Ranking the Top 50 College Football Team Schedule Posters of 2015

Brian Pedersen@realBJPFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2015

Ranking the Top 50 College Football Team Schedule Posters of 2015

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The schedule poster is the college football version of a Rorschach inkblot test. While we may all see something different, one commonality exists: Excitement abounds.

    The game dates have been set in stone for some time, but the annual release of schedule posters by college football teams signifies that the upcoming season is getting very close. And the who/when/where info is far less important than the design and images each school uses to convey the year ahead.

    We've taken a look at the posters for every FBS team and ranked the 50 best ones based on a very unscientific assessment of their attributes and memorability.

    Though each fan will likely have their own favorite, this list is meant to serve as a guideline if you were hoping to decorate a football-watching cave in your home with nothing but schedule posters.

    Follow along for our den decor recommendations.

Honorable Mention

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    We've limited our rankings to FBS programs but felt one particular school outside those ranks deserved some recognition. That would be Kennesaw State, which begins its first season of FCS football in September.

    The Owls are the latest fledgling program to start from scratch, and Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee recently chronicled what it took to get the team up and running for 2015.

50. Eastern Michigan Eagles

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    Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton must have a thing for cinder-block wallsand trying to break through thembecause the Eagles' 2015 schedule post continues a trend that began with Creighton's first game in charge of the program last season.

    Let's hope the wall shown above was a little easier to get through than last time's.

    Eastern Michigan is one of FBS' worst programs, going 2-10 in four of the past five seasons and recording no winning records since 1995. But at least the Eagles made a memorable poster.

49. Memphis Tigers

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    We've heard of "real Memphis" barbeque, but have there actually been attempts to replicate the Tigers' play and pass it off as being from Memphis? The rising program seems to think so, since it has declared itself the standard-bearer for a particular style of football.

    Based on how Memphis played last season, when it won its first conference title since the early 1970s and reached 10 victories, it wouldn't be surprising to see other schools try to copy what Justin Fuente has accomplished there.

    But it's unlikely they'd end up referring to it as Memphis-style football.

48. East Carolina Pirates

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    East Carolina has won 26 games in the past three seasons, which marks the second time since 2007 that feat has been accomplished by the Pirates.

    They've been one of the more consistent non-power programs in the country, and last year, the team featured one of the most prolific passers ever in Shane Carden and FBS all-time receiving leader Justin Hardy.

    In fact, the Pirates only have 11 starters back from last season, which might explain why the media picked them to finish fourth in the American Athletic Conference's East Division for 2015.

    However, they're not fazed—or should we say they're undaunted?—by these lowered expectations for the upcoming season.

47. Iowa Hawkeyes

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    While many schools look to highlight some of their top players in their posters, others opt for the generic uniform route and feature someone modeling a No. 15 jersey. Iowa went one step further and features two guys who make up the entire year that we're currently in.

    Either that or the Hawkeyes are expecting big things from the players who currently wear those uniform numbers, which include a pair of redshirt freshmen (Joshua Jackson, Jameer Outsey) and a senior wide receiver (Andrew Stone) who had three receptions last season.

    Honestly, it could go either way.

46. Iowa State Cyclones

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    The gloved-hand-raising-up-a-helmet motif appears on at least three schedule posters for FBS teams in 2015, and while it's a good look, there needs to be something else that goes with it. Iowa State has Jack Trice Stadium looming in the background and some Cyclones fans reflected in the gloss on the helmet.

    Those are nice touches, but what stands out most from ISU's poster is the theme: Forever one.

    We're sure this is meant to convey team unity and that no individual is more important than the rest of the group. But considering the Cyclones have averaged one Big 12 win over the past two seasons, it might come off as sounding like a performance projection.

45. Washington Huskies

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    Washington's gold chrome helmets are some of the best in the business, and when it wears them under the lights at Husky Stadium, it's a sight to see.

    Why not show off that look on the schedule poster in the form of huddled, unnamed players?

    This is a smart approach for a Washington team that's going to be devoid of recognizable talent in 2015. Three defensive studs—Hau'oli Kikaha, Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson—from last year were taken in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, while all-purpose stud John Ross III is out for the season after getting injured during spring ball.

    The most notable member of the program is likely coach Chris Petersen, who gained fame at Boise State but lost six games with Washington last year. In eight seasons at Boise State, Petersen had just 13 defeats.

