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Analyzing The Ways Of The SEC East

If you read my article yesterday about the SEC West than you know what this is. I’m breaking down each divisions out of conference schedule. I personally don’t understand why more of the sports media doesn’t ask the question why does the SEC & ACC play 8 conference games without them being penalized.

The Pac 12, Big 12 & Big 10 play 9 conference games each. The SEC doesn’t play any Thursday night games during the year for the most part. The SEC has quite the blueprint to ensure that their schools will have the best possible chance to make the College Football Playoffs. Here is my analysis of the SEC East out of conference schedule.

Georgia Bulldogs

WEEK 1 – The Team that played for the National Championship last year opens up against….. Austin Peay from the FCS level. Yep Austin Peay coming off a shocking 8-4 season on the FCS level comes to Athens, Georgia to play the defending SEC Champs. Austin Peay is just 9-49 in the past 5 seasons. Yep. And Georgia Scheduled this game. That means before last season they had just one win in four seasons.

WEEK 3 – Georgia comes back from a conference game to welcome the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders from the Conference USA. Middle Tennessee is coming off a nice 7-6 season where they won their bowl game over Arkansas State to cap a winning season.

WEEK 11 – Georgia is buying into the classic November 17th SEC nonsense scheduling week when they welcome the UMASS Minutemen. UMASS is coming off a 4-8 season as an Independent and is just 13-47 over the past 5 seasons. Great job.

WEEK 12 – The Bulldogs now welcome in to Athens their yearly rivalry matchup against Georgia Tech! The Yellow Jackets are coming off a nice 5-6 season. Yay.

REVIEW: The Georgia Tech game is a rivalry game that I hope never goes away but still come on Georgia. If GT is their 9th conference game than where is there other legit game? UMass and Austin Peay? Middle Tennessee is your 2nd toughest out of conference game? Plus they’re all home games? Bullshit.

GRADE: F

To compare that to some of the top schools in other conferences.

Ohio State: home/away 9th conference game, vs Oregon State, @ TCU, vs Tulane.

Penn State: home/away 9th conference game, vs Appalachian State, @ Pittsburgh, vs Kent State.

Oklahoma: home/away 9th conference game, vs Florida Atlantic, vs UCLA, vs Army.

Texas: home/away 9th conference game, @ Maryland, vs Tulsa, vs USC.

USC: home/away 9th conference game, vs UNLV, @ Texas, vs Notre Dame.

Florida Gators

WEEK 1 – The Gators break in the season when they welcome the Charleston Southern Buccaneers from the FCS Level. Charleston Southern was 6-5 last year finishing 3rd in their Big South Conference.

WEEK 3 – The Gators start their season at home for the first three weeks and this week they welcome Colorado State from the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State is coming off a 7-6 season.

WEEK 12 – Florida adds to the Nov 17th week of complete dog shit that is SEC Scheduling when they welcome their 2nd FCS team of the season with the Idaho Vandals. Two FCS teams in one year? Give me a break.

WEEK 13 – This is a rivalry game that is played every year so I don’t know if I should praise the fact Florida has an actual SEC out of conference road game on their schedule when they play at Florida State. I guess I will. Thank you.

REVIEW: Okay, they have a true road game out of conference and I love that but playing 2 FCS teams is just absolutely pathetic. UTEP went O-11 last year and yet they still only play 1 FCS team this year so why are the Gators playing 2? Florida State should be their 9th conference game so look at that remaining out of conference schedule? Garbage.

GRADE: F

South Carolina Gamecocks

WEEK 1 – The Gamecocks start the season off going against their brand new in state competition in Coastal Carolina. Coastal Carolina spent their first year in the FBS last year and went 3-9 in the Sun Belt Conference.

WEEK 3 – South Carolina plays their third home game in a row when they welcome the Marshall Thundering Herd from the Conference USA. Marshall for the most part has been a decent mid major the past 20 years and are coming off a nice 8-5 season.

WEEK 12 – The annual shit SEC week South Carolina welcomes a nice matchup of Chattanooga from the FCS level where they were 3-8 last year in the Southern Conference.

WEEK 13 – Much like Florida it’s an annual rivalry week thing but I have to give it credit. South Carolina plays at Clemson in Week 13. So there’s yet another nice road matchup for the SEC East.

REVIEW: Playing at Clemson is huge so I’ll give them credit but the 2nd hardest game is against Marshall? If you count Clemson as their 9th conference game Marshall isn’t going to cut it for a tough out of conference game. Coastal Carolina is practically a FCS team and Chattanooga well, they are.

GRADE: D

Kentucky Wildcats

WEEK 1 – The Wildcats break the season in against Central Michigan from the MAC. Central Michigan hasn’t been a MAC powerhouse but they did put together a nice season last year with a 8-5 season.

WEEK 3 – Kentucky comes back from Gainesville to welcome none other than Murray State from the FCS level. Murray State was just 3-8 on the FCS level last year and finished in the basement of the Ohio Valley Conference.

WEEK 12 – SEC Shit week welcomes Middle Tennessee into Lexington for a shot at the upset. Middle Tennessee went 7-6 last season after winning its bowl game over Arkansas State.

WEEK 13 – Another Rivalry setup but it is what it is. Kentucky plays at Louisville in week 13 in another true road game for the SEC.

REVIEW: Playing at Louisville is good and they did a better job of scheduling than every other team in the SEC when they scheduled both Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee but still it’s not too impressive when you mark Louisville as your 9th conference game.

Grade: D+

Missouri Tigers

WEEK 1 – The Missouri Tigers welcome in the UT Martin Skyhawks from the FCS level to break in their season. UT Martin was 6-5 last season in the Ohio Valley Conference.

WEEK 2 – Missouri stays in Columbia for yet another week when they welcome the Wyoming Cowboys from the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming is coming off a nice 8-5 season.

WEEK 3 – Missouri finally hits the road in a out of conference matchup when they head to West Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. The Boilermakers are coming off a 7-6 season including a blow out against Missouri in Columbia last year.

WEEK 8 – The Tigers are spending homecoming by welcoming the Memphis Tigers into Columbia for a nice matchup against the American Conference. Memphis was 10-3 last year and finished 2nd in the American Conference.

REVIEW: Thus far, this is the best out of conference schedule among the entire SEC. Purdue is from the power 5 and Memphis might as well be a power 5 school as long as Norvell is there. Wyoming is a solid 3rd ranked out of conference game.

Grade: C+

Tennessee Volunteers –

WEEK 1 – A neutral site game where once again the SEC will be much closer than the opposing team. Tennessee squares off against West Virginia in Charlotte. West Virginia is coming a nice 7-5 season.

WEEK 2 – Tennessee returns to Knoxville to take on the Buccaneers of East Tennessee State from the FCS level. East Tennessee State was just 4-7 last year and finished in 2nd to last place in the Southern Conference.

WEEK 3 – The Vols go from the garbage that is East Tennessee State to the worst FBS team in the country in UTEP who went 0-11 last year in the Conference USA. Great job of scheduling here.

WEEK 10 – Wow. Tennessee should be proud of themselves for doing the worst schedule in all the SEC when they welcome in Charlotte from the Conference USA. Charlotte is coming off a 1-11 season which included a loss to a FCS team.

REVIEW: This is as bad as it gets. You are almost guaranteed a bowl game if you can win a couple games in conference. The Vols play one of the worst FCS teams and then 2 of the top 5 worst FBS teams in the country. Pathetic. If Comparing to other conferences the West Virginia game would mark the 9th conference game so out of the remaining 3 games none are against good opponents.

Grade: F

Vanderbilt Commodores

WEEK 1 – The Commodores spend week one at home in Nashville when they welcome the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders from the Conference USA. Middle Tennessee State seems to be playing every team in the SEC this year. MTSU went 7-6 last season after winning their bowl game.

WEEK 2 – Vandy stays at home in week 2 as the welcome the Nevada Wolfpack from the Mountain West Conference. Nevada is coming off just a 3-9 season.

WEEK 3 – The Commodores finally hit the road for the first time in 2018 when they travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on Notre Dame in a big time road game. There we go SEC. Notre Dame is coming a nice 10-3 season as an Independent.

WEEK 5 – Vandy welcomes it’s fourth home game in five games when Tennessee State comes to Nashville. Tennessee State comes from the FCS level where they were 6-5 last year in the Ohio Valley Conference.

REVIEW: The game at Notre Dame is fantastic but seeing how the Big 10, Big 12 and PAC 12 play 9 conference games that would mean Notre Dame would be their 9th conference game. Then out of conference their best matchup would be Middle Tennessee? That’s weak.

Grade: D

I think if you clearly look at what I have posted above and you’ll see that the SEC needs to either schedule 9 conference games. Think about the ramifications of all this. Think about this. A 9th Conference game guarantees 7 losses because half the 14 conferences teams will lose the extra conference game.

Which most of the SEC out of conference games now are a almost a guaranteed win. If you change some of those wins to losses it would negatively effect every teams strength of schedule ratings which would eventually lead to worse computer rankings and less teams being bowl eligible. Let us not forget that the 9th conference game is also not always Rutgers vs Wisconsin, or USC vs Oregon State. Sometimes it’s the top two teams in Conference. Like Ohio State and Wisconsin or Washington vs USC. The proof is all listed above.

 

Colby Dant is a stand up comedian and The Sports Gambling Podcast's official college football and basketball expert. Unfortunately he's also a huge Jets fan.

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