As each coach steps to the podium at SEC Media Days, the schedule for his team is flashed up on a big screen. And it dawned on me that for almost every one of these teams there will be a three-game stretch that will say a lot about whether they will have a chance to win their respective divisions.
So here they are:
Alabama: at Arkansas, Florida, at South Carolina. Sept. 25-Oct. 9. If the Tide wins these three, they probably take the West.
Arkansas: At Auburn, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt. Oct. 16-30. Arkansas may be a contender, and we’ll know after this stretch. OK, Vandy is a reach.
Auburn: Arkansas, LSU, at Ole Miss. Huge stretch for the Tigers in the West.
LSU: The Tigers don’t play three SEC games in a row believe it or not.
Mississippi State: Auburn, at LSU, Georgia. Can Dan Mullen make the Bulldogs relevant?
Ole Miss: at Alabama, at Arkansas, Auburn. Oct. 16-30. Road games key for the Rebels.
Florida: at Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State. Oct. 2-16. The first two will say a lot about this season.
Georgia: at South Carolina, Arkansas, at Mississippi State. Sept. 11-25. We’ll find out early what Aaron Murray is about.
Kentucky: at Florida, at Ole Miss, Auburn. Sept. 25-Oct. 9. Early indication of the Wildcat fortunes.
South Carolina: Tennessee, Arkansas, at Florida. Oct. 30-Nov. 13. If Gamecocks survive early part of season, this will be big.
Tennessee: at LSU, at Georgia, Alabama. Oct. 2-23. Derek Dooley’s baptism of fire.
Vanderbilt: at Georgia, South Carolina, at Arkansas. Oct. 16-30. May not be a win in this stretch for Commodores.