College Football Teams with Impossible 2013 Road Schedules
If you have a bunch of tough road games on your schedule, you’re gonna have a bad time.
This is a lesson that the teams on this list are going to learn in 2013.
Going on the road is difficult. The game is away from your home turf, fewer of your fans are present and the unfamiliar facilities can be a pain.
On top of that, players on the road must deal with fans of the opposing team, and the pressure of performing in a hostile environment.
All of this has been discussed before, and it’s safe to say we all agree that paying on the road is bad.
Facing a schedule littered with tough competition on the road is near impossible.
Read on for the teams facing the toughest road schedules in the upcoming college football season.
9. Purdue Boilermakers
Road Schedule: Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana
Purdue football is mediocre at best right now.
For the past half decade, the team has made no noticeable progress one way or the other, remaining firmly in the middle of the Big Ten pack.
2013 will not be much different, especially with a road schedule like this one. Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State will have some of the top defenses in the conference.
Cincinnati is brutally underrated and ignored due to the emergence of conference rival Louisville, but returns some key pieces to a team that has American Athletic Conference championship potential. Try not to laugh at that last sentence.
Purdue will be fortunate to finish 1-4 against that road schedule.
8. Kentucky Wildcats
Road Schedule: Western Kentucky (in Nashville, KY), South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Georgia
This is ridiculous. Looking at the list, it doesn't appear all that formidable.
However, Mark Stoops and his guys have a very difficult home schedule, with these games sandwiched in between.
The worst stretch features home games against Florida and Alabama, with a visit to South Carolina in the middle.
That is one of the toughest stretches in football.
Even with some explosive young talent and a new head coach, the Wildcats are going to be 0-3 over that stretch.
And that three-game losing streak is only the beginning; the Vanderbilt and Georgia game are back to back.
7. Wisconsin Badgers
Road Schedule: Arizona State, Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota
This schedule is not impossible.
As a matter of fact, the Badgers will have little difficulty taking care of Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, probably by at least ten points apiece.
It's the first two that are so difficult.
Wisconsin, under new head coach Gary Andersen, certainly has the talent and potential to knock off the Sun Devils and Buckeyes both. But conventional wisdom would guess that they will struggle out west. Big Ten teams have an abysmal 5-20 records against the Pac since 2000.
ASU has an explosive offense, a monster on defensive in lineman Will Sutton, and the potential to be a dark-horse Pac-12 title contender.
OSU is OSU. Wisconsin dominated them last season in just about every statistical category, and yet lost the game. The Badgers have only beaten them one time in Columbus in the past decade, back in 2004.
So expect Wisconsin to lose at least one of these contests.
6. Kansas Jayhawks
Road Schedule: Rice, TCU, Texas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State
Kansas has a hard enough time winning games without such a difficult road schedule.
Rice is not an issue, even a Charlie Weis led Kansas team should have little difficulty beating the Owls.
The rest of the road slate is as close to a nightmare as it gets within the Big 12.
TCU, Texas and Oklahoma State are all legit contenders for the conference title, particularly the Cowboys and Longhorns, who return scads of talent and are primed for runs at a BCS game.
Iowa State under Paul Rhoads has gotten progressively more competitive, and while not a powerhouse, will give the Jayhawks fits on the road.
Kansas is going to be, at best 2-3 on the road, and more likely 1-4.
5. Colorado Buffaloes
Road Schedule: Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, Utah
Colorado was arguably the worst team in a BCS conference in 2012.
The Buffaloes lost all but one game last season, and won that one 35-34 over Washington State.
Definitely a season to forget.
2013 does not look much better. The talent level is not significantly better, and the Pac-12 is not getting any easier.
Every one of the opponents Colorado faces on the road will be ranked in the top 25 at some point this season, with Utah being the possible outlier.
That’s rough. Though none of them are top-five material, facing that many good teams on the road definitely qualifies as a nightmare.
4. Florida Gators
Road Schedule: Miami(FL), Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Georgia( in Jacksonville, FL), South Carolina Fighting Jadeveons
Kentucky is improving. LSU, while low on experience is high on talent. Miami (FL) has the potential to be 2013's Louisville. Missouri is comparatively healthy, Georgia will be in the hunt for a national title, and South Carolina is not far behind, and features the scariest man in college football.
There is definite cause for concern when it comes to the Gators' road slate.
While Jeff Driskel has to show some improvement at quarterback, there is still reason to be concerned about the Gators' prospects next season.
Besides some key departures on defense, the offensive inconsistencies from last season are going to linger.
The team that played a tough, physical game and kept tougher opponents within reach is still lurking in the wings, but the Gators need Alex Anzalone, Vernon Hargreaves or some other blue-chip recruits to step it up in a big way on defense if there is any hope of duplicating last season's success.
3. Oklahoma Sooners
Road Schedule: Notre Dame, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas at the Cotton Bowl
Oklahoma has plenty of issues this season, including its quarterback, and a secondary that leaves a little something to be desired.
Looking at the Sooners' road schedule, it's easy to see them losing three of the five games away from home.
Notre Dame handled them in Norman last season, and while Everett Golson is out for the season and Manti Te'o has departed for the NFL and better girlfriends, the Irish have home-field advantage in 2013. This is not to say that the Sooners couldn't win this game, but the Irish defense is loaded with playmakers such as Louis Nix, Prince Shembo and Stephon Tuitt.
It will be a tough one.
Baylor and Kansas State should both be wins, but Art Briles has managed to produce explosive offenses each of the past three seasons, and running back Lache Seastrunk is back to lead the offense. In Manhattan, KS, Coach Snyder is a wizard, and has been able to field a competitive team each of the past few years. Whether he can continue to do so without his star quarterback remains to be seen.
Bedlam is going to be tough, as Oklahoma State is stacked on offense, likes to pass the ball, and the Sooners are going to struggle against the pass. This is not a recipe for much success.
The Red River Shootout is going to be a struggle, as well, though not a true road game, as the Longhorns return 19 of their 2012 starters, and are going to be tough to beat with a punishing rushing attack and stout defense.
2. Cal Golden Bears
Road Schedule: Oregon, UCLA, Washington, Colorado, Stanford
Cal faces both Northwestern and Ohio State in non-conference play. Kudos to them for being bold, but it is not like their road schedule wasn't already difficult enough.
Three of the four road games are against teams with the potential to reach a BCS game, including Stanford and Oregon, either one of which could run the table.
Sonny Dykes has a brutal road schedule to maneuver in his inaugural season at the helm of the Golden Bears.
AS if facing Oregon, Stanford and UCLA is not bad enough, the Bears also must travel to Washington, which is going to be a tough team to slow down with Bishop Sankey at running back and Keith Price at QB.
Overall, while not impossible, this road schedule is about as close as it gets.
1. Arkansas Razorbacks
Road Schedule: Rutgers, Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU
Bret Bielema is not an easy guy to like. At times he comes off as cocky, arrogant and full of himself. And he likes to run up the score.
Football fans looking to see him receive some comeuppance are going to be pleased in 2013.
The Razorbacks' season is going to be rough, as in brutally, painfully difficult to watch. They must travel to face Florida and Alabama, both teams with a legitimate shot at the SEC title game. Alabama may be the best team in the nation, while Florida will be solid in spite of some attrition during the off season.
It doesn't get much easier for the rest of these games. Ole Miss and LSU are going to be battling it out for third place in the SEC West, while Rutgers is not exactly a pushover.
Just the fact that the Razorbacks are an SEC team facing five BCS teams on the road is in and of itself, a miracle. I kid, I kid, but Bret Bielema and the Hogs have a tough road ahead of them.