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:
- NCAA ranks the 2013 SEC schedules (2012 win %)
- Non-conference schedule ranking
- #1 – Arkansas strength of schedule
- #2 – LSU strength of schedule
- #3 – Kentucky strength of schedule
- #4 – Tennessee strength of schedule
- #5 – Florida strength of schedule
- #6 – Auburn strength of schedule
- #7 – Mississippi State strength of schedule
- #8 – Georgia strength of schedule
- #9 – Ole Miss strength of schedule
- #10 – South Carolina strength of schedule
- #11 – Vanderbilt strength of schedule
- #12 – Missouri strength of schedule
- #13 – Texas A&M strength of schedule
- #14 – Alabama strength of schedule
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