SEC’s 5 easiest non-conference schedules

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Which SEC schools have the easiest non-conference schedules for 2014?

I would consider six SEC teams favorites for 2014 – Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Missouri and South Carolina, and only one of the six has one of the five easiest non-conference schedule – Alabama. Yes, the Tide have an unimpressive opponents’ winning percentage of .271, the lowest in the SEC.

Related: 2014 SEC Strength of Schedule

Here’s a glance at the SEC’s easiest non-conference schedules for 2014:

1. Vanderbilt Commodores
Teams: Temple, UMass, Charleston Southern, Old Dominion
Opponents winning percentage: .429 (21-28)
Buzz: This is as easy as it gets for SEC teams. All four were combined to fall under .500 winning percentage during the 2013 season. All four should be Ws for the Commodores’ new coaching staff.

2. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Teams: Southern Miss, UAB, at South Alabama, UT Martin
Opponents winning percentage: .333 (16-32)
Buzz: This will be the year MSU capitalizes on a much more favorable schedule than years past. The combined winning percentage during 2013 was .333, which is the second-worst non-conference percentage any team plays in 2014.

MORE: 2014 SEC football schedules for every team

3. Alabama Crimson Tide
Teams: West Virginia (Atlanta), FAU, Southern Miss, Western Carolina
Opponents winning percentage: .271 (13-35)
Buzz: Alabama did schedule WVU when things were looking up for the Mountaineers’ program, but overall, this is a really weak slate entering 2014. FAU, Southern Miss and Western Carolina? We’ll see how much a weak non-conference slate affects Alabama in the selection committee’s eyes should it come to that.

4. Texas A&M Aggies
Teams: Lamar, Rice, at SMU, Louisiana-Monroe
Opponents winning percentage: .520 (26-24)
Buzz: The Aggies have the only winning percentage above .500 in non-conference foes. Overall, it’s pretty weak, however, Rice had a nice 10-win season and Louisiana-Monroe is an SEC killer. Texas A&M should still finish 4-0.

5. Florida Gators
Teams: Idaho, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Florida State
Opponents winning percentage: .380 (19-31)
Buzz: Thankfully, Georgia Southern isn’t on the schedule in 2014. Of the 19 total wins by these four teams in 2013, FSU won 14 of them. That’s three gimmies for the Gators, and we’ll see what kind of fight they give FSU at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • I’m sure Gator fans aren’t upset about your fifth ranking. IMO, they have the toughest conference schedule by catching LSU AND Bama from the west. Throw in FSU and they have a serious mountain to climb while rebuilding/retooling. Ouch! Hard to find a tougher schedule across the country.

    • Yes, but once again, they don’t leave their state for an OOC game. I don’t think they’ve played an OOC game outside of Florida since the Nixon administration. That said, playing Bama, LSU, FSU, UGA, & Carolina in the same season is no joke. That’s potentially five Top 10 teams.

  • Looks like another grueling schedule for bammer this year.

  • Bama also gets Florida @ home this year and avoids USCe and UGA. I’d like the media to take a bigger interest in the fact Bama has had the easiest SEC schedules for the last few years. Not that they aren’t good enough to run the table but it takes some luck and good scheduling to win Natl titles. UGA went to Auburn in back-to-back years this year. Can you imagine the uproar had Bama had to play AU in Auburn twice in a row?

  • It’s pretty sad that Southern Miss has an infinitely tougher OOC schedule than MSU and Bama.

    • Regardless how easy MSU’s non conference schedule is this year they have still beat your rebels 4 of the last 5 years. More to come this year.

      • I’m totally fine with that. I’d gladly sign a deal that says Ole Miss loses every Egg Bowl for the rest of eternity if we still win at least 9-10+ regular season games. Because our self-worth is in how good our record is, and how highly we are ranked. You, on the other hand, would gladly sign a deal granting Egg Bowl wins every year even if you lost just about every other game. Because your self-worth is based on if you stick it to big brother every year. Queue the speech on “we’re not your little brother”

        • You say that as though you consider that ole miss has regularly had 9-10 win seasons and been really relevant in the past 45 – 50 years. It’s just not so. You haven’t been anymore relevant than MSU has been during this current age of college football. If you want to hang your hat on records before integration then go ahead but its pretty sad.
          I am a bit more realistic as to who MSU is and how hard it is to win in this league today. That doesn’t mean that I am settling for just beating ole miss but it sure makes it more fun. For ole miss people to act like it doesn’t bother them to lose to us is disingenuous and really is pretty lame.

        • I could have said it like this. If your self worth is in how good your records are then you must not have a lot of self worth when it comes to your team as 9 and 10 win seasons are few and very far between.

  • Everyone can complain about how easy other teams have it when it comes to schedule. However, all teams have years where their ooc schedule is easy.