44. BYU Cougars

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    BYU has been an independent program since 2011 and has done moderately well in that area, winning at least eight games every year.

    But the Cougars have been slow in getting respect from the power conferences, now finally considered prominent enough by most to count as a quality opponent for scheduling purposes.

    The Cougars have to play big-name programs to get their name out there, and in September of this season, they play Nebraska, Boise State, UCLA and Michigan in the first four weeks. That's a gauntlet that was going to be tough even before leading rusher Jamaal Williams withdrew from school for personal reasons.

    What helps BYU immensely is that it has an amazing fanbase that rivals that of Notre Dame and other big-name programs in terms of national appeal. It's hoping those fans will stand behind it regardless of how this year goes, hence the "Rise with Us" slogan for 2015.

43. Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Northern Illinois hasn't been shy about declaring itself as the top college football team in its own state.

    After the Huskies won at Northwestern last September, a full-page ad was taken out in the Chicago Tribune referring to NIU as "Chicago's big-time college football team" and also calling out Illinois by noting it was "next."

    Sadly, Illinois and Northern Illinois don't have any games scheduled in the future. Northwestern doesn't seem interested in taking on the perennial Mid-American Conference powers again anytime soon, either.

    Instead, NIU has to go "the hard way" by setting up trips to other Big Ten teams. It plays at Ohio State this year, visits Nebraska four times between 2017-23 and also has games set up at Iowa and Maryland.

42. TCU Horned Frogs

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    It's no secret that TCU coach Gary Patterson wasn't a fan of how the new playoff system played out in 2014, nor was he (or Baylor coach Art Briles) pleased with the Big 12's decision to declare co-champions in the league despite promoting a "One True Champion" slogan all year long.

    The lack of a conference title game as well as a firm set of rules used to declare a league champion—since Baylor's head-to-head win over the Horned Frogs didn't seem to hold much weight—have been topics of much discussion during the offseason, though there was no resolution to those issues.

    What happened last year could happen again in 2015, and the Big 12 may end up being the power league that's again not invited to the playoff party.

    It's in the Big 12's best interests to have a clear leader at the top of the standings, and TCU is hoping to be that team. To that end, it's adopted the "Unite for the Fight" slogan for 2015, which seems like it fits both for the program itself and to take a jab at the conference for not taking a stand last year.

41. Maryland Terrapins

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    Any wonder of whether Maryland has assimilated itself to its new conference, the Big Ten, can be dismissed by the choice to put a kicker on its schedule poster. Brad Craddock was the top kicker in the nation last season, winning the Lou Groza Award, but still, nothing says #B1G like championing special teams.

    It should be noted that Maryland is one of several programs that have multiple schedule posters, each with different players.

    But none of those other schools highlighted their kicker in such an individual fashion, and for that alone the Terps make this list.

40. Syracuse Orange

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    Syracuse isn't expected to do much on the football field this season—media members picked the Orange to finish sixth out of seven teams in the ACC's Atlantic Division—but at least it's going to look good while in action.

    'Cuse will sport orange jerseys in its uniform choices for 2015, something that was mysteriously absent when Nike unveiled new jerseys last season that came in white, navy and platinum.

    "It was always part of the plan to have them for this year," Syracuse spokeswoman Sue Edson told Stephen Bailey of Syracuse.com.

    The best time to wear those orange tops would either be for the Sept. 26 visit from LSU or in November when fellow orange-clad team Clemson comes to the Carrier Dome.

39. North Carolina Tar Heels

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    North Carolina's 2015 football schedule poster has a lot of the stock, boilerplate features that many posters have. There's the presence of several notable players in action poses, the large school emblem and all the requisite schedule information.

    There's even a slogan of sorts: "Smart. Fast. Physical."

    But where the Tar Heels stand out from the rest of the group is the subtle use of a signature wardrobe detail that can be found on every sport's uniforms in 2015: an argyle pattern.

    For those not in the know, that would be the diamond pattern that runs in the background along the top of the poster.

38. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Vanderbilt loves its nautical themes, even if it led to some embarrassing uniform issues to start last season thanks to the unapproved use of "Anchor Down" as the nameplate on all football jerseys. This year, there's also some "Deep Water" alternate uniforms that were unveiled on Monday.

    The Commodores have continued with this theme on the schedule poster but taken it another step further by making it seem as if sophomore linebacker Nigel Bowden is either summoning the seas to help Vandy's defense—which could use the help, having allowed 33.3 points per game during a 3-9 season in 2014—or is about to get obliterated by a massive wave.

    Never mind the fact that Vanderbilt is located in Nashville, which is a couple hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

37. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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    Louisiana Tech had the No. 1 scoring offense in the country in 2012, averaging 51.5 points per game, and last year, the Bulldogs ranked 14th at 37.4 per game. What's their secret?

    According to Tech's 2015 schedule poster, it might be the use of more than one football at a time, thus to confuse opposing defenses. All told, three Bulldog players are either holding or about to haul in a pigskin, including two quarterbacks. One of those (wearing No. 6) is Jeff Driskel, the graduate transfer from Florida, who was named the starter in July.

    Additional kudos go to the placement of a bulldog looming over the top of the mass of players. He's kind of intimidating, which is probably the intent.

36. Florida Atlantic Owls

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    Programs outside of the power conferences have to find a way to stand out. The preferred way would be with on-field success, but Florida Atlantic hasn't had much of that lately.

    Another way to get attention is through catchy slogans, and the Owls went all-in with theirs. Or, rather, they went "Owl In."

35. Virginia Tech Hokies

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    The first thing anyone associates with Virginia Tech football is Frank Beamer, the head coach who has been at the helm since 1987. Yet Beamer isn't featured in the Hokies' 2015 schedule poster, which seems like an odd choice for someone so synonymous with a program.

    Then again, Virginia Tech has been somewhat of an against-the-grain program for a long time. Just look at some of the helmets the Hokies have worn over the years, such as one made to resemble the stones that many campus buildings were constructed with or the various turkey-themed lids they've donned in the past.

34. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    The "Battle Ready" slogan has been around in some form with Rutgers for a few seasons, and this tough, working-class approach to the program also exists in the form of scarred helmets they frequently wear. But the Scarlet Knights stepped it up in 2015 with the inclusion of a sword on their schedule poster.

    Yes, senior defensive lineman Darius Hamilton is wielding an actual sword. Rutgers might need that weapon to handle a schedule that features games against Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

33. Massachusetts Minutemen

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    Massachusetts made the move up to the FBS level in 2012, and not much has gone right since then. The Minutemen have won all of five games in those three seasons, and after this year, they're being relegated to independence purgatory after the Mid-American Conference pushed them out.

    If UMass is going to make any noise at the FBS level, it's this season. It returns 19 starters from last year's 3-9 team, including standout quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and receiver Tajae Sharpe, and also plays on by far the weaker side of the MAC in the East Division.

    The 2015 schedule poster indicates UMass is going to "Win Together" this season, and Kyle Kensing of CFBHuddle.com believes this team is capable of disproving "every critic who questioned the program’s ability to ever compete in the FBS."

32. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    For a program as storied as Alabama, there's no need to do anything flashy or daring with the schedule poster. It's not like the Crimson Tide need any additional attention that might come from something that's likely to get tacked up in every house, store and office in Tuscaloosa (and most other towns in the state) regardless of what it says.

    'Bama's "Built By Championships" might seem elitist to some, but it fits. Just look at the numbers featured on the poster: 15 national championship and 24 SEC titles, the kind of numbers that warrant tooting one's own horn.

    And the Tide also eschew the tendency of many programs to highlight their skill players on the poster, instead pairing two seniors (offensive lineman Ryan Kelly and linebacker Reggie Ragland) with a packed Bryant Denny Stadium in the background.

31. North Texas Mean Green

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    They're mean, and they're green. They're North Texas, a football program whose mascot is an eagle but has a nickname that is attributed to its most famous player.

    "Mean" Joe Greene played at North Texas from 1966-69, then went on to star on the defensive line for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 seasons en route to a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Greene was 6'4" and 275 pounds, far larger than the player North Texas put on this poster. But though he's only 5'9", senior running back Antoinne Jimmerson is a key part of what the Mean Green hope to accomplish this season.

30. Western Michigan Broncos

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    P.J. Fleck had never been more than a position coach at any level before taking over Western Michigan's foundering program in 2013. But the young and enthusiastic Fleck still had plenty of head coach-level motivational plans in mind, including a unique "Row the Boat" mantra that has become the Broncos' battle cry.

