Iowa State has the 2nd-hardest football schedule in college football, says Phil Steele. Iowa? 70th.

Tough row to hoe
Tough row to hoe

Phil Steele of and Phil Steele's College Football Preview has his own formula for ranking the 2011 college football schedules.

According to Steele, Iowa State will need to be made of steel to withstand what it's up against. What, playing Big East champion Connecticut on the road, Insight Bowl-champ Iowa at home, and nine Big 12 games against the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State is demanding?

The Cyclones' 12 opponents had a combined record of 95-59 last year.

Iowa's 12 foes were a combined 77-73 in 2010. The Hawkeyes play no one who appeared in a BCS bowl last season.

Steele doesn't make his rankings on 2010 W-L marks, though. He takes home-and-road into consideration, as well as if an opponent is FBS instead of FCS. To see Steele's complete schedule rankings, click here.

He ranks Big Ten schedules thusly:

17. Michigan, 21. Minnesota, 32. Ohio State, 36. Indiana, 41. Purdue, 47. Nebraska, 48. Illinois, 55. Penn State, 58. Michigan State, 59. Northwestern, 70. Iowa, 71. Wisconsin

Colorado is the team ranked above Iowa State for hardest schedule.

The Iowa State slate:

Date Opponent Location Time (CST) Results Media
  Sat, Sep 03  Northern Iowa Ames, Iowa   6:00 p.m.
  Sat, Sep 10  Iowa Ames, Iowa   11:00 a.m. FSN
  Fri, Sep 16  Connecticut at East Hartford, Conn.   7:00 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
  Sat, Oct 01  Texas (Family Weekend) * Ames, Iowa   TBA
  Sat, Oct 08  Baylor * at Waco, Texas   TBA
  Sat, Oct 15  Missouri * at Columbia, Mo.   TBA
  Sat, Oct 22  Texas A&M (Homecoming) * Ames, Iowa   TBA
  Sat, Oct 29  Texas Tech * at Lubbock, Texas   TBA
  Sat, Nov 05  Kansas * Ames, Iowa   TBA
  Fri, Nov 18  Oklahoma State * Ames, Iowa   8:00 p.m. ESPN2
  Sat, Nov 26  Oklahoma * at Norman, Okla.   7:00 p.m. FX
  Sat, Dec 03  Kansas State * at Manhattan, Kan.   11:30 a.m. FSN

* Conference Games

Iowa's schedule:

2011-2012 SCHEDULE

Date Opponent / Event Location Time
09/03/11 vs. Tennessee Tech Iowa City, IA 11:00 AM
09/10/11 at Iowa State Ames, IA 11:00 AM
09/17/11 vs. Pittsburgh Iowa City, IA 11:00 AM
09/24/11 vs. Louisiana-Monroe Iowa City, IA TBA
10/08/11 at Penn State * University Park, PA TBA
10/15/11 vs. Northwestern * Iowa City, IA 6:00 PM
10/22/11 vs. Indiana (HC) * Iowa City, IA 11:00 AM
10/29/11 at Minnesota * Minneapolis, MN TBA
11/05/11 vs. Michigan * Iowa City, IA TBA
11/12/11 vs. Michigan State (FW, FA, S) * Iowa City, IA TBA
11/19/11 at Purdue * West Lafayette, IN TBA
11/25/11 at Nebraska * Lincoln, NE 11:00 AM



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