Some might call it a schedule. Others might call it a gauntlet.

Regardless, Auburn’s possible path back to the SEC Championship game will be difficult considering the opponents they will face in the upcoming season. Because of Auburn’s road schedule and who they face at home, has tabbed the Tigers with having the harshest schedules (paid link) in college football.

Oklahoma State is ranked second, followed by Michigan State, Louisville and Florida State.

Auburn’s strength of schedule for 2014 was ranked fourth in the SEC by Saturday Down South back in June.

Auburn travels to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State in a nationally televised Thursday night contest for their first road test of the year. The Little Apple is never an easy place to play. The Wildcats would love to take a bite out of one of the SEC’s premier teams.

Conference roads games include going to Mississippi and Mississippi State, two teams with higher than usually aspirations as well as visiting Georgia and Alabama in a three-week span at the end of the season. The conference home dates are not a walk in the park either with South Carolina, LSU and Texas A&M coming to Jordan-Hare.

And there is nothing like opening the season with a conference game. The Tigers kick things off hosting Arkansas.

Oklahoma State’s slate of games is almost as tough as Auburn.  The Cowboys open up with the defending national champion Seminoles in Arlington, Texas. Road games against KState, TCU and Oklahoma validate the ranking. Michigan State’s trip to Eugene to play Oregon is a tough test but on the road against the likes of Purdue, Indiana and Penn State isn’t very difficult. Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals face Miami and the Seminoles at home in addition to playing both Clemson and Notre Dame on the road. All four are traditional powers but what are we to expect from Miami and Notre Dame this year? Those two games might not be that daunting. Besides the neutral side game against Oklahoma State, Florida State’s seemingly tough games – Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia and Florida – are in Tallahassee.