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2011 SEC East Schedule Breakdown
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 10, 2011


After an awful year, the SEC East should be back with South Carolina even better, Florida more mature, Tennessee a bit stronger, and Georgia with a greater sense of urgency. But in the loaded SEC, it all comes down to the schedules and who each team plays from the West. Check out the analysis and breakdown for all the teams in the SEC East.


2011 SEC East Schedule

East Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State

SEC Composite Schedules 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
SEC Team-By-Team Breakdowns 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

- 2011 SEC West Breakdown & Analysis
- 2011 SEC Composite Schedule & Week Rankings
- 2011 SEC Schedule Analysis

Toughest Schedules
Based on home games as well as who the teams play. when.

1. Florida
2. Tennessee
3. South Carolina
4. Georgia
5. Vanderbilt
6. Kentucky
Florida

Non-Conference Games: Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Furman, UAB
Games Against the West: Alabama, at Auburn, at LSU
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 9-3

Summary: By far … BY FAR … this is the toughest schedule in the SEC. Welcome to the league, Will Muschamp. Now you have to get your feet wet by getting Alabama, Auburn and LSU, with road games against both the Tiger teams. If that wasn’t a big enough lousy break, the Gators have to go against a loaded South Carolina team in Columbia. In one of the roughest stretches anyone in America has to face, Florida gets the Tide at home on October 1st and doesn’t play in the Swamp again until November 5th with the Vanderbilt the only home game until November 19th. Playing three of the final four games at home will help, starting out the year with four of the first five games in Gainesville is a plus, and playing Furman a week before a showdown against a strong Florida State squad will help. The week off is before the Cocktail Party against Georgia.

Sep. 3 Florida Atlantic
Sep. 10 UAB
Sep. 17 Tennessee
Sep. 24 at Kentucky
Oct. 1 Alabama
Oct. 8 at LSU
Oct. 15 at Auburn
Oct. 22 OPEN DATE
Oct. 29 Georgia (in Jacksonville)
Nov. 5 Vanderbilt
Nov. 12 at South Carolina
Nov. 19 Furman
Nov. 26 Florida State

Georgia

Non-Conference Games: Boise State, Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, at Georgia Tech
Games Against the West: Auburn, at Mississippi State, at Ole Miss
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 9-3

Summary: It’s not that bad. A great SEC team can be a national title SEC team with this schedule, helped mostly by missing LSU, Arkansas and Alabama from the West and getting Auburn at home. By mid-September, all the problems and all the issues of 2010 can quickly be erased, or the Mark Richt era could be on life support. Starting out with a showdown against Boise State in Atlanta will be a chance for the Dawgs to make a national splash, and the South Carolina game in the SEC opener can make an early statement in the SEC East race. While going to Tennessee will be a fight and Mississippi State will be strong, if Georgia is good enough to start out 2-0 it should be good enough to start out 7-0. While the finishing kick is hardly a breeze considering the defending national champions are coming to Athens, November isn’t all that bad. Georgia doesn’t have to leave the state in the final month, closing out the regular season at Georgia Tech and with layups against New Mexico State and Kentucky wrapped around the date with the Tigers.

Sep. 3 Boise State (in Atlanta)
Sep. 10 South Carolina
Sep. 17 Coastal Carolina
Sep. 24 at Ole Miss
Oct. 1 Mississippi State
Oct. 8 at Tennessee
Oct. 15 at Vanderbilt
Oct. 22 OPEN DATE
Oct. 29 Florida (in Jacksonville)
Nov. 5 New Mexico State
Nov. 12 Auburn
Nov. 19 Kentucky
Nov. 26 at Georgia Tech

Kentucky

Non-Conference Games: Central Michigan, Jacksonville State, Louisville, Western Kentucky
Games Against the West: at LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 7-5

Summary: The Cats get a few games of tune-up time against Western Kentucky and Central Michigan before the rivalry date against Louisville and the East showdown against Florida. Starting out 3-0 is a must with the Gators, at LSU, and at South Carolina to follow. Unfortunately, the week off comes before Jacksonville State and doesn’t give UK a break before any of the big SEC games. Even so, there’s a nice break in the middle of the season with no road trips from early October until the road game at Vanderbilt, which should be a must-win with a date at Georgia and Tennessee to close. The Wildcats aren’t exactly extending themselves in non-conference play with Louisville the only BCS league team, and it’s hard to ask much more from interdivision play with Mississippi State and Ole Miss at home to offset the game at LSU.

Sep. 3 Western Kentucky
Sep. 10 Central Michigan
Sep. 17 Louisville
Sep. 24 Florida
Oct. 1 at LSU
Oct. 8 at South Carolina
Oct. 15 OPEN DATE
Oct. 22 Jacksonville State
Oct. 29 Mississippi State
Nov. 5 Ole Miss
Nov. 12 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 19 at Georgia
Nov. 26 Tennessee

South Carolina

Non-Conference Games: The Citadel, Clemson, at East Carolina, Navy
Games Against the West: at Arkansas, Auburn, at Mississippi State
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 9-3

Summary: It’s a season of runs with five home games in the first six, three home games to close, and one brutal midseason stretch that’ll define the season. The defending SEC East champions can’t use the schedule as an excuse for not repeating. While starting out the SEC slate at Georgia is hardly going to be easy, the rest of the conference slate isn’t all that bad if the team is as good as expected. The Gamecocks miss Alabama and LSU from the West and they get Auburn at home, but they have to go on the road for three straight games starting with Mississippi State and going to Tennessee and Arkansas after an off week. If USC can survive that, and if it’s still in contention for the East title, it’ll all come down to the home game against Florida. The SEC schedule is done with the Gator game, getting a breather against Citadel before the rivalry date against Clemson.

Sep. 3 at East Carolina
Sep. 10 at Georgia
Sep. 17 Navy
Sep. 24 Vanderbilt
Oct. 1 Auburn
Oct. 8 Kentucky
Oct. 15 at Mississippi State
Oct. 22 OPEN DATE
Oct. 29 at Tennessee
Nov. 5 at Arkansas
Nov. 12 Florida
Nov. 19 The Citadel
Nov. 26 Clemson

Tennessee

Non-Conference Games: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee, Montana
Games Against the West: at Alabama, at Arkansas, LSU
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 7-5

Summary: The Vols are allowed non-conference breaks against Montana, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee, and a home game against Cincinnati considering the brutal slate the SEC dumped on them. This year, if an East team could pick three teams from the West to play, it would take Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. Tennessee doesn’t have to face any of them, and it has to go on the road to play Alabama and Arkansas. If that wasn’t bad enough the LSU game, while at home, comes in a backbreaking stretch of Georgia, LSU, at Alabama, and South Carolina. All this comes after starting out the SEC slate at Florida. Enjoy that second year, Derek Dooley. If he and his team can survive, the finishing kick is light with Vanderbilt and at Kentucky to close, but like last year, winning both games against the East lightweights could be a must for a bowl appearance.

Sep. 3 Montana
Sep. 10 Cincinnati
Sep. 17 at Florida
Sep. 24 OPEN DATE
Oct. 1 Buffalo
Oct. 8 Georgia
Oct. 15 LSU
Oct. 22 at Alabama
Oct. 29 South Carolina
Nov. 5 Middle Tennessee
Nov. 12 at Arkansas
Nov. 19 Vanderbilt
Nov. 26 at Kentucky

Vanderbilt

Non-Conference Games: Army, Connecticut, Elon, at Wake Forest
Games Against the West: at Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss
Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Worst Case Record: 2-10
Likely Finish: 5-7

Summary: Of course, there are no SEC gimmes for the Commodores, but if they can pull off a few home upsets, the potential is there for a bowl game as long as there aren’t any non-conference missteps against Elon, Army and Wake Forest. Beating UConn in the second game of the year would be a huge help. James Franklin gets a bit of a break to start the season with three home games, and a 2-1 start, at least, against Elon, UConn, and Ole Miss is a must to have any dreams of a successful year. Road trips to South Carolina and Alabama are wrapped around an open date, and closing out with three road games in the final four, including games at Florida and Tennessee, isn’t fair, but there’s a three-game midseason stretch of home games against Georgia, Army, and Arkansas that has to be taken advantage of.
 
Sep. 3 Elon
Sep. 10 Connecticut
Sep. 17 Ole Miss
Sep. 24 at South Carolina
Oct. 1 OPEN DATE
Oct. 8 at Alabama
Oct. 15 Georgia
Oct. 22 Army
Oct. 29 Arkansas
Nov. 5 at Florida
Nov. 12 Kentucky
Nov. 19 at Tennessee
Nov. 26 at Wake Forest