The SEC schedules are here (if you can get the site to load). The new divisions are East (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt) and West (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M). Each team plays six division games and two cross-division games. Here is a quick breakdown.
Alabama: The Tide drew two cross-division road games, but with Missouri and Tennessee. They also play Arkansas and LSU away from home.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks get Alabama and LSU at home, though they drew maybe the toughest East road draw with South Carolina.
Auburn: This could end up being a tricky schedule. Their home games are LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Georgia. They also go away for the Iron Bowl. If the Tigers don’t win 3/3 away at Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, it could be a long, hot-seat lighting season for Gene Chizik.
Florida: Not a great cross-division draw, LSU and Texas A&M. They also have no time to build momentum. After an opener against Bowling Green, they play eight SEC games in nine weeks, wrapping up their conference slate on Nov. 3, three weeks before most other teams.
Georgia: This schedule will again make Mark Richt look like a luminary. The Bulldogs’ two SEC West opponents are Ole Miss and Auburn, meaning they miss the four toughest teams in the division: Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. Potentially, the five toughest, depending on Mississippi State.
Kentucky: Joker Phillips avoids Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M. Though they go at Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi State, at Arkansas, Georgia and at Missouri before getting Vanderbilt and Tennessee. They won’t be favored in those final two games.
LSU: They will have to earn their repeat title. They drew 2/3 toughest East opponents with South Carolina and Florida. Their first five SEC games are at Auburn, at Florida, South Carolina, at Texas A&M and Alabama. They also close the season at Arkansas. Fortunately they weren’t as ambitious with their non-conference scheduling: North Texas, Washington, Idaho and Towson at home.
Ole Miss: Welcome to the SEC, Hugh Freeze! Road Games: at Alabama, at Arkansas, at Georgia, at LSU.
Mississippi State: The four-game stretch from Oct. 27-Nov. 17 (at Alabama, Texas A&M, at LSU, Arkansas) will be a killer. Though, their pedestrian non-conference lineup should soften the blow.
Missouri: The Tigers’ adjustment may be rough. They play Georgia at home then at South Carolina in September. They play Alabama at home. They close the season with three-straight road games against Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
South Carolina: This schedule may cost Steve Spurrier a shot at the SEC East. They get Georgia at home, but they drew the worst cross division game, at LSU, and play Arkansas.
Tennessee: We’ll quickly find out whether opportunity is NOWHERE. They play Florida, at Georgia, at Mississsippi State, Alabama, at South Carolina and Missouri before landing softer games at Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Texas A&M: Not as rude a welcome as they could have had. They cross-division draws where Florida and Missouri, both at home. They go at Alabama, but have three other winnable road games against Ole Miss, Auburn and Mississippi State.
Vanderbilt: James Franklin should have some opportunity to improve. They are in the weak east. Their cross-division draws were Auburn* at home and at Ole Miss. They are in the same boat as Georgia, playing neither Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M nor Mississippi State.
[Photo via Getty]
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