SEC Football News on Saturday Down South

Alabama Strength of Schedule: The SEC’s easiest schedule in 2013

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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:

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

Notes

  • 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





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Comments 9

  1. No doubt they got a good draw from the east…but Tennessee could show up and I see Ole Miss giving them a game as well.

    • Tennessee always puts on a good game against Alabama. For example, the game where Mount Cody blocked 2 fields goals (one of which would’ve won the game)

      • One game and we win by two points and that is called puts on a good game. Really ?
        Ok then.
        Here are the last 6 games.

        2007-41-17 Bama
        2008-29-9 Bama
        2009-12-10 Bama (Close game and we won the BCS)
        2010-41-10 Bama
        2011-37-6 Bama
        2012-44-13
        So we scored a total of 204 points in the last 6 games to TN 65 points. Ole Miss maybe will put up a good fight. It will be the Bama vs. Texas A&M game to watch. We want that game at their home. All year to prepare and also a bye week. Cant wait. RTR !! Let’s get #16.

        • Not to say that your point is inaccurate, but solely looking at final scores is misleading. No the games aren’t close and I wouldn’t have made that argument but you must remember the whole game. For instance, in 2011 that game was 6-6 at halftime. Also take into consideration that Saban loves to run up the score, the vast majority of that scoring came in the second half and really the 4th quarter.

  2. Holy Cow!! All the hoopla and not a snap done yet. There are always certain games that up in the air no matter the records of the teams. USC-ND, FL-GA, Bama-Aub, Bama-TN, Bama-Miss, TN-FL, Bama-GA and many many more. There is no way anyone can predict the outcome of any year. Look at A&M, they were supposed to be stepchildren in the SEC, they weren’t. This year they seem to be the team to beat nationwide, other than Bama. Everyone is gunning for Bama and rightfully so. If they lose one game this year it will be called “the game of the century”. Of course Bama is quite often in the “game of the century” scenario. I will reserve my judgement until the 2nd game of the year for all teams. When Bama shuts up the naysayers against A&M the football world will change. Bama then plays Ole Miss who no one never knows how they will play from week to week. That kind of team scares the hell out of me. Then they will spank the Razorbacks to shut up that yahoo coach. He is a blast. His welcome aborad will be short lived. I hate they hired this goomer. He is all talk and nothing else.Come Razoeback fans get a good coach in there. Bama tried to hire a coach like him and it kicked their ass into losing.

  3. what I find interesting is how having the weakest schedule is somehow a “path to the championship” for Bama when it was the single most written about topic for UGA as their weakest link… ie: the one thing that could keep them out of the championship. Further proof that for whatever reason UGA gets unfairly dinged for things out of their control (ad nausium btw) while the same weakness is seen as a strength for Alabama… media trolls

    • Just one thing to say buddy, if UGA had taken care of business in the SEC CG, they would have played Notre Dame and won, but they didn’t, so quit crying. I think Alabama has won the right to be in the dance, weak schedule or not, until someone proves otherwise. If UGA can keep from joking like they usually do they’ll get another chance at Alabama more than likely, that is unless Texas A&M beats them to it.

    • Been there and done that. Was at that game at the Dome in Atlanta. What a good game though. Better coaching and better players and left with a Win. RTR ! wish Bama and GA played each more often. Not sure why we dont. Bama got to play ND for the BCS. Really ? The BCS game for Bama was playing GA I think. RTR !!