Texas A&M Strength of Schedule: The SEC’s second-easiest schedule in 2013

NCAA Football: Sam Houston State at Texas A&M

SDS takes a trip around the SEC and ranks the schedule strength of all 14 SEC teams. We’ll work our way down to the toughest schedule in the SEC. Next up is Texas A&M.

Previous Schedule Rankings:

Texas A&M exploded onto the scene like no one predicted in their inaugural season in the SEC. With the spectacular high-flying offense led by the electrifying Johnny Manziel, the Aggies enter 2013 as one of a handful of teams looking to challenge Alabama’s suffocating hold on the conference. And it almost sets up perfectly for Texas A&M, only having to play two preseason ranked teams in Alabama and LSU. In 2013, the Texas A&M strength of schedule ranks second to last in the SEC.

2013 Texas A&M Aggies Schedule

  • Aug. 31st – Rice
  • Sept. 7 – Sam Houston State
  • Sept. 14 – Alabama
  • Sept. 21 – SMU
  • Sept. 28 – at Arkansas
  • Oct. 12 – at Ole Miss
  • Oct. 19 – Auburn
  • Oct. 26 – Vanderbilt
  • Nov. 2 – UTEP
  • Nov. 9 – Mississippi State
  • Nov. 23 – at LSU
  • Nov. 30 – at Missouri

By The Numbers

  • 8 Home Games
  • 4 Road Games
  • 2 Cupcakes
  • 2 Preseason top 25 projected opponents (Alabama and LSU)

Strength of Schedule Rank

  • SEC West: 6th
  • SEC: 13th

Notes

  • Cross-divisional opponents: Vanderbilt and Missouri
  • Opponents winning percentage in 2012: 87-68 (56.1%)
  • Bye weeks: Before Ole Miss and LSU

The Texas A&M strength of schedule is impacted by a couple different factors. The Aggies are currently in between permanent cross-divisional rivalries. The Aggies played Missouri last year and will play them again this year, but that could change in the future if the yearly bout with South Carolina takes shape. Secondly, the Aggies don’t have a natural non-conference rivalry like Florida, South Carolina or Georgia currently does, so if the Aggies and Longhorns ever hook up again, it would certainly help to boost their strength of schedule in the future. The Aggies take on Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU and UTEP as non-conference opponents in 2013.

Last year, the Aggies had the sixth toughest SEC schedule, and it was largely based on playing cross-divisional opponent Florida in the second game of the season. As it turned out, the Aggies only lost to Florida and LSU and went into Tuscaloosa and beat up on the Crimson Tide. Auburn, Missouri, Ole Miss and Arkansas should all collectively improve from last year’s letdowns, thus helping the Aggies’ strength of schedule throughout the season.

To conclude, the Aggies’ schedule is nearly ideal to make a run at a championship. Two games stand out – hosting Alabama and traveling to LSU. It all hinges around the Alabama game, because if Texas A&M can knock off the Crimson Tide, they’ll likely win the division, and furthermore, it’ll set them up for a national championship run. The two biggest favorites in the SEC in Alabama and Texas A&M happen to have the two easiest schedules on paper.

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: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

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