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SEC Football Out of Conference 2010


Every off season the out of conference scheduling debates rage across the CFB blogosphere and I figure it's our turn to stoke the fires a bit. I will take a different BCS conference everyday and see who is playing who as far as the out of conference slate goes. I figure by the end of it, I might even make some kind of chart or graph to try to sum it all up neatly. Try to resist the temptation to post or comment about other conferences until I've posted about them (unless you're talking about stuff from the past.) Here's what's on tap in 2010 for the SEC out of conference schedule:

ALABAMA: San Jose State, Penn State, at Duke, Georgia Southern Georgia State

AUBURN: Arkansas State, Clemson, Louisiana-Monroe, UT-Chattanooga

ARKANSAS: Tennessee Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas A&M (neutral site), UTEP

FLORIDA: Miami (OH), USF, Appalachian State, at Florida State

GEORGIA: Louisiana-Lafayette, at Colorado, Idaho State, Georgia Tech

KENTUCKY: at Louisville, Akron, Western Kentucky, Charleston Southern

LSU: North Carolina (neutral site), West Virginia, McNeese State, Louisiana-Monroe

MISSISSIPPI STATE: Memphis, Alcorn State, at Houston, UAB

OLE MISS: Jacksonville State, at Tulane, Fresno State, Louisiana-Lafayette

SOUTH CAROLINA: Southern Miss, Furman, Troy, at Clemson

TENNESSEE: UT-Martin, Oregon, UAB, at Memphis

VANDERBILT: Northwestern, at Connecticut, at Eastern Michigan, Wake Forest

Here's a quick breakdown of some essentials to be gleaned from this list:

  • Embarrassingly, every SEC team except for Vanderbilt is playing an FCS (I-AA) school.
  • Every team except for Auburn is playing at least one out of conference game away from home (LSU's and Arkansas' are neutral site games....Atlanta and Dallas respectively.)
  • 16 of 48 games against BCS competition (33%)
  • 12 of 48 games (25%) are being played on the road
  • Ole Miss and Mississippi State are the only two schools to not play BCS competition.
  • Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU all play two BCS teams
  • Vanderbilt plays three BCS teams

Breakdown of opponents by conference (not including the 11 FCS opponents):

  • C-USA (8): Houston, Memphis (x2), Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB (x2), UTEP
  • Sun Belt (8): Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette (x2), Louisiana-Monroe (x3), Troy, Western Kentucky
  • ACC (7): Duke, Clemson (x2), Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest
  • Big East (4): Connecticut, Louisville, USF, West Virginia
  • MAC (3): Akron, Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH)
  • Big Ten (2): Northwestern, Penn State
  • Big XII (2): Colorado, Texas A&M 
  • WAC (2): Fresno State, San Jose State
  • Pac 10 (1): Oregon

The 11 FCS and 8 Sun Belt teams on the schedule (minus Appalachian State and Troy) are a bit of an embarrassment. Spare me all of your "but the SEC is so tough" wailing and gnashing too, I'm not particularly interested. I'm not saying you have to line up like we did in 1986 and play Ohio State, Penn State and Notre Dame out of conference, but c'mon....a little competition isn't going to kill us (insert Louisiana-Monroe joke here____________.) I know teams need a breather, but schedule a C-USA team or a MAC team or a WAC team not called Boise State (they'll be grateful for the paycheck.) I'm at least semi-intrigued by San Jose State this year just because of the variety. I'm somewhat encouraged that more teams are traveling and scheduling BCS level competition, though there's some pretty grim stuff on that list. It'll be interesting to compare and contrast in the coming days and see how it all pans out in the end.