SEC and its daunting Week 12 schedule

Submitted by Goggles Paisano on November 14th, 2018 at 12:55 PM

It is an SEC Week 12 bye right before rivalry and championship weekends.  While most of the rest of the FBS teams are grinding this weekend with tough conference opponents, here is what the SEC has going:

Rice @ LSU -42

Umass @ Georgia -44

Citadel @ Bama - 51

Idaho @ Fla - 39 1/2

Tenn Chatt @ S. Carolina - 30 1/2

Liberty @ Auburn -28 1/2







November 14th, 2018 at 1:08 PM ^

Maybe the committee over-ranking Kentucky, LSU, and MSSU is not just a ploy to prop up the SEC, but instead the long-con to officially put them on notice and blast them for their cupcake late season scheduling. Drop them all this week and send a message to the conference that they need to schedule real games late in the season. 

This is almost assuredly not the case, but one can dream right?  


November 14th, 2018 at 1:16 PM ^

It is very assuredly not the case..... I think you have the wrong manipulative bastards.

It's very clever by the SEC.  While everyone else is beating up on MAC-snacks, the SEC is beating up each other.....thus giving the ranker-people reason to say, "wow, Kentucky beat Florida!  they must be really good!"

Inertia is less of a thing for the CFP rankers, fortunately, but it has always been a key component of the AP and coaches polls, and the SEC takes full advantage.


November 14th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

Yes, this is just smart by the SEC and complaining about it is just another example of this fanbases sad obsession and inferiority complex towards the SEC (which is funny because this is exactly the kinds of things we make fun of MSU for: complaining about us being perpetually overrated because the media favors us, etc).

If the same exercise was done with the B1G in week 1...or 2....or 3, we'd have just as many cupcakes on the schedule.

Smart of them to space the cupcakes out so as to get meaningful, buzz-worthy games earlier in the year and spread out their effective "byes" to allow intermittent "rest" weeks.


November 14th, 2018 at 2:02 PM ^

Uh no. When the SEC was beating up on each other early in the year, the Big Ten and Pac 10 were doing the same since they play an extra conference game. The SEC just uses their extra non-conference game to schedule a complete garbage team.

And I will complain about it. If the CFP is going to be foolish enough to reward this kind of scheduling, then the Big Ten will inevitably follow suit and that will SUCK as a fan. Not only will we still get Rutgers and Maryland every year, but maybe Delaware State right in the middle of November too! No thank you!

It's decisions like this that would only put college football further in decline.


November 14th, 2018 at 4:05 PM ^

Look, this was a complaint about the timing of their non-conference games, not the number of them.  The timing is irrelevant is what I'm saying and probably smart by them to space out their virtual byes.

But here's the thing about complaining that they only play 8 conference games: the big ten chose to put Rutgers in its league which completely offsets the 9th conference game for all East division teams.  And the West division just produced a four (minimum) loss champion that did not win a non-conference game and has been pretty much hot garbage for a long time so neither division has a leg to stand on if they're complaining about Strength of Schedule.

Also, some SEC teams play some real cames out of conference.  South Carolina plays Clemson every year, Florida plays FSU (RIP), LSU played Miami, Mizzou played Purdue, etc.

Complain about an individual teams overall SoS if you want to complain about the CFP "overrating" teams.  And here's the thing, the "overrated" teams, notably LSU, Florida and Kentucky all have really strong strengths of schedule as determined by completely unbiased computer ranking system.

Take the colley matrix, which is a former BCS system and is margin free and pure resume based which is really how the committee ranks teams:

LSU SOS is 11th (and they're ranked 7th overall in his rankings same as CFP) 

Florida SoS is 10th and they're ranked 12th overall (higher than the CFP has them) 

UK SoS is 20th and they're ranked 18th overall.

Yes, all of those teams are overrated in terms of "quality" because they've won a lot of close games and rank high in "luck" factor but again, the committee ranks based on resume, not quality.  They're not overrated because they've played easy schedules.

Northwestern is also waaaaaaay overrated by the CFP based on quality.  They're an absurd 77th in S&P+ and have won a ton of close lucky games.  Even their resume with a loss to Duke and Akron isn't that good.  Colley has them 37th overall.

I used the Colley Matrix but FPI's Strength of Record is also a margin free resume ranking and gives similar results. As always, the CFP rankings pretty closely mirror these resume metrics.

Crisler 71

November 14th, 2018 at 5:32 PM ^

Sabin is 4 and 1 in non-conference, power five, true road games in his career. Wins at Clemson 2008 (7-6), Va. Tech in 2009 (10-3) and 2013 (8-5) and Penn State in 2011 (9-4).  Loss at Fl. St. In 2007 (7-6). One game v. B1G, none v. Pac 12 or Big 12 and no OOC road games at all since 2013. Cowardly scheduling.  Really want to see Bama at a B1G team on the 12th week.


November 15th, 2018 at 5:33 AM ^

I am opposed to the SEC by week in November. SUCKS. while the rest of the college football world is prepping for big games in nov bama and the clones get a vaca. They should be forced into another conf game,not another bye week. If UM had that luxury we could rest or 1st & 2nd strings and play the practice squad and still beat the hell outta citidel


November 14th, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

WTF are you talking about. It is not unique thoughts from our's pretty universally the opinion outside the SEC that it's absurd they get away with scheduling cupcakes in week 12. The SEC prides itself on being the best in the nation...yet not only are they one of two P5 conferences yet to move to 9 games (that gives them an advantage), they also schedule late-season cupcakes as virtual byes (another advantageG. Additionally, having only 8 games with a 7-team division means they play two cross-division opponents, and one of them is a protected opponent, so they other 6 teams they play twice over TWELVE YEARS! This means Alabama and georgia almost never play each other in conference play, unless they meet in the championship and you get the "what if?" scenario of Georgia beating Alabama. 

Their degree of difficulty is so far lower as a result of these things. People complain about it because it is not fair. I mean, we do partly have to give props to the SEC for gaming the system, because it very clearly is working. But at the same time...what the actual fuck, man. This shit needs to change. It's not just because it's unfair to the system, it makes a mockery of the damn sport and its entertainment value.

What happens when Bama loses the SEC championship, still gets in the playoffs, and wins the National Championship (against Georgia)? That taints the national championship AND the conference championships. Either the games matter at the end or they don't....right now it's both, and that works solely to the SEC's advantage.



November 14th, 2018 at 4:21 PM ^

So the B1G should go down to an 8 game conference schedule, meaning one of Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin wouldn't be on the schedule this season. Let's have it be Northwestern since it was the one close game. We should also have a protected crossover with Minnesota. Let's go ahead and drop Wisconsin. That would make every conference game we played this season a complete shellacking. Also, we should stop scheduling non-conference teams that won't exclusively play us at home, or a neutral site game far away from their home state. That means Notre Dame is gone too. Say we take Louisville as the season opener. Now we've played a schedule of tomato cans plus an underachieving pair of MSU and PSU. Maybe on that schedule an 11-0 start ending with a loss to Ohio State, and no B1G title game appearance, would still get us a playoff spot.

Newton Gimmick

November 14th, 2018 at 1:38 PM ^

Liberty is in FBS and much better than Rice (though still not great).  UMass is also in FBS. Rice is probably worse than at least a handful of FCS teams -- they might be the worst team in FBS this year.  But yeah, at least at the time the game was probably scheduled, it was a respectable FBS-ish team.


November 14th, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

Since rankings don't really matter until the final week... I would love to see the committee send a message and rank Alabama #2 after this week, and then move them back in front of Clemson after they beat Auburn. Send a message that scheduling stupid games at this point in the season could hurt your ranking.

Newton Gimmick

November 14th, 2018 at 1:49 PM ^

Right -- we can't just say Rutgers is the 9th game for everyone.

If the Big Ten scheduled like the SEC does, Michigan would have not had to play one of Nebraska, at Northwestern, or Wisconsin.  Instead, they would have played Delaware State or whatever.  That's a huge difference.

Alabama avoided playing the Top 4 teams, standings-wise, in the SEC East.  An extra conference game might mean a road trip to Georgia.


November 14th, 2018 at 1:40 PM ^

Is the idea to play a rigorous schedule and real competitive games? Or shall we salute those "smart enough" to game the system? Yours is a somewhat cynical take, in my view. But more important: we have the issue of the committee. The OP is saying that the committee should be discerning enough to take these cheese games into account. Which would in turn pressure the SEC to play tougher opponents. 


November 14th, 2018 at 2:03 PM ^

If we went to an 8-game schedule, B1G teams would all play at least 2 P5 teams.  The SEC had to institute a rule to make each team play 1 P5 team.   The entire SEC plays 8 conference games, 1 P5 team (many of which suck), and 3 cupcakes. They effectively play the same schedule difficulty that Washington State plays, yet Wazzu gets roasted for it and no one says shit about the entire SEC doing it.  


November 14th, 2018 at 1:51 PM ^

Maybe, but when you can effectively give your starters another week off before a big game, even if both sides get that break, it matters.  If you've got a guy who could really use another week's rest (like Hill with his concussion), playing a cupcake now is way more valuable even if OSU gets to rest guys as well because the marginal benefit to you getting back a healthier star is huge even if it means OSU gets back, say, a healthier backup RB. 

And more generally, playing a "bye" isn't just helpful for a rivalry game, but also for the games that come after.  For example, maybe Tua's ankle feels a bit better with another week off because he won't have to play this weekend, while if they had to play, I don't know, Miss St. this weekend instead, that could hurt their chances against Auburn, then the conference title game, etc.  


November 14th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

The big losers here are their season ticket holders.  I'm fine with not following their model, but I sure wouldn't mind them moving to 9 conference games and getting rid of this stuff.

As a conference it's pretty savvy though - the get a "rest up starters, recover from injuries" game right before stuff gets serious.



November 14th, 2018 at 12:59 PM ^

They play conference games in weeks 1 or 2 while we are playing the WMUs and SMUs of the world, so what difference does it make?  We all play 9 conference games.  

Hail Harbo

November 14th, 2018 at 1:48 PM ^

I think that is correct because Saban thought the best way to keep the SEC strength of schedule equitable with the other P5 conferences, less the ACC, was to add an additional conference game.  Saban lost the battle but won the war as the CFP committee doesn't care who you beat so long as you win.  IOW, a win over Citadel or Wofford counts at least as much as a win over an FBS P5 team and far outweights a loss to a P5 team.*

*Exception, a humiliating shutout loss suffered by one SEC by another SEC team is a net positive.

L'Carpetron Do…

November 14th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

Also, losses are weighted and far more damaging late in the season than at the beginning (observe Michigan's current situation). This is was much more important before the CFP, but still an L in the 2nd to last week can still drop you out of contention.

So, if you're a generic SEC team, putting a cupcake in the schedule this week instead of say LSU  or Florida or whoever virtually guarantees  you'll never drop a game in this spot in the schedule.

Meanwhile, B1G, Pac-12 and Big XII are beating each other to death in the last two weeks.

The Mad Hatter

November 14th, 2018 at 3:16 PM ^

If the SEC is going to continue this bullshit, we really need to follow suit, as much as I don't like it.  Back to 8 conference games and a baby seal on the schedule before The Game.

The deck is already stacked against us with the committee's SEC/ACC bias, and we're doing ourselves no favors by playing 1 or 2 more P5 teams than the SEC does.

Personally, I think all P5 teams should be prohibited from scheduling FCS teams at all.  And G5 opponents should be limited to 2 per season.