With the big news that Arkansas and Rutgers have set a two-game series, I decided to take a look back how Big East teams have fared against SEC opponents since the league was reconfigured in 2005.
Specifically, I wanted to see how many "marquee" SEC teams made trips into Big East territory. When Arkansas travels to play Rutgers in 2013, it will be the first time the Scarlet Knights will host an SEC team at its home stadium in Piscataway, N.J. Rutgers has previously played six home games against SEC teams, but those were in Giants Stadium.
Here is the breakdown of games against SEC teams, since 2005 (home team in caps):
Louisville 31, KENTUCKY 24
LOUISVILLE 59, Kentucky 28
South Florida 26, AUBURN 23
KENTUCKY 40, Louisville 34
Kentucky 27, LOUISVILLE 2
KENTUCKY 31, Louisville 27
Florida 51, Cincinnati 24 (2010 Sugar Bowl)
UConn 20, South Carolina 7 (PapaJohns.com Bowl)
KENTUCKY 23, Louisville 16
FLORIDA 38, South Florida 14
UCONN 40, Vanderbilt 21
Pitt 27, Kentucky 10 (BBVA Compass Bowl)
Louisville 24, KENTUCKY 17
TENNESSEE 45, Cincinnati 23
VANDERBILT 24, UConn 21
Cincinnati 31, Vanderbilt 24 (AutoZone Liberty Bowl)
Not only are the opportunities to play teams from the SEC few and far between, the opportunities to play them at home are almost non-existent. Throw out the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry, and Vanderbilt is the only SEC team that has traveled to the home field of a current Big East school.
I realize an SEC team did visit a Big East school this past season, when LSU played West Virginia. But alas, West Virginia is no longer in the league. If you count the Mountaineers, three SEC teams since 2005 have paid a visit to Morgantown -- Mississippi State and Auburn in addition to LSU. Top-level SEC teams generally try not to give away a home game, so scheduling home-and-home series is pretty rare. When it does happen, it seems SEC teams want to make it worth their while.
Kudos to Rutgers for pulling it off.