SEC Conference Schedule Hit and Misses

Last year Oklahoma St was not the second-best team in the Big 12 but had the best schedule and they landed in the Big 12 title game. With the Power Four conferences going to as many as 18 team leagues, who you play and who you miss is even more important.

Today I we look at the SEC. The SEC plays an 8-game schedule but there are three games that are played at a neutral field. There were plenty of years during the magazine where the Georgia/Florida team that had 5 games away from home and 3 home games finished below the Georgia/Florida team that had had 3 true road games. The team that gives up its home edge for the neutral site game is at a disadvantage. There are three neutral site games this year with Texas/Oklahoma, Georgia/Florida and Texas A&M/Arkansas.

The teams with just 3 true SEC road games are Texas, Arkansas and Florida

The teams with just 3 SEC Home games are Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas A&M

The next category to look at is conference records from last year. Normally when I do this, I can add up the wins and the losses and they should equal. The totals add up to 568-472 so you may think I did the math wrong but keep in mind the SEC had equal wins and losses for conference play, but Texas and Oklahoma went 8-1 and 7-2 so a combined 15-3! That is the reason for the opponents records for SEC teams equaling 54.6%.

In this category Oklahoma plays the toughest schedule as their SEC foes were 44-21 67.7% last year in conference play! Vanderbilt which does not have the luxury of playing either Miss St (1-7) or itself (0-8) is #2 toughest in this category at 41-24 61.5%. There is a stark contrast from top to bottom as the two easiest conference schedules go to Missouri and Texas who take on foes that were 27-38 41.5% in conference play last year.

I have the chart color coded. Now, you may disagree with my ratings but I have all my preliminary numbers done as the portal is closed and almost all good players have signed that were out there. I have put the teams in three colors.

The top level of teams are the super powers. I list those teams in RED for you do not want to play them. That top level category in no particular order are Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama and Georgia which all appear to be top 15 teams this year.

The next level is in Blue and they are teams that look like bowl teams or bowl caliber teams for this year.

The bottom level is Green for teams that you want to draw. Only two SEC teams this year fit that category and they are Miss St and Vanderbilt.

This is where this year’s schedule disparity stands out. There are three teams in the SEC that are playing FIVE top level teams and the one that will probably have the most impact on conference record is Oklahoma. The Sooners also have just 3 SEC home games and do not face Miss St or Vanderbilt! South Carolina which will be trying to get back to a bowl also faces FIVE of the top teams but has pulled their share of upsets under Beamer.

There are 5 teams that face four of the power teams, 6 that play 3 and the two teams that have the best schedule on paper are Missouri and Texas. Missouri avoids Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Texas. Texas avoids Alabama, Missouri, LSU and Ole Miss.

One more note that is not factored into this chart. LSU plays 3 RED teams and get all three of those in Death Valley. Georgia faces 3 RED teams and has to face all three on the road!

Here is the chart and here is how I grade this year’s CONFERENCE schedules, keep in mind non-conference games are not included in this strength of schedule.

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