6 SEC schools boast unmatched schedule strength based on AP top 10
Now that game week is officially upon us and every major poll has released its preseason ranking, schedule strength can be measured.
The SEC can lay claim to some of the toughest schedules in the nation, according to the preseason Associated Press top 10. Only Texas A&M, Auburn, South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt each play at least three games against those 10 teams, according to researcher and college football statistician Cody Kellner. Of course it helps that four SEC teams made the top 10 in Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida.
But perhaps the wider view of this breakdown is that Clemson plays two SEC teams in Texas A&M and South Carolina, and Georgia plays host to Notre Dame, while LSU meets Texas.
This speaks to the combination of conference strength, but also non-conference scheduling. Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU all had multi-game agreements with their respective non-conference foes.
A closer look at non-conference scheduling revealed that the ACC had seven non-Notre Dame non-conference games against the AP top 25, while the Pac-12 had seven non-conference opponents who are ranked, the SEC five, Big 10 four and Big 12 two.
Here are the only six schools in the nation with at least three games vs. the preseason AP top 10. All six of these schools are from the @SEC
— Cody Kellner, PhD (@cody_kellner) August 20, 2019