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What’s Not To Like About 2012 SEC Schedule?

With the 2012 SEC football schedule finally unwrapped, we wanted to take a few minutes this evening to examine what’s to like — and what’s not to like — for each program in the conference.

Considering the hoops that had to be jumped through and the hurdles that had to be cleared to make this schedule a reality, it once again speaks to the all-for-one nature of the SEC, its presidents and its athletic directors. 

We’ll start with Alabama and run through the rest of 2012 conference schedules in alphabetical order.  Here goes:


ALABAMA

9/15 at Arkansas
9/29 Ole Miss
10/13 at Missouri
10/20 at Tennessee
10/27 Miss. State
11/3 at LSU
11/10 Texas A&M
11/24 Auburn

What’s to Like:  No Georgia or South Carolina or even Florida from the East.  Closing the season with Texas A&M and Auburn at home.

What’s Not to Like:  The Tide lost its bye week before what could be another West Division title game with LSU next season.

What They’re Saying:  Nick Saban not grumbling about Tide’s 2012 schedule


ARKANSAS

9/15 Alabama
9/29 vs Texas A&M (Site to be determined)
10/6 at Auburn
10/13 Kentucky
10/27 Ole Miss
11/10 at S. Carolina
11/17 at Miss. State
11/24 LSU

What’s to Like:  Alabama and LSU travel to the Natural State (be it either Fayetteville or Little Rock).

What’s Not to Like:  The uncertainty surrounding the location of next year’s Texas A&M game.  It’s on the books for Arlington, Texas, but the Aggies want the game at Kyle Field.

What They’re Saying:  Several Questions Remain With 2012 Schedule


AUBURN

9/8 at Miss. State
9/22 LSU
10/6 Arkansas
10/13 at Ole Miss
10/20 at Vanderbilt
10/27 Texas A&M
11/10 Georgia
11/24 at Alabama

What’s to Like:  LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Georgia all head to the Plains.

What’s Not to Like:  Not a whole lot considering AU’s placement in the SEC West.  With UGA as the Tigers’ permanent cross-divisional foe, only one slot was open on the docket and it was filled by Vanderbilt. 

What They’re Saying:  SEC games set, now we’re filling in the blanks in Auburn’s 2012 football schedule


FLORIDA

9/8 at Texas A&M
9/15 at Tennessee
9/22 Kentucky
10/6 LSU
10/13 at Vanderbilt
10/20 S. Carolina
10/27 vs Georgia (Jacksonville)
11/3 Missouri

What’s to Like:  LSU, Carolina, Missouri and Georgia (Jacksonville) will all have to travel to the Sunshine State to play.

What’s Not to Like:  This is the first year SEC teams could open with two straight road games and the Gators get that assignment by drawing A&M and Tennessee on the road.  Also, there’s not much room for open dates and cupcakes.  Florida’s eight league games are spread over just nine weeks.  The Gators’ SEC schedule ends three weeks before 10 other conference rivals.

What They’re Saying:  The SEC releases Florida’s schedule, with the team traveling to Texas A&M


GEORGIA

9/8 at Missouri
9/22 Vanderbilt
9/29 Tennessee
10/6 at S. Carolina
10/20 at Kentucky
10/27 vs Florida (Jacksonville)
11/3 Ole Miss
11/10 at Auburn

What’s to Like:  The Dawgs are one of two East Division teams to avoid Alabama, Arkansas and LSU.  That’s a plus. 

What’s Not to Like:  UGA’s toughest games are away from Athens: Missouri, Carolina, Florida, and Auburn.  Also, all the talk of an “easy” schedule will create expectations that might be a bit too high (see: 2008 Georgia Bulldogs).

What They’re Saying:  Conference schedule for 2012 appears positive for Georgia


KENTUCKY

9/22 at Florida
9/29 S. Carolina
10/6 Miss. State
10/13 at Arkansas
10/20 Georgia
10/27 at Missouri
11/3 Vanderbilt
11/24 at Tennessee

What’s to Like:  The Cats avoid Alabama and LSU while getting a second visit in a row from MSU.

What’s Not to Like:  Seven league contests in seven weeks.  The previous league max was five SEC games in five weeks.  Ouch.

What They’re Saying:  Kentucky trades LSU for Missouri on revised football schedule


LSU

9/22 at Auburn
10/6 at Florida
10/13 S. Carolina
10/20 at Texas A&M
11/3 Alabama
11/10 Miss. State
11/17 Ole Miss
11/24 at Arkansas

What’s to Like:  LSU can put a nice, soft open date in front of its game with Alabama… while the Tide will be in action that week.

What’s Not to Like:  The Tigers’ first two league games are on the road (Auburn and Florida) and in addition they have to visit Arkansas and A&M.  LSU AD Joe Alleva is also pushing the league to get rid of the permanent cross-divisional rivalries so his school won’t have to face Florida each and every year.

What They’re Saying:  LSU’s ’12 schedule includes trip to A&M


MISS. STATE

9/8 Auburn
10/6 at Kentucky
10/13 Tennessee
10/27 at Alabama
11/3 Texas A&M
11/10 at LSU
11/17 Arkansas
11/24 at Ole Miss

What’s to Like:  Instead of going to Carolina, State will instead host Tennessee.

What’s Not to Like:  In a four-week stretch the Bulldogs will face Bama, A&M, LSU and Arkansas.  They might be battered and bruised for next season’s Egg Bowl.  Oh, and they also have to make a trip to Lexington for the second year in a row.  (Though they won at UK this past season.)

What They’re Saying:  New SEC football schedule offers chances


MISSOURI

9/8 Georgia
9/22 at S. Carolina
10/6 Vanderbilt
10/13 Alabama
10/27 Kentucky
11/3 at Florida
11/10 at Tennessee
11/24 at Texas A&M

What’s to Like:  Life in the SEC East.  At some point the pendulum will swing the other way, but right now the East is the easier division… and Mizzou will avoid Arkansas and LSU.

What’s Not to Like:  In the past, no SEC school could close the season with two league road games.  The Tigers get three on the road to end 2012.  They’ll also visit College Station for the third-straight season (having won the last two at Kyle Field).

What They’re Saying:  Mizzou’s first SEC schedule is set


OLE MISS

9/29 at Alabama
10/6 Texas A&M
10/13 Auburn
10/27 at Arkansas
11/3 at Georgia
11/10 Vanderbilt
11/17 at LSU
11/24 Miss. State

What’s to Like:  Not much.  The Egg Bowl returns to Oxford?

What’s Not to Like:  The Rebels will play six straight league contests to close out the season.  They travel to Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and LSU.  All four home games are against teams going bowling in 2011.  Good luck, Hugh Freeze.

What They’re Saying:  2012 will be a bear for Rebels, Bulldogs


S. CAROLINA

8/30 at Vanderbilt
9/22 Missouri
9/29 at Kentucky
10/6 Georgia
10/13 at LSU
10/20 at Florida
10/27 Tennessee
11/10 Arkansas

What’s to Like:  Uh, the Cocks finish with two straight SEC home games?

What’s Not to Like:  Plenty.  Carolina will face both LSU and Arkansas from the West.  They’ll play a league foe on six consecutive Saturdays from mid-September to the end of October.  And like Missouri, USC is the only other East team to play three SEC road games in a four-week span.  Tough, on paper.

What They’re Saying:  Gamecocks face tough 2012 slate


TENNESSEE

9/15 Florida
9/29 at Georgia
10/13 at Miss. State
10/20 Alabama
10/27 at S. Carolina
11/10 Missouri
11/17 at Vanderbilt
11/24 Kentucky

What’s to Like:  A road trip to Starkville — on paper — beats a visit from Arkansas, which was originally in the plans for UT.

What’s Not to Like:  The Vols will face East Division favorites Georgia and South Carolina on the road, but other than that, Tennessee got a favorable draw.

What They’re Saying:  Schedule encouraging for UT


TEXAS A&M

9/8 Florida
9/29 vs Arkansas (Site to be determined)
10/6 at Ole Miss
10/20 LSU
10/27 at Auburn
11/3 at Miss. State
11/10 at Alabama
11/24 Missouri

What’s to Like:  Florida will be an exciting opener?  Missouri will have to return to A&M for the third-straight year?

What’s Not to Like:  If this were the World Cup, we’d say that A&M got the “group of death” draw.  First, they play in the West.  Second, they have a three-week road stretch at Auburn, MSU and Alabama.  You’re not at Houston anymore, Kevin Sumlin.

What They’re Saying:  Texas A&M handed its first SEC schedule


VANDERBILT

8/30 S. Carolina
9/22 at Georgia
10/6 at Missouri
10/13 Florida
10/20 Auburn
11/3 at Kentucky
11/10 at Ole Miss
11/17 Tennessee

What’s to Like:  As is the case with Georgia, the Dores won’t have to play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU.  (But we’re not hearing any conspiracy theories about the league trying to give Vandy a trip to Atlanta.  Hmmm.)

What’s Not to Like:  You shouldn’t hear many complaints at all from Vandy fans, traditionally a group that’s quick to say the SEC is pickin’ on ‘em.

What They’re Saying:  Vanderbilt announces 2012 football schedule

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