Playoff selection committee, be forewarned. Matt Hayes will be yelling bloody murder about the SEC’s non-conference scheduling when crunch time comes.
I’m not really sure why the hard-on, though, based on his own compiled stats.
Keeping score (three of five Power 5 conferences analyzed):
Games against Power 5 teams: Big Ten (30 percent); ACC (30 percent); SEC (20 percent)
Games against Group of 5 teams: SEC (55 percent); Big Ten (52 percent), ACC (45 percent)
Games against FCS teams: ACC (25 percent), SEC (25 percent); Big Ten (18 percent)
That’s not the only puzzler.
Georgia, which recently signed a home-and-home series with Notre Dame (2017 and 2019), is the only SEC team to play two games against Power 5 teams. That distinction brings a brutal September: Clemson, at South Carolina, Troy, Tennessee — the same Tennessee that should have beaten Georgia last season.
Tennessee is the key to Georgia’s brutal September? I guess if the Dawgs are down their top five skill position players, maybe so.
Hayes makes the best argument against his argument when he cites Auburn.
For those thinking Auburn is a national title contender, consider this: The Tigers haven’t won a road non-con game against a BCS/Power 5 team since 1997, when Terry Bowden’s Auburn team went into Charlottesville and beat Virginia 28-17. Auburn hasn’t won a non-con game against a team west of the Mississippi since a victory over TCU in 1980.
And during that time, Auburn was in the national title conversation in 2004 – and, of course, would have played for a MNC had there not been two other major schools undefeated – won a national title in 2010 and played for another last season. That non-conference scheduling has really had an impact, Matt.