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

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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:

DateOpponentLocationTime (CST)ResultsMedia
  Sat, Sep 03 Northern IowaAmes, Iowa  6:00 p.m.
  Sat, Sep 10 IowaAmes, Iowa  11:00 a.m.FSN
  Fri, Sep 16 Connecticutat 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

DateOpponent / EventLocationTime
09/03/11vs. Tennessee Tech Iowa City, IA11:00 AM
09/10/11at Iowa State Ames, IA11:00 AM
09/17/11vs. Pittsburgh Iowa City, IA11:00 AM
09/24/11vs. Louisiana-MonroeIowa City, IATBA
10/08/11at Penn State *University Park, PATBA
10/15/11vs. Northwestern * Iowa City, IA6:00 PM
10/22/11vs. Indiana (HC) * Iowa City, IA11:00 AM
10/29/11at Minnesota *Minneapolis, MNTBA
11/05/11vs. Michigan *Iowa City, IATBA
11/12/11vs. Michigan State (FW, FA, S) *Iowa City, IATBA
11/19/11at Purdue *West Lafayette, INTBA
11/25/11at Nebraska * Lincoln, NE11:00 AM

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