How to really evaluate SEC schedules


There are a couple of themes to the football schedules in the SEC next season.

There’s this: All but one team plays one non-conference game against a Power Five team (shame on you Arkansas).

The rotating teams in SEC play are all home games for the West (the permanent opponents for the other division are all home games for the East).

That said, when evaluating every team’s 2018 schedule, each one is stuck with six opponents from its division. It’s the other five (four non-conference and one rotating opponent) that really defines how difficult the schedules are.

The most difficult is probably Tennessee with a neutral site game against West Virginia and a game at Auburn.

The next two toughest of The Five are Georgia and Florida. The Bulldogs have Georgia Tech at home and travel to LSU. Florida goes to FSU and Mississippi State.

The easiest is Arkansas, which faces Eastern Illinois, North Texas, Tulsa and a game at Colorado State along with a home game against Vandy. Welcome back to bowl season, Razorbacks.

Here are the top 10 of the non-conference games in the SEC:

  1. South Carolina at Clemson.
  2. Clemson at Texas A&M.
  3. Tennessee-West Virginia in Charlotte.
  4. Vanderbilt at Notre Dame.
  5. LSU-Miami in Arlington, Texas.
  6. Florida at FSU.
  7. Kentucky at Louisville.
  8. Alabama-Louisville in Orlando.
  9. Auburn-Washington in Atlanta.
  10. Georgia Tech at Georgia.