ISU football's strength of schedule for season 123 will once again be among the elite, as it has been during the entire Rhode's era. This could be the most difficult ever. Posistive factors, though, are the 7 home games, versus 5 away games on the schedule, in addition to 2 well spaced bye weeks. Here is Phil Steele's compilation using the traditional NCAA method, which accounts only for opponent's previous season W/L's.: http://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/2014/MAR14/DBMar15.html ISU's schedule, #7 overall, is strongest of all Big 12 schools. OU's, #93, is the lowest. Their oppoents were actually sub .500 last year, as are the I-Hawks, whose schedule comes in at #85. Interesting note: Dan McCarney's Green Machine will no doubt continue their ascension to prominence versus the #127 schedule, even though it includes a road trip to Austin. Here is another view from SB Nation, ranking only the non-conference schedules: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/2/26/5401692/2014-college-football-out-of-conference-schedules-best-worst ISU's schedule rank's #2 overall, trailing only Texas. 3-peat FCS champ NDSU, 4-0 versus the FBS in recent years, is no doubt a big reason for that. Interesting note: Four Missouri Valley teams are including in the top 10 strongest slates of opponents. Again, these are strictly about W/L's from last year, but it is still something you would not expect.