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2011 SEC West Schedule Breakdown
Alabama RB Trent Richardson
Alabama RB Trent Richardson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 10, 2011


Which SEC teams have the toughest schedules (and the easiest)? Check out the analysis and breakdown for all the teams in the SEC West.


2011 SEC West 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 East 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. Auburn
2. Alabama
3. Arkansas
4. LSU
5. Mississippi State
6. Ole Miss
Alabama

Non-Conference Games: Georgia Southern, Kent State, North Texas, at Penn State
Games Against the East: at Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 10-2

Summary: Assuming Auburn isn’t the Auburn of last year, and hoping that Florida is still in a bit of a rebuilding mode, the slate isn’t all that bad. Going to Happy Valley to face Penn State is hardly fun, but Bama is the far better team and it should be heavily favored. In conference play, going to Gainesville hurts, but the home layup against Vanderbilt and missing South Carolina and Georgia helps. A home game against Tennessee the other battle against the East and that comes before a week off before the likely showdown for the West against LSU. November is a bear with the date with the Tigers to open, a sneaky-nasty trip to Mississippi State to follow, and then a week off against Georgia Southern before the Iron Bowl at Auburn. Last year it seemed like EVERYONE had a week off before facing the Tide, and while Ole Miss and Vanderbilt getting an extra week to prepare isn’t a big deal, LSU gets an off-week before going to Bama.

Sep. 3 Kent State
Sep. 10 at Penn State
Sep. 17 North Texas
Sep. 24 Arkansas
Oct. 1 at Florida
Oct. 8 Vanderbilt
Oct. 15 at Ole Miss
Oct. 22 Tennessee
Oct. 29 OPEN DATE
Nov. 5 LSU
Nov. 12 at Mississippi State
Nov. 19 Georgia Southern
Nov. 26 at Auburn

Arkansas
Non-Conference Games: Missouri State, New Mexico, Texas A&M (Dallas), Troy
Games Against the East: South Carolina, Tennessee, at Vanderbilt
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 10-2

Summary: Troy might put up some points, but realistically, the Hogs get a three-week exhibition season to kick things off with Missouri State, New Mexico, and Troy at home before opening up the SEC season with a date at Alabama. If Arkansas can pull off the win in Tuscaloosa, it might be national title or bust the dangerous dates against Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi State all at home, and the one decent non-conference game, Texas A&M, in Dallas. However, there’s a big, fat, nasty game to close things out that could ruin all the fun: at LSU. Even so, the schedule can’t be used as an excuse missing Florida and Georgia from the East and getting South Carolina at home. The only real concern is that the Hogs are at home just once from September 17th to November 5th.

Sep. 3 Missouri State
Sep. 10 New Mexico
Sep. 17 Troy
Sep. 24 at Alabama
Oct. 1 Texas A&M (in Dallas)
Oct. 8 Auburn
Oct. 15 OPEN DATE
Oct. 22 at Ole Miss
Oct. 29 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 5 South Carolina
Nov. 12 Tennessee
Nov. 19 Mississippi State
Nov. 25 at LSU

Auburn

Non-Conference Games: at Clemson, Florida Atlantic, Samford, Utah State
Games Against the East: Florida, at Georgia, at South Carolina
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 8-4

Summary: It’s not like the defending national champions got a whole slew of scheduling breaks last year, but most of the big games were at home until the classic Iron Bowl to close out the regular season. This year it’s payback time for a lot of teams with road games at South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia to all but eliminate any dreams of playing for a second championship. Throw in the SEC opener against a strong Mississippi State team and a battle at Clemson in what should be one of the most entertaining non-conference games of the SEC season, and it’ll be a fight to simply get to the end of September clean. October doesn’t get much better as Auburn, starting with the game at Clemson, goes on a run of four road games in six weeks with one of the home games coming against Florida and with the date in Death Valley (the LSU version) to end the first half of the season. The Tigers get an unfair draw in interdivisional play missing Vanderbilt and Kentucky and getting Florida and road trips to Georgia and South Carolina, but the breaks, if it’s a break, is closing out with Samford and Alabama at home.

Sep. 3 Utah State
Sep. 10 Mississippi State
Sep. 17 at Clemson
Sep. 24 Florida Atlantic
Oct. 1 at South Carolina
Oct. 8 at Arkansas
Oct. 15 Florida
Oct. 22 at LSU
Oct. 29 Ole Miss
Nov. 5 OPEN DATE
Nov. 12 at Georgia
Nov. 19 Samford
Nov. 26 Alabama

LSU

Non-Conference Games: Northwestern State, Oregon (in Dallas), at West Virginia, Western Kentucky
Games Against the East: Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 9-3

Summary: LSU can establish itself as the big bad boy on the block right way with a nasty September, and that doesn’t even could all the SEC powerhouses left on the slate. If the Tigers can beat Oregon to start the season, it’ll set the tone for the year, while beating Mississippi State and West Virginia on the road, not a given by any stretch, could mean a top three spot in the rankings if not No. 1. While getting Kentucky and Tennessee from the East isn’t bad, dealing with Florida at home will be yet another test in a season full of them. However, even with all the nasty games and tough battles, if LSU can take care of business at home in showdowns with Florida, Auburn, and Arkansas, it can probably survive one loss on the road to Alabama or even Mississippi State and still play for the whole ball of wax.

Sep. 3 Oregon (in Dallas)
Sep. 10 Northwestern State
Sep. 15 at Mississippi State
Sep. 24 at West Virginia
Oct. 1 Kentucky
Oct. 8 Florida
Oct. 15 at Tennessee
Oct. 22 Auburn
Oct. 29 OPENDATE
Nov. 5 at Alabama
Nov. 12 Western Kentucky
Nov. 19 at Ole Miss
Nov. 25 Arkansas

Ole Miss

Non-Conference Games: BYU, at Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Southern Illinois
Games Against the East: Georgia, at Kentucky, at Vanderbilt
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 6-6

Summary: How case can the Rebels get past last year’s rough season? Facing BYU to start things off isn’t going to be easy considering the Cougars will be looking to make a splash in their first game as an independent. All things considered, Vanderbilt, Fresno State, Auburn, Kentucky, and Mississippi State is as light a road schedule as any SEC team could ask for. While that doesn’t mean the wins will start flowing when Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU come to town, at least the games are in Oxford. There’s no major stretch of bad road games with back-to-back dates at Auburn and Kentucky qualifying as the major road trip of the season. Unlike almost every other SEC team, Ole Miss doesn’t play three road games in four weeks, and on the flip side, plays four home games in six week before finishing up the regular season with the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State.

Sep. 3 BYU
Sep. 10 Southern Illinois
Sep. 17 at Vanderbilt
Sep. 24 Georgia
Oct. 1 at Fresno State
Oct. 8 OPEN DATE
Oct. 15 Alabama
Oct. 22 Arkansas
Oct. 29 at Auburn
Nov. 5 at Kentucky
Nov. 12 Louisiana Tech
Nov. 19 LSU
Nov. 26 at Mississippi State

Mississippi State

Non-Conference Games: Louisiana Tech, Memphis, UT Martin, at UAB
Games Against the East: at Georgia, at Kentucky, South Carolina
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4

Summary: The Bulldogs don’t have it easy, but they get plenty of big SEC matchups at home and the non-conference schedule is light and breezy enough to expect a sure-thing four wins as a base. When the toughest non-conference game is a tossup between Louisiana Tech and UAB, things aren’t all that bad. MSU gets a bad break missing Vanderbilt from the East and having to go to Georgia and face South Carolina, but missing Florida is never a bad thing. If Auburn really is going to take a step back, then getting the Tigers on the road and LSU and Alabama at home isn’t a bad exchange. While four of the first six games are on the road, three of the final four are at home including a nice week off against UT Martin before facing the Tide, and after going away to Arkansas, finishing up at home against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl should help the bowl position.

Sep. 3 at Memphis
Sep. 10 at Auburn
Sep. 15 LSU
Sep. 24 Louisiana Tech
Oct. 1 at Georgia
Oct. 8 at UAB
Oct. 15 South Carolina
Oct. 22 OPEN DATE
Oct. 29 at Kentucky
Nov. 5 UT Martin
Nov. 12 Alabama
Nov. 19 at Arkansas
Nov. 26 Mississippi State