College Football's 5 Most Difficult Out Of Conference Schedules For 2015

Some college football programs resort to playing creampuffs in their non-conference schedule, guaranteeing themselves a handful of easy wins before getting into the actual meat of their schedules. These aren't those teams. Here's our list of College Football's 5 Most Difficult Out Of Conference Schedules For 2015.

5. Michigan State Spartans

2015 Non-Conference Slate: at Western Michigan, Air Force, Oregon, Central Michigan

The major focus of this out of conference schedule is undeniably the Oregon Ducks, as Sparty will host the 2014 national championship runner-ups in East Lansing for what will be the biggest non-conference test in all of the Big Ten. The rest of the schedule is no slouch either, as all three of their other opponents posted winning records in 2014 and pose potential trap games.

4. Texas Longhorns

2015 Non-Conference Slate: at Notre Dame, Rice, California

Rice went 8-5 last year and Cal's bound for a come-up in what could be a breakout season for QB Jared Goff, but the game that puts Texas on this list is their road game in South Bend -- a place where they haven't emerged victorious for eight decades running. Texas is the only Big 12 team to play two Power Five schools outside of conference play which promises a major test for the rebuilding Longhorns in Charlie Strong's second year at the helm.

3. Louisville Cardinals

2015 Non-Conference Slate: Auburn (in Atlanta), Houston, FCS Samford, at Kentucky

Louisville hasn't faced two SEC teams during one season since they lost road trips to Mississippi State and Alabama during the 1976 regular season. Houston's a potential trip game with Urban Meyer protogee Tom Herman at the helm, but a neutral site game against Auburn and a road game against much-improved Kentucky are the real troublesome games here.

2. South Carolina Gamecocks

2015 Non-Conference Slate: North Carolina (in Charlotte), UCF, FCS Citadel, Clemson

South Carolina is the only SEC team in 2015 to face two Power 5 schools during their out-of-conference slate (North Carolina, Clemson), and they also have to contend with a talented UCF program that’s posted a 31-9 record over the past three seasons. If the Gamecocks can get through all of that unscathed, they’ll be in dang good shape.

1. Virginia Cavaliers

2015 Non-Conference Slate: at UCLA, Notre Dame, FCS William & Mary, Boise State

Wow. Other than a romp against FCS William & Mary, this out of conference slate has major catastrophe potential. Virginia opens up by traveling to UCLA for the first time, and home games against Notre Dame and Boise State are absolute killers compared to the bulk of FBS teams. This is a doozy, but if they get through it, Virginia's season will nearly be made.

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