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Which school has the toughest spring schedule?

January 11, 2012

More interesting, perhaps, than exploring what are the toughest tournaments of the spring (see yesterday's post) is identifying what schools have the toughest schedules. Any idea what programs will face the most ranked teams during the spring season?

Having gone through the schedules of every team that received a vote in the final fall edition of the Golf World men's and womens' coaches polls, I calculated how many top-10 and top-25 teams each of school would face through the remainder of the 2011-12 season, as well as how many schools they will compete against that received at least one vote in the final fall poll.

Below is what I found. Schools are listed in the order based on who will be facing the most schools that received a vote. I also broke down the charts by the top 25 and by all teams receiving votes, revealing that some unranked schools are facing the stiffest competition of any program in the country.


On the men's side, 12th-ranked USC clearly has the toughest road to travel. The Trojans face 25 top-10 teams in their seven starts, seven more than any other school, 39 top-25 opponents and 48 schools that received at least one vote in the final fall poll.

Interestingly, it appears top-ranked Texas won't be able to coast much this spring, either, ranking second in the most top-25 foes and most opponents who received votes.


Expanding beyond the top 25, two unranked teams boast fairly challenging schedules, specifically Texas Tech and Florida.


Similar to the men, the USC women's team faces the toughest spring test as it faces 15 top-10 teams (only Arizona with 16 sees more), 39 top-25s (10 more than any other) and 53 opponents who received votes. The Trojans cross-town rivals, top-ranked UCLA, would appear to have the second toughest schedule.


Interestingly, however, when you expand beyond the women's top-25 programs, several unranked teams have some of the toughest schedules in the country. Florida State and Michigan State both move jump into the top five in this ranking, with Wake Forest and Denver among the top 10.