The Upset takes a shot at each MWC team's non-conference schedule and ranks them by degree of difficulty, amount of travel, etc. (This is a rank of the schedules, not a prediction on how each team will fare overall or against said schedules)
Oklahoma (@The Palace of Arlington), @Tulane (in the SuperDome), vs. Florida State, vs. Utah State
BYU claims the #1 spot by virtue of their match with Oklahoma. Although a it is a "neutral site" game, it is an essential road game against a team that played in last year's National Championship and returns their Heisman-winning QB. Add to that a game against a 2008 top-25 Florida State team with a Tulane game in the SuperDome sandwiched in between ... you're looking at Provo-to-Dallas-to-Provo, to New Orleans, back to Provo in 3 weeks.
2. NEW MEXICO
@Texas A&M, vs. Tulsa, vs. New Mexico State, @Texas Tech
2 road games against Big12 opponents Texas A&M and Texas Tech earn the Lobos the #2 spot.. The travel for those is shorter than a lot of conference games for the Lobos, but the Red Raiders always know how to score, and New Mexico will have to deal with 100,000+ Aggie fans yelling at them all game. Last year New Mexico gave up 469 passing yards and 6 TD's to Tulsa who finished 11-3 and seem to be turning into the little brother to Texas Tech offensively.
vs. Weber State, vs. Texas, @Colorado, @Florida Atlantic
Wait, what? Texas is playing WHERE? That's right folks, the Longhorns and Heisman hopeful Colt McCoy travel to Laramie this year. This game HAS to win the game-with-the-most-interesting-color-scheme award from Paul Lukas at the Uni Watch: brown, yellow, and burnt orange. Luckily Texas travels in all white. The Cowboys also travel to Boulder to battle an improving Colorado, and fly all the way to Florida to play The Suit at Florida Atlantic. Not even a home game against Weber State can pull Wyoming away from the #3 spot, especially given that Weber State will again be captained by Walter Payton award-finalist (The FCS version of the Heisman) QB Cameron Higgins. The Upset wouldn't be altogether surprised if Wyoming went 0-4 with this schedule.
vs. Utah State, @San Jose State, @Oregon, vs. Louisville
Utah beats out TCU for this spot because although TCU travels further, Utah plays the tougher team in Oregon and does not play an FCS opponent like TCU (although Utah State barely counts as FBS). That game is also @Oregon in Autzen, considered the most challenging venue in the Pac10. Kudos for scheduling Louisville at home, but should be winnable for the Utes.
@Virginia, vs. Texas State, @Clemson, vs. SMU
TCU travels to the east coast twice to play ACC teams Virginia and Clemson. Virginia is down, however, and doesn't give TCU's schedule enough strength to climb any higher, but the travel is tough, and Clemson is formidable. Those games being on the road keeps TCU high enough to beat out the others below, as they have scheduled Texas State and SMU at home (should win those by a combined of at least 60 points).
6. AIR FORCE
vs. Nicholls State, @Minnesota, @Navy, vs. Army
Air Force always comes in at a disadvantage in these discussions, because of the deep traditions of the service academies playing each other, and Air Force is usually the best of those every year. Although they play Nicholls State at home, I refuse to drop them any lower just by the honor of playing Army and Navy. Besides, on the road @Minnesota isn't a terrible road game. Minnesota did go bowling last year.
vs. Sacramento State, vs. Oregon State, vs. Hawaii, @Nevada
UNLV does play Oregon State at home and a perennial 2nd/3rd-place-WAC'r in Hawaii ... but they drop this far because they don't leave the state of Nevada for any non-conference game.
8. COLORADO STATE
@Colorado, vs. Weber State, vs. Nevada, @Idaho
Both the Rams and the Aztecs seem bound and determined to be bowl-eligible with these schedules. CSU stays out of last due to the virtue of playing Nevada, who has been a decent team lately, the Rams will try to avoid getting Pistol-whipped. While Wyoming earned points by playing Colorado and even Weber State ... well, those are tough games for Wyoming. The Rams should be better than that.
9. SAN DIEGO STATE
@UCLA, vs. Southern Utah, @Idaho, vs. New Mexico State
Again, both the Rams and the Aztecs seem bound and determined to be bowl-eligible with these schedules. Watching Suck Dog State will be less entertaining (and more smelly) than a dumpster fire. Each team plays their token road game vs. a BCS team to earn money, and besides that, garbage. SDSU earns the bottom spot by playing Southern Utah and the dregs of the WAC, Idaho AND New Mexico State. At least you got a new coach? WOW. Awful. The sad news for Aztec fans (if you are out there somewhere) is that your team will still not go to a bowl game, even with that sorry schedule.