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    Toughest Non-Conference Slate In The Land

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    Sporting News college football writer Matt Hayes recently ranked the most difficult non-conference football schedules in both the Atlantic Coast Conference and the nation. Florida State emerged as Hayes' No. 1 choice in both categories, thanks in large part to a schedule which includes a trip to Oklahoma and home dates against BYU and Florida. Here's a look at Hayes' Top 10 with some bonus perspective, including the 2009 records and returning starters for all of the BCS opponents:

    1. Florida State: Samford (5-6/FCS); at Oklahoma (8-5/11 rs); BYU (11-2/11 rs); Florida (13-1/10 rs). Combined 2009 record: 37-14 (.725). Returning starters (BCS only): 32.

     

    2. Miami: Florida A&M (8-3/FCS); at Ohio State (11-2/14); at Pitt (10-3/11); USF (8-5/10). Combined record: 37-13 (.740). Returning starters: 35.

     

    3. Oklahoma: Utah State (4-8/11); Florida State (7-6/16); Air Force (8-5/10); at Cincinnati (12-1/11). Combined record: 31-20. Returning starters: 48.

     

    4. Pittsburgh: at Utah (10-3/10); New Hampshire (10-3/FCS); Miami (9-4/13); FIU (3-9/7); Notre Dame (6-6/12). Combined record: 38-25 (.717). Returning starters: 42.

     

    5. Oregon State: vs. TCU (12-1/16); Louisville (4-8/12); at Boise State (14-0/18).

    Combined record: 30-9 (.769). Returning starters: 46.

     

    6. UCLA: at Kansas State (6-6/10); Houston (10-4/13); at Texas (13-1/10).

    Combined record: 29-11 (725). Returning starters: 33.

     

    7. Washington: at BYU (11-2/11); Syracuse (4-8/12); Nebraska (10-4/15).

    Combined record: 25-14 (.641). Returning starters: 38.

     

    8. Colorado: vs. Colorado State (3-9/11); at Cal (8-5/12); Hawaii (6-7/10); Georgia (8-5/12). Combined record: 25-26 (.490). Returning starters: 45.

     

    9. USF: Stony Brook (6-5/FCS); Florida (13-1/10); Western Kentucky (0-12/14); FAU (5-7/10); Miami (9-4/13). Combined record: 33-29 (.532). Returning starters: 47.

     

    10. LSU: vs. North Carolina (8-5/18); West Virginia (9-4/16); McNeese State (9-3/FCS); UL Monroe (6-6/8). Combined record: 32-18 (.640). Returning starters: 42.

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