I was curious about toughness of different conferences. Not in terms of how tough the conference schedules are, or how tough the players are on the field, but in terms of the toughness of the different conferences in how the schedule their non-conference opponents. Looking at the schedules, it seems like a hell of a lot of creampuffery again this year. I haven't had time to look carefully at all the conferences, but did compare the Pac-10 and Big 12. The results are pretty stark. Embarrassingly, the Pac-10 does have 2 non-conference games against AA opponents. Shameful. But in the Big 12 it's 10 AA opponents. Downright wussy. 23% of Pac-10 non-conference games are against top 25 teams, including #1, #2, #4 (the only reason #3 isn't there is cause it's USC, which is a conference game). The average ranking is #11. Only 11% of the Big 12 non-conf games are against top 25 teams, with none higher than #8 and an average of #17. Of course, in both conferences, most non-conference games are against non top 25 teams. Using the Sagarin ratings, we find that the non-conference opponent avg. rating for the Pac-10 is 61, and for the Big 12 it's 97 (including a game against Fla. International, the lowest ranked of all Division A schools). I don't know about the other conferences, but I hope they're closer to the Pac-10 than the Big 12 in terms of their toughness for non-conference opponents.