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Fame for Lilly of Throckmorton. Did Tide have it tough? The grisliest college schedule?

Alabama's selection as the top-ranked football team in the country didn't convince everyone that the Crimson Tide was really No. 1. Skeptics claim Bama played a soft schedule, paving the way to an undefeated, untied season. Based on figures released by the NCAA recently, Alabama's schedule could have been a lot tougher, but so too might those of other ranked teams.

The Tide's schedule didn't make a list of the 40 roughest, but neither did any Top 10 teams other than No. 6 Pittsburgh and No. 9 Arkansas. UCLA earned the unenviable toughest-schedule crown with a .655 mark, meaning its opponents won at that clip when not playing the Bruins. Right behind UCLA in these ratings were (in order): South Carolina, Penn State, Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Rice, Texas Christian, Wake Forest, clemson, and Texas A&M.

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The NCAA's schedule assessment, while enlightening, appears to have its loopholes. The absence from this list of Southern Cal, the second-ranked team in the coaches' poll, must come as a surprise to some people. After all, the Trojans had to face LSU, Notre Dame, Washington, California, and Texas Tech on the road. If that's not asking for trouble, what is?


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