Alabama Football: SEC West scheduling advantages and challenges

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Next fall’s schedules for Alabama Football and other SEC West teams have some interesting situations. For a couple of reasons, it is hard to evaluate what teams have the hardest or the easiest schedules. Guessing in March how good a team will or won’t be next October and November can be faulty. Even when having a solid read on how good or bad certain teams will be, schedule difficulty is relative.

For example, going to Knoxville to play Tennessee will be easier for Alabama than it will be for Kentucky. The Vols’ open date, the week before playing LSU in Baton Rouge, may make the road game less tough for Tennessee.

Among SEC West teams, three have a scheduling advantage. Texas &M, Auburn and Arkansas get a week to rest and recover after seven games. The Crimson Tide, LSU and Mississippi don’t get an open date until after eight games. Ole Miss has to play nine straight games before the Rebels get an open week.

An Alabama Football Three Week Challenge

The Crimson Tide weeks, five, six and seven will be the toughest stretch of the Alabama season. On Oct. 1, Alabama travels to Arkansas. The following week the Tide has Texas A&M at home. The third week of the run is Tennessee in Knoxville.

LSU has a challenging six-week run, with five games and an open date. The Bengal Tigers will play  Tennessee, at Florida, Ole Miss, open, Alabama and at Arkansas.

Lane Kiffin gets the short end from nine straight games, but has little opposition in five of the first six Ole Miss games. The Rebels open with Troy, Central Arkansas, at Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Kentucky and at Vanderbilt.

Alabama football fans may be wondering why Auburn has not been mentioned much in this post. There is a simple reason. The Tigers could lose seven games in 2022, but in true fashion will probably have at least one miracle victory over a better team. Trying to predict Auburn’s future is pointless.

In terms of out-of-conference, some SEC West teams have no shortage of cupcakes. Alabama plays Louisiana-Monroe and Austin Peay. The Tide’s games against Utah State and Vanderbilt will be easy wins as well. The Aggies play Sam Houston State and U Mass. LSU play Southern and New Mexico. Auburn has Mercer and Western Kentucky. The Tigers also play San Jose State, but given the current condition of the Auburn program, the Spartans could be a real threat.

The schedules for all teams can be found here.

Next. Crimson Tide looking for a Will. dark

We’ll provide a similar review of the SEC East in the coming weeks. Some early punditry suggests as many as four SEC East teams will have a shot to upset the Bulldogs.