Wednesday, May 11, 2011
SEC's toughest November schedules
By ESPN.com staff
They remember what you do in November, which is where divisional crowns are typically won and lost.
Who in the SEC faces the toughest final month of the season in 2011, and who faces the easiest?
Here’s a look:
1. LSU: at Alabama on Nov. 5, Western Kentucky on Nov. 12, at Ole Miss on Nov. 19 and Arkansas on Nov. 25.
The skinny: Not only do the Tigers have the league’s hardest schedule in the month of September, but their November slate is equally daunting. The trip to Alabama is one of two SEC road games in November, and Arkansas comes to town for the regular-season finale. It's what they call a big boy schedule from top to bottom.
2. Arkansas: South Carolina on Nov. 5, Tennessee on Nov. 12, Mississippi State on Nov. 19 and at LSU on Nov. 25.
The skinny: There aren’t any “sure things” for the Hogs in November, as all four games are against SEC opponents. It’s a stretch that starts with South Carolina in Fayetteville and ends with LSU in Baton Rouge. And if you’re looking for a trap game, how about that Mississippi State tilt in Little Rock the week before the trip to LSU?
3. Alabama: LSU on Nov. 5, at Mississippi State on Nov. 12, Georgia Southern on Nov. 19 and at Auburn on Nov. 26.
The skinny: The Crimson Tide certainly won’t be able to coast to the finish. The LSU showdown on Nov. 5 kicks off the final month of the season followed by a trip to Mississippi State that next week. After a tune-up against Georgia Southern, Alabama ends the regular season by traveling to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. Think Jordan-Hare Stadium will be rocking that day?
The cushiest path in the month of November belongs to Georgia, which never has to leave the state. The Bulldogs get home games against New Mexico State, Auburn and Kentucky and then end the regular season on the road against a Georgia Tech team that’s expected to be down next season after losing several key players. In other words, the Bulldogs could have some smooth November sailing if they take care of their business the first two months of the season.