    David Drew of MLive.com chronicled how Fleck came to live by this slogan even before ever coaching a game, and while Fleck might come off as sounding a bit cooky for comparing his players to oars, boats and compasses, it's seemed to have paid off.

    After going 1-11 in his first season, Western Michigan went 8-5 in 2014 and played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It did so with a very young team—one that returns 16 starters, including the stellar skill quartet of quarterback Zach Terrell, running back Jarvion Franklin and receivers Daniel Braverman and Corey Davis.

29. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Mississippi State had a storybook season in 2014, starting off 9-0 and spending several weeks atop the polls as the No. 1 team in the nation. It didn't have a fairy tale ending, though, as the Bulldogs faded down the stretch and lost three of four.

    The prospects for this season aren't as promising, at least not based on predictions from SEC media members who have the Bulldogs slotted to finish last in the West Division. MSU only brings back nine starters from last year, but several of those are featured on the schedule poster with the school slogan "Hail State" superimposed across their midsections.

    Standing front and center is the key to whatever MSU does this year: senior quarterback Dak Prescott, a dual-threat star who figures to contend for a Heisman Trophy while driving opposing defensive coordinators batty trying to slow him down.

28. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    South Carolina had a heck of a run there from 2011-13 when it won 33 games and spent most of that time ranked in the top 10 in the country. Then things came crashing down for the Gamecocks last season, getting blown out at home to open the year and finishing with a 7-6 record that required a victory over Miami in the Independence Bowl just to avoid a losing season.

    Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier remains, and he's recently gone out of his way, particularly at an impromptu news conference, to reaffirm his commitment to the program for the foreseeable future. But Spurrier has also remained tempered with his expectations for this year, and that's reflected in South Carolina's attractive yet subtle schedule poster.

    There are no bold statements—unless you think "it's great to be a Gamecock" is pushing the envelope—or any other types of hyperbole. Just an unidentified player displaying the colors, with a packed Williams-Brice Stadium probably dancing to "Sandstorm" in the background.

27. UCF Knights

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    One of the most underrated college football venues in the country is Bright House Networks Stadium, a 44,000-seat complex that opened in 2007 and (because of how it was constructed) has been known to sway when it gets rowdy.

    As a result, it's become known as The Bounce House, and UCF has gone 11-1 there during its back-to-back conference titles.

    The Knights have several different schedule posters, including several that highlight some of the team's top players, but we went with the one that gives love to this great stadium.

26. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    If bees played football, odds are they'd employ an offensive scheme similar to Georgia Tech's triple-option attack. Once the ball is snapped, there are players running in every direction, and it's often impossible to know who's got the ball until they're right on top of you (or past you).

    Last year, Tech played like a swarm of bees on offense, averaging 342 rushing yards per game en route to an ACC Coastal Division title and 11 victories. Justin Thomas (shown in the poster) was the queen bee in that swarm, rushing for 1,086 yards and eight touchdowns.

25. Kentucky Wildcats

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    When Kentucky hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 5 to open the 2015 season, it will be the first game inside Commonwealth Stadium since it underwent a $110 million renovation that includes upgraded seating areas, a new press box and a turf field.

    All of those are proudly on display in the Wildcats' schedule poster, which shows a panoramic view of the field and the stadium lit up for a night game—kickoff for that opener is set for 7 p.m.—while the Kentucky marching band performs in a formation that includes the outline of the state.

    The black-and-white motif is also a sharp look and contrasted by Kentucky blue wherever the school's name or logo appears.

24. San Diego State Aztecs

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    Most people who follow college football probably aren't aware of how consistently successful San Diego State has been. The Aztecs have won 41 games over the past five seasons, including 32 the last four years under Rocky Long, and during his run, they've had two 1,700-yard rushers in Ronnie Hillman and current junior Donnel Pumphrey.

    But in order for a non-power program like SDSU to get attention, it has to stand out or, as the schedule poster notes, "Rise Up." The Aztecs have already done that in one way leading up to the 2015 season—that being through their awesome new helmets that feature the Aztec calendar.

    The other way to get notoriety as a mid-major would be to pull off a major upset of a power team, something SDSU hasn't done since beating Oklahoma in 1996. The Aztecs have a few chances this year, as they visit both California and Penn State in September.

23. Washington State Cougars

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    Washington State has played in the Rose Bowl four times, has one of the most eclectic coaches in college football in Mike Leach and routinely has one of the most prolific passing offenses in FBS. But what the Cougars' program is most famous for, at least in terms of pop-culture relevance, is its school flag.

    A version of WSU's red-and-gray flag has been spotted at the site of every ESPN College GameDay pregame show for more than a decade. Handled by school alumni, who make the trek to whatever locale ESPN sets up at each week, this has become one of the most time-honored traditions in the game today.

    Because of this, it's completely fitting to have the seven players shown on the WSU schedule poster to be running out of a Cougar flag.

22. USC Trojans

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    In the land of Hollywood, where style often trumps substance, it's very refreshing to see USC go with a simple and basic concept for its schedule poster.

    There's no marketable star power in the form of key players featured—instead, it's an unidentified player in a visored helmet—nor are there any pyrotechnics, CGI or other bells and whistles that would come out of a major studio production.

    All we get is that giant helmeted figured with a backdrop of the Los Angeles Coliseum and the requisite schedule info below that. And that's all we need, right?

21. Baylor Bears

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    Baylor claims it was a "weird coincidence," per the Associated Press (via USA Today), that players wearing the uniform numbers of 61 and 58 happened to be seated next to each other in the 2015 team photo. The Bears say it in no way was meant to troll rival TCU over the final score—61-58, in favor of Baylor—from last year's game in Waco.

    Sure. OK.

    While the program is trying to downplay this coincidence, it's in no way attempting to hide the fact it has become the gold standard in the Big 12. That's why "Always Deliver" appears on the schedule poster in large type, with a reminder that the Bears have won (at least a share of) consecutive conference titles.

20. Tulane Green Wave

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    We don't know if the Tulane Green Wave are trying to emulate Alabama, aspire to be as good as the Crimson Tide or are just piggybacking off their famous slogan. Whatever the reason, the Green Wave have gone with "Roll Wave" on the schedule poster for 2015, and we like it just fine.

    The slogan appears over Tulane's one-year-old Yulman Stadium, an on-campus facility that replaces games played at the Louisiana Superdome. It's a much better atmosphere for the program, even if the Wave only went 2-4 there in 2014.

    Tulane has six more games at Yulman this season, starting with the Sept. 3 opener against Duke. A win in that contest could get the Wave on a roll. Hey—now it all makes sense!

19. Houston Cougars

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    There are 15 FBS programs that are under the control of new coaches this season, and a handful of them have chosen to put that first-year leader prominently on the schedule poster. Houston is among that group, and it put Tom Herman front and center, staring straight into our souls.

    Arms crossed and looking dead serious, the former Ohio State offensive coordinator has his wedding ring showing on the left hand, and we can only assume his 2014-15 championship ring is on the hidden right hand. He did double duty in 2014, starting up his time with the Cougars and finishing up business with the Buckeyes in January, but now he's fully committed to Houston.

    Flanked by a selection of Cougars standouts who have this team that's expected to contend for a division title in the American Athletic Conference ready to go, Herman looks all business.

18. Louisville Cardinals

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    Louisville linebacker James Burgess had three interceptions and 10 tackles for loss in 2014, part of a Cardinals defense that ranked sixth in the country. He's also one of only a few key defenders who are still around this season, so a lot more is expected of him in order for Louisville to match (or surpass) last year's 9-4 record.

    Including, apparently, the ability to fly.

    Burgess is flying right toward you as you look at Louisville's 2015 schedule poster, leaping over a "Fight Takes Flight" slogan that works perfectly. It's a bold statement and one that goes great with the freakishly large bird emblazoned on the side of the helmets Louisville is set to wear in its opener Sept. 5 against Auburn in Atlanta.

17. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    As mentioned previously, the gloved-hand-holding-up-the-helmet image is a common one on schedule posters in 2015, but the gold standard (literally) is the one Wake Forest has on display. There's something about the shine that comes off that chrome dome that makes us forget the Demon Deacons had a very bad season last year and put together one of the worst rushing performances ever.

    "I didn't realize a run game could be this bad," SB Nation's Bill Connelly wrote in his Wake Forest preview in June, referring to a team rushing average of 1.25 yards per carry and 39.9 yards per game.

    Whether Wake can do any better than that this year still remains to be seen, but at least it will look good in those gold lids.

16. Auburn Tigers

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    Auburn's 2015 schedule poster checks all the boxes for the standard fare: highlighted players, a strong color scheme, a packed stadium in the background, the program's most recognizable face (coach Gus Malzahn) displayed prominently and a bold slogan in sleek ghost lettering.

    And then the Tigers take it up a notch by showcasing not just the head coach but also their coordinators, offensive guru Rhett Lashlee and defensive leader Will Muschamp.

    Muschamp didn't appear on the last three posters during his time at Florida, last popping up there in 2011, but now he's prominently displayed at his new school.

15. Kansas State Wildcats

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    When you think of Kansas State, you think of nothing else before you think of Bill Snyder. If not for him, the Wildcats' program would hardly register on the national radar, and the school is forever in his debt for this.

    It's why K-State's stadium has his name on it and why he is the centerpiece of the team's schedule poster this year. Looking introspective as ever, with signature windbreaker and headset in place, Snyder is flanked by about 20 players who are all in Manhattan because of him.

    Snyder is so synonymous with the program that you don't even bat an eye at the fact that K-State's poster doesn't actually indicate the school it's for or the team's mascot. You know which team it's for because of Snyder.

    Bonus points for including Snyder's recent induction in the College Football Hall of Fame, as well as having the legendary coach's signature on the poster.

14. Navy Midshipmen

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    Navy's patriotism knows no bounds, and that's evident throughout its 2015 schedule poster. From the red-white-and-blue lettering on the bottom to the flag-bearing players in full gear to the stars and stripes in the background, the Midshipmen ooze 'Merica.

    And now that they've joined a conference for the first time in program history, Navy even gets to add to this love of country by including a new league-themed slogan: "Navy Football, It's American!"

13. Wyoming Cowboys

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    Wyoming had last year's top-ranked schedule poster, and the Cowboys have another good one for 2015. It's not the best around but still quite eye-catching thanks to the snow-capped mountains in the background, as well as the inclusion of one of our favorite slogans: "Welcome to 7,220 Feet."

    The brown-and-yellow color scheme that Wyoming is known for is all over this poster, and why wouldn't it be? It's a great mix that is closely associated with the Cowboys, and to drive this home there are actual cowboys with lassos riding out from the prairie.

12. Tennessee Volunteers

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    If the whole football coach thing doesn't work for Butch Jones, he might have a future as an action hero. Or at least someone who can portray one on movie posters.

    This is the second year in a row that the Volunteers' schedule poster is all about Butch, and in a way, that makes it seem like he's the star of the next summer blockbuster film. In 2014, he looked like he was a hard-boiled cop, but this time around, Jones appears more like a weathered antihero who's contemplating his own mortality.

    In reality, Jones is at the helm of one of the fastest-rising programs in the country. And because his combination of recruiting and coaching has been a key to the Volunteers' turnaround, he seems deserving of such prominence on the poster.

11. Air Force Falcons

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    Air Force quietly had a very good year in 2014, winning 10 games in a pretty strong Mountain West Conference, yet the Falcons got far less attention for this accomplishment than they did when they went 2-10 the season before.

    Maybe staying under the radar (pun intended) is what works best for Air Force. It's the approach the program is taking with this understated schedule poster, which bypasses the need for flash and flair and is just straightforward and to the point.

    You don't really need much when you've got a lightning bolt on the helmet and a strong "#WeFlyTogether" slogan.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    The folks over at PosterSwag.com put together a social media fan vote to determine the best 2015 college football schedule poster, and Penn State came out on top. After checking out the Nittany Lions' great look, this should come as no surprise.

    Penn State recently went back to the old tradition of not having names on jerseys, and this is highlighted on the poster, as a pair of unidentified players wearing Nos. 20 and 15 have their backs turned to show they're nameless.

    Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game. That's a great slogan combo, and it works excellently with this motif—but not enough to get the top spot on our list.

9. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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    Western Kentucky had one of the top offenses in the country last season, led by quarterback Brandon Doughty and his FBS-leading 4,830 yards and 49 touchdowns. The Hilltoppers scored at least 40 points on seven occasions, and they averaged one play every 22.2 seconds.

    Expect more of the same from Western Kentucky this year, with Doughty and his offensive stars back and Jeff Brohm again calling plays that he learned while working under Bobby Petrino (both at Louisville and with the Hilltoppers).

    The poster reflects this, as the notable Hilltoppers are pictured surrounding a flashy red sports car. That's probably what their offense is going to look like a lot in 2015.

8. Arkansas Razorbacks

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    In an age of college football where tempo rules the game, Arkansas stands out from the pack in its steadfast devotion of old-school, hard-nosed play. It's what coach Bret Bielema is known for, among other things, such as when he referred to taking a knee at the end of the Texas Bowl win over Texas as "borderline erotic" during 2015's SEC media days. 

    So it should come as no surprise that the Razorbacks' 2015 schedule poster is unlike any other in the country. Nor is it shocking that it plays up the program's preference to be considered "uncommon."

    We love you, Bret. Never change.

7. Akron Zips

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    At Bleacher Report, we strive to make sure all of our content uses proper grammar and doesn't have any misspelled words. But that doesn't mean we don't enjoy a good alternate spelling every now and then, which is why Akron's schedule poster gets such a strong ranking.

    In this case, "Rize Up" works just fine.

    The Zips' program hasn't done much in quite a while, as the 5-7 records the past two seasons being their high-water mark in the past decade indicate. A win at Pittsburgh in 2014 stood out, though, as could a victory over either Pitt or Oklahoma this September, and then maybe Akron would be known for more than a cool nickname and a fondness for its use of the letter Z.

6. Kansas Jayhawks

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    First-year Kansas coach David Beaty has his hands full this season, inheriting a program that Charlie Weis had run into the ground and since his arrival has seen injuries, suspensions and dismissals thin out an already talent-lacking roster.

    But at least the Jayhawks have a pretty sweet poster.

    Beaty looks sharp in his hat, sunglasses and windbreaker, and considering his team has less than 60 scholarship players available in 2015, the helmet he's been superimposed onto might end up going on his head as an emergency player.

5. Idaho Vandals

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    The most attention that Idaho's football program has gotten the last few seasons came as the result of a game that was never played. The Vandals were set to open the 2014 season at Florida, only to have that game postponed (and then canceled) because of inclement weather.

    Now Idaho can also lay claim to having one of the best schedule posters for 2015, one that creatively uses its state's unique shape as a way to highlight its best players.

4. Northwestern Wildcats

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    Northwestern's football players made a bold move when they stood up for players' rights and fought for the ability to form a union. The National Labor Relations Board struck down this attempt on Monday, but not before plenty of change occurred in college sports through such advances as cost-of-attendance stipends.

    The Wildcats fought for victory, and in a lot of ways they succeeded. Now they hope they can do the same on the field, coming off two straight losing seasons after going 10-3 in 2012.

    Northwestern's poster is simple but to the point, just like the cause they championed for players all over the country. And that simplicity works.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Oklahoma has great history in football, as its schedule poster clearly shows at the top. Numerous Heisman Trophy winners, All-Americans, conference championships and national titles make the Sooners one of the most successful programs ever.

    Yet following a very disappointing 2014 season, in which Oklahoma went 8-5 and was lethargic on offense, coach Bob Stoops overhauled his staff and has turned to Lincoln Riley to bring back the Air Raid attack that was so successful. It's an evolution of sorts, just as the poster points out.

    The contrast between the current players in the foreground and all of the black-and-white images of past success in the background is exceptional and makes this poster pop.

2. Marshall Thundering Herd

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    Few teams have nicknames as great as the Marshall Thundering Herd, and because of this, it makes sense to highlight that moniker prominently on the poster. With a hashtag, naturally.

    Marshall won Conference USA and the Boca Raton Bowl last season, two achievements that teams in the power conferences probably scoff at but are still a big deal for this program. That's why pictures of underrated coach Doc Holliday hoisting trophies that signify both of those victories flank a helmeted, visored player.

    Marshall deserves to #BeHerd for what it's accomplished, and this poster is deserving of a high rating.

1. Missouri Tigers

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    The weeks leading up to the 2015 season have seen a resurgence in the debate over whether the SEC remains the top conference in the country. But that discussion seems to be mostly centered on the league's West Division, which has five teams ranked in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, while the sixth and seventh teams are just on the outside of the Top 25.

    But which school is the one that's made consecutive trips to the SEC title game? Why that would be Missouri, which again is getting overlooked in the East Division (picked third in the East by the SEC media) despite back-to-back division titles.

    Mizzou doesn't have the flash and flair of other programs in the country—or even in its own conference. But with this sharp poster—there are several versions, each with different players—you see how the Tigers truly operate. They speak through actions instead of words.

    Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.