Note: CBS Sports’ original article only included two SEC teams. A third team was added after the original article was published.
The SEC bias is sometimes at its height when talking about non-conference schedules.
SDS ranked the SEC’s non-conference schedules, and Vanderbilt exited the weakest. The Commodores play Austin Peay, UMass, UAB and Wake Forest.
CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman produced the top 10 softest non-conference schedules in the country, and three SEC teams are included.
Feldman had Auburn, Alabama and Vanderbilt as three teams that play the softness non-conference schedules in the country based on a formula he derived. Here’s the snippet, via CBS Sports:
3. (tie) Auburn – Index: 1.50: New coach Gus Malzahn couldn’t ask for a much better non-conference schedule. All four games are at home. The Tigers open with a visit from a Washington State team coming from the opposite side of the country and the Cougars have also won just 12 games in the past five seasons combined. Then comes an Arkansas State team from the Sun Belt that’ll be playing for its fourth head coach in four seasons. Later in the season, the Tigers get one of the worst FCS programs in Western Carolina (1-10 last fall) and FAU, which is 4-20 the past two seasons.
8. Alabama – Index: 1.69: The only team on this list that faces a traditional power team. The Tide opens the 2013 season with Va. Tech, which has finished in the Top 20 of the Coaches Poll in eight of the past nine seasons. Tech did just go 7-6, but the Hokies do have nine starters back on D. Even with a bunch of questions on offense, VT, at a neutral site, is more than a respectable draw. It’s the rest of the Tide’s non-con that brings the index way down. Colorado State has won only four of its past 20 games. Ga. State was 1-10 in 2012, while Chattanooga was 6-5 in FCS.
9. (tie) Vanderbilt – Index: 1.75: James Franklin’s program has gained momentum beating up on mediocre opponents and the Commodores have four more likely Ws here. They get FCS Austin Peay, UAB, visit hapless Umass before facing a decent Wake Forest squad.
Ohio State was also included on the softest schedules list tied at No. 9. It seems like Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are on a collision course for the BCS Championship.
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