Not all schedules are created equal.
And in the high-stakes world of major college football, strength of schedule can be a crucial factor in determining which teams are earning championship trophies and playing in New Year's Day bowl games at the end of the season...
...and which teams will be spending the holidays at home because they couldn't squeeze out the half dozen wins needed to be bowl-eligible.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the highlights of each Big Ten football team's 2010 schedule, from the easiest (book that bowl trip now) to hardest (anyone having second thoughts about our home-and-home agreements yet?)
Non-conference opponents, ratio of home games to road trips, and how many of the league's top four teams a school has to play in the round-robin schedule (each Big Ten university only plays 8 of the other 10 schools in a given year) are all factors in determining how tough the upcoming 12-game slate really is.
(I tabbed Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin as the most difficult four opponents for Big Ten teams; in addition to finishing with the best four records in 2009 league play, each school won at least 10 games a year ago.)
Without further ado, it's the "strength of schedule" power rankings, starting with the relative cakewalks at number 11...