As everyone on the west coast already knows, the paradox of the SEC being the top conference in the country should be questioned when you take a look at their non-conference schedules. Even without looking at the other conferences, I would be willing to bet that the SEC would be at the bottom when it comes to strength of schedule and comparing them to the Pac-12 is not even fair, but here’s the information in an excel chart.
**Two different SEC opponents were ranked 25th in each poll, but unranked in the other.
Looking at the Pac-10 it looks like they typically follow a format to include one A game (BCS conference team), B game (mid-major), and C game (easy win). There are exceptions to this rule, but even the worst schedule in the Pac-10, which I would give to Arizona State for playing two FCS schools – has the Sun Devils traveling across the country to play a top ten team on the road.
In contrast, the SEC’s 48 non-conference games includes the Sisters of the South and a bunch of teams from Louisiana that they want to beat up on (Louisiana Lafayette – twice, Louisiana Monroe – three times, and Tulane). I’ve been able to deduce that either the Bayou is a recruiting hotbed, or the SEC is recruiting these teams to join the conference when they expand. How would fans react if the Miami Heat were playing 27 games a year against the D-league, or the Yankees playing 54 games a year against Triple-A teams?
Instead of playing four non-conference games, the SEC should borrow a page from the Pac-10 and do a full nine game conference schedule. The Leader of the Pac should reveal to the rest of the country what the standard is when it comes to schedules and the rest of the country is looking West to see where the standard is set. Even the two teams that are joining the conference next year are already playing strong schedules. I should also note here that the Utah Utes are the last team to beat the defending national champion Alabama Menstruating Periods also known as the Crimson Tide.
It’s not all negative when it comes to the SEC schedules with some good traditional rivalries outside of conference play in Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Clemson-South Carolina. The Tennessee Volunteers also deserved to be praised for their fortitude in regards to scheduling perennial powerhouses every season. They play against a top ten Oregon team this year, and have had UCLA, Cal, Miami, and Notre Dame on the schedule in the decade.
Top schedules in the Pac-10
Oregon State – @ #6 TCU, Louisville, @ #3 Boise State
UCLA – @ Kansas State, Houston, @ #4 Texas
Washington – @ BYU, Syracuse, #7 Nebraska
Top schedules in the SEC
LSU – #21 North Carolina, #25West Virginia, McNeese St, Louisiana Monroe
Tennessee – Tennessee Martin, #10 Oregon, UAB, @ Memphis
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