For starters, here are the 10 toughest non-conference schedules (as usual, you won't find any SEC teams on the list... yeah, I had to get that shot in too )
(I don't necessarily like giving the ACC "credit" for scheduling Notre Dame, as they are obligated to 5 games a year...)
's worth noting that two of the four teams that made the College Football Playoff last season, Clemson and Georgia, each played two nonconference games against Power 5 opponents.
In fact, Clemson played Auburn and South Carolina, both of which were ranked in the CFP selection committee's rankings going into the final week of the regular season, and Georgia played both of its games on the road -- at Notre Dame and at Georgia Tech. And CFP participant Oklahoma played at Ohio State and won handily.
So maybe challenging nonconference schedules do matter.
With that in mind, we've ranked the 10 toughest nonconference schedules for Power 5 teams in 2018, and we haven't completely forgotten about the Group of 5 teams. A big shoutout to Florida Atlantic, Louisiana and SMU. Lane Kiffin's Owls play at Oklahoma and at UCF. Billy Napier's Ragin' Cajuns play at Alabama and at Mississippi State, and Sonny Dykes' Mustangs play TCU at home and then at Michigan in back-to-back weeks.
But as far as the 10 toughest Power 5 nonconference schedules, only three of the five leagues are represented. The Big Ten and SEC are noticeably absent. The ACC leads the way with four of the top five toughest slates out of conference and five of the top 10. The Pac-12 is right on the ACC's heels with four of the 10, and Texas is the lone Big 12 representative.