Miami football strength of schedule ranked 6th in ACC by CBS Sports

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The strength of schedule for the Miami football team in 2020 has been the source of debate during the offseason. CBS Sports projects Miami to have the sixth toughest schedule in the ACC.

The Miami football team having the sixth toughest schedule in the ACC according to CBS Sports contradicts an earlier ranking of 11th among ACC teams in relation to just the non-conference part of the schedule. Part of the difference can be attributed to Miami playing on the road at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The rankings of the non-conference schedules were profiled by college football writer Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman. Tramel’s rankings were purely subjective. The rankings by Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports used an intricate formula to arrive at where each ACC school ranked with the entirety of its 2020 schedule.

A brief synopsis of the statistical model that Fornelli uses completely takes out any subjective opinion. Rankings from the previous season are weighed to come to a conclusion on what to expects in the next season. Past performance is weighed with each team’s future schedules.

Fornelli further elaborated that where and when the game is played and if teams have to play on a short week are also factored in. How many weeks in a row a team has played without a bye is also figured in. The final analysis results in a number produced for a team’s projected strength of schedule.

Fornelli explained his finding as “the overall score is the team’s SOS compared to the average SOS of all 130 FBS teams. For example, 21.34% is better than average. A negative score indicates below average. The conference score is…strictly in relation to the average score of the schedules within that team’s conference.

The non-conference schedule for the Miami football team as examined by Trammel subjectively was fair. Miami was judged to have the 40th best non-conference schedule in 2020 among the 64 Power Five teams. Miami hosts Temple, FCS Wagner and UAB the first three weeks of the season before playing at Michigan State.

CBS Sports analysis of 2020 Miami Football schedule

"6 Miami (Fla.)This is a projection I could see missing by quite a bit. The nonconference slate is buoyed by a good Temple team and a road game against Michigan State. The problem is, based on a late coaching hire and lack of spring practice, I have a hard time believing Michigan State can live up to its projection.As for the ACC schedule, the Canes get Florida State from the Atlantic, but it’s at home. The road schedule won’t be easy with games against Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Overall: 5.88% | ACC: -3.09%"

The games at Wake Forest with the Demon Deacons high powered offense and Virginia Tech with quarterback Hendon Hooker returning after an impressive first season should be the toughest road games the Miami football team plays in 2020. Miami is the highest-ranked team in the ACC with a below-average schedule.

Nine of the 14 teams in the ACC play a below average schedule. A lot of that can be attributed to games against FCS opponents. SEC teams usually play one game per season against an FCS opponent as well. It’s a practice Miami should abolish but likely will not until all the Power Five programs at the least choose to do so.

Wagner is not only an FCS team, they finished 1-11 last season. Michigan State is coming off a tumultuous offseason as Fornelli already mentioned. UAB was 9-5 last season and played in their third straight bowl game. Temple is not the football program Miami fans remember from the Big East.

Next. Miami 40th out of 64 Power 5 non-conference schedules. dark

The Hurricanes should go no worse than 3-1 in non-conference. Temple and at Michigan State are challenging games no matter what the perception is. A 6-2 record in the conference and 9-3 overall would be a successful season. A chance to challenge to win the ACC Coastal is likely to be between Miami, Virginia Tech and UNC.