By now, you're likely aware of the two-for-one argument consuming Florida's section of cyberspace. If not, the details are simple.
USF has agreed to play two games at Florida in exchange for a home game against the Gators. UCF fans generally have scoffed at the very notion of such a deal with UF. Each school has its reasons for its respective stances, and in the end, right or wrong answers may not exist.
But the contrasting philosophies do affect the quality of the teams' future non-conference schedules, which prompted us to do some analyzing and assessing.
Thanks to a handy site called fbschedules.com, we were able to look at the non-league schedules of every American Athletic Conference program for the next five years. Some of the schedules still have holes, but enough slots have been filled to provide a fairly accurate look at who's being bold or benign in terms of opposition.
And the way it looks today, the Bulls have the most solid non-conference slate for the next five years.
At this point, four AAC schools — USF, Connecticut, Houston and Temple — have 10 games slated against Power Five opposition (or BYU) from 2019-23. Everyone else has nine or fewer. Of those four, USF's 10 future Power Five foes posted the best collective win percentage (.598) in 2018.
(Note: In compiling those P5 win percentages, a team's record was counted twice if it faces an AAC foe twice over the next five years. In USF's case, the Gators' 9-3 mark was counted as 18-6, because the Bulls and Gators play twice over the next five years. Note 2: Navy was excluded from this conversation because of its inflexible scheduling. While it faces Notre Dame every year, it's locked in to annual games against the other service academies.)
While we realize a team's success (or lack thereof) in 2018 is hardly a barometer of what kind of program it will be in future years, it's the best we can do for now. And using that formula, USF's upcoming non-conference slate is the conference's most rugged.
But judge for yourself. Here are the Power Five opponents for every AAC school over the next half-decade:
vs. Wisconsin, at Georgia Tech, twice vs. Florida (home/away), at Texas, twice vs. BYU (home/away), at N.C. State, at Louisville
Stanford, at Pitt, twice vs. North Carolina (home/away), twice vs. Georgia Tech (home/away), twice vs. Louisville (home/away)
twice vs. Illinois (home/away), twice vs. Boston College (home/away), twice vs. Indiana (home/away), twice vs. N.C. State (home/away), at Clemson, vs. Purdue
four vs. Rutgers (two home/two away), twice vs. Miami (home/away), at Duke, vs. Maryland, vs. Boston College, vs. Georgia Tech
twice vs. N.C. State (home/away), four vs. Virgnia Tech (two home/two away), twice vs. South Carolina (home/away), at BYU
vs. UCLA, at Ohio State, twice vs. Indiana (home/away), at Nebraska, at Pitt
at Oklahoma, two vs. Washington State (home/away), two vs. BYU (home/away), two vs. Texas Tech (home/away), two vs. Kansas (home/away), at Vanderbilt
vs. Ole Miss, two vs. Mississippi State (home/away), vs. Missouri, at Purdue
at Auburn, two vs. Ole Miss (home/away), two vs. Mississippi State (home/away), vs. Oklahoma, at Kansas State, at Northwestern
three vs. Oklahoma State (one home/two away), at Michigan State, at Ohio State, at Ole Miss