Recently, ESPN ranked the nation’s 10 easiest non-conference schedules for 2019, and four SEC programs were listed: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Of the four, only Alabama is likely the only legitimate College Football Playoff candidate; so, the Tide’s schedule will always be under a microscope. With non-conference foes of Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Carolina, it gives ammunition to criticize the Tide’s schedule, regardless of its conference schedule.

Recently, a fan named Clark Packard and former Alabama star Jonathan Allen had a back-and-forth discussion on Alabama’s non-conference schedule, and Alabama AD Greg Byrne also chimed in.

Here’s the conversation, based on the original discussion headed by none other than Paul Finebaum:

These schedules are formed years in advance, and it is very difficult to schedule other powerhouse programs in the near-future.

As Byrnes notes, Alabama has scheduled future home-and-home series with Texas (2022, 2023), West Virginia (2026, 2027), Notre Dame (2028, 2029) and Oklahoma (2032, 2033).