UTEP 686
92. Ohio 686
94. Middle Tennessee 685
95. Southern Miss 682
96. Utah 680
96. Northern Illinois 680
98. North Texas 677
99. San Diego State 672
100. Miami OH 668
101. Bowling Green 666
101. Louisiana-Lafayette 666
103. Eastern Michigan 665
104. Western Michigan 663
105. Idaho 659
105. Louisiana-Monroe 659
107. New Mexico State 658
107. San Jose State 658
109. Rice 656
110. Florida Atlantic 648
111. Boise State 642
112. Louisiana Tech 638
113. Arkansas State 629
114. Brigham Young 625
115. Kent State 624
116. Army 600
117. Ball State 591
118. Tulsa 590
119. Houston 581
120. Memphis 565

Georgia enters 2008 as the preseason No. 1 team in both the AP and Coaches poll. They also enter the season with the team maintaining the nation's No. 1 schedule. Can Georgia win their first national championship since 1980? The signs point to no! Yes, the SEC is well known for its brutal conference schedules, where others such as LSU have survived this gauntlet while winning a national title, but the slate for Georgia in 2008 could be labeled absolutely insane. Not only is the East Division of the SEC demanding in terms of scheduling...the Dawgs’ three crossover opponents from the West Division are big boys Alabama, Auburn and LSU. Whew! Throw in worthy non-conference opponents Arizona State, Central Michigan and Georgia Tech on top of a possible SEC Championship Game, and the road to a BCS title game appears too overwhelming.

2008 AP Poll Top Ten
Schedule rank in parenthesis (..)
1. Georgia (1)
2. Ohio State (26)
3. Southern California (29)
4. Oklahoma (27)
5. Florida (15)
6. Missouri (54)
7. Louisiana State (18)
8. West Virginia (51)
9. Clemson (66)
10. Auburn (17)

Clemson gets the distinction of having the easiest road when compared to all the other top 10 teams in the current AP Preseason Poll. Two FCS (formerly I-AA) opponents now dot the list, and the tougher games against two SEC opponents - one at home (South Carolina) and the opener on a neutral field in Atlanta (Alabama) – look tough. How big is that opener versus Alabama for head coach Tommy Bowden with the usually overwhelming expectations? Whew! Let's say it is a must-win game despite being played in August.

Although Missouri plays in a much-improved Big 12 conference, the Tigers are void of having to play crossover opponents Texas Tech and Oklahoma in the regular season. If they can win the dangerous opener versus Illinois, the Tigers likely head into mid-October undefeated.

West Virginia continues to post one of the easier schedules amongst top 10 teams for the third year in a row. However, their non-conference schedule did get a major upgrade with Auburn and Colorado, which now means the road back to a BCS bowl will not be quite as easy. The Big East does not have a conference championship game. But mark down the December 6 game in Morgantown when South Florida pays a visit. The Bulls are the only team to have beaten the Mountaineers in each of the past two seasons. That one is shaping up to be a (by default) conference championship game with the surging Bulls.

Memphis receives the award for the easiest FBS schedule (120th) for the second year in a row. Not one single team ranked in the Top 50 Preseason Poll is on their list. The toughest match up is likely going to be their opener in Oxford versus Ole Miss. Also on the non-conference slate are Arkansas State and I-AA Nicholls State. In the process, head coach Tommy West looks to take Memphis to their fifth bowl game in the last six years, and an easy road can again be traveled to get there.

Using our sliding scale point formula, the SEC is still king...and by a huge margin. The biggest changes in this index from a year ago include the Big 12 moving up in the ranks and the Pac Ten dropping to last when comparing the BCS conferences. Only one Pac Ten team cracked the AP Top 10 in USC, while only two others cracked the Top 25 in Arizona State and Oregon. The Mountain West Conference continues to rank as the best amongst the mid-majors.

1. SEC 96.83
2. Big 12 89.58
3. Big Ten 89.18
4. Big East 88.63
5. ACC 83.50
6. Pac Ten 81.10
7. Mountain West 66.33
8. WAC 61.56
9. MAC 57.38
10. C-USA 55.83
11. Sun Belt 52.00


Toughest and Easiest Schedule by BCS conference

Toughest - Virginia
Kudos to the Virginia administration for getting powerhouse Southern California to visit Charlottesville. The problem is that USC is the opener for Al Groh and the new faces at QB. Hopefully the Cavs get bowl eligible early as the final two games are against the ACC's best, Clemson and Virginia Tech.

Easiest - Virginia Tech
Three of the Hokies non-conference opponents are East Carolina, Furman and Western Kentucky. The ACC schedule also does not include the only two ranked teams from the Atlantic Division, Clemson and Wake Forest. The schedule sets up well, despite the player turnover, for VT to at least get back to the ACC title game.

Big East
Toughest - Cincinnati
A final road trip to the islands to tackle Hawai'i gives the Bearcats a nasty 13-game schedule. Other road trips to Norman, OK and Morgantown, WV should make for interesting upset possibilities.

Easiest – Connecticut
The Huskies defense held ten opponents under 20 points last season and return eight starters on that side of the ball. The first four opponents include Hofstra, Temple and Baylor. Don't look for this stingy trend to change through the first part of September.

Big Ten
Toughest - Michigan State
For the second year in a row, the Spartans win this award for having the Big Ten's toughest schedule. An underrated Michigan State may surprise some teams in this league. But they will have to close the season versus four ranked teams - Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State…ouch!

Easiest – Northwestern
Do not be surprised if the Wildcats enter the month of October undefeated as they are likely to be favored in their first four games against lighter foes.

Big 12
Toughest – Baylor
The Big 12 South is one of the better divisions in college football and Baylor's schedule reflects as much. The non-conference games against Wake Forest and UConn could make first year head coach Art Briles' debut one to forget.

Easiest - Texas Tech
Last season Kansas won this dubious honor and wound up winning a BCS bowl game. This time around, Texas Tech is loaded with talent primed to repeat the same successes. While the South Division road doesn't make things easy, we guarantee the Red Raiders go undefeated through September with a non-conference schedule that is the division’s easiest.

Pac Ten
Toughest – UCLA
Ouch! First year coach Rick Neuheisel has his hands full. Not only did he lose both starting QBs for 2008 due to injury, but also his plate has been loaded with Tennessee, Brigham Young, Arizona and a ranked Fresno State in the first four games.

Easiest – Arizona
Coach Mike Stoops needs to start showing improvement in the win column. The good news is that his Wildcats will be favored to win the first six games against inferior competition. The Cats might get bowl eligible before mid-October.

Toughest – Georgia
The nation's No. 1 ranked team gets honored by having to play the nation's hardest schedule. That does not even include a possible SEC Championship Game.

Easiest - Mississippi State
While no team in the SEC can be considered to have an easy schedule, at least the Bulldogs non-conference opponents (Louisiana Tech, SE Louisiana and Middle Tennessee) make sure coach Sylvester Croom gets another shot at winning a bowl game. No Georgia or Florida, either.