2014 SEC strength of schedule

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With spring football a month away, let’s take a gander at the SEC’s strength of schedule for 2014. Obviously, this is how the NCAA would determine a team’s strength of schedule.

Related: How does the SEC’s live game attendance stack up to other conferences?

The opponents’ win percentage is calculated by adding up the total wins and losses for the 12 teams on the schedule, and I added an additional column to show the non-conference opponents’ win-loss record, too.

Here’s a look:

Related: SEC football 2014 schedules

Team Opp. Win % Opp. Won-Loss Non-Con Opp.
Arkansas 0.656 103-54 .510 (26-25)
Tennessee 0.652 101-54 .692 (36-16)
Texas A&M 0.645 100-55 .520 (26-24)
Kentucky 0.641 98-55 .640 (32-18)
South Carolina 0.619 96-59 .673 (35-17)
Auburn 0.604 93-61 .520 (26-24)
Georgia 0.601 92-61 .667 (34-17)
Ole Miss 0.586 89-63 .469 (23-26)
Florida 0.569 87-66 .380 (19-31)
Missouri 0.556 84-67 .647 (33-18)
LSU 0.536 82-71 .510 (26-25)
Mississippi State 0.530 80-71 .333 (16-32)
Vanderbilt 0.517 78-73 .429 (21-28)
Alabama 0.473 71-79 .271 (13-35)

Related: A look at 2013’s strength of schedule prior to the season

Few notes:

  • Arkansas again has one of the country’s toughest schedules (it may be the toughest), while Tennessee is right behind them.
  • The Vols have the toughest non-conference schedule with Utah State, Arkansas State, Oklahoma and Chattanooga. Outside of Chattanooga, is there a win you can circle in the first three?
  • Alabama is the only team in the conference to have less than .500 opponents’ winning percentage. That’s two years in a row (see last year’s here) the Tide are the only team in the SEC to play opponents with a sub .500 win percentage prior to the start of the season.
  • On paper, Florida’s schedule doesn’t look tough, but the Gators play both Alabama and LSU in 2014, along with the rest of the SEC schedule and non-conference defending national champions, Florida State.

Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

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  • Very suprised no one is talking about Bama when it comes to the “should they be in the championship” conversation. They constantly have an easier schedule than a majority of the SEC. Granted, its not B10 easy, but still easy. Saban needs to stop his whining about fast offenses. He has plenty of time to change his gameplan with his cupcake schedule.

    • I don’t think he was “whining”.. Did he ever say he was total against it….at any time?

    • No one is talking about Saban on this subject because he’s the only coach in the SEC that voted for 9 in-conference games a season. Whereas teams like LSU just want to get rid of the protected rivalries so they get to stop playing Florida, despite what their record was this year.

  • In Bama’s defense, (and i rarely do this) when they scheduled WVU, it looked like they were a program on the rise. On the other hand, the other OOC games are a travesty! Our other 3 OOC games in baton rouge are ridiculous. If it weren’t for supporting the kids and the team, i’d hope no one would show up for those games just to spite the school. Especially after they raise ticket prices and institute all these new parking fees!
    -
    Just look at the home slate:
    Sam Houston State
    Louisiana-Monroe
    Mississippi State
    New Mexico State
    Kentucky
    Ole Miss
    Alabama
    -
    Besides the Ole Miss and Bama game’s, idk what to think. I’m about to stop buying season tickets all together.

    • I hope to come to the Ole Miss game there in Baton Rouge. It would be my 3rd time to attend an Ole Miss game there in Tiger Stadium. That’s definitely the best away venue, and I’ve always had a lot of fun in Tiger Stadium as an opposing fan.

    • Remember when LSU almost lost to Towson? I don’t even know if I spelled that right because idfk where that school even is.

    • I know 2 people who are on the LSU Season Ticket waiting list and have been for years who would gladly take over your tickets since you think LSU is so horrible.

  • Of course, Bama and Candy always have the easier schedule. At least Bama does play West Virginia. Every SEC team ought to play a power conference team. (Just maybe not Oregon and Oklahoma lol)

    GO BIG ORANGE!

    • In the defense of the easy schedule our cross-division rival is garbage.

      • Lol! We dont agree on much, but that was pretty dang funny

      • Fine. We have been garbage, but we are hoping to change that soon.

        • All jokes aside I’d hate for the tradition with Tennessee to go away. Some years even with them struggling badly the games can be pretty great.

        • I would hate to see the UT-Bama rivalry disappear, especially because Tennessee is on the rise. It was extremely difficult for me to pull for Denver in the Super Bowl. Even though I am a Peyton Manning fan now that he is in the NFL, I will never forget him directing the band while they played “Rocky Top” after beating the Tide at Legion Field his senior year – terrible memories.

        • Its only been about 4 years or so that the Tennessee-Alabama game has not been very exciting. Before that you never could tell which way it was going to go. Things seem to finally be turning around for us now though. So here is to some future great games in a very storied rivalry!

    • WVU went 4-8 last year…

  • Nice out of conference schedule bama….it’s pretty disgraceful.

    • Furman, East Carolina, South Alabama. Are we just comparing West Va to Clemson? Well years ago, (you know when these are scheduled) it was the opposite.. so I guess the cocks are the sissies.

      • Srsly? We play Clemson every year, idiot. We also played UNC and CFU last year. The only cupcake we got was Coastal Carolina who we beat by close to 60 points. ECU isn’t a real diffocult team, but they aren’t cupcake either. 10-3 last year. We play a solid 10-11 teams every year. More than most can say.

      • this guy doesnt have a clue. just out trolling nothing. i hope you realize last year 2 of our 4 out of confrence opponents(which we beat all of them) finished ranked in the top 10 of the final ap polls with a combined record of 23-3. with 2 of those losses credited to your self proclaimed “sissy gamecocks” . not to mention both those teams UCF and Clemson went on and won BCS Bowls.

  • how much does the strength of schedule mean before the season? and how much does it mean at bowl selection time? ie. If a schedule had Auburn or Missouri on it in August it was one thing, but in December it meant something totally different.

    • I agree to a certain extent, but teams will be rewarded in the new College Football Playoff era for tougher schedules. It’s largely unknown to what extent right now, though, but no doubt the preseason schedules are just something to talk about. But it’s a pretty accurate description what they look like heading into the season.

      • Thanks Jon, and of course we all love to see what you write about them so we can blow our own horns over the same subject. I particularly like YOUR ideas about the new play-off committee. One thing the media can do to keep the process honest is to produce all the valid computer evidence (YOUR IDEA) to show the real ‘Strength of Schedule for the CURRENT YEAR. If the media just crows approval for the play-off committee’s discussions it will turn into the worst process ever. I’m sure you have other ideas about getting the top four teams in there and you should be a leader in holding the committee’s feet to the fire of finding the FIRST REAL NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION. Hopefully we see 8 teams in the playoff by 2016, and no more. My opinion.

        • I’m also a strong proponent of only having conference champs in the discussion. I don’t see how an independent that doesn’t play a killer schedule has a leg to stand on. Certainly not Notre Dame’s schedule (and I’m Catholic, some Saturdays, laughs)

  • Alabama has a BS out of conference schedule full of chumps? Yeah, who would have guessed that.

  • Bama will always have one of the easier schedules in the SEC, they don’t have to play Bama. Same reason ARkansas has a hard schedule, they don’t have to play Arkansas or they would have a easy schedule.

  • It has seemed liked Alabama has benefited from an easy cross-conference schedule lately. They play Tennessee every year, & they’ve struggled lately. 2 years ago, they got Mizzou on a down year, & this past year they got Kentucky. It’s all really just coincidence. Tennessee seems to be on the rise & there’s no way UF sucks as bad as they did again. As for the OOC schedule, that is done anywhere from 4 to even 10 years in advance. There’s no way to predict that a team that is currently hot will still be solid in 5 or 6 years. Anyway, I wouldn’t usually defend Bama, but criticizing their schedule like it is some kind of conspiracy theory to help them stay on top is silly. Just beat them, like we are aim to do (someday…..).

    • Thaaank you. It’s like the year we played Michigan. D Robinson was a pre-season Heisman top 5, they were ranked somewhere in the teens (might be wrong here) and they got handled easily and had a pretty disappointing season. Alabama tries to open the season against a fairly good team, but usually they have bad years and it makes it look like another FBS cupcake.

    • You can’t use the “who could’ve guessed” excuse with Bama when they never choose to have anybody on their out of conference schedule worth playing. You can’t use that defense with preseason rankings at all because it’s all a guess and the other schools guessed right. (Shocker Oregon and Oklahoma are good like they were 5 years ago when they made the schedule). Then Bama fans say “We play WVU or VT who could’ve guessed” Even if you had one good opponent it wouldn’t be the toughest schedule because the rest is crap. If Bama fans will just admit that they choose to play crap teams because they know that they will be top 5 every year and all they have to do is win “most” of their games and have a even pretty pathetic looking win against a VT or even a UTC and they are in the NC picture. If Bama fans will just admit this is a plan every year maybe you’ll garner an ounce of respect.

      • Tennessee fans.. not understanding scheduling.. “SHOCKER!”.. Hey, glass house.. stop throwing stones. Tennessee is the little guy that everyone plays to make their OOC schedule weaker now. It’s easy to play a tougher schedule when you are Tennessee.. Tnnessee’s schedule is tough for Tennessee.. I mean.. Chattanooga.. that is a tough one. Arkansas State, tough. Utah state? They are favored I’m sure. Oklahoma.. much better than those teams, sure..and you will definitely lose, like you did vs Oregon. Why do you think these other big teams love to pick Tennessee as their OOC opponent? lol Hint: It’s not because you are so tough.. lol

  • I am sort of embarrassed by Alabama’s upcoming record. If the Tide expects to garner any recognition as an NC contender it will not be because of their opponents.

    • You have to remember, though, Alabama did schedule the game against West Virginia when the outlook looked much more favorable for a very good Mountaineers program. Alabama would benefit from Tennessee getting much better, and the Tide do play Florida, which the 4-8 record is sort of an anomaly.

      • I’m pretty sure that one of the trouble factors for AL last year (not that there were that many) was the fact that they had a lot of talent that developed a little slower due to playing a few weak opponents. Coaches notice that even during the game with their weaker opponent their team can play down, then they tend to have a little lazier practice weeks, the effect can turn into a confidence problem the next Sat.. It doesn’t take many soft opponents to put your team behind the curve in season development.

  • The non-conference schedule is embarrassing to say the least…even playing West Virginia in the opening game doesn’t help…They are all fine schools but Bama shouldn’t be playing them…I know the Athletic Director makes the schedule but this only hurts them in the long run.

  • Here’s the deal. THE SEC DESERVES SENIORITY AND INSTANT CREDIBILITY. WHOEVER MAKES IT DESERVES TO PLAY FOR IT ALL! WHY? 1. THEY HAVE BUILT A CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD THAT NO ONE WITHOUT BEING CONTRARY CAN REFUTE(8-2–and 1 of the losses was to an SEC team and the other one was at the end). In those years, the SEC WEST was always good or very good and the SEC EAST, too, over that time span. So, whoever wins the conf. deserves the chance to play for it all! 2. ONCE THE CYCLE GOES FORWARD, THERE ARE 2 EXTRA HARD GAMES ON THE SCHEDULE AND NOW–IF EASY OR MODERATE–IT BECOMES SO MUCH HARDER! 3. HOW DO VOTERS LEAVE OUT THE SEC CHAMP WITH ALL THAT GOING IN ITS FAVOR?! If the SEC should lose 2 more championship games or not make it–deservingly–then they will fall back to earth. But, for now, that champion has to be there!

    Now, the SEC WEST has–with Manziel going pro–AU, LSU, ALA., Ole Miss., Ms. State(with the last 2 teams being at least average to good). Then, USoCar has been great the last 5 years or more! UF, UT, Mizzou, UGA, and A&M are all the wildcards and they could be good or bad! Here’s the deal: the conference was a whole lot better overall in recent years than it is not, but the top 4 teams are all very viable championship contenders that can beat anyone when playing its A game! If you are champion of the conference and in the west side, you will have to play all of those teams and you cannot lose late(which 2 of these games are late in the season and you can’t lose more than 1)! THEN, AFTER ALL THAT, THERE’S THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME THAT THE TEAM IS EVEN BETTER THAN THEY WERE DURING THE CROSS-MATCHUP DURING THE SEASON! So, you talking about 5 TOP FIVE TO TOP TEN TEAMS IN ONE SEASON PLUS 4-5 WILDCARD GAMES! IF THAT’S NOT TOUGH, THEN WHO’S SCHEDULE IS?! L