It’s somewhat surprising with it being one of those years when the college football calendar allows for a second bye week that the SEC has actually done a credible job of making sure no school faces a calendar loaded up with opponents coming off bye weeks.
The only team that has serious room to complain here is Georgia, which faces half of its league opponents coming off a bye. Of those, two are reciprocal byes (UT, Florida), leaving the always-dicey South Carolina game and bitter rival Auburn as the SEC teams well-rested and with an extra week to prepare. The ‘Barn game especially is iffy: it’s on the road. Still, that’s just two opponents in a 12-game schedule, hardly the inequities we’ve seen in schedules past.
The composite schedule is also notable for eliminating a great deal of the teams facing no opponents coming off of byes: In 2017, for instance, there were seven teams that faced no league opponents with a bye week.
And, as much as it will pain us Gumps who love to complain, even Alabama’s three bye weeks isn’t too grisly to overcome…
You know it’s rough when even ‘Bama bloggers are acknowledging that the Dawgs have a tougher row to hoe than does the Tide in that regard.
While we’re looking at the Roll ‘Bama Roll post, there’s one other scheduling category worth noting as it pertains to Georgia, what it calls “the quality of the consecutive competition”, defined as “the maximum number of consecutive SEC bowl teams that programs will face in 2019”. Georgia is tops here, too.
Georgia: 6 (USCe, Kentucky, Florida, Mizzou, Auburn, Texas A&M). The four byes were bad enough — now, throw this string of contests into the mix. And, it gets worse still: this doesn’t even take into account that the game before this murderer’s row begins is Tennessee, a rivalry game against a team that should be improved and be bowl eligible this year. Along with their critical losses on the roster, that’s why in my post-spring predictions, I have Florida representing the East and not UGA. The Bulldogs could very well be a 13-2 team lurking behind a 9-4 record — and no result anywhere in between should surprise you.
Eh, maybe. There are SEC bowl teams and there are SEC bowl teams. I think he gets the real significance of this in his conclusion when he writes, “The downside of the East improving is that the road grows more difficult for those accustomed to a two- or three-game schedule.” The East is getting better, which means the schedule grows tougher. What’s worth remembering here is that Georgia doesn’t face the team in the division with by far the deepest roster. Barring some unforeseen disaster, this isn’t a team going 9-4.
Not that the SEC has done the Dawgs any favors this season.