Meyer's Got Schedule Issues

By Adam Caparell - August 30, 2007

Despite it's undisputed status as the premiere conference in the country, the SEC hasn't been immune to criticism, especially when talk has turned to the league's non-conference schedule.

With no blanket policy from the league concerning how teams schedule non-conference games, each school is in charge of putting together its own schedule and some teams have put together much easier slates this fall than others. And Florida coach Urban Meyer hates it.

Count him among those who would like to see every team in the SEC play at least one out of conference national power every season.

"I think everybody should play a top 10 caliber program outside our conference," Meyer said. "We certainly do every year and that's not going to change. Should you play four I-AA schools? That's wrong."

No SEC team, or Division I-A school for that matter, will play four non-conference games against I-AA schools this year, but Arkansas may come the closest in the SEC.

To put it lightly, the Razorbacks non-conference schedule is a joke. They play host to Troy, North Texas, Chattanooga and Florida International.

Some of the nation's best who don't call the SEC home also feature rather easy non-conference schedules. No. 11 Ohio State, for instance, plays Youngstown State, Akron, Washington and Kent State this season while No. 17 Penn State features Florida International, Buffalo, Temple and a Notre Dame squad that's seen better days.

Aside from Arkansas, no other Top 25 team has an easier non-conference schedule than No. 23 Hawai'i's. The Warriors will face Northern Colorado, UNLV, Charleston Southern and Washington.

"You owe it to college football to play at least one top 10 caliber team outside your conference and most teams don't do that," Meyer said.

Florida, of course, will end its season against Florida State, but Meyer's Gators feature a pretty easy non-conference slate other than their annual matchup with the Seminoles. Florida plays host to Western Kentucky, Troy and Florida Atlantic this fall.

For the most part, every SEC team plays three relatively easy games non-conference games. LSU, for instance, faces Middle Tennessee, Tulane, Louisiana Tech after taking on No. 9 Virginia Tech in Week 2.

Tennessee and Georgia probably have the toughest non-conference schedules in the SEC. The Vols open the season against No. 12 Cal and then host Southern Miss in Week 2. Georgia hosts Oklahoma State Saturday and ends the season against Georgia Tech.

"I think each institution has a different dilemma," Meyer said.

Of course every SEC team already plays one of the toughest schedules in the country because of how deep the conference is so you can cut the Gators a little slack for the three patsies they'll face because they'll play Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Georgia - all Top 20 teams.

Meyer also said how he'd love to see more high profile intra-conference matchups played. Over the past few years, we've seen some huge games like Texas-Ohio State and this year will feature, mammoths like USC-Nebraska and the earlier mentioned LSU-Virginia Tech/Tennessee-Cal games. Meyer called those contests"good for college football."

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:40 AM on August 30, 2007
Comments (3)


I wish we had a USC-UF. This would be huge, to clash East Vs West coast. Lots of bragging and action

I have to agree with Coach Meyer. The scheduling of 1-AA teams has to stop. NOW! Its ridiculous for anybody in the SEC to face any team below the 1-A level.

As an Auburn fan, I like our first two games, vs Kansas State and South Florida. The New Mexico State and Tennessee Tech games, not so much.

Not a bad OOC slate, but, I'd like to face an ACC team on an annual basis, as well as maybe a CUSA or Big East team. There are enough decent BCS teams, and mid-majors, for us to not ever schedule a 1-AA team ever again.



Don't trash those I-AA teams ... one of them just humiliated Michigan.

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