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
The Arkansas Razorbacks are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak and lost eight conference games for the first time in history. I hate to break it to Hogs’ fans: 2014 isn’t going to get any easier. In fact, the Hogs’ strength of schedule is just brutal.
Arkansas strength of schedule for 2014:
2014 Arkansas Razorbacks’ schedule
- Aug. 30: at Auburn
- Sept. 6: Nicholls State
- Sept. 13: at Texas Tech
- Sept. 20: Northern Illinois
- Sept. 27: Texas A&M
- Oct. 11: Alabama
- Oct. 18: Georgia
- Oct. 25: UAB
- Nov. 1: at Mississippi State
- Nov. 15: LSU
- Nov. 22: Ole Miss
- Nov. 28: at Missouri
By the Numbers
- 7 home games
- 4 away games
- 1 neutral site game
- 1 power non-conference game
- 7 projected preseason top 25 teams (Auburn, Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Missouri)
Strength of Schedule Rank
- SEC West: 1st
- SEC overall: 2nd
- Cross-divisional opponents: Georgia and Missouri
- Opponents winning %: 103-54 (.656)
- Bye weeks: Before Alabama and LSU
- Biggest swing game: Mississippi State
The first aspect of Arkansas’ strength of schedule that screams at you is the opponents’ winning percentage and the fact that they play seven projected preseason top 25 teams. The Hogs’ opponents won .656 percent of their games, the highest of any SEC team and the highest of any team in college football.
The non-conference foes aren’t gimmies, either. Nicholls State and UAB should be wins, but Texas Tech and Northern Illinois may enter as favorites. The only road game of the three is Texas Tech, coming on the third week of the season.
Last year, Arkansas opened with four straight non-conference games, but this year is different. The Hogs open with defending SEC Champion Auburn, where they will be sizeable underdogs. The Razorbacks then play three straight non-conference games after opening with the conference matchup.
Arkansas’ permanent cross-divisional rivalry with South Carolina is over, and Missouri now steps into that role. This could turn into a (smaller) border war between the two schools. Georgia is the other SEC East team to call the Hogs, and the Bulldogs enter as a favorite to win the division.
Two brutal stretches lie ahead. Arkansas plays Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia to end September and through the middle of October. The bye week is sandwiched between Texas A&M and Alabama. The second tough stretch is to finish the season with four straight conference games against Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss and Missouri.
I do think Arkansas’ team will be improved in 2014, but how much will it show with such a nasty strength of schedule?
Photo Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports