Ranking the 2013 SEC football schedules

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We’re officially 84 days from the start of SEC football in 2013, when South Carolina clashes with UNC. Eighty-four days from the SEC unleashing its man-child – Jadeveon Clowney.

Over the last month, SDS has been breaking down and ranking the 2013 SEC football schedules.

You can view all the schedule rankings below:

A few observations:

  • Alabama and Texas A&M enter the season with the two easiest schedules. Are they set up for a rematch in the national championship? You could make a strong case for that during preseason, as the loser of September 14th’s showdown could escape the season with only one loss.
  • The NCAA ranks Kentucky as the toughest schedule based on last year’s win/loss percentage (67.3 percent), while Alabama’s opponents finished below .500 at 46.3 percent. Alabama plays the only schedule in the SEC to face opponents who finished below .500.
  • Alabama’s two bye weeks fall before Texas A&M and LSU, and we know how good Nick Saban is with an extra week to prepare.
  • Arkansas is the only team in the SEC to play five of the big six teams (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M), along with playing a possible top 35 opponent in Rutgers. At one point, Arkansas plays a brutal four-game stretch against Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama. It’s the toughest in the SEC.
  • The three toughest schedules – Kentucky, LSU and Arkansas – can be justified being ranked in any order. And you can make a strong case for Tennessee to be in the same conversation.
  • The Vols play both Alabama and Oregon, arguably the two favorites in each conference entering 2013, along with the SEC East onslaught of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
  • Florida has the toughest schedule of any of the SEC East powers, while South Carolina has the easiest. Georgia is in the middle at #8 overall.
  • LSU has by far the toughest SEC West schedule among the three preseason contenders in Alabama and Texas A&M.
  • LSU and Arkansas have the two toughest cross-divisional opponents. LSU plays Florida and Georgia. Arkansas clashes with Florida and South Carolina.
  • The four new head coaches all play top six schedules. Bret Bielema’s is the toughest, followed by Mark Stoops and Butch Jones. Gus Malzahn has the most favorable of the four, as Auburn is ranked #6.
  • Vanderbilt has the 11th toughest schedule, and if the Dores escape Ole Miss in the first week, they are set up to win 10 games in 2013. Wouldn’t that be something?
  • Mississippi State’s schedule is backloaded again. MSU closes the season with consecutive games against South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
  • And speaking of Ole Miss, the Rebels host Texas A&M and LSU in Oxford, but road games at Alabama and Texas will be difficult.

Photo Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

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  • The problem with this is it makes Les Miles look sane in complaining about SEC scheduling. Whenever that happens you need to rethink your whole concept.

    • The problem with Miles is he’s right to a certain degree. Now, I certainly don’t think the SEC needs to adjust its schedules in the name of “fairness” like Miles says. But there’s some merit to what he’s saying. Although, there is nothing ever fair about scheduling.

  • I don’t think you could make a worse set of schedules if you tried. This is ridiculous.

  • Will someone explain to me why UGA has to go back to Auburn again this year? Pretty sure nothing is scheduled at Sanford Stadium that day….

    • That’s just the way the scheduling worked out with the addition of Mizzou and TAMU last year.

    • We have to go back to Tuscaloosa for a 2nd straight year. Bet you feel better now about having to go back to Auburn for a 2nd straight season.

    • Richt wanted to keep the traditional Auburn rivalry and the only way to keep that is by playing them back in Auburn this year. It allows for another 6 years of the rivalry without worrying about missing a year.

      • So LSU plays a tougher cross-division opponent than Arkansas (Georgia / South Carolina), a tougher non-conference opponent (TCU / Rutgers), the rest of the SEC schedule is identical, and you consider Arkansas’ schedule to be tougher how? Are the poor darling’s cupcakes not as sweet?

  • Ole Miss has it easy in that it gets to play the last six out of its seven games at home. I think that Ole Miss should be playing at Texas AM on the road rather than Texas AM playing at Ole Miss two years in a row.

    • There isn’t really anything easy about the first 6 games of Ole Miss schedule. Yes, A&M has to come back to Oxford, but Ole Miss has to go back to Alabama. Would you rather A&M go back to Alabama and Ole Miss go to A&M. A&M already has one of the weakest overall schedules in the SEC. If your a A&M fan, I wouldn’t be complaining.

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