Countdown to Football

29 Days

I didn’t realize that kickoff is less than a month away.  It doesn’t feel so far away.

I also didn’t realize that….

1. Florida’s stretch of tough games is worse than Auburn’s October.  

We’ve heard ad nauseum that Auburn faces the toughest schedule in the country.  We’ve heard that October for Auburn is the toughest stretch of games in history with 3 out of 5 games being on the road against tough opponents.  Does the fact that a month is easily measured (although an arbitrary measurement) affect the predictions for Auburn’s demise?

Analyze this:
Sept. 24   @Kentucky
Oct. 1   Alabama
Oct. 8   @LSU
Oct. 15   @Auburn
Oct. 29   @Georgia
Nov. 5      Vanderbilt
Nov. 12    @South Carolina

Their bye week falls before the Georgia game, but make no mistake about it.  No matter what section of the schedule you look at, it’s daunting for the Gators.

Not to mention, Auburn doesn’t have a three game stretch of away games.

The winner of that contest is Florida.

2.  Florida only has 73 scholarship players.

Florida will be covered more in depth in their preview, but I didn’t realize that combined with their tough schedule is the fact that they only have 73 kids on scholarship.

This is what happens when you don’t oversign, which Florida did not do in Urban Meyer’s tenure.

3.  Arkansas versus Texas A&M.

Arkansas is a dark horse for the national championship race.  They’re also a grey horse for the SEC championship race.

Right smack in the middle of their schedule is a tough (seemingly meaningless) game against Texas A&M who has been dubbed by the USA Today Poll as a top ten team.

Not to mention, the game is again being played at Arlington.  While Arkansas fans will show up to this game, the game is still played in Texas.  Surely that has some kind of psychological advantage for A&M.

This game won’t make Arkansas’s season, but it could definitely break it.  Don’t forget that this game is one week after @Alabama and one week before Auburn.

4. Miss St plays LSU five days after playing Auburn.

On September 10th, LSU plays Northwestern State.  On September 10th, Miss State plays @Auburn.

Five days later LSU and Miss State will play on ESPN in what will be dubbed a huge SEC matchup.

Exciting for pregame hype.  Horrible for the actual game.

Make no mistake about it – teams do not prepare for a game for the full week.

In a seven day schedule, teams will prepare the first 3-5 days, take the 6th day off for easy walkthroughs and meetings and then play the game on the 7th.

This will give Miss State 2-3 days to prepare for what could be their toughest opponent just five days after playing one of their other most difficult opponents.

5.  Tennessee only plays four road games.

Tennessee has stretches of home games.  While some schools like Auburn and Florida are killed from the start with treacherous strings of road games, Tennessee will not play two road games in a row.

In fact, most of their road games are spread out.

They start easy against Montana and Cincinnati before travelling to Florida.  Then they get three home games before Alabama.  By the time November hits, Tennessee will have played only two road games.

29 Days

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