The fine folks in the research department at ESPN Stats & Information took on a lofty endeavor for Insider: rank the upcoming five-year nonconference schedules for every Power 5 program. You can find the results here.
Big 12 nonconference schedule rankings
The number associated with each team is the percentage of games an average FBS team would be expected to lose if it faced that schedule; the higher the number, the harder the schedule.
Out of all 64 programs studied, Texas is about to take on the most difficult nonconference slate. The Longhorns open this season at Notre Dame and against Rice and Cal, then have future home-and-homes with USC, Maryland and LSU on deck.
Texas is projected to face Power 5 foes 10 times in its next 15 nonconference games. That poses a heck of a challenge for coach Charlie Strong, who inherited this ambitious schedule from Mack Brown and DeLoss Dodds. They were never afraid to chase big-time games, like past home-and-homes with Ohio State, UCLA and Ole Miss. Big risk, big reward.
Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas Tech also cracked the top 25 in the strength of nonconference schedule projections. At the bottom of that list? Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor. The Stats & Info folks note that Duke (in 2017-18) will be Baylor's first Power 5 nonconference foe since 2009.
"Art Briles has stated that the committee will not leave out an undefeated team," writes ESPN Stats & Info's Sharon Katz. "With this schedule, it is undefeated or bust for the Baylor Bears."