With all but three schedules having been released for the 2019 season, it’s time for College Gym News’ annual schedule difficulty rankings. Florida faced the toughest opponents last season and retained the crown heading into 2019, facing no team ranked lower than No. 32 and six in the top 12.
But how do we determine the rankings? It’s pretty simple. Looking at 2018’s end-of-season rankings, we took each of the top 20 or so teams’ 2019 opponents’ rankings and added them all together. If their opponent was the home team, we subtracted two points for “home floor advantage.” In the case of non-neutral site meets with multiple teams, only the home team would have those points subtracted. Finally, we averaged that number and the team with the lowest number ranks first in schedule difficulty.
Confused? We broke down Oklahoma’s 2018 schedule as an example below.
In 2018 Oklahoma was at Georgia (12-2), hosted Iowa State (29) and Texas Woman’s (52), was at Florida (3-2), was at UCLA (4-2), hosted North Carolina (36), had a neutral meet versus Nebraska (7), hosted West Virginia (20), Michigan (10), Arizona State (41), Arkansas (19) and Denver (9), was at Alabama (6-2) and was at TWU (52-2). That means the Sooners competed against 14 total teams, coming out to an average of 20.71.
Now for the rankings. As mentioned above, Florida topped the rankings for the second year in a row with an average schedule difficulty of 11.22. Georgia followed close behind with 13.64, brought down only by Michigan State competing alongside the Gymdogs at Elevate the Stage Birmingham. LSU rounded out the top three with a 15.29 average.
In all, seven SEC teams made the top 10 and all eight are featured in the top 11. Oklahoma (No. 4), Utah (No. 5) and UCLA (No. 10) are the only non-SEC teams in the top 10. You can find the rest of the top 15 based on schedule difficulty below.
READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: SEC Part I
Article by Elizabeth Grimsley
Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!