Tom Fornelli’s list is illuminating.
One the one end, you’ve got not one, but two schools, South Carolina and Texas A&M, that play three programs that have appeared in the CFPCG in the last two seasons. (Interestingly enough, Fornelli ranks Georgia’s SOS between the two.)
At the other, you’ve got Alabama.
Since 2010, Alabama’s nonconference schedules have been headlined by Louisville, Florida State, USC, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan and Penn State. This year — it’s Duke. I’m not knocking the Blue Devils, but compared to those other opponents, they don’t carry that same kind of weight. The rest of Bama’s nonconference slate is New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Carolina. The Tide also avoid Georgia and Florida, but they do get South Carolina and Tennessee from the East. The toughest games will be on the road against Texas A&M and Auburn as well as at home against LSU. Oh, and Alabama doesn’t get the SOS booster shot of playing Alabama. Still, while the schedule isn’t easy by any stretch, compared to the rest of the SEC, it projects to be the lightest of the bunch.
Hey, let’s face it — if anybody needs the help, it’s Nick Saban. I can’t wait to hear him give ‘Bama students shit for not sitting through every minute of that compelling home schedule.