Recently, we ran a comprehensive review of the schedules faced by both Florida State and Oregon. I encourage you to check it out. But it got my thinking: just how does this schedule compare to the 2013 schedule faced by the Seminoles?
We know this 2014 squad is not as good as the 2013 team. That team was one of the most dominant in the history of college football. It scored more points than any in the history of the sport, and did so without running some gimmicky no-huddle offense allowing for an extra hundred plays or so over the course of the year. The 2014 team failed to replace a number of current NFL starters, somewhat owing to injuries to the replacements.
What I found, however, is that while FSU's 2013 squad was much better, the 2014 schedule was also much tougher.
The 2013 Seminoles faced the 52nd toughest set of offenses (this includes having faced Auburn in the BCS Title Game), while the 2014 group has faced the 10th toughest slate of offenses. 52nd v. 10th. That's a big difference.
And consider that FSU was the only major team to face Oklahoma State with its QB for an entire game (he missed 10 games with injury), faced Louisville when the Cardinals had Michael Dyer and Devante Parker, Clemson when it had Deshaun Watson, etc.
The differences in the defenses faced is even greater.
In 2013, the Seminoles faced the 64th toughest slate of defenses. In 2014? The No. 1 . That's right, no team faced a tougher slate of defenses in 2014 than Florida State. Not some team from the SEC or the Pac-12. FSU.
Do these numbers surprise you? FSU did play nine bowl teams. It's also important to note that these are averages, so they are very much bolstered by only playing one non-conference cupcake, while some schools play three or four.