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.
2014 SEC Strength of Schedule Rankings:
How the NCAA ranks the SEC’s 2014 strength of schedule
#1: Tennessee strength of schedule
#2: Arkansas strength of schedule
#3: Florida strength of schedule
#4: Auburn strength of schedule
#5: Kentucky strength of schedule
#6: South Carolina strength of schedule
#7: Georgia strength of schedule
#8: LSU strength of schedule
#9: Texas A&M strength of schedule
#10: Ole Miss strength of schedule
#11: Mississippi State strength of schedule
#12: Alabama strength of schedule
#13: Missouri strength of schedule
#14: Vanderbilt strength of schedule
Playing in college football’s toughest division, Alabama once again has one of the league’s most favorable schedules. Yes, Alabama can’t play Alabama, and that’s why many perceive the Tide to have another schedule set up for a championship run.
Alabama strength of schedule for 2014:
2014 Alabama Crimson Tide schedule
- Aug. 30: vs. West Virginia (Atlanta)
- Sept. 6: FAU
- Sept. 13: Southern Miss
- Sept. 20: Florida
- Oct. 4: at Ole Miss
- Oct. 11: at Arkansas
- Oct. 18: Texas A&M
- Oct. 25: at Tennessee
- Nov. 8: at LSU
- Nov. 15: Mississippi State
- Nov. 22: Western Carolina
- Nov. 29: Auburn
By The Numbers
- 7 home games
- 4 away games
- 1 neutral site game
- 1 power non-conference game (West Virginia)
- 4 projected preseason top 25 teams (Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn)
Strength of Schedule Rank
- SEC West: 7th
- SEC overall: 12th
- Cross divisional opponents: Florida and Tennessee
- Opponents winning %: 71-79 (.473 %)
- Bye weeks: Before Ole Miss and LSU
- Biggest swing game: Auburn
Alabama possesses the SEC’s only schedule where opponents won less than 50 percent of last year’s games. The NCAA’s strength of schedule is impacted of course by West Virginia’s and Florida’s 4-8 seasons, as well as Tennessee’s 5-7 season. The Crimson Tide scheduled WVU when the program looked like it was ready to take off, and the Gators should have a much better team than last year. So, don’t read too much into the under .500 opponents’ winning percentage.
For Alabama’s schedule to be perceived as stronger, Tennessee has got to get better. The Vols have whiffed bowl games three straight years, and LSU wouldn’t be complaining about permanent cross-divisional rivalries had Tennessee not struggled as much over the last several years.
Alabama should hammer their non-conference opponents in 2014. The combined record last year of all four teams was 13-35 (.271). That’s good for worst in the SEC, by a sizeable margin. West Virginia, FAU, Southern Miss and Western Carolina may not cause the Tide to break a sweat.
Home games featuring Florida, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn will be electric, but road games against Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU could be difficult. The Rebels and Tigers should provide the toughest games, as Arkansas and Tennessee are rebuilding their clubs.
Alabama’s strength of schedule is again ideal for making another championship run. While Auburn could be the best team in the division, Alabama has the division’s most favorable schedule with a loaded roster returning. That could be enough to make Alabama the favorite in the SEC again. The Tide play no ranked teams in back-to-back weeks and draw byes before tougher road games against Ole Miss and LSU.
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