David Hale of The Macon Telegraph has done some interesting research on nonconference records over the past five seasons and how SEC teams have fared.
The SEC has taken a beating nationally for its weak nonconference schedules and for not playing enough intersectional games, although it’s unfair to lump everybody in the league into one bunch.
Case in point: Alabama opened the season a year ago in Atlanta against Virginia Tech, while Georgia opened the season at Oklahoma State. Tennessee has played home-and-home series with California and UCLA in the past five years, while Georgia has traveled to Arizona State during that same timeframe.
Next season, Tennessee faces Oregon in Knoxville. Alabama plays Penn State in Tuscaloosa, while LSU and North Carolina meet in the Kickoff Classic Game in Atlanta.
That said, over the past five seasons, the SEC has the best record among the BCS conferences in all nonconference games against BCS opponents, including bowl games.
The SEC is 59-45 (.567). The Pac-10 is second at 45-37 (.549), while the Big East is third at 49-49 (.500). The conference with the worst nonconference record against all BCS foes during that span was the Big Ten at 46-56 (.451).
Florida and LSU tied for the best nonconference record against BCS teams over the past five years. Both the Gators and Tigers were 23-1. Georgia was also in the top 10 nationally at 21-3.