On Monday, I examined how many teams in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll that each SEC team will face in 2015.

Alabama led the way with seven, and there could easily be an eighth in the SEC title game and a ninth in a bowl game, while Missouri had the fewest with three.

Now let’s break down the ranked non-conference foes that each SEC club will face. And if you are wondering, my vote for toughest non-conference schedule in the nation among Power 5 teams is Virginia of the ACC. The Wahoos play No. 13 UCLA, No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 23 Boise State.


  • Three of Alabama’s non-conference games are pretty laughable: Middle Tennessee, Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern. But that’s usually the case each season for the Tide and it’s hard to criticize with such a tough SEC schedule. At least Alabama is playing a tough Wisconsin team ranked No. 20 on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Badgers are favored to repeat as Big Ten West champions and have a stellar running back in Corey Clement. The Tide are 4-1 against Big Ten schools this decade but of course lost to Ohio State in last season’s Sugar Bowl national semifinal.
  • Florida won’t leave home for any of its non-conference games but likely will be an underdog to close the regular-season against current No. 10 Florida State. The Noles have won four of the last five in the series.
  • Just as Florida annually ends the regular-season against in-state ACC team Florida State, as does Georgia against Georgia Tech, and the Jackets are preseason No. 16 and favored to repeat as ACC Coastal Division champions. Tech won last year 30-24 in overtime, its first win over the Dawgs since 2008.
  • South Carolina is a rare SEC team to play two Power 5 teams out of conference, North Carolina and No. 12 Clemson. The Tigers might be unbeaten in that regular-season finale. They ended a five-game losing streak in the series last year.
  • Tennessee gets a shot at payback against No. 19 Oklahoma in Week 2. The Sooners beat the Vols, 34-10, in Norman last year. UT might have more overall talent this year.
  • Texas A&M goes up against a very good No. 15 Arizona State team in Houston this Saturday. It’s A&M’s first game against a Pac-12 school since losing to California in the 2006 Holiday Bowl.


  • Arkansas should have no trouble going 4-0 out of conference vs. UTEP, Toledo, Texas Tech and UT-Martin. None of those are true road games. The A&M matchup is at AT&T Stadium.
  • Auburn faces a good Louisville team in Atlanta on Saturday. The Cardinals aren’t in the preseason Top 25 but finished 24th in the final 2014 poll and I believe will be ranked at some point this season — certainly come Monday with an upset. The rest of Auburn’s non-conference schedule is cupcake city.
  • Kentucky won’t leave Lexington for its non-conference schedule, but it’s possible Louisville is ranked when the Cards visit on Nov. 28 to close things out.
  • LSU has an easy non-conference slate of McNeese State, Syracuse (on road), Eastern Michigan and Western Kentucky. So that’s four wins.
  • Ole Miss also will be 4-0 out of conference, hosting UT-Martin, Fresno State, New Mexico State and visiting Memphis. Not a Power 5 team among them.
  • Mississippi State also can mark down a 4-0 non-conference mark against Southern Miss (road), Northwestern State, Troy and Louisiana Tech.
  • Missouri’s first three non-conference games will be easy against SE Missouri State, Arkansas State and a really bad UConn team. But don’t be surprised if BYU is ranked and pulls an upset of the Tigers in Kansas City on Nov. 14. The Cougars are a very good team.
  • You know Vanderbilt is going to schedule weak out-of-conference foes because it might be the Commodores’ only shot at wins. They host Western Kentucky and Austin Peay while visiting Middle Tennessee State and Houston (that could be a loss).