SDS takes a trip around the SEC and ranks the schedule strength of all 14 SEC teams. Starting with Alabama, we’ll work our way down to the toughest schedule in the SEC.
Previous Schedule Rankings:
- NCAA ranks the 2013 SEC schedules
- #14 Alabama football schedule
- #13 Texas A&M football schedule
- #12 Missouri football schedule
- #11 Vanderbilt football schedule
- #10 South Carolina football schedule
- #9 Ole Miss football schedule
- #8 Georgia football schedule
- #7 Mississippi State football schedule
- #6 Auburn football schedule
- #5 Florida football schedule
- #4 Tennessee football schedule
- #3 Kentucky football schedule
- #2 LSU football schedule
- #1 Arkansas football schedule
The Alabama Crimson Tide are on top of the college football world, winning two championships in a row (three in the last four years) and gunning for their third straight in 2013. And, oddly enough, the Tide also have one of the more favorable schedules in all of college football in which to navigate through. It couldn’t set up more perfectly – the bye weeks fall before Texas A&M and LSU. In 2013, the Alabama strength of schedule ranks dead last in the SEC.
2013 Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule
- Aug. 31st – Virginia Tech (Atlanta)
- Sept. 14 – at Texas A&M
- Sept. 21 – Colorado State
- Sept. 28 – Ole Miss
- Oct. 5 – Georgia State
- Oct. 12 – at Kentucky
- Oct. 19 – Arkansas
- Oct. 26 – Tennessee
- Nov. 9 – LSU
- Nov. 16 – at Mississippi State
- Nov. 23 – Chattanooga
- Nov. 30 – at Auburn
By The Numbers
- 7 Home Games
- 4 Road Games
- 1 Neutral Site Game (Atlanta)
- 1 legit non-conference game (Virginia Tech)
- 3 Cupcakes
- 2 Preseason top 25 projected opponents (Texas A&M and LSU)
Strength of Schedule Rank
- SEC West: 7th
- SEC: 14th
- Cross-divisional opponents: Kentucky and Tennessee
- Opponents winning percentage in 2012: 68-79 (46.3%)
- Bye weeks: Before Texas A&M and LSU
The one noticeable opponent left off Alabama’s schedule is Alabama. Yes, because the Tide can’t play the Tide, it automatically becomes the easiest schedule in the SEC West.
The Alabama strength of schedule is significantly impacted by two factors. First, the current status of the Auburn football team. The Iron Bowl is a heated rivalry which is always a tough game regardless of how good Auburn is, but in recent years, the gap between Alabama and Auburn has been enormous. For Alabama’s schedule to get tougher, Auburn needs to get better. Second, Alabama doesn’t have a natural non-conference rivalry such as teams like Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, so a major non-conference opponent is an important element. In 2013, that opponent is Virginia Tech. It’s a worthy non-conference opponent, but Virginia Tech isn’t exactly a powerhouse, and the Hokies will travel into SEC country to face off with the Tide.
Interestingly, we had Alabama with the 2nd hardest schedule in 2012 in the SEC. This took a major hit as the season progressed as Arkansas became a dumpster fire and Michigan lost more games. For the coming season, the Tide start out on the opposite end of our strength of schedule rankings, and it’s difficult to see how Alabama’s strength of schedule improves over the course of the season unless Virginia Tech runs the table after an Alabama game and wins the ACC (which could be possible). Teams like Auburn and Tennessee could improve this year, but it’s hard to imagine they become dominate in 2013.
To conclude, Alabama’s schedule is ideal for yet another run at taking home a national championship. If Alabama blows away Virginia Tech and Texas A&M to start the year, you can expect Alabama to be the focus again of the college football world. You can also expect some folks to be complaining about Alabama’s strength of schedule as the season progresses.
Be on the look out for the rest of this series as we break down every schedule in the SEC for the 2013 season.
Photo Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE