Wondering who’s playing who when it comes to next season’s non-conference slate in football? Below are all 12 schools’ non-con games for 2011.
We grade the schedules to find the three toughest non-conference line-ups overall. Among the criteria we explore:
* BCS foes
* True road games
* Neutral site games
||at Penn State
||Texas A&M (N)
||Boise State (N)
||New Mexico State
||at Georgia Tech
|Kentucky||W. Kentucky (N)
||at West Virginia
||at Fresno State
||East Carolina (N)
||at Wake Forest
Neutral site games include:
* Arkansas vs Texas A&M in Arlington, TX
* Georgia vs Boise State in Atlanta, GA
* Kentucky vs Western Kentucky in Nashville, TN
* LSU vs Oregon in Arlington, TX
* South Carolina vs East Carolina in Charlotte, NC
In terms of BCS-level opponents, only LSU will face two next season and both are away from Tiger Stadium (Oregon and West Virginia).
Georgia will face Boise State in Atlanta in its season-opener and while the Broncos aren’t in a BCS league, they do play at a high BCS-level.
Hisses and boos go out to the two Mississippi schools. Neither will face a single BCS non-conference opponent in 2011. That said, at least BYU and Fresno State (on Ole Miss’ schedule) are solid programs.
When it comes to road games, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt will venture into a non-conference foe’s stadium. Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee will not.
Based on last season’s records (and any schools’ FCS affiliation), the following are the straight-up cupcakes on each SEC squad’s 2011 schedule:
Alabama — 3 — Kent State, North Texas, Georgia Southern
Arkansas — 3 — Missouri State, New Mexico, Troy
Auburn — 3 — Utah State, Florida Atlantic, Samford
Florida — 3 — Florida Atlantic, UAB, Furman
Georgia — 2 — Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State
Kentucky — 3 — Western Kentucky, Central Michigan, Jacksonville State
LSU — 2 — Northwestern State, Western Kentucky
Miss. State — 4 — Memphis, Louisiana Tech, UAB, UT-Martin
Ole Miss — 2 — Southern Illinois, Louisiana Tech
S. Carolina — 1 — The Citadel
Tennessee — 3 — Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo
Vanderbilt — 1 — Elon
LSU plays the SEC’s toughest non-conference slate with a neutral site opener against Oregon and a trip to West Virginia. That’s a schedule that could propel the Tigers straight up the national rankings if they can handle it.
Georgia’s non-conference schedule is the second-toughest with Boise State and Georgia Tech on the docket.
Then comes South Carolina which will face three programs that are all decent-to-dangerous (East Carolina, Navy, and Clemson).