Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: SEC

The SEC conspicuously avoids having a number in their name, but that despite that people will say they can’t count because hey, it’s the South, am I right?*

  1.  Florida (1.75 legit, 1 FCS): Toledo, @Miami, Georgia Southern, Florida State. Florida and Florida State play every year, but I suspect there are still some out there surprised to find out that Florida and Miami don’t. So that’s net in and of itself.
  2. Georgia (1.5, 1): @Clemson, North Texas, Appalachian State, @Georgia Tech. Georgia-Clemson is probably the single most intriguing out-of-conference matchup for the entire SEC and maybe the whole of college football this year. They’re rivals (Google Maps says “Athens, GA to Clemson, SC” is just 79 miles) that don’t play all the time. While they’re both top programs in their leagues, they’re often overshadowed by more successful/well-known teams (Alabama, Florida State). They both generally come into seasons with huge expectations and then fail to capitalize (Georgia is expected to win the SEC East and go to the BCS with a darkhorse national title run a possibility, while Clemson is supposed to win the ACC). The general SEC dominance narrative is countered what was likely last year’s most exciting bowl game, Clemson’s 25-24 win over LSU in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. (More parentheticals: I was channel surfing the other week and saw the beginning of that game again. Goodness, it sured looked like it was going to be a LSU blowout after the first 5 minutes right?)
  3. South Carolina (1.25, 1): North Carolina, @Central Florida, Coastal Carolina, Clemson. South Carolina also plays Clemson, but, well, they do that every year.
  4. Tennessee (1, 1): Austin Peay, Western Kentucky, @Oregon, South Alabama. When I was doing research for the Oregon write-up in the Pac-12 post, I came across this: Operation Rocky Top. The second sentence in the article contains the phrase “illegal activities in charity bingo”. That just seems sort of quaint, doesn’t it? But that’s how political scandals used to roll in the South in the 80’s and 90’s. (Of course, the results are decidedly unfunny (see the article).)
  5. Mississippi (1, 1): Southeast Missouri State, @Texas, Idaho, Troy. Well, that is Texas on that schedule. Will the cachet of playing the Longhorns be back this season?
  6. Mississippi State (0.75, 1): N-Oklahoma State, Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green. Protip: this SEC-Big 12 matchup will likely be far more interesting than Ole Miss-Texas.
  7. Alabama (0.75, 1.5): N-Virginia Tech, Colorado State, Georgia State, Tennessee-Chattanooga. This is the SEC-ACC matchup that’s getting more attention going into the start of the season, but I’m not sure why. VPI isn’t what it used to be, but Alabama should the same terrifying college football robot they’ve been the past few years. Meanwhile, in a brazen display of originality following a name change, Chattanooga is the “Mocs” after probably having to change from “Moccasins”.
  8. Louisiana State (0.5, 1): N-Texas Christian, Alabama-Birmingham, Kent State, Furman. LSU-TCU is probably a tad underrated, but we’ll also get to see how “for real” TCU is as a Big 12 program as a result as well.
  9. Kentucky (0.5, 1): N-Western Kentucky, Miami, Louisville, Alabama State. Hint: it’s Rust Belt Miami. Also that WKU game is in Nashville, which makes me wonder if there are really any truly Tennessee cities. I generally tend to think Memphis as an extension of Mississippi, and if Georgia gets an extremely unlikely series of legal decisions to go their way, Chattanooga might as well be in Georgia. Nashville is now hosting neutral site games between two schools in Kentucky, so that pretty much leaves Knoxville I guess?
  10. Auburn (0.25, 1): Washington State, Arkansas State, Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic. I’m not sure what else to say about the Auburn-Wazzou game other than that it could be the best worst college football game of the year.
  11. Arkansas (0, 1): Louisiana-Lafayette, Samford, Southern Mississippi, @Rutgers. I’m trying very hard to come up with something funny to say about Arkansas-Rutgers, but it’s not happening. I still have a while before the game comes up for “This Weekend in College Football”, thankfully.
  12. Vanderbilt (0, 1): Austin Peay, @Massachusetts, Alabama-Birmingham, Wake Forest. Vanderbilt is on the up-and-up, but with this series of OOC games it only need a .500 conference mark to get 8 wins again, so keep that in mind.
  13. Missouri (0, 1): Murray State, Toledo, @Indiana, Arkansas State. This schedule is a non-entity. It is an un-schedule. It is bad when a schedule can be improved by adding Kansas to it.
  14. Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (0, 1): Rice, Sam Houston State, Southern Methodist, Texas-El Paso. Which makes this one somehow even worse. This is the SEC school I want to see Texas play, not Ole Miss.

We’ll do a wrap-up after this, just in the nick of time. Stay tuned!

    *: Reminder that every time I do math wrong on here or have horrendous spelling and/or grammar issues that my entire K-12 education was a product of the State of Alabama.

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