Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SEC [Print without images]

Friday, March 22, 2013
SEC's toughest schedules in 2013

By Chris Low

Who in the SEC has the toughest road to a successful season in 2013?

Phil Steele has come up with his six toughest schedules in college football next season, and three of them belong to SEC schools -- Arkansas, Florida and Kentucky.

The other three belonged to Kansas, Purdue and Oklahoma.

Steele considered three factors in coming up with his toughest schedules. He looked at the combined records of each team's opponents from last season, the number of bowl teams from last season that each team faces in 2013 as well as the number of teams ranked in the final polls that each team faces.

Based on those factors, Kentucky's 2013 schedule was judged the toughest in 2013. The Wildcats' opponents were a combined 103-50 (67.3 percent) last season. Kentucky also plays eight bowl teams from a year ago and six teams that finished in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Arkansas was second on Steele's list and Florida sixth.

The Hogs play nine bowl teams from a year ago. The Gators, meanwhile, face Georgia, LSU, Miami and South Carolina away from home and take on Florida State in the Swamp.

For what it's worth, two-time defending national champion Alabama only faces two teams in 2013 (LSU and Texas A&M) that finished last season ranked in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll.