Published October 4, 2012 - 1:05pm
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Now that we’ve turned the page to sweet October, let’s take a look at the hardest schedules for the month, shall we?
In September, teams came out hitting the ground running. Now, we can begin to separate the contenders from the pretenders, and this weekend will go a long way in doing just that.
Here are the toughest schedules for the month of October:
1. #6 South Carolina (5-0, 3-0)
Oct. 6, #5 Georgia
Oct. 13, at #4 LSU
Oct. 20, at #10 Florida
Oct. 27, Tennessee
Schedule Buzz: South Carolina is sitting right where it has to be – undefeated entering week six with a showdown against Georgia. However, now, the schedule gets much tougher, and we will learn a lot about the Gamecocks starting this Saturday. If Spurrier and company can get by Georgia, it doesn’t get any easier in the next few weeks. Carolina plays three top ten ranked teams in the next three weeks, with trips to both Baton Rouge and Gainesville. And Tennessee is no slouch, as the Vols can score points in a hurry. Is it more feasible to see a 3-1, 2-2 or 1-3 record in October? 2-2 seems the most likely to me. October certainly welcomes the Gamecocks with a brutal schedule.
2. #10 Florida (4-0, 3-0)
Oct. 6, #4 LSU
Oct. 13, at Vanderbilt
Oct. 20, #6 South Carolina
Oct. 27, #5 Georgia (Jacksonville)
Schedule Buzz: Not to be outdone by South Carolina’s brutal October schedule, Florida has a nasty one, too. Like Carolina, Florida has dates with three top ten programs, two at home and one in Jacksonville. So, it’s both favorable and brutal at the same time. Vanderbilt is the only remaining game out of the state of Florida for the remainder of the season for the Gators. Florida has been improving, and we’ll learn much about the Gators when they square off with LSU Saturday.
3. #4 LSU (5-0, 1-0)
Oct. 6, at #10 Florida
Oct. 13, #6 South Carolina
Oct. 20, at Texas A&M
Oct. 27, Bye
Schedule Buzz: LSU has a bye week on October 27, and that will come at a good time before Alabama. However, in the next three weeks, LSU faces two top ten teams and a very explosive Texas A&M team. Before the season, this stretch didn’t look so bad, but with the Aggies improving every week and the biggest unknown in the SEC, it makes for an unmerciful schedule. A road trip to The Swamp and hosting Carolina will be two very tough games. LSU can’t go undefeated in the next three, can they? We’re going to find out.
4. Tennessee (3-2, 0-2)
Oct. 6, Bye
Oct. 13, at #20 Mississippi State
Oct. 20, #1 Alabama
Oct. 27, at #6 South Carolina
Schedule Buzz: We could know Derek Dooley’s fate in the next three weeks. He must win at least one of these football games, but even if he loses all three, he could wind up back at Tennessee if the Vols win out and get eight wins. UT gets a bye this weekend but returns to action with three straight ranked teams, with two in the top 10. The road trip to Starkville could be Dooley’s most important game since his hire.
5. Texas A&M
Oct. 6, at Ole Miss
Oct. 13, at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 20, #4 LSU
Oct. 27, at Auburn
Schedule Buzz: The Aggies are a contender in the West, a dark horse to challenge the likes of LSU and Alabama. Even though the Aggies only face one ranked team in the next four weeks, they face three road trips to Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech and Auburn, with a date against LSU at Kyle Field sandwiched in the middle. Ole Miss and Auburn should be wins, but they will both be tough wins on the road. Louisiana Tech is the only “BCS Buster” that’s still alive. They are fifth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 52 points per game. LSU will be a dogfight at home. All of a sudden, the Aggies emerge as the biggest unknown in the SEC. Are they for real? We’ll find out in October.