Monday, July 9, 2012

Worst SEC non-conference games for 2012

There is no question the Southeastern Conference is the toughest league when it comes to college football.  Each week teams go through a meat grinder while competing for the conference title. It is a wicked tough task.
Perhaps because of this, schools often take breathers when it comes to non-conference schedules. Typically, each team plays one tough non-conference foe, but the remaining three are often against smaller schools.
Some of these matchups can be intriguing, but most are not.  In fact, these games against smaller schools should be avoided by everybody.  They are a waste of time from a competition point of view.  There might be one huge upset every three or four years, but overall, they are just not worth it.
So, after reviewing the schedules of all 14 SEC teams, here are the weakest non-conference foes each team plays.
LSU -- The Tigers play Towson on September 29.  Towson is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, what used to be called Division 1-AA).  SEC teams should never play teams from this subdivision. 
Alabama -- The Crimson Tide plays Western Carolina on November 17.  Carolina is another FCS team and went only 1-10 last season.
Arkansas -- The Razorbacks play Jacksonville State on September 1.  State, which is also a FCS team, did beat Ole Miss back in 2010, but Arkansas is not Ole Miss.
Mississippi State -- The Bulldogs open with Jackson State on September 1.  Again, another FCS team.
Auburn -- The Tigers host New Mexico State on November 3.  While not a FCS team, New Mexico State is one of the weaker teams in the Western Athletic Conference.
Texas A&M -- The Aggies face Sam Houston State on November 17.  State is a FCS team, but they went 14-1 and made it all the way to the FCS Championship game last year.  So, if there is a major upset lurking in these games, this could be the one.
Ole Miss -- The Rebels play Central Arkansas on September 1.  I am going to cut the Rebels a little slack.  They are coming off an awful year and face one of the toughest schedules in the country.  One preseason publication has them playing the second toughest schedule in the nation.
Florida -- The Gators host Jacksonville State on November 17.  This is State’s second appearance on this list.  Apparently, the administration at that school wants to put its team through as much pain as possible.
Georgia -- The Bulldogs host Georgia Southern on November 17.  This game is a little more plausible because it is an in-state matchup.  Still, it is pretty lame despite the fact that Georgia Southern has a pretty strong program on the FCS level.
South Carolina -- The Gamecocks host Wofford on November 17.  This is another in-state matchup, but it is still lame.
Tennessee -- The Volunteers host Georgia State on September 8.  The Vols should win their home opener pretty easily.
Missouri -- The Tigers host SE Louisiana on Sept. 1.  Though a lightweight opponent, this matchup is not jaw-droppingly bad.
Vanderbilt -- The Commodores host Presbyterian on September 15.  Expect this game to draw only about 18,000 fans when it is played.
Kentucky -- The Wildcats host Samford on November 17.  UK fans will be paying attention to basketball by this time anyway.

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