SEC'S FIVE TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
Tony Barnhart, one of my favorite college football writers from AJC.com, breaks down the five toughest SEC schedules.
Now this is going to start an argument. Here is a breakdown of my five toughest schedules in the SEC for 2007. We’ll look at the five easiest schedules on Saturday.
— Home SEC: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Alabama
— Road SEC: Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Georgia
— Non-conference: Kansas State, South Florida, New Mexico State, Tennessee Tech
— Comment: Auburn has very slight edge over South Carolina because it has to go to The Swamp and Gamecocks don’t.
2. SOUTH CAROLINA
— Home SEC: Mississippi State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida
— Road SEC: Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas
— Non-conference: Louisiana-Lafayette, S.C. State, at North Carolina, Clemson
— Comment: Non-conference schedule weaker than Auburn’s. Both teams must play Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia on the road.
— Home SEC: Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Vanderbilt
— Road SEC: Florida, Mississippi State, Alabama, Kentucky
— Non-conference: at Cal, Southern Miss., Arkansas St., Louisiana-Lafayette
— Comment: Vols go on the road to play Cal and Florida in the first three weeks.
— Home SEC: Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia (Jacksonville), Vanderbilt
— Road SEC: Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, South Carolina
— Non-conference: Western Kentucky, Troy, Florida Atlantic, Florida State
— Comment: Trips to LSU on Oct. 6 and South Carolina on Nov. 10 will not be easy for defending champs.
— Home SEC: South Carolina, Ole Miss, Auburn, Kentucky
— Road SEC: Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida (Jacksonville)
— Non-conference: Oklahoma State, Western Carolina, Troy, at Georgia Tech
— Comment: Both Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech should be Top 25
For the most part I agree with Barnhart but I would have to rank Georgia up a little higher on this list because of their non-conference schedule. Okie State and Tech should both be bowl eligible and have a chance to contend for their respective conferences this year. Throw in road games against Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Vandy (I'm telling you, Vandy is going to surprise people this year) and you can see that the Bulldogs have a tough road ahead of